As of 2014, funding a movie through Kickstarter no longer sounds like a crazy idea. Several of the year’s buzziest indie films, including Blue Ruin, Obvious Child, and Dear White People, entered the world with help from Kickstarter, as did the Veronica Mars movie which broke funding records on the site. Last week, they were joined by Zach Braff’s sophomore directorial effort Wish I Was Here (in select theaters today) and the documentary Video Games: The Movie (now available for download). While it’s not yet legal for Kickstarter donors to receive a share of a film’s profits, they can take satisfaction in knowing that these films would not exist without them. Plus there are those fun little rewards to sweeten the deal. With that in mind, here are 5 exciting projects — an animated film, a horror movie, an acclaimed drama, and two very different documentaries — looking for a Kickstarter boost:
’86 Mets: The Movie by Heather Quinlan
Here’s one for nostalgic sports fans. Brooklyn documentary filmmaker Quinlan is making a film about one of the most memorable teams in baseball history, the ’86 World Series champions (pictured above), and how they represent a bygone era in both the sport itself and New York City. Quinlan has secured interviews with most of the key players, but needs extra funding to obtain archival footage of the games.
Kickstarter Goal: $50,000 by Aug. 22
Sample Reward: For varying rates, donors will receive digital copies of the director’s full interviews with Mookie Wilson, Lenny Dykstra, Kevin Mitchell, Dwight Gooden, and Daryl Strawberry.
Submarine Sandwich: A Film by PES
PES is the stop-motion animator behind Fresh Guacamole, the shortest film ever to be nominated for an Oscar, in which he ingeniously re-enacted the process of making guacamole using objects in place of food. In his follow-up film Submarine Sandwich, PES will assemble a sandwich made entirely of vintage athletic equipment: boxing gloves for meat, tube socks for cheese, and either hockey pucks or bicycle reflectors for tomatoes. It’s safe to say that PES is the only person in the world who will be able to make this concoction look delicious.
Kickstarter Goal: $30,000 by Aug. 13
Sample Reward: For $85, backers can select a single-edition original film frame from any of the director’s last three movies.
Bluebird: The Film by Lance Edmands
A wrenching drama about tragedy in a small Maine town, Bluebird has a top-notch cast (Amy Morton, John Slattery, Margo Martindale, Adam Driver) and received excellent reviews when it premiered at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Unfortunately, like many independent films, it failed to find a theatrical distributor. Director Lance Edmands plans to use Kickstarter funds to bring his film to independent theaters, DVD, and digital streaming platforms like iTunes.
Kickstarter Goal: $35,000 by July 24
Sample Reward: For $200, working actors can attend a 6-hour seminar with the film’s casting director, Susan Shopmaker.
Gehenna, by Hiroshi Katagiri
An accomplished make-up and effects artist, Hiroshi Katagiri has provided key art and designs for films like Pacific Rim, Jurassic Park, and The Sixth Sense. He also writes and directs very creepy short films, and is trying to realize his dream of making a full-length feature with the Japanese-influenced horror film Gehenna. The film’s fantasy elements will be accomplished without CGI, and to that end, Katagiri has roped in the visual art house Spectral Motion and master monster performer Doug Jones (Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth). His crowdfunding goal is ambitious, but Katagiri is working on a big scale here, and a quarter of a million dollars is small potatoes by Hollywood standards.
Kickstarter Goal: $250,000 by Aug. 2
Sample Reward: Donate $1,000 and a top SFX artist “will sketch your likeness being transformed into a freaky ghost.”
Almost There: A Coming-of-(Old)-Age Story by Dan Rybicky & Aaron Wickenden
For eight years, Chicago filmmakers Rybicky and Wickenden have been chronicling the life and work of elderly “outsider artist” Peter Anton. What began as a photo documentary evolved into something bigger, thanks to their goofy, charismatic, and surprisingly controversial subject. The directors, both affiliated with Kartemquin Films, need money to get the movie out into the world, and their charming pitch video is very persuasive.
Kickstarter Goal: $20,000 by Aug. 9
Sample Reward: For $1000, donors can send in a photograph and have it re-created in an original painting by Anton.
Photo credit: © Getty Images