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We're creating a community filmmaking space and resource library, where we'll provide equitable access to media arts.
We're creating a community filmmaking space and resource library, where we'll provide equitable access to media arts.
104 backers pledged $6,963 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$6,963

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“I’m an eye. A mechanical eye. I, the machine, show you a world the way only I can see it. I free myself for today and forever from human immobility.” - Dziga Vertov

Attention fellow film friends and community members!

You are the motivation behind our mission, the reason for our being… we like you more than movies! And we need your help…

Microcinemas offer a voice to those often not heard, a screen to those not seen. They create a way for diverse populations to take back the screen. In a system perforated with inequality, the microcinema creates a safe haven for those wishing to experiment with the filmmaking medium - bridging the gap between both “amateur” and professional, the fine arts and filmic experiences.

Mechanical Eye Microcinema serves as Asheville’s only public community space for access to the means of film production. What began as a mobile microcinema in 2012, has grown into a non-profit organization providing workshops and resources, in addition to regular (low/no cost) film and video programming.

We all know the depressing statistics about race and gender inequality in cinema. As filmmakers, we are regularly confronted with the ever increasing financial barriers to the means of production (not to mention the economic hurdles to film education). Microcinemas have the power to change that - with equitable access to screenings, media literacy education, and media resources, we can transform the filmmaking faces of our community. By empowering marginalized voices and celebrating experimental/alternative/diy low/no budget forms, the microcinema is a space of creative possibilities, unlimited by the expectations of the status quo.

Microcinemas are community centers for media literacy. Asheville needs this, because every town needs this. We are inundated with media and often lack the tools to decipher and understand it. Media literacy promotes creative thinking. Microcinema promotes creative making. This is a space for filmmakers and artists to explore new techniques, enhance their creative practice, think outside the box. For filmmakers to dialog with audiences and film enthusiasts. Microcinemas are about pushing the boundaries of cinematic and collaborative possibility.

We believe that everyone should be given opportunities, tools, and education to explore their unique creative voices. We believe that you’re never too young or old to learn new technology. We believe that film’s not dead and that microcinemas are catalytic spaces for social change.

We are transitioning from a mobile microcinema to one with a permanent home in Asheville Area Art Council’s “The Refinery Creator Space”. In this creative atmosphere, we will join forces with other interdisciplinary artists in developing community resources for media arts. We need you, community members, fellow filmmakers, and friends of film. Help facilitate our move so that we can better serve our community. Your support in this kickstarter campaign is vital to increasing our community resources, and developing new opportunities for workshops and access. We are at the beginning of an exciting era. The Refinery will get their certificate of occupancy this month. As one of the initial (original) partners in the coop, we will have the opportunity to make film and cinematic arts a vital part of the Asheville arts community - to support and share with artists across multiple platforms. At this critical juncture in the Asheville arts community, we are in a unique position to better serve a multigenerational and multicultural community. We cannot do this without you. Help us close the gaps between story and screen for our community.

We are creating a PERMANENT community filmmaking space and building a resource library, which will include 16mm and super8 cameras, editors, rewinds, splicers, viewers, an animation stand, and an ongoing collection of digital media tools. 

Run by a group of interdisciplinary artists and film enthusiasts, our responsibility is to create resources, curate screenings, and connect film lovers with films and makers. We work to continually dispel the myth that film is financially inaccessible, and invite you to be part of Mechanical Eye Microcinema.

Crowdsourced funding makes this YOUR microcinema. Creating a permanent home for Mechanical Eye will allow all of us to develop the community access to cinematic resources so greatly needed in Asheville. You are Mechanical Eye Microcinema, and your support in the development of this space matters.

Mechanical Eye Microcinema - building community one frame at a time.

Risks and challenges

Access is easy - we are opening the doors. Our biggest challenge is in encouraging people to walk through them. By supporting this project, you are helping us say to the community that this is important. Media arts education, film screenings - these things matter. You’re helping us find ways to challenge the myth that filmmaking is financially and physically inaccessible.

What happens if we don’t reach fundraising goal? We load all of our gear back into Charlotte’s truck, and keep showing films.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Yay for You!
    Thanks so much for supporting community filmmaking access! We will send you exclusive backer-only updates about the microcinema!

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    Holla Back!
    Yay! Your donation makes a difference and we want to support you, too! We will list you as a supporter on our website with a link to your own website. You’ll also get exclusive updates.

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    So... Buttons.
    Ready for some awesome swag for your awesome film supporting self? We will send you a button to show off how great you are, as well as link you on our website and send you exclusive updates!

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    Stickering it to the man.
    Stick it to the powers that be with a Yay for film! or Film’s not dead! sticker. Plus we’ll send you a button, link to you on our website, and fill you in with exclusive updates.

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    Shirtastic!
    Everybody likes t-shirts. Be the coolest of the cool with this radical film shirt (printed at Radical Jacks). You will get all the lower level perks, as well (sticker, button, website link, and updates)!

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    Zine F(r)iend!
    Ever wanted to start a microcinema or alternative education space? Interested in what goes on behind the scenes of your own microcinema community? The underground aesthetic of collage filmmaking in paper form, with articles by microcinemas and alternative film education spaces across the country! Love your microcinema and read this zine. You also get the lower level perks (sticker, button, website link, and updates)!

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    Film Patch Kids
    Beautifully handcrafted patches by local artist (and filmmaker!) Jamie Refenes. Show your film love and stitch these into your bags, clothes, jackets... Limit 12 (so get yours while they last)! We’ll also send you all the lower level perks (sticker, button, website link, and updates)!

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    Combo Deal
    Can’t choose between a zine or shirt? Get both! You’ll also get a sticker, button, website link, and exclusive updates!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    One of Us!
    Want to become part of our microcinema community? Get a one year microcinema membership (granting you access to workshops filmmaking resources) plus a zine or t-shirt! You’ll also get your name in our bumper video at our screenings, a sticker, button, website link, and exclusive updates! Join us in making film and videos of your own in our new space!

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Cinema on Tap
    There’s nothing like cuddling up to a night of microcinema and chill on your sofa… Bring the magic of the movies to your home with our DVD - a collection of some of Mechanical Eye’s favorite filmmakers from the past 3 years of screenings. Bill Brown, Evan Meaney, Jodie Mack, Jonathan Rattner, Kelly Gallagher, Lisa Danker, Roger Beebe, Sasha Waters Freyer, and more! We’ll also put your name on the big screen on our bumper video and send you a sticker and a button. You’ll get all of our exclusive updates and we’ll link to you on our website.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All That and a Bag of Chips
    Well, not really chips, but you will get our DVD, plus a tshirt or zine. We’ll also put your name on the big screen (and link you on our website), and send you a sticker, a button, and exclusive updates!

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    Screening Sponsor
    Directly support film programming! Sponsor a screening and we’ll put your name (or your business) on all of the flyers for the event. We’ll give you a personal thank you at the screening, as well as link to you on our website. We’ll also give you a one year membership to the microcinema - granting you access to our resources, as well as workshops! You’ll also get 2 tickets to your sponsored screening! You’ll get your choice of a zine or t-shirt (so you can show up to the screening in style), and we’ll send you a sticker, button, and exclusive updates!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Super Swag
    Because there’s no such thing as too much film stuff (just ask our Director). Get all the THINGS with this reward option - DVD with works by some of our favorite filmmakers, a microcinema zine, t-shirt, sticker, button, website link, and updates. We’ll also list you as a Super Sponsor on the microcinema Wall of Awesome in our new space.

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    Watch Till You Drop
    You know you’re going to come to all the screenings… Why not buy your tickets in advance? Get 2 tickets to 10 shows (that’s 20 total screening tickets) and choose between a year long microcinema membership OR the DVD. We’ll also list you as a Super Sponsor on our Wall of Awesome in our new space. And if that isn’t enough, you get your choice of a zine or t-shirt. We’ll send you a sticker, button, and updates, as well as link to you on our website. Does it get better than this?

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    Tech Master
    We love you so much we want to name our film babies after you! Pick a projector, viewer, or flatbed editor to be named after you (or by you)! We’ll list you as a Super Sponsor on our Wall of Awesome, link to you on our website, and give you a one year membership to our space! We’ll also send you a DVD, sticker, button, and exclusive updates!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Film's Not Dead
    Make a movie on Super8 - take a 2 hour workshop session with experimental filmmaker and Mechanical Eye Director, Charlotte Taylor. We’ll provide the equipment, film, and processing and teach you how to make a super8 film! Invite your friends to a private screening of your finished piece! You’ll also get a one year membership to the microcinema (so you can make more films)! We’ll send you a DVD, t-shirt, sticker, button, and updates. We’re also so excited about your new work that we want to write your name on our Wall of Awesome and link to you on our website!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Make It Work
    Ever wanted feedback from an industry professional? Got an idea for a great film, but need help getting started? You need a screenwriting or producing session with three time award winning producer, Peter Goldsmith. Whether you’re just starting out, or needing a mid-project push, this session is for you! You’ll also get a one year membership to the microcinema, granting you access to filmmaking resources and workshops. We’ll send you a DVD, t-shirt, sticker, button, and updates. We really want to help you make your project successful, and want to link to you (or your film) on our website and write your name on our Wall of Awesome in our space! This reward option is available to those near or far - Peter will skype with you if you’re not in the area.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The Screen is YOURS
    We are SO excited about the films that you’re making and we want to show them! We will book, promote, and run a whole screening of your work. Be there (or skype in) for a Q&A with our audience. Invite your friends and family to see your work on the big microcinema screen. You’ll also get a one year membership to the microcinema, granting you access to the means of production you need to create more cinema. We’ll send you all the swag - DVD, t-shirt, microcinema zine, sticker, button, and updates - as well as link to your work on our website and list you on our Wall of Awesome in the microcinema’s new space!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Commissioner of Cinema
    The great Zebra Davis will make an experimental film just for you. You’ll get a personal screening of the piece, where you can invite your friends and family to see the magic you made possible. You’ll get a permanent membership to the microcinema, where you will always be loved. We will link to you on our website and list you on our Wall of Awesome (because you truly are amazing). We’ll also send you a DVD, microcinema zine, t-shirt, sticker, button, and updates. You are the lifeline for new art.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Hero
    Hey there, film hero. You make our microcinema possible. We want to name our new space after you so that everyone who comes to make work or take classes will know that you rock. You will have a permanent membership to the microcinema, and will always be welcome and loved. We will link to you on our website, send you a DVD, microcinema zine, t-shirt, sticker, button, and updates. There aren’t enough ways to thank you.

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Funding period

- (31 days)