Chicagoist Interviews Teenage Filmmakers/Kickstarters!

The Chicagoist just posted an awesome interview with Jacob and Michael, the kid geniuses behind Don’t Go Into the Woods, a self-made horror flick they have up on Kickstarter. They’re only looking for $500, and have raised $204 with nine days to go. The Chicagoist asked them about this small budget. Their responses:

Jacob: As far as the movie production goes, we don’t really have a budget. One of the things that Robert Rodriguez says in his book is that you should use what you have to make your movie. And that’s what we try to do. We kind of write our scenes around what we already have. That’s why our first movie took place in the woods. We have a woods on our property, so we decided to shoot it there. We had this creepy, old black dress, so we decided to make the killer in that movie an old lady. So we try not to spend much on things that we don’t have to.

Michael: The $500 dollars will be going toward a couple of things that we would have liked to done for our first movie, but didn’t think about back then. We used a lot of music and didn’t think about the fact that we need to have permission to use it. This time we want to get music legally and have the permission. We’ve looked into doing this and are saving $150 of the pledged money for that. Another $250 will go toward making a number of DVDs that we can send back to our funders, send to podcasts and blogs to review and then sell what’s left over. The last hundred will be put toward the costs of festival entries and conventions which we hope to attend. We shoot on a Panasonic DVCam that is pretty old. We hope that The Unhuman will be the one that lets us make the jump to HD for our next movie.

Just awesome. Don’t you want to help these kids and see what they come up with?


The omnipresent fact of an ice cream driver’s life is, without a doubt, the music. This issues from a nasty little metal box on the dashboard that has four settings, corresponding to the four songs that will provide the sound track for the day. “Pop Goes the Weasel” is pretty much out of the question: Building as it does to its absurd little climax every nine seconds or so, it’s the sonic equivalent of Chinese water torture. “Turkey in the Straw” is OK for a while, but pretty soon it starts to make you feel like you’re on Hee Haw.

The third selection is a simple two-tone progression, the “dee-dum” that big trucks are required to make when they’re backing up. For a while, this one seemed to have promise as a sort of electronic mantra, and I managed to amuse myself by pretending it was the new Philip Glass record, but this wore thin after a while. There’s no way around it: You’re stuck with “The Entertainer.”

Jay Bennett RIP

Some sad news to report. The musician Jay Bennett, a guitarist, keyboardist and singer, died yesterday in his sleep. Jay was most well-known for his work in the band Wilco, particularly on the Being There, Summer Teeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot albums. He was a very important creative force in that band for such a significant period of time; Jeff Tweedy has always been at his best with a foil, and Jay was a formidable one.

Since leaving Wilco, Jay has continued making music: five albums in the past five years, the most recent of which, Whatever Happened I Apologize, just went up as a Kickstarter project this past week. Our condolences go out to Bennett’s friends and family, and to the fellow fans out there.

Idolator reports:

Earlier this month, Bennett made headlines when he sued former bandmate Jeff Tweedy for breach of contract stemming from unpaid royalties; in a post on his MySpace blog shortly before the news of the lawsuit came out, Bennett blogged about upcoming hip replacement surgery and his work on his long-in-the-works album Kicking at the Perfumed Air.

Jay was 45 years old.



Phone call with The One who hit the mark

Jacquie Tran in Melbourne, Australia was the donor who sent us over the 2K mark and won a phone call from yours truly! Check out this video of our conversation about accents, the future, sports medicine, summer, and this project.

Allison Weiss owns Kickstarter. Check out the video of her phone call with the backer who put her over the top (on day one!). And she gets to talk to the future! So awesome! Congratulations, Allison.


The incredible projects just don’t stop. Today we have Allison Weiss, a Tumblogging singer-songwriter currently living in NYC, who is looking for $2,000 to make a new EP. After a couple of hours, she already has more than $700. Incredible! Congrats, Allison! Back this project!


Jay Bennett's "Whatever Happened I Apologize" on vinyl

In November 2008, Jay Bennett (ex-Wilco, Titanic Love Affair), released his new album "Whatever Happened I Apologize", for free...

Jay Bennett, formerly of Wilco (and the overlooked Titanic Love Affair), is using Kickstarter to put out a 180-gram vinyl version of his latest record, Whatever Happened I Apologize. Give Jay your support!

Brendan Mackie Writes His Second Novel

Brendan Mackie’s Help Me Write My Second Novel is one of Kickstarter’s earliest successes. Mackie, a novelist, sought $500 so that he could devote himself fulltime to writing. To attract backers, Mackie came up with some ingenious rewards, including fake facts written for you, a month as your personal writing slave, and our favorite: “I will name a minor character whatever you want. Within reason. No Purpledick McStinkblossom or anything.” Thanks to inventiveness like this, the project took off like a shot.

Currently the project has been pledged $536 with eleven more days to go. We sent Brendan some questions about his project and, true to his writerly nature, he responded with an essay on his project and Kickstarter. Here it is:

I joined Kickstarter so I could get support to write my second novel.
I’ve managed to finish novel number one, and am presently going
through the glacial slowness of trying to get it published.  I want to
keep on writing, but I don’t have the funds.  With the Kickstarter
community’s help, now my life as a starving artist will have a little
less starving, and a lot more art.

I chose my rewards based on what I could produce.  I write, so I
thought that, in addition to giving naming rights to some characters,
I could offer to write some things for the people who donated stuff.

About three quarters of my backers I know personally, but by far the
bulk of the money I got was given to me by perfect strangers.
Emphasis, I would like to add, on the word perfect.

How am I going to be updating people?  I don’t know.  I’ve recently
faced a hard-drive crash which has made my productive time a little
more harried.  I think I am just going to provide my backers with what
they got according to their donations, and tell them only when the
project is completely complete.

My favourite band?  Right now it’s Okkervil River. Been listening to
the extensively coinciding with an unfortunate bout of melancholy.

What was unanticipated was how quickly I could get support!  And the
super wonderful kindness of strangers.

What would I change.  Hmm.  I don’t know yet.  Ask me when it’s finished.