If you still think that twitter is only good for posting what you had for breakfast, better stop reading here. Recent disussions on celebrities like Kristen Bell, Melissa Joan Hart or Zach Braff (not to mention the many others before them that went more or less unnoticed) trying to get their projects off the ground via crowdfunding stirred up quite some controversy. Are the rich and famous about to hijack the domain of independent filmmakers and steal their potential donators? Certainly not. But now that the gates are officially open for everyone (which they obviously have always been), why not turn the spotlight on filmmakers we love but haven’t seen much of lately? Wouldn’t crowdfunding be an excellent chance to bring them back where they belong – the big screen?
Such were our thoughts when we turned to twitter and asked our followers which filmmaker’s projects they would be interested and willing to crowdfund. We suggested a couple of names and concentrated on a few of our own heroes from the ‘80s who are still around but either doomed to direct commissioned work or got stuck in films that fail at getting funded. Think genre icons like John Carpenter, Wes Craven, Clive Barker. Think others that turned you into a movie lover when you were a kid. Most of all we thought of Joe Dante, and guess what, we were far from being the only ones.
Without expecting much from our little inofficial poll, the response was surprising. None of the names resonated better with those reading our messages than Dante’s. Within a pretty short amount of time, dozens of people retweeted our suggestion and uttered their willingness to crowdfund a movie by the man behind classics like „Gremlins“, „The Howling“ or the original „Piranha“ (and of course the founder of the marvellous „Trailers from Hell“).
Dante himself saw the tweets and asked „What are we crowdfunding?” and it didn’t take us a minute to think of the ultimate project – a biopic about Roger Corman. In an interview in 2011 Dante had told us about this one, adding it to the lengthy list of films he was attached to back then and in parts still is. Each of them had been struggling with funding for quite some time and was interesting on its own but for some reason „The Man with Kaleidoscope Eyes” sounded like the one that needed to be made most. Telling the story of Roger Corman shooting 1976’s „The Trip” (written by no other than Jack Nicholson) and having the master play himself at his current age, the film never got off the ground even though a major actor was attached at some point.
Suggesting this movie for a Dante Crowdfunding Campaign lead to the second surprise in this litte twitter adventure since it caused another wave of affirmative horrays in 140 characters. Even people who had never heard of the project immediately fell in love with the idea of Joe Dante making a (long overdue) movie on his old friend and mentor.
Tweets are just tweets. They are no money, they don’t guarantee anything, they don’t fund a movie. But in this case they at least provide with an idea of options that probably haven’t been considered before. The project is a matter of the heart. For Dante. For his fans. For everyone who admires the groundbreaking efforts that Corman has achieved for independent filmmaking. Do you want this too? Then join the movement. Tweet #crowdfunddante. Make it happen. [LZ]