JUST ANNOUNCED: BACKERS-ONLY BBQ!
Established in late 2010, Screen Slate provides a comprehensive daily overview of repertory, independent, microcinema and gallery screenings in New York City, spotlighting the breadth and depth of its moving image culture.
At its core are comprehensive daily listings covering nearly 100 venues including repertory cinemas, arthouses, experimental and documentary film centers, art spaces, cultural institutions, galleries, museums and DIY spaces. Each day Screen Slate has a featured screening—anything from a classic Hollywood movie to the latest indie release, a forgotten gem, or a gallery video show—accompanied by localized commentary by some of New York's brightest emerging film, video, and arts writers.
Many readers also subscribe to Screen Slate Daily, an email option that delivers listings to inboxes each morning—to date, Screen Slate has sent more than a million daily emails.
...And it's pretty much been done by one person—entirely by hand.
Screen Slate is already an invaluable resource for thousands of daily readers. Now my collaborators and I are going to make it better: more searchable, sortable, and functional, with listings updated further in advance.
Imagine being able to do the following:
- Sort listings by venue, filmmaker/artist, country, series and formats
- View listings much further in advance
- Weekly digest e-mails
- Save listings to your personal calendar or e-mail invites to friends
- Create customized alerts for filmmakers/artists
- Submit your own events through a streamlined process
- View showtimes for an expanded selection of limited release indie films
This is what Screen Slate was always intended to be. But when I launched its current form—essentially as a prototype—the demands of updating it put development on hold. So now, we're going to hire professional designers and developers to make Screen Slate the ultimate moving image resource it was always meant to be.
I began working on Screen Slate in mid-2010 with zero technical knowledge or resources. As a film buff, I was overwhelmed by the abundance of repertory cinema and gallery shows and was shocked that no comprehensive listings resource existed. During a burst of manic unemployment energy—a make-or-break time when I thought I might have to leave New York—I decided to take some online classes and began to learn the basics of web design. The result is pretty much exactly what you see now: all created, designed, and updated single-handedly...
Until now. As people learned of the site via word-of-mouth, a group of extremely talented and passionate collaborators came together. Over the last several months, Screen Slate has become a team effort in which we share updating and writing responsibilities, building a community-within-a-community of cinephiles and arts lovers working on a volunteer basis to create a resource we feel can benefit the entire city.
The redevelopment and redesign is intended to work on both front and back ends of the site. On the back end of the site, redevelopment will accommodate a wider range of behind-the-scenes collaborators and make our work easier, faster, and more efficient. This will feed into a more cleanly designed front end where a greater range of information will be presented in a clearer, more useful way while also spotlighting the editorial voices of our daily featured screenings.
What does it not make room for? Advertisements. Screen Slate is and always will be a dedicated virtual safe space from the encroachment of brand-overstepping.
Screen Slate is an ad-free, no-budget DIY operation. To date, it's been 100% volunteer-run and performed in the spirit of providing the kind of resource we want to see in the city.
But to improve it, we need cash. This kind of complicated, highly specialized development is beyond any of our skills. We know there might be people out there who are down for the cause and curious to chip in, but as artists and filmmakers we all know that "the friend price" can be a devil's bargain. We're not interested in doing this cheaply: We're interested in doing it right.
Therefore, we're appealing to you to please help fund our mission. This money isn't landing in our pockets but going directly to improvements that we'll be supervising in our capacity as committed film lovers.
The good news? If every daily reader pledged $20—the equivalent of five cents a day for a year—we'd surpass our goal!
For your generous donations, we're offering a number of tokens of our appreciation ranging from handmade exclusive goods to venue memberships to private screenings to naming rights and more! All awards levels also come with exclusive updates on our redevelopment and the invitation to provide feedback on the new site!
+ LIMITED EDITION SCREEN SLATE TOTE BY ROBERT BEATTY ($50+)
We're extremely pleased to announce that acclaimed artist Robert Beatty is contributing a Kickstarter exclusive tote. Because we're not just experts in movie and video screens, we'll be personally screen printing these ourselves using high-quality materials.
+ SCREEN SLATE SO FAR (Screen Slate Quarterly Issue #0) ($50+)
Not to bury the lead, but amidst funding and redeveloping our website, we didn't wanna lose the personal touch. So to that end, we're introducing a Screen Slate "slow edition"—a forthcoming quarterly print journal.
...And we're launching it with SCREEN SLATE SO FAR, another Kickstarter exclusive that will anthologize all our guest writeups, interviews, and features along with more brand-new content. The publication is beautifully designed by Screen Slate's Anny Oberlink and will be printed in a perfect-bound matte softcover.
In addition to including our favorite write-ups and previous interviews with luminaries ranging from Agnès Varda to CAN's Irmin Schmidt, we'll also include some print-exclusive features that we guarantee are unlike anything that has previously been attempted in film/video writing before. (No spoilers.)
A tote bag or Screen Slate So Far are awarded at donations of $50, or you can grab both for $75! For $100, you get both plus access to the personal 35mm screening selected and introduced by Richard Hell!
+ VENUE PASSES AND MEMBERSHIPS ($40-85)
Several of our favorite venues have generously donated memberships to Screen Slate, so that 100% of your contribution goes into improving our website! This includes:
- Anthology Film Archives — UPDATE: ALL CLAIMED!
- Electronic Arts Intermix — UPDATE: ALL CLAIMED!
- Film Society of Lincoln Center — UPDATE: ALL CLAIMED!
- French Institute Alliance Française — UPDATE: ALL CLAIMED!
- Museum of Modern Art — UPDATE: ALL CLAIMED!
- Museum of the Moving Image — UPDATE: ALL CLAIMED!
- BAMcinématek — UPDATE: Memberships Claimed! ...But we still have: Two free passes and Boyhood poster signed by Richard Linklater and star Elias Coltrane (27" x 40" on foamcore, $100)
All memberships are priced at-cost and additionally come with a digital copy of SCREEN SLATE SO FAR. Memberships last one year and are estimated to activate June 1 (after the May 22nd conclusion of our campaign) or may be used to extend existing ones. Questions? Contact us.
+ BACKERS-ONLY 35MM SCREENING WITH RICHARD HELL! ($100 or 2x for $150)
Includes tote and Screen Slate So Far print edition!
For a very special screening, punk icon, cinephile and Man of Letters Richard Hell will select and introduce a surprise personal favorite on 35mm in Anthology Film Archives's intimate, 72-seat Deren Theater.
Hell has written extensively on film and is a former employee of Cinemabilia bookstore on West 13th, which became a hub of early punk. He's also a longtime Screen Slate subscriber and one of its most generous supporters.
Along with the screening you'll also get our artist-designed, hand-screen printed tote and a perfect bound print copy of our new print journal Screen Slate So Far. All this rewarded with a donation of $100.
Want to bring a friend? Tickets & books/totes for two are rewarded for $150.
Screening date will be between July and December, 2015 and will be announced at least one month in advance.
+ FIVE POSTERS OF YOUR CHOICE AND TWO PASSES TO SPECTACLE THEATER! ($100)
Thanks to the generosity of Spectacle Theater's poster artists, we're pleased to offer a VERY SPECIAL incentive: FIVE SPECTACLE POSTERS OF YOUR CHOICE! These incredible Spectacle-exclusive posters are truly unique, and you can browse through a selection of more than 40 to choose from.
You'll also get TWO FREE PASSES! Free passes from Spectacle are as rare and elusive as the Sierra Nevada red fox (vulpes vulpes necator), and you might want to frame these, too. Posters will be 11"x17" on high quality color laser prints. VIEW ALL DESIGNS HERE!
Special thanks to poster artists Nate Dorr, Maya Edelman, Zach Hewitt, Katie Marshall, Aimee Murillo, Anny Oberlink, Isam Prado, Lyla Ribot, Jack Samels, and Tenebrous Kate!
+ PRIVATE MATERIALS-INCLUSIVE 16MM FILM WORKSHOP INCL. HAND PROCESSING! ($1,000)
UPDATE: ALL GONE!
Even at $1,000, this is a total steal: get a private 16mm filmmaking workshop from Steve Cossman of Mono No Aware—including all equipment, film stock, processing, and a digitized copy of your final film! You'll be an analog filmmaker in no time!
Learn the ins and outs on a Bolex Rex5 camera, edit on a Steenback flatbed table, and project your final work on film. Workshop includes 8 hours of instruction, 200' of ORWO B&W reversal 16mm film, lab processing or the option to learn how to process the film by hand, access to editing equipment, and an HD transfer provided by DiJiFi.
+ PERSONAL ACKNOWLEDGEMENT ($50-$5,000)
Donate at any level above $50 and above and receive special acknowledgement in the OUR SUPPORTERS section of our website!
And for our top contributors at the $5,000 level, we'll specially add your linked name or logo to the site for the next five years. This opportunity is intended for individuals, foundations, and non-profits, and we reserve the right to vet commercial interests. Please contact us for details!
No. We'll continue to follow our own sensibilities and champion the kinds of curatorial and artistic work we'd like to see thrive in NYC moving image culture: independent, underrepresented, DIY, underground, marginal, hybrid, progressive, radical, archival, thoughtful, or just-plain-weird.
Yugoslavian Black Wave? Brazilian Cinema Novo? Underground film preservations? Kurdish neo-realism? Student nurses? Finnish folk-horror? Giant mushroom people? If you support Screen Slate, we'll make sure you never miss what you want to see.
We want to highlight and pollinate the activities of all media artists and curators. So when Richard Hell writes us an endorsement saying "Screen Slate makes you think there's hope for New York," we see that as much a responsibility as a compliment.
One of the most exciting things about New and Improved Screen Slate is that as the site matures it will be a valuable resource for researchers and programmers everywhere. Readers can track exhibition trends based on data like screening formats, countries, and years. Programmers investigating rights information can see who have shown titles previously. Urban anthropologists and film studies students can look back at a vivid portrait of the New York film scene colored by Screen Slate's diligent inclusion of DIY, alternative, and off-the-beaten-path venues. The project's benefit is not exclusive to New Yorkers and visitors, but the whole moving image community. We're also hoping to make everything portable to other cities. So when someone says, "I wish my city had a Screen Slate," we can turn the code over and let them run with it.
1,527 days: as of the campaign launch, I've woken up first-thing every single morning to finalize and send the listings without fail—except for this one time I was caught in a blizzard without power in a hotel in Virginia, and another time I was just really hung over and forgot. It's all one big manual, copy-and-paste daily discipline that's traversed relationships, vacations, work responsibilities, social obligations, and everything else through thick and thin. Can you imagine what it's like to wake up and excuse yourself from the embrace of another human being to e-mail movie listings? It's not normal.
The concept underlying Screen Slate has no shelf-life. However, the current situation of near-total dependence on one person is obviously not sustainable for the long term. With this redevelopment comes a huge push to make Screen Slate something that can encompass more voices and talents and not rely on me alone. A successful campaign ensures that Screen Slate can continue.
How much is Screen Slate worth to you? If having long-term access to a daily list of the best films playing in New York City is worth the cost of a single movie ticket, then consider giving $15! Or why not splurge for a venue membership you might have purchased anyway, knowing that 100% of the proceeds will go directly toward making a better Screen Slate?
The success of this effort is entirely in your hands. Please give so we can return something to the entire community!
Risks and challenges
Everyone we've talked to about web design and development has given us the same piece of advice: don't give a deadline.
Our goal is to return on your donation by providing the most functional, useful, and best experience Screen Slate could possibly provide. So we're going to take our time and do it right. That might mean some unexpected delays, broken keyboards, and 12 ANGRY MEN-style dry-erase-board-intensive diagramming sessions—but in the end, justice will be served.
We want to make readers part of the process throughout, and we'll keep donors informed about our progress with summaries, screen grabs, beta tests, videos, and action stills of ourselves passionately gesticulating.
In the meantime, Screen Slate will remain fully-functional without any disruption in service.
But you know what will ultimately keep us on track? If we fail, you know where we live: the movies.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)