The Kickstarter Blog

Success Story: Jens Pulver | Driven

  1. Driven Closes the Gap

    Last Thursday, Driven, a documentary on mixed martial arts fighter Jens Pulver, was $10,000 short of its $25,000 goal. In the following 72 hours, the project incredibly raised even more than needed, the vast majority via $25 pledges that pre-ordered an autographed copy of the finished DVD.

    The outpouring of support was incredible. We’ll be checking in later in the week with director Gregory Bayne to find out how they did it. But before then we wanted to offer our congratulations to Greg and his backers. Amazing stuff!

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  2. Creator Q&A: One Nine Nine Four

    One Nine Nine Four is a full-length documentary chronicling the rise of punk rock music to the mainstream in the year 1994. Filmmaker Jai Al-Attas moved halfway around the world for the project — relocating from his home in Australia to the heart of the scene in downtown LA — but it was worth it. His finished film features never-before-seen concert footage and intimate interviews with the likes of Blink 182, Green Day, and NOFX plus narration from pro-skate legend Tony Hawk. Jai has clearly come a long way (both geographically and work-wise), but he still has a few, final hurdles to clear before his movie will be ready for the big screen.

    We recently spent some time chatting with Jai about the making of his film. You can read our exchange below. Support the documentary here.

    What turned you on to the LA punk scene?

    I got into punk rock via surf and skate videos when I was a kid. Growing up in Australia and on the Coast, I’d spend a lot of time doing these activities and the movies and especially the punk rock soundtracks would really amp me up to want to get in the water or go for a skate.

    When did you decide to make a film about it? (It must have been some serious inspiration since you decided to move across the world for it.)

    It was about 2006. I was watching Dogtown and Z Boys one afternoon and thought to myself “what a great documentary,” and it inspired me to want to make my own film. After not much thought at all, I was thinking about why there hasn’t been one on my favourite music (which is 90’s punk rock) and decided if no one else was going to do it then I’d have to make it myself.

    Who was the most exciting/best person you got to meet as a result?

    Every single person that we interviewed was great, no one was a dick to us being these young kids from Australia, everyone took the interviews seriously and we got some great results because of it. Tim Armstrong from Rancid/Operation Ivy must get a shout out because when we ran out of money, he let us stay at his place in LA which was a HUGE help. Also, getting to meet and hang out with Tony Hawk was really cool because he is one of the nicest most down to earth people I’ve ever met. The whole experience was great and probably one of the best of my life so far.

    You’ve now brushed elbows with some of the greatest early ’90s punk icons out there. Any good anecdotes….? Feel free to change names if necessary.

    Well one cool thing that we did was we interviewed both Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus from Blink-182 when they still weren’t speaking to each other back in 2007. I used to joke to my friends that we unofficially re-united Blink 182, although both interviews were done at separate times, when it was cut together it was the two of them speaking nostalgically about the early days of Blink-182 and the incredible success they eventually achieved. Also going to Hawaii to interview Dexter Holland from The Offspring was pretty cool, I’d never been to Hawaii before and he was there making a record with Bob Rock at his house in Maui. It was a pretty awesome excuse to spend a few days there as “work.” There are so many, but one really memorable experience was when we recorded the narration with Tony Hawk, afterwards he asked me if I wanted to go hang out at his office where he has his Boom Boom Huck Jam ramp and basically him and [professional skate-boarder] Andy Macdonald just skated it all afternoon while I filmed them.

    What are your plans for the future?

    Finally release this film,haha ,and hopefully get the opportunity to make more films, maybe not documentaries right away as they’re such a huge undertaking and you really have to be extremely passionate about the subject matter. But I have a feature that I’m writing at the moment which I hope to get made once One Nine Nine Four is released and also a cartoon series I’m working on with my friends.

    How has your use of Kickstarter been so far?

    Kickstarter has been amazing so far, I think it has actually saved the film to be honest. I heard about it through the Replacements documentary and just thought this is exactly what I need to raise some more funds to clear the music and release the film. I believe we hit our target in under a week and as of now we are 150% funded with two weeks left to go, I’m really hoping that we can get to $10,000 before the last day.

    Closing thoughts?

    Too much pressure to say something profound or witty. Pass.

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