Kicks Picks: DIY Movies, MPAA and Computational Couture
Imagine using your purchasing power to support a brand new, totally original idea. From intellectually challenging porn movies to overflowing architectural archives, these current Kickstarter projects offer a chance to get involved with something on the verge of realization. Take a look at the four start-ups that we'll give our hard-earned money too -- even if it's just a dollar at a time.
How To Make Movies at HomeWho: Dubbed a "Do-It-Yourself Feature Film," Morgan Nichols' 'How To Make Movies At Home' focuses on a fictional group of four Maine-based filmmakers who have been making movies together since they were kids.
What They Hope To Do: The movie is scripted, but has interwoven tips on backyard filmmaking throughout the production -- from rollerskate cams to clever ways to cut costs. The film is meant to both glorify and educate about truly independent, community cinema instead of shiny Hollywood hubbub.
Incentive We Want Most: Call us egotistical, but $4,000 brings the director to you to make a mini-movie about your life, your friends and whatever else you'd like. Sounds fancy.
In Their Own Words: Nichols explains, "Coming out of USC I was well positioned for a Hollywood career, but the prospect seemed unappealing. Not just because of the output of Hollywood (which leaves a lot to be desired) but the way Hollywood worked. The endless revisions of of everything. The politics. The power struggles. None of this seemed appealing, especially when I'd spent my whole life making movies with my friends in a way that was nothing but fun. After all, I had already made 30 films by the time I got to L.A.!"
Money Raised As Of March 18 (43 days left to go): $4,815 of $25,000
Brett and Melanie: Boi Meets Girl Meets the MPAAWho: Tony Comstock, a blogger and filmmaker who makes ostensibly "pornographic" movies about real people in real relationships, sets out to make his newest Comstock Films piece an open experiment in the intricacies of the MPAA.
What He Hopes To Do: Comstock, a lay historian of adult films, takes his movie 'Brett and Melanie' through the process of receiving different ratings from the MPAA, along with the approval processes for YouTube, the Apple store and Vimeo. He then hopes to show, using different angles and a transparent process, what exactly the line -- be it arbitrary or not -- is that's drawn between NC-17, R and PG-13 rated films.
Incentive We Want Most: As New Yorkers, the $20 "Dinner and a Movie" option to see a special screening of the movie with Comstock himself.
In His Own Words: Tony says, "We've been self-funding our filmmaking for more than ten years now, so it feels little awkward 'begging' for money. But the cool part of Kickstarter is seeing that there are other people who care about these issues and questions as much as we do, and are willing to support our efforts. Plus it rolls the effort of promoting a project into funding a project, which is sort of two for the price of one. When you're a small operation like we are, that sort of synergy helps a lot."
Money Raised As Of March 18 (51 days left to go): $700 of $8,500
Continuum: Computational CoutureWho: Mary Huang and Jenna Fizel, two gals in their mid-twenties, teamed their love of fashion with computations and software to create Continuum.
What They Hope To Do: Okay, we are cheating a bit since we already gave the ladies love, but this project is so cool, we felt inauthentic not adding it to our Picks. Using Delaunay triangulation, which adds texture by creating sets of triangles, users can design an avant garde dress. Then, via rapid fabrication and Huang and Fizel's software, their creation can come to life.
Incentive We Want Most: Um, the dress of course. The futuristic fit would be perfect for a cocktail dress, which costs $750 on Kickstarter.
In Their Own Words: "I envisioned Continuum as couture redefined for the modern woman -- the tech savvy, multi-tasking professional who wants something special... Our triangular design is a bit more avant-garde, but the ability to customize the silhouette makes accessible," Mary tells us. "On the practical side, custom tailoring with software means you can finally get the dress you want that's just right... and that's how the fashion experience should be. In the future of fashion, standardized sizing will become obsolete."
Money Raised As Of March 18 (75 days left to go): $1,926 of $15,000
Andrew Geller Architectural Archive Preservation and FilmWho: Jake Gorst, the grandson of modernist architect Andrew Geller is a documentarian who has a passion for capturing architects. (He previously directed films about William Krisel and Donald Wexler.)
What He Hopes To Do: For 'Geller,' Gorst explores his family's old archives, filled with thousands of slides and documents from his grandfather. Not only will Gorst preserve the documents and tell Geller's story, but the documentary will capture the process, demonstrating what it means to explore and catalogue collections.
Incentive We Want Most: In the spirit of historical archives, the $1,000 commemorative hardbound book would look lovely on our bookshelves.
In His Own Words: "I'm looking forward to being able to give tours of the available Andrew Geller homes here on Long Island. The houses are like celebrities to many people because they have seen photographs of them in books, magazines and films. Seeing their excitement means a lot to our family. We are so proud of everything my grandfather has achieved in his life and to see his work enjoyed by others is a wonderful thing," Gorst tells us.
Money Raised As Of March 18 (75 days left to go): $1,195 of $40,000