I’ve backed a few Kickstarters now (if you want, you can see which here), but I’ve not felt compelled to blog about any before, especially as I generally try to keep this blog ‘on topic’. I’m going to (try to) give one a little push now though…
Alex Cox is beloved to a certain generation and type of film lover for his Moviedrome introductions on BBC2 in the ’80s and ’90s (a bit before my time, sadly). He’s also contributed similar to DVDs and Blu-rays from the likes of Masters of Cinema and Argent Films. And of course he’s a filmmaker in his own right, directing movies such as Repo Man, Sid & Nancy and Repo Chick. His latest endeavour is an adaptation of Harry Harrison’s comic sci-fi novel Bill the Galactic Hero (described by no less than Terry Pratchett as “the funniest science fiction book ever written”), and he’s trying to fund it through Kickstarter.
I won’t go over all the details of the project here, because you can just as well get them from the horse’s mouth on the film’s Kickstarter page (I was going to embed the video, but it doesn’t seem to work with WordPress). I think it sounds like a potentially entertaining, alternative kind of SF film, one I’d be very interested in seeing — which is why I’m trying (in my own limited-readership way) to raise awareness of it.
There’s a nifty website called Kicktraq where you can monitor the progress and projected outcome of Kickstarter campaigns. It now shows that Cox’s campaign is projected to cross the line, but when I first wrote this it was suggesting things were touch-and-go; that Cox might fall short by as little as 3%. If Bill were to suffer a weak final few days I imagine that could still happen — it’s just a projection after all. For those unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it ends like Dragons’ Den: you have to get all the money you ask for (or more) or you don’t get any. At the time of posting, Cox’s campaign has precisely 5 days and a little under $9,000 left to go.
If you’ve never used Kickstarter before, the concept is fairly simple: you pledge money to a project; if the project reaches its monetary goal before the time is up, you’re automatically charged for the amount you pledged; if the project fails to reach its minimum amount, no money is ever taken. In return for your cash, you get rewards. What’s on offer varies from project to project, of course. In Bill the Galactic Hero’s case, you can get everything from a PDF of the screenplay for $10 (c.£6.50), to an Executive Producer credit, lunch with the director, and a bunch of other stuff for $10,000 (c.£6,530). At more reasonable levels, you can get a digital copy of the finished film (+ the screenplay) for $25 (c.£16), or a DVD or Blu-ray copy (+ the download and screenplay) for $50 (c.£37, including international shipping). There are various other levels with various other incentives.
I promise not to use this blog to start shilling every Kickstarter that interests me, but this one’s relevant and needs a little help. If you think it might appeal, it costs nothing to have a look at its page, and if it and the rewards on offer look good, please consider backing it.