Posts Tagged ‘Indiegogo’

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An interview with Tal Zimerman

October 19, 2013

(NOTE: this originally appears on the Swedish Gore Film Society website)

Tal Zimerman at Home

The world is full of creativity. That is certainly nothing new, but thanks to the digital age the odds for someone having their dream project realized has become much, much better. Thanks to Kickstarter and Indiegogo (easily some of my fave websites) anyone can pitch their idea to the world and with a bit of luck get it financed. Being a believer in all things D.I.Y. I consider this a healthy and promising phenomenon and try to support interesting projects as much as my wallet allows me.

Tal Zimerman‘s pretty known among horror fans as he’s not only a writer for both Rue Morgue Magazine and Fangoria, but also an authority when it comes to genre movie posters. I recently found out about his upcoming crowdsourced documentary Why Horror?, a look at the psychology behind this phenomenon, and immediately decided to jump on board.  Ambitiously aiming to produce the most comprehensive documentary on the topic, Tal and Co. already amassed an impressive list of interviewees (George Romero, John Carpenter and Eli Roth just to mention a few), and plan to travel around the world in order to cover every aspect of this old phenomenon. Wanting to find out more, as well as help spread the word, I sat down and sent off a couple of questions his way, which he graciously answered.

So tell me a bit of the origins of the documentary. From my understanding it actually mutated from a different sort of concept.
Yes, that’s true.  I wanted to shoot an hour for TV that focussed on Toronto, where I live.  We would see how very horror-centric this city is, from festivals to famous shooting locations, to social activities and everything in between. There’s a pretty big horror community here and we all agree that we are spoiled rotten with things to do.  The production company I approached, with whom I had worked on a comedy project, was kind of baffled by my outward horror fan persona.  We got to talking about why I like horror, and why people in general, everywhere like horror.  So we decided to abandon the local focus and go global and that a feature film exploring all these things was best for the scope of the idea.

John CarpenterYou chose to have this crowdfunded. Considering the popularity of horror these days, did you consider having it produced by a studio? Was there any pitching for producers involved or did you immediately decide to go with Kickstarter?
I’m actually working with a great production company who specializes in TV comedy here in Canada. The feature length documentary format is new for all of us. There are producers on the project and they pitched it at a local documentary conference. We secured a broadcaster and managed to acquire a bit of funding for development.  The Kickstarter idea came when we realized that the costs of travel and film clip licensing were going to require a lot of money.  Almost everything that you saw in the demo was shot here in Toronto.  To tell the story we really want to tell, we need to travel and we need to show movie clips.

You managed to amass a quite impressive list of people for this! Tell me a bit of that process.
Again that comes back to where the production is located.  We have the Toronto International Film Festival and the Fan Expo, two enormous festivals that bring in top talent.  Having attended both shows for over 10 years, you meet people who know people who can introduce you to people.  Nothing is ever that easy, though.  You still have to hustle and nag and beg.  TIFF is especially tough because distribution companies fly in these directors to talk about the movie they are promoting and we’re talking about horror in general.  It helps to have people on the inside to get those kinds of interviews.  Having an interesting subject matter helps, too.  In reading the description of our movie, a lot of people want to express their ideas on the subject, so it’s just a matter of getting our material into the right hands.

George RomeroCROPPEDAs far as I know, this is the first attempt at covering the psychology behind the horror phenomena. Has there been any real revealing surprises while conducting those interviews?
Lots.  Without spoiling anything, I will say that spooking each other out is a very old custom.  Reminding the people around us of our mortality goes back to pre-language civilization.  Wanting to explain what’s on the other side is a natural, human desire.  Not all of us are content with what religion, or even science has to say about death.  And the more you attempt to cover it up, or try to escape,  the more abstract and creative the ways it bubbles to the surface are.  That, and also the fact that John Carpenter is a huge video gamer.  That blew my mind.

Considering some of the past high-brow snubbing of the genre, did you notice a change of attitude among the academics, or has there been some typical “this is garbage and it turns children into serial killers” sentiments vented like back in the hysterical 80s?
Its funny, we have tried to find people who are vehemently opposed to horror, like a larger anti-horror sentiment, it’s not there like it was in the 80s.  We are getting individuals telling us that their parents or co-workers have voiced concerns about their mental health because of horror, and that they can’t wait for our movie to help them explain their passion, but no big anti-horror movement to speak of.  There was some interesting stuff happening when movies like Saw and Hostel came out, and the idiotic label “torture porn” reared its head, but that goes back ten years.  In the time since, TV shows like Dexter, True Blood, and The Walking Dead have brought horror to the mainstream and into people’s houses – and they LOVE it.  So the genre is really at its peak of popularity and that’s another reason why now was the right time to do this film.

Eli RothCROPPEDI agree. The timing’s perfect. Personally I’d like to know why this genre is so polarizing. (The only other form of cinema doing that being porn.) Do you have anything to share regarding that? Why do people either love it or hate it but rarely anything in between?
It’s sort of designed to do that.  It’s safe to say that there are reactions to horror, both physical and mental, in everyone who sees it, but not everyone is going to enjoy that reaction.  But anything that pushes boundaries, which is one of horror’s main functions, is going to upset some people and delight others.  Some people are naturally curious and adventurous.  Others are content in the safety of their shells.  It comes down to personality.

Also, covering the various aspects of horror all over the world. Have you noticed any big differences? With the exception of noticing Euro horror being a bit more “arty” than the pragmatic U.S. films I really can’t say I’ve studied it at any length, but are we afraid of different things?
We are most certainly afraid of different things, or at least, have very different ways of approaching our anxieties.  In Japan, for example, there are several examples of folklore with haunted spaces and spirits trying to manipulate the living.  These tie in to that society’s family-related anxieties.  In Australia, the vast emptiness of the deserts have created a fear of isolation, which has been the theme of many great Oz-horror films.  In the end, though, it all comes back to the fear of death.  How that fear is represented is very driven by local attitudes.

How much of the documentary is already finished? How are you looking to expand it with the crowdsourced budget?
It’s hard to say, quantitatively, how much is finished.  We have roughly 40 interviews, mostly with film-centric individuals.  We still need to talk to art and literature historians, psychologists, and video game developers.  We definitely know what we want to talk about, and a budget from crowdsourcing will, for example, allow us to show works of art in museums and galleries, as opposed to jpegs.  It will give us the ability to talk to video game developers in Japan directly instead of just showing their works.  The movie is definitely happening, but a little extra push can take us a long way.

As it is feature length: Will we see this having a theatrical release?
I hope so.  It will appear on TV here in Canada next year, and we’re hoping to show it at some festivals before that.  We’re shooting with the theatre experience in mind, so we’re all hoping for a theatrical release.

So am I! Best of luck with the project, Tal.

Interview by Magnus Sellergren.
Photos courtesy Tal Zimerman.

Make sure to check out the project on Kickstarter and join them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WhyHorror. Again, the pitch video:

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Friday the 13th: The Link Roundup

September 13, 2013

Hey! It’s Friday the 13th! You know what that means. Yeah, a lot of us horror nerds will be plopping down on the couch with a choice installment of the classic slasher series. My personal fave is Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (aka “Part 4″ I guess) where the characters are at their most cardboard-y and Tom Savini ups the ante when it comes to gory FX.

Speaking of which: Tom is crowdsourcing his coming zombie epic Death Island! Sounding like a throwback to the classic Haitian zombie theme (think White Zombie, Zombi 2 or even The Serpent and the Rainbow) he’s got a nice cast including Tony Todd (that appeared in his remake of Night of the Living Dead) and is looking for one million dollars to get this made. I found an article about it here, check out the campaign on Indiegogo here (I’m totally contemplating chipping in some $$$!) and join him on Facebook here.

While on that subject I gotta admit it is the weirdest damn coincidence that he’s launching said movie project when I recently finished a similar soundtrack project. How’s that for timing? I already sent a head’s up to my license agency. The stars are aligning…

More horrors can be found as they have been posted on my Society 6! Got four new art prints this week: Demons 1 and Demons 2 (a sort of visceral update of Lamberto Bava‘s 80s gore fest of the same name) and two abstract/psychedelic pieces called Stardust and Fire and Ice. I’m mildly irked by the latter two as I was forced to censor them in order to post the pictures on Facebook as there were some boobage to be seen. Something that apparently “some” people (who are they any way?) have a problem with. Sounds like “some” people got Mommy issues.

Got a batch of more cool S6 discoveries to share with you guys: Jon MacNair (who’s b&w art reminds me of Charles Burns), Brett 66, Silver Larrosa, David Luscombe, you gotta check out Grant Hunter who’s style is sort of a nightmarish Ralph Steadman, and finally Luke Ramsey. Check them all out and invest in some stylish art for your home!

Some real horrors comes via Design You Trust that tells all you need to know about The Uniface Mask. It’s sort of an anime type face that you glue onto your real face. Only $399. Wow.

Double that amount of money and you might snatch up the original test pressing of Minor Threat‘s debut EP that’s up for auction on eBay right now. But FYI, these things have a tendency to go for a lot more than that.

US-based blog Trust Me, I’m a Scientist is easily one of my personal faves, always delivering thought-provoking articles covering all things creative, with a focus on music. Their recent post How to Become the Best at What You Do should be of interest for anyone who wants to perfect a skill, and I highly recommend it. Among other things it proves that talent is a very abstract concept – if it even exists – and is secondary to basic hard work. The article The Quirky Habits of Great Mixers (via Sonic Scoop) is also of interest for the fellow audiophile, so check ‘em both out.

One of the funnier videos I’ve seen this past week was the faked Monty Python and the Holy Grail modern trailer. Funny as hell but I sure hope this doesn’t give Hollywood producers any ideas.

News wise one of the funnier stories from this past week came courtesy UK’s The Guardian about the feral pig in Western Australia that went on a bender, drank 18 beers and ended up in an altercation with a cow. You can’t make that stuff up, man.

More nerdgasms came (hyuck!) when AMC premiered a short teaser from the coming fourth season of The Walking Dead. Typically they’ve blocked it for us non-US citizens, so go here to watch it on YouTube.

Remember that weird story about restaurant owners in Oklahoma finding a huge 300-lb. monument on their lawn that claimed ownership of the land in the name of (H.P. Lovecraft‘s) Azathoth? Well, mystery solved. It was a student prank. And here I was awaiting The Arrival.

Music-wise I’ve recently finished Call Me Greenhorn‘s oddly-titled Pink Hulk that really sees me, uh,  getting down playing with my organ (ahem). Soon to be remixed in a couple of dub variations (I was thinking at least two) and released as yet another dubmusic.com exclusive, I posted the track on my SoundCloud, but you can give it a spin below. Have a nice weekend!

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Best of Kickstarter 2012

January 9, 2013

copyright Kickstarter.com!

Well, here’s something nice to check out: Kickstarter‘s Best of 2012! Summing up the previous year they share some great results for those who believe in crowdsourcing! How about more than 2.2 million people funding more than a whopping 18,000 projects, raising almost 220 million dollars? Among them more than five thousand were music related, with various film and art reaching around one thousand projects. The list goes on and on.

Now, I personally believe that this and competitor (?) Indiegogo is the way to go for future independent projects. With the entertainment industry heavily relying on pretty conservative output they’re pretty much avoiding taking any chances whatsoever – no matter how great your music/script/book may be. But I was having a discussion with a friend earlier today, and with audience appeal being the vital key in order to generate the money needed, your project needs to be really out there if you’re not gonna manage to find and interest the roughly one thousand people on this planet needed to generate a decent amount of money. Dreaming of directing your 60 million dollar epic debut? Well, keep dreaming. But if you aim to pull it off at $60,000 the odds of you actually getting hold of that amount of money just exploded.

Remember my post about Hell Comes to Frogtown? Well, so far I haven’t met anyone who didn’t laugh when they heard the title and followed it with “Man, I gotta check that out!”, and unlike the (hellacious) ups and downs the filmmakers had to face back in the 80s while getting it financed, today they could’ve easily aquired the initial budget of $150,000 by presenting their idea on Kickstarter along with some script samples, conceptual art, maybe a presentation video and a faux trailer – with no producers meddling, interfering or in any other way trying to ruin their project. With crowdsourcing you’re instantly working with the supporters of your idea that unlike any major outlet pumping money into your project won’t hassle you about your creative vision! Plus, as an added bonus it eliminates any need of distribution whatsoever, as the product has in fact already been sold to its audience before Day 1. It’s honestly just a classic concept of eliminating the middle man.

Anyway, as they’re still only in their third year – and the average business usually needing about five before really break through – I’m pretty confident we’re still just seeing the tip of the iceberg on this phenomena. Two years from now I hope this form of funding is a major force to be reckoned with and with a bit of luck we even might see a (much needed) paradigm shift in popular culture. Anyway, check it out here, and while there maybe you should take some time to browse a couple of projects?

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(More) Kickstarter

November 29, 2012

As you may remember I wrote about cool projects on Kickstarter and Indiegogo some time ago, and publisher Ken Eppstein of Nix Comics recently launched The Big Ask, Baby! giving you the opportunity to support independent comics. In his own words Nix Comics is a small indie publisher in Columbus, Ohio, specializing in tried and true pulp genres now overlooked by a mainstream comic market dominated by conventional superhero fare and corporate advertising power. To date he’s published four issues of Nix Comics Quarterly and one issue of each Nix Western Comics, Nix Comics for Kids and Astonishing Tech Tales (The latter for Columbus based IT service provider, Network Logix).

Reading about his campaign on Kickstarter he’s planning a quite busy 2013 to say the least with seven new issues to be released bi-monthly, and offers up tons of goodies for those who pledges – including free subscriptions and t-shirts up to an exclusive, custom made eight page comic book advertising your business, or as a special gift or just for kicks!

He’s roughly 1/5 close to reaching his goal of $25.000 and if you feel you wanna support the guy visit his official website here and check out the campaign here.

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Old Man Yells At Clouds (again)

September 14, 2012

Well, once again I find myself turning into that damn Angry Old Fart, shaking my fists and screaming at clouds on account of “everybody ruining everything.” Just when you thought you’ve heard it all concerning remakes a friend of mine heps me to this: Texas Chainsaw 3D. Apparently a sequel/remake/wash-up of the prequel The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – The Beginning ’cause, what, it’s been six years so you’d understand why the studios wanna revisit this franchise. Gah! And if that wasn’t enough how about The Killer Klowns – the Sequel? It’s yet another example of what happens when stupid people gather within the confines of a conference room and decides to squelch whatever’s left of Tinseltown’s creativity. Remember Jason X? That damn thing just reeked of comittee meetings:
- We need to revamp this franchise.
- I was just thinking that!
- Umm…what about…Jason…uh, in Space? They’re still running the Alien series somewhat successfully.
- I was just thinking that!
- Well I love it!
And – brace yourself – rumor has it that Lionsgate Films secured the rights to the franchise from New Line Cinema and are planning a total of seven films. Now if that doesn’t make you feel like you’re trying to find your way out of a pitch-black cellar with its floor covered with rakes I don’t know what will.

Now, even though I really hate to admit it I can on a strict economical level understand that if you aquire the rights for a movie that you want to make the most of it in order to maximise the profits from your deal. That’s Capitalism 101. But that used to mean heavy merchandising, saturating the rental market or just selling various editions of it on DVD – not remake the damn thing every second year. I mean c’mon, are you really that out of ideas? Did the pioneering spirit that gave Hollywood its name die out so all that’s left are coked-out accountants that go “I love lamp” while trying to wrap their heads around the latest Lynch script? Big-name producers apparently died off and a stampede of marketers followed, moving in with what I call a “McDonald’s attitude” (“hey, we heard you liked cheeseburgers so howsabout a billion of ‘em?“) killing off what little was left of the mainstream industry’s creativity, spirit and originality. Remember such 70s classics like The Exorcist, The Taking of Pelham 123, Get Carter, The French Connection? Not gonna happen anymore. Until the bottom falls out like it did towards the end of the 60s forcing the major studios to put on their thinking caps in order to save themselves.

There’s hope though. Just spend an hour or two on Kickstarter or Indiegogo and you’ll find tons of bright, creative people offering something truly fresh to share with the world. If the average consumer decides to support them with, say $50 a month you’ll give these people a chance to hone their art and with a bit of luck we’ll have a decent, independent film industry within a decade.

Oh well. The weekend’s coming up and I think I’m gonna revisit The Amityville Horror and Escape From New York (the 2003 special edition DVD collector’s set is nothing short of amazing when it comes to bonus material!). Make sure you check out Catie Rhodesgreat comparison of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre and the 2003 remake here, and enjoy DEADPIT Radio‘s September 7th episode where they discuss the 3D version. Keep in mind there’s heavy usage of the F-word:

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Make-Believe Time (update!)

August 17, 2012

Once again writer/director Andrew Scott Ramsey has some cool news to share via his page on Facebook: Actress/director/model/photographer Eliza Jayne has been casted as the character Heidi his debut full-length effort Make-Believe Time! Along with Lynn Lowry and West Ramsey it’s starting to look like quite a nice cast for this movie.

It’s great seeing Andrew slowly reaching his goal, and again I wanna urge you to visit his official page on Indiegogo and read the sample script (click gallery and scroll down). This is gonna be a great genre movie. If you can afford it, make sure you donate some money.

The links:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakeBelieveTimeFilm
Indiegogo: http://www.indiegogo.com/MBTfilmfunding?c=home
Eliza Jayne: http://www.elizajayne.net/

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Andrew Scott Ramsey

August 3, 2012

Genre blog Rogue Cinema (that actually covers all things indy) just posted this great interview with Make-Believe Time director/screenwriter Andrew Scott Ramsey. And it’s a nice piece giving some more information about the project as well as Andrew sharing some of his own personal story. Check it out.

Again, I’ve already stated this (and people seem to agree with me) that this project has a really good feel about it. The writing is damn good and he managed to get Lynn Lowry to star in it based on its strength. He needs funding to make this happen so make sure you visit his Indiegogo here and write some encouraging words on his Facebook here.

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Make-Believe (update #2)!

July 23, 2012

Well, director Andrew Scott Ramsey announced earlier on his Facebook that actor West Ramsey (Cthulu Rises/Badass Monster Killer/Jimmy Attitude etc.) just signed on to his first feature film project Make-Believe Time – and he’s not the only one excited by this! West looks just perfect starring as the head of the family that gets harrassed making the casting for this movie so far absolutely brilliant!

Again, like I already stated his script shows some great writing and I sincerely hope the guy manages to create some buzz on account of its strengths. Bored with the state of horror these days? Well, support something that’s both fresh and in touch with its roots at the same time then!

Again, you can find more information on Indiegogo here and you can check out West’s page on IMDB here!

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Make Believe (update)

July 17, 2012

Well,  Andrew Scott Ramsey just posted some updates on his official Facebook and I thought I’d share it. There’s been a number of perks added to his Indiegogo campaign in order to raise cash for his debut film Make-Believe Time starring Lynn Lowry. They include free DVD (upon the film’s completion), free copies of the manuscript, producer credits etc. He’ll accept anything from $1 up to $666 so feel free to chip in. And again, I’ve read the sample script and I find it to be damn good writing. Check it out on Facebook and Indiegogo.

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More Norliss!

July 16, 2012

Well, I’m excited as heck to announce that The Norliss Tapes will have some songs featured on future episodes of the pretty cool web series The Adventures of Super7even! I found the project on Indiegogo and even though I can’t help out financially, I liked how the series shared a love for old spy-themed films/tv-series of the 60s and 70s that I decided to send creator Scott Rhodes an email telling him about my project. And offer our services. He checked us out and got back to me, and for now it seems like Bad Robot, Bad Robot (alt. version), Surfing With Androids and A Trip To the Moon! will appear in the series. More info as it happens but in the mean time check out their official website here.

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