Hey!! We’re Dan and Vanessa. We make a punk rock variety TV series called The Eyeslicer. We're not normal people and we love watching stuff that's not normal either.
We believe there's a radical new filmmaking movement bubbling up in America right now just out of sight of the corporate algorithms that are constantly surveilling our entire lives and feeding us mediocre “content." It's being led by a diverse community of DIY artists making work that's personal, provocative, and proudly non-conformist. The Eyeslicer is a love letter to this movement, and a home-base for anyone looking to binge-watch a TV show that - instead of making your eyes glaze over - will rip straight through your corneas like an X-Acto blade through hot damp tissue paper.
So anyway, we just finished creating and touring the show’s ten-episode first season. And now - with your help - we’re making another ten episodes for our weirder, darker, more ambitious SEASON TWO...
Season Two: A (Bad) Dream of Light and Sound
We curated and produced The Eyeslicer season one all the way back in summer 2016. That was before a megalomaniacal rat-king in a sagging, moldy human-suit was elected president, and before America’s rapid-fire descent into reality TV fascism. We’re all a lot angrier, so naturally season two of The Eyeslicer is going to be a different beast. It’ll be darker, scarier, maybe sometimes also funnier than season one. Our goal is for every episode to accurately represent this surreal moment in history in all of its fever dream absurdity.
We have a ton of ideas about how to pull this off, and about how we can keep growing the series in scope and ambition. For starters, here's some of the stuff we’ve already begun working on:
*The Radical Film Fund, an open-application microgranting program for filmmakers looking to get strange (and uncommercial) new work made.
*A feature-length Halloween Special that we’ll tour around the country this Fall (and also release on VHS).
*A stand-alone episode by a rad collective of female filmmakers led by Lauren Wolkstein, Jennifer Reeder, and Kelly Sears that will be a collage of work addressing systemic gender discrimination and sexual assault in the film industry (a theme that'll also carry through the whole season).
*A 2018 Zine that’ll also double as a DIY distribution model for some of our favorite feature films. (Hint: read and enjoy the beauty of a physical object, find the secret links hidden inside!).
An Experiment in Collaborative Filmmaking & Distribution
If you haven't seen The Eyeslicer yet, we'll try to describe it to you... each episode plays like a hand-crafted mixtape blending boundary-pushing short-form work into a weird, wild, uninterrupted whole. Season one featured time-traveling cats, apocalyptic high school yearbooks, live web streams of your own birth, 80s video dating classified ads, Sasquatch birth rituals, psychic feminists, Facebook “like farms,” and much, much more. It was directed by fifty of our favorite filmmakers, including people like David Lowery (A Ghost Story), Amy Seimetz (The Girlfriend Experience), the Zellner Brothers (Damsel), Yen Tan (1985), Shaka King (Newlyweeds), Augustine Frizzell (Never Goin Back), Ari Aster (Hereditary), Borscht, Ornana, and 45 other geniuses.
We decided early on that we wanted to release The Eyeslicer ourselves - to break rules and experiment with distribution in hopes of building a cult audience for the show from the ground up.
We had a lot of fun with season one. We premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and took the show on a 20-city “smell o vision” tour. We made our own merch and zines. We fed audiences edibles in Denver. We teamed up with the feminist film collective Cannonball Roarers and took over a porn theater in Kansas City. We watched a Vaporwave remix of the series at the New Orleans Film Festival (created by Krewe of Vaporwave). We went to Europe and collaborated with the graffiti collective Lastplak to build a 90s Rec Center installation at the Rotterdam Film Festival. We released the show online for free in a secret digital bunker hidden in the depths of the internet.
Entertainment Weekly called season one, “an insane variety show puree.” Indiewire said we were, “one of the craziest TV shows you’ll ever see,” and that we “could revolutionize short film distribution.” Some guy on Vimeo said of Episode 8, “that may have been the most disgusting thing I've ever seen," and asked, "this is what you do with your time?”
If you want to check out the show, we’re putting the entire ten-hour first season up to stream publicly for the first time ever. It’ll be available free for the length of our Kickstarter campaign right here: http://www.eyeslicer.com/watch
To get you started, here's Episode One:
Introducing the Radical Film Fund
Our biggest goal for season two is to help commission a ton of new work from our ever-expanding community of auteurs. Because season one was an entirely self-funded affair (and because we had a ton of year one costs like legal fees, company formation, graphic design, and super fun stuff like that), only about ten percent of the material featured in the show was stuff we commissioned. But now that we’re up and running we want to do more than just highlight great stuff that’s already finished. We want to get crazy new work made!
Because we’re keeping things DIY and homegrown, we won’t be able to offer massive grants. But we know that every little bit helps, and we’ll work directly with filmmakers to help them develop and produce their ideas. We’ll be launching an open (and free) application for the Radical Film Fund this summer, and all of the work funded will be featured in season two.
Profit sharing with all filmmakers. We can’t afford much, but we make sure to pay every single filmmaker involved in the show a license fee. And for season two we’ll be offering a formal profit-share as well - a cooperative model where everyone with work in The Eyeslicer will hold a stake in season two's success.
Diversity is not optional. We have a firm 50/50 gender and diversity quota in place. And for the work we commission, at least 80% will be from filmmakers who are NOT straight white dudes.
Independent and autonomous. This is why we're on Kickstarter, y'all. We believe in one key fact: the more we can keep the show small, DIY, independent, and filmmaker-led, the more latitude we’ll have to keep our vision uncompromising, provocative, and progressive. So, you know... thank you for helping us do that!
Rewards & Merch
Don't worry... we've got some fire-red, hot as love Kickstarter rewards to offer you this go-around.
Scroll back up to the top of this page and then glance to the right to feast your eyes on all our copious offerings, but we'll use this space to shout out a few highlights:
*First and foremost, THE EYESLICER SEASON TWO itself. Back this here campaign and join our secret online broadcast!
*Or maybe you like PHYSICAL MEDIA. Well in that case there's our limited edition SEASON ONE BOX SET, which features all ten episodes on a custom sliced-eye hard drive, a zine, a poster, and some rad stickers thrown in for good measure. Check it out:
*You can also grab our upcoming 2018 ZINE, which is a real physical thing that we're printing and mailing. It'll feature all kinds of rad art and articles, plus top secret links to nearly five hours of films hidden within the pages.
*And there's lots more where that came from, including a personalized video thank you from MC Digital Native, our new Halloween special on VHS, hard-drawn art featured in the show, the opportunity to host a screening on our upcoming tour, and one single TINY TOTE BAG for 10,000 dollars.
Thanks!! We love you all and we love making and sharing weird art!!
<3 Dan + Vanessa
Risks and challenges
Listen, here comes some real talk -- making this show is insanely fun, but it's also basically a giant rubix-cube-juggling-act-1000-piece-puzze kind of an adventure. This season is going to be directed by over 50 filmmakers. We're committed to finishing the season quickly (and on time!) but we also know with so many moving parts and busy talented people involved sometimes delays happen. All to say, it's a balancing act, and we can make two promises:
1. We promise to not forsake the quality of the show to rush season two to the finish line prematurely.
2. We promise to stick to a reasonable timeline so that you don't have to wait too long to have your irises permanently reconfigured by The Eyeslicer season two.
- (30 days)