In 1985, a young actor named Matthew Modine was given the opportunity of a lifetime; the starring role in Stanley Kubrick's Vietnam War epic, Full Metal Jacket. Although he starred in a number of notable films (Robert Altman's Streamers, Birdy, and Vision Quest), this was the role that every young actor in Hollywood coveted. It meant a chance to work with the legendary Kubrick on what would become one of his most memorable films. Modine was cast as Private Joker, an everyman who the audience would follow through basic training and into Vietnam where he played a Marine Combat Correspondent with Stars and Stripes. Given the nature of his role, Modine decided to keep a detailed diary of his experiences (something Kubrick encouraged). Sometimes between setups, Kubrick would ask Matthew to stand up and read what he had just written. Stanley also gave Matthew permission to photograph the filmmaking process (something he never allowed). Using a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4-inch Rolleiflex camera, Modine captured hundreds of behind-the-scenes moments. After almost two arduous years, filming finally wrapped and Matthew made a series of beautiful 10 x 10-inch prints of his favorite photographs and gave them to Stanley and the other actors as gifts. He then returned to his home in NYC and put his diary, negatives, and extra prints in a box where they remained for almost a decade.
By the mid-1990s, Matthew began to think about exhibiting or publishing his photographs, but only if it was something Kubrick would be in concert with. He found a publisher who loved the photos, but felt the images needed a narrative context, so Matthew began transcribing the diary he kept on Kubrick's set. The result of this effort eventually became the hardcover book, Full Metal Jacket Diary. The first edition (published in 2005) was limited to only 20,000 laser-etched numbered copies and featured, literally, a metal book jacket. Upon release, it was well reviewed, awarded a prize for its design, and sold out rather quickly. For years now, fans of Kubrick have been hoping for a paperback edition, but Modine wanted the 20,000 copies to be collector's items and never intended to publish another edition.
In 2010, I approached Matthew about turning his diary into an "eBook." We talked at length about the experience of reading on electronic devices and started to imagine something more cinematic and interactive. We wanted to take the reader on a unique journey; one they couldn’t get on an Amazon Kindle or other eReader. We realized then, that Apple’s new iPad was the perfect platform to re-release his book as an “app.” Matthew gave me his blessing and entrusted me with the contents of his book. After 8 months of pre-production work, I'm ready to begin creating what will become the Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad App. I plan to build an immersive experience that includes not only Modine's diary and photographs, but audio of Matthew reading his book, sound effects, original music, and never-before-seen images and content! As with the book, it's very important to us both that we create something Kubrick would have been proud of and wanted to own.
This project is a labour of love. I absolutely love Kubrick, Full Metal Jacket, and Matthew’s book. Unfortunately, I can’t continue without your help. As the producer, it’s my responsibility to raise additional funds to complete this project. A minimum of $20,000 will allow us to move forward. We need to professionally re-scan many of the original negatives (including newly discovered and unused photos), finish recording Matthew as he reads his diary, compose and record original music, edit and mix the audio, travel to the West Coast to work with our designer, and maintain and update our website. If we're lucky enough to exceed our goal, we’ll be able to make the app even better; ensuring that every negative is professionally scanned at the highest resolution. In addition, we’ll be able to properly beta test and market the app. With your help through Kickstarter, I’ll be able to bring Matthew’s diary and photographs to a whole new generation of film enthusiasts!
Thank you for your support!
Adam Rackoff, Producer, Full Metal Jacket Diary iPad App
The official Full Metal Jacket Diary website: http://www.fullmetaljacketdiary.com/
The official Full Metal Jacket Diary Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Full-Metal-Jacket-Diary/174538939232457
The official Full Metal Jacket Diary Twitter page: http://twitter.com/FMJDiary#
Listen to Matthew’s Movie Geeks United interview on FMJ (part of The Kubrick Series): http://www.moviegeeksunited.net/uncut
If you're in Paris through July 31, visit the Stanley Kubrick Exhibition at the Cinémathèque Française to view large prints of Matthew's Full Metal Jacket photography: http://www.cinematheque.fr/fr/expositions-cinema/kubrick/
- (45 days)