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Blue Ridge Barnum follows Mark Cline, an artist/entertainer from Virginia, through the ups and downs of a pivotal year of his career. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 17, 2014.

Blue Ridge Barnum follows Mark Cline, an artist/entertainer from Virginia, through the ups and downs of a pivotal year of his career.

About this project

I first discovered Mark Cline's work when I took a road trip to Tennessee in 2011. Driving down highway 81, I noticed several roadside attractions near a town I had never heard of called Natural Bridge. We didn't have time to see most of them but we did stop to eat at the Pink Cadillac Diner and swing by the Natural Bridge gift shop.

LEFT: My boyfriend, Mike, and I with King Kong at the Pink Cadillac Diner (2011). TOP RIGHT: Humpty Dumpty greets us at the Pink Cadillac entrance. BOTTOM RIGHT: A teaser for Dinosaur Kingdom at the Natural Bridge gift shop
LEFT: My boyfriend, Mike, and I with King Kong at the Pink Cadillac Diner (2011). TOP RIGHT: Humpty Dumpty greets us at the Pink Cadillac entrance. BOTTOM RIGHT: A teaser for Dinosaur Kingdom at the Natural Bridge gift shop

I was immediately curious about this town and when I got back from my trip I did a little research and found out that many of the attractions in Natural Bridge (including King Kong) were done by the same artist: Mark Cline.

I contacted Mark about making a short film and he invited me to film an event he was performing at that weekend and we'd see how it went from there. Well, we never looked back. That first day of filming kicked off a whirlwind year. What was supposed to be a short film - a portrait of an artist - turned into a feature length film. I followed Mark all over the state of Virginia and even to other parts of the country as he accomplished major career milestones like his first museum exhibition and a starring role in his first stage play.

But that year was not without tribulations: a massive fire burned most of his main attractions to the ground (he lost The Haunted Monster Museum, Dinosaur Kingdom, and Hunt Bigfoot with a Redneck). This was not Mark's first fire, either: he had a fire at his studio almost 10 years to the day before this fire, and in that fire a great deal of his work was lost forever. I am so happy that I had the opportunity to document these attractions on video before the fire happened, so that people will still get enjoyment out of them even after they're gone.

I also got the pleasure of accompanying Mark on many other unique adventures: from the top of an abandoned building in Waynesboro for a 9/11 tribute (in which we knocked out power to most of the town...), to a motorsports complex in Alabama to install a giant lady in the lake - it's been a wild ride and I had a great time. I hope the audience will have as great a time watching the film and will leave it feeling inspired. I also hope that the film is a venue for Mark's work and performances to live on in perpetuity and to give those who maybe can't get to Virginia or other areas he has work on display a chance to enjoy his unique brand of outsider art.


Why we need your support.

At this point, filming is 95% complete. We're starting post-production on the 50+ hours of footage and I need your help to finish the film and get it out to festivals and distributors. For your support, we have great rewards varying from t-shirts to original art to a one-on-one sculpting workshop with Mark!

I'm super thrilled to announce that Jean-Paul Damé of Fire Horse Films has recently joined the team to edit the film, and the wonderful Matt Jones will be composing the score. And if we BEAT our goal then we can really make the film shine by adding animation to help bring Mark's art to life. We also hope to be able to license footage of media attention Mark has received, license news footage about the fire, submit the film to festivals, market it, etc, to ensure that as many people get to be a part of Mark's story and works as possible.

You can also keep up-to-date with the project by following us on Facebook and Twitter:
https://www.facebook.com/blueridgebarnum
https://twitter.com/BlueRidgeBarnum

AND NOW FOR SOME PICTURES OF THE REWARD ITEMS TO HELP ENTICE YOU:

At the $35 level - the last remaining Monster Museum t-shirts:

Monster Museum t-shirt (comes in various sizes - please make sure you select the correct size when choosing your reward)
Monster Museum t-shirt (comes in various sizes - please make sure you select the correct size when choosing your reward)

At the $50 level - a rough sketch by Mark
All sketches at this level through the $150 level are hand-drawn, unique, working sketches. These are drawings that he used in his day-to-day business - many of which later became actual sculptures - so they're not all in perfect condition. Some of them have notes on them or white-out or a cut-out from another drawing pasted on top. Some of them have wrinkles or maybe a corner torn off. They are a wonderful reflection of Mark's creative process - he never stops moving and things sometimes go wrong but the end result is really extraordinary. At the $50 level, they are rough, less detailed sketches. Most are concept sketches for a sculpture he did. Here are a few examples, though every one is unique so you may not get one of the sketches seen here:

At the $75 level - a sketch by Mark
Some of these are concept sketches, too, but they are more detailed.

At the $100 level - a color concept sketch by Mark

At the $150 level - more detailed color sketches by Mark

At the $200 level - Limited Edition Print
At the $200 level, you can choose from one of three prints (please pay attention to which you are selecting). We will have up to 25 prints of each made.

LEFT: Monster Museum print. RIGHT: Ghost Tour Print.
LEFT: Monster Museum print. RIGHT: Ghost Tour Print.

At the $250 level - Limited Edition Color Print

Left: Dinosaur Kingdom print. RIGHT: Pirate Shipwreck print
Left: Dinosaur Kingdom print. RIGHT: Pirate Shipwreck print

At the $1000 level - A 2-3' Fiberglass Sculpture

TOP LEFT: Dwarf. TOP RIGHT: Hillbilly. BOTTOM: Small Monster. NOTE: these are examples. Reward sculptures may not be exactly the same.
TOP LEFT: Dwarf. TOP RIGHT: Hillbilly. BOTTOM: Small Monster. NOTE: these are examples. Reward sculptures may not be exactly the same.

At the $2000 level - A Medium Sculpture (approx. 4')

Mr. Slime (This image is Mark with his Slimes at the Taubman Art Museum in Roanoke, VA, where he was the centerpiece of an outsider art exhibition). PLEASE NOTE: the reward is only ONE Mr. Slime
Mr. Slime (This image is Mark with his Slimes at the Taubman Art Museum in Roanoke, VA, where he was the centerpiece of an outsider art exhibition). PLEASE NOTE: the reward is only ONE Mr. Slime
The Muffler Man head
The Muffler Man head

At the $8,000 level - A Giant Sculpture

This is the Muffler Man customized as a cowboy (Customizations cost extra but this gives you an idea of what he looks like and his size)
This is the Muffler Man customized as a cowboy (Customizations cost extra but this gives you an idea of what he looks like and his size)

Last but certainly not least, I would like to take a moment to thank all the people who have made this possible so far: Mark and Sherry Cline, firstly, and their family and friends for putting up with me filming and keeping me aware of events going on in Mark's life; Mike Brinley, my very supportive boyfriend who also served as a PA on many of these shoots and even paid for a few things out of his own pocket; Robert Johnson for letting me use his camera for part of the filming and for your support and advice; George Barber and Dale Siebert at Barber Motorsports for your generosity and hospitality while I was there filming; everyone at the Taubman Art Museum, the Lime Kiln Theater, and the dozens of other venues and towns in which I've filmed Mark; Joe Fab and Melissa Houghton for being amazing advisers and giving me both real-world and emotional support as I undertake my first feature-length film; and to all my constantly supportive family and friends who have been there for me in one way or another throughout this whole process, giving feedback and sending well-wishes.

Risks and challenges

Obviously completing any film has obstacles, both creative and logistical. My biggest concern with finishing this project are certain "fair use" issues with trademarked characters Mark has played or music that I can't edit out, and a portion of the money raised will go to consulting a lawyer on these issues. Other than that, the challenges are just the same creative challenges every film faces: telling a great story and getting the story out into the world, and this is a challenge I'm excited to tackle.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • Kickstarter does not charge your card until the end of the campaign and only then if the campaign is successful. This campaign ends the evening of April 17th, so your card will be charged after that if we succeed. For other questions about how Kickstarter works for backers, please see their Backer FAQ.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    5 backers

    A THANK YOU // A personal thank you from the Director via your choice of medium: through email, on Twitter or on Facebook, we'll give you a shout out!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    8 backers

    A SIGNED WHOOPIE CUSHION // A whoopie cushion signed by Mark Cline - this is a reference to a scene in the film and a reminder from Mark to never take yourself too seriously.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    7 backers

    THE SOUNDTRACK // A download of the soundtrack to the film, composed by one of my favorite artists of all time: the incredibly talented Matt Jones.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    33 backers

    A DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF THE FILM // Get a digital download of the film when it's finished.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    20 backers

    A DVD OF THE FILM // Get a DVD of the film when it's finished.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    9 backers Limited (3 left of 12)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - ADULT MEDIUM // see above

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    2 backers Limited (10 left of 12)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - ADULT SMALL // These are the last Monster Museum t-shirts in existence: the Monster Museum burned down in 2012; luckily we had the privilege of filming Mark there before that happened.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    0 backers Limited (7 left of 7)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - CHILD'S 14-16 // see above

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    4 backers Limited (4 left of 8)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - ADULT XL // see above

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    0 backers Limited (18 left of 18)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - CHILD'S 2-4 // see above

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    1 backer Limited (12 left of 13)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - CHILD'S 6-8 // see above

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - CHILD'S 10-12 // see above

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    5 backers Limited (8 left of 13)

    A MONSTER MUSEUM T-SHIRT - ADULT LARGE // see above

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    1 backer

    A BLU-RAY OF THE FILM // Get a Blu-ray of the film.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    4 backers

    THE FILM + THE SOUNDTRACK // The film in whatever format you prefer (download, DVD, Blu-ray) PLUS a download of the soundtrack. NOTE: Outside the US backers are only eligible for a download of the film at this reward level due to shipping costs.

    Estimated delivery:
    Only ships to: United States
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    26 backers

    A SIGNED COPY OF THE FILM // Get a DVD or Blu-ray (your choice) signed by both Mark and the director.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    7 backers Limited (113 left of 120)

    A ROUGH SKETCH BY MARK // A rough sketch or concept drawing of a sculpture - each one is unique but check out a few examples in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    1 backer

    ONLINE PREVIEW & FILMMAKER Q&A // Stream the film online before it's released and participate in an online Q&A with the director afterwards.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    5 backers Limited (17 left of 22)

    A MARK CLINE SKETCH // These sketches are a little more detailed or elaborate than the drawings at the $50 level. Each one is unique but check out a few examples in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    6 backers Limited (4 left of 10)

    A COLOR SKETCH BY MARK // An 8.5" x 11" color concept sketch by Mark. Each one is unique but check out a few examples in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    4 backers Limited (6 left of 10)

    A LARGER COLOR SKETCH BY MARK // A slightly more elaborate or larger (up to 11x17") color sketch by Mark. Each one is unique but check out a few examples in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    0 backers Limited (25 left of 25)

    SIGNED LIMITED EDITION PRINT - MONSTER MUSEUM // The Monster Museum t-shirt that never was. This was going to be the the Monster Museum t-shirt in 2012 but because of the fire, the t-shirt was never printed. Get a 16" x 20" limited edition print of this drawing by Mark Cline. See a picture of it in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $200 or more

    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    SIGNED LIMITED EDITION PRINT - LEXINGTON GHOST TOUR // This drawing for Mark's Ghost tour in Lexington, VA (still active today and he has an art book coming out later this year). Get a 16" x 20" limited edition print of this drawing by Mark Cline. See a picture of it in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    3 backers Limited (22 left of 25)

    SIGNED LIMITED EDITION COLOR PRINT - DINOSAUR KINGDOM // This color drawing is of the now extinct (sorry, couldn't resist) Dinosaur Kingdom - also a victim of the 2012 fire at Natural Bridge. Get a 16" x 20" limited edition print of this drawing by Mark Cline. See a picture of it in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    SIGNED LIMITED EDITION COLOR PRINT - PIRATE SHIPWRECK // This drawing of Mark's is based off "Captain Cline's Pirate Ghost Ride" in Virginia Beach. Get a 16" x 20" limited edition print of this drawing by Mark Cline. See a picture of it in the Kickstarter description.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers All gone!

    2 TICKETS TO THE PREMIERE OF THE FILM // Backer is responsible for transportation and accommodations to get themselves to the premiere. Location and dates TBD.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    1 backer

    A SMALL (2-3') SCULPTURE BY MARK // Choose from a dwarf, a hillbilly or a small monster. Sculpture will be made of fiberglass and will be 2-3 ft tall. Customizations may be added for an extra cost (work out directly with Mark). PLEASE NOTE: SHIPPING MUST BE HANDLED BY BACKER. Shipping costs for these sculptures varies greatly by size, weight and distance, so YOU are responsible for shipping and it may cost up to several hundreds of dollars. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND BEFORE CHOOSING THIS BACKER REWARD.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    0 backers

    A MEDIUM (4') SCULPTURE BY MARK // Choose from a Mr. Slime or a Muffler Man head (see website). Sculpture will be made of fiberglass and will be approximately 4 ft tall. Customizations may be added for an extra cost (work out directly with Mark). PLEASE NOTE: SHIPPING MUST BE HANDLED BY BACKER. Shipping costs for these sculptures varies greatly by size, weight and distance, so YOU are responsible for shipping and it may cost anywhere from a $100 to over $1000. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND BEFORE CHOOSING THIS BACKER REWARD.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    2-DAY, ONE-ON-ONE SCULPTING CLASS WITH MARK (FALL DATES) // A 2-day, one-on-one sculpting class at Mark's studio. Backer must pay for their own transportation and accommodations to get to Natural Bridge. Dates will be in the Fall of this year - backer will work out dates with Mark Cline directly.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    2-DAY, ONE-ON-ONE SCULPTING CLASS WITH MARK (SPRING DATES) // A 2-day, one-on-one sculpting class at Mark's studio. Backer must pay for their own transportation and accommodations to get to Natural Bridge. May have to be dates for NEXT spring because of how late it is in this spring already - can work out dates directly with Mark.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $8,000 or more

    0 backers

    A GIANT (14') STATUE BY MARK // A Muffler Man. Sculpture will be made of fiberglass and will be approximately 14 ft tall. Customizations may be added for an extra cost (ie he can be a soda jerk, a cowboy, an astronaut, a rockstar, etc - work out directly with Mark). PLEASE NOTE: SHIPPING MUST BE HANDLED BY BACKER. Shipping for these sculptures varies greatly by size, weight and distance, so YOU are responsible for shipping and it may cost up to a few thousand dollars. PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND BEFORE CHOOSING THIS BACKER REWARD.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)