You, me and Harvey Weinstein. We can be film producers. It’ll be great.
We’ll leave the boring old blockbusters to Harve. You and me – we’ll concentrate on something smaller and perfectly formed like this emerging jewel called God Help The Girl.
It’s the brainchild of Stuart Murdoch of the Scottish band Belle and Sebastian. (Some of you may remember the children’s TV programme of almost the same name. The band got a kicking from Jack Black in High Fidelity, but then again, he was going mad for Katrina and the Waves.)
So Stuart has got together with a proper Hollywood producer called Barry Mendel (Sixth Sense, Bridesmaids, etc) to make a film of a summer of music and love in Glasgow based round an album of songs. The hero is a girl being treated for annorexia, who discovers a talent for writing songs and teams up with a brother and sister she meets while on the bunk from her treatment centre.
The video gives a look behind the scenes – and the singers. Aaah…
They’ve got songs, locations, a plot, a script and actors (I think). All they need is a wee bit of backing. US$100,000 to be precise.
Which is where we come in. The producers. Also known as – the funders. Or as I like to think of it – executive producers.
The film is being funded through a crowdsourcing website. It works like this: You describe your creative project on the site – in this case, www.kickstarter.com and set a cash target. Thousands of people donate a wee bit of money. If you reach your target, you get the cash to spend on the project. If you don’t make it, the money is returned to the donors.
But why would any sane person donate?
- A desire to see the film made.
- To maintain the image of an eccentric billionaire.
- Incentives. Aha! Now we’re getting somewhere… (after this song)
The beautiful voices belong to Catherine Ireton, Celia Garcia and Alex Klobouk.
Depending on how much you donate, you get something back. Not money. Not a share of the profit that it will never make anyway – seeing as it’s an independent arty farty film. Instead you qualify for an array of money-can’t-buy-except-in-this-case-it-can-experiences. Like a tour of the Glasgow locations with director Stuart and dinner. Or to be the one to call Action on the very first shoot. Or to get the costumes. Signed scripts. Etc. You get the picture. (If the picture gets you.) The minimum donation is $1 – though you have to stump up $5 to get anything.
It may sound crazy – but it has already worked for other crazy ideas. Like a British iPhone app for joggers called Zombies Run – (ach, this is where the zombies come in) it makes out that you’re being pursued by you-know-whats, so you’d better drop the mars bar and start running. Faster! They raised $74k.
It’s true. There was a thing about it on You and Yours on BBC Radio 4 – go here and click on the listen now button near the top of the page – and listen from about 8’30. (May not be available everywhere in the world.)
Okay, okay – you’re a hard-headed, deep-pocketed lot out there. You want more. You want a share of equity for your tenner. Well, that sort of crowdsourcing is not yet legal in the United States where the biggest websites are based. However, it is possible in the UK – which is ahead of the States in innovation in this area. The main website here is www.CrowdCube.com.
It’s for all sorts of stuff – not just techie indie arty types. You don’t donate money. You invest it for a slice of the company and the profits. One group raised £1,000,000 to open a London bar. That’s a MILLION, sterling not dollars.
There’s a company on it called Aquaforno (odd name, especially if the letter f is switched for a p. Which reminds of that old joke about the sign maker and the botched job at the London Brickworks…). But anyway – they’ve come up with a clever piece of camping kit – a portable aga-type pizza stove – apparently cooks, grills, boils water, dries clothes and shoes and works as a fire pit. Reassuringly tangible. And just right for the next time half our village decamps to some forest – from which to sneak off to the nearest pub.
But back to God Help The Girl – it’s a great title, isn’t it? Are you in? I am. I’ve been playing the soundtrack. I think I’m bewitched. But will they make their target? Last time I looked they had just over $61k.
(Hmm… Wonder if you can publish books that way…) Here’s the film’s title track – done live (for some audience on tranquilisers).
UPDATE: God Help The Girl is now up to a wee bit over $73k – 20 days left to make it to $100k or else they lose it all.