Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The first feature film by Koo (dir. of The West Side, founder of NoFilmSchool.com) explores the high-stakes world of youth basketball.
AMATEUR is in the can, thanks to you! We are currently in Post-Production.
AMATEUR is in the can, thanks to you! We are currently in Post-Production.
Created by
2,336 backers pledged $125,100 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

MAN-CHILD - Feature Film project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

MAN-CHILD - Feature Film

$125,100

2,336

We're live at 9pm! Live stream of the campaign's conclusion here!

UPDATE: The campaign just hit 100%!!! It's still going until the deadline, the only change is I can't guarantee you'll get unique frames (it depends on how long the finished film is). ALL of the other rewards are still available! THANK YOU!!!

Last chance to help make history with over 2,000 others! Man-child will become the most funded project in Kickstarter's narrative film category!

Also, check out this press release, which welcomes 11-time NBA champion coach Phil Jackson and Los Angeles Lakers EVP Jeanie Buss as backers! 

What is Man-child about?

Man-child is an independent fiction film (not a documentary) that takes place in the surprisingly high-stakes world of youth basketball. I hope to shoot it independently in North Carolina (where I grew up playing basketball) next summer. My entire life has been leading up to this point, and so I'm asking for your help!

In 2009, the NCAA lowered the age limit on who can be considered an official basketball "prospect" to include 7th graders. While there have been a number of basketball films made about high school, college, or pro athletes, today's recruiting -- legal and illegal -- begins much earlier. It's a fascinating and treacherous world which often leaves big decisions in the hands of little kids.

The film explores sports, education, religion, and sex in America through the eyes of a talented 13 year-old basketball player (sexuality, I should note, is not presented in any sort of exploitative manner, and factors organically into the "learning personal responsibility" storyline). While it is narrative fiction, it explores a very real world. 

HERE'S A SYNOPSIS OF THE PLOT:

An amateur video of 13 year-old Terran "TJ" Jackson playing basketball hits the internet and turns his life upside down. TJ is soon nationally ranked among other 7th graders and declared to be "the next Dwayne Wade" despite being in middle school.

As a result of this exposure, free athletic gear and various hangers-on find their way to the doorstep of his small, predominantly-black Christian school. While TJ navigates the religious curriculum -- and simultaneously a sexually active relationship with his girlfriend -- he learns about the youth basketball world and the recruiting machine that powers it. With his newfound fame, he must choose between educational institutes, father figures, and belief systems.

A few years from now TJ could be a millionaire, but right now all he has is basketball. It’s a lot for anyone to handle -- much less a 13 year-old.

Is it going to be good?

It's totally going to be good! I'm very happy to share that the script for "Man-child" was just accepted to IFP's Emerging Narrative Program, which provides mentorship and access to producers. Around 350 scripts applied and only 20 were accepted, so I would like to think this is a solid step toward Not Sucking (percentage wise, that's harder than getting into Harvard. Just saying!). I'm also honored to have been selected as one of 25 filmmakers invited to participate in the inaugural Emerging Visions program at the Film Society of Lincoln Center this October -- also because of this script.

For the IFP event, an oft-requested supplement is a “lookbook,” wherein writers pull still images from existing sources in order to convey what they want the movie to look like. Instead of using still images, however, I decided to make a multimedia look book: a collage of film and TV clips to demonstrate the aesthetic of Man-child. Because it’s intended for producers, it gets a bit technical, but I hope you’ll find it interesting. At the very least, I hope you like the 1970s basketball clip — short shorts are always funny:

If this fundraising campaign is successful, with the help of the IFP and Lincoln Center programs I hope to be able to bring the right personnel on board to make this film as good as it can possibly be, and to reach a wide audience with the film as well.

I talk about myself plenty in the video, but if you'd like a bio of what I've done film-wise so far in my life, here's a third-person bio.

How can I help produce the film?

  • The goal of this campaign is to raise $115,000. See the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) at the bottom of this page for exactly where all this money will go -- it's NOT going to me, it's going to the production of the film. As far as movies go -- especially sports movies -- this is a very small amount of money with which to make a feature film.
  • The campaign has a hard deadline of 11:59pm on September 23rd.
  • If you decide to help, you pledge whatever you want in exchange for cool rewards (for example, a DVD of the film when it's done, an HD download, your name in the credits, a blog post on my web site NoFilmSchool... the list goes on!).
  • The more you pledge, the better the rewards! Take a look at the column on the right to see what's available.
  • If I make the goal by the deadline, your credit card is charged what you pledged (but not until then). I get to make the movie, you get your rewards, and everyone's happy. I'd be more than happy, obviously -- I'll be more ecstatic than I've ever been in my life, and hopefully you'll feel good too.
  • If I don't make the goal by the deadline (falling even a penny short), your credit card is not charged, I get nothing, you don't get any reward(s), and the world doesn't find out what it's like to be 13 year-old, basketball-playing Terran "TJ" Jackson.

What is this 1 frame per dollar thing?

  • An 80 minute film is 115,000 frames [24 frames per second X 60 seconds a minute X 80 minutes = 115,200].
  • If the movie is longer than 80 minutes -- which it's 99.9999% certain to be -- each dollar will actually equal MORE than 1 frame. I'm estimating a short 80 minute runtime to ensure you're sponsoring at least one unique frame for every dollar pledged.
  • No matter what amount you pledge, you will be sent the UNIQUE frames of the movie that you made happen. 5 bucks = 5 frames, 24 bucks = one second of the film (and the full DVD with special features!).

Another way you can participate (other than backing the project) is to SPREAD THE WORD about the project! E-mail a friend, share it on facebook, post it to an online forum, make smoke signals... any way you can get the word out is a HUGE help.

Feel free to ask me any questions you have by using the "send message" link at the top of this page (there are also some answers to common questions below).Thank you for your support!

CREDITS

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    YOU MADE 5 FRAMES POSSIBLE! You will be sent the UNIQUE 5-frame clip of the movie that you made possible. Make it your desktop wallpaper, post it to Facebook, print it out and tack it to the wall -- these frames are thanks to you and you alone. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    153 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    YOU MADE 10 FRAMES POSSIBLE! + DOWNLOAD You get a high-definition digital download of the FULL film when it's done! PLUS you'll be sent the UNIQUE 10-frame clip of the movie that you (and only you) made possible.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    601 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    NEW REWARD LEVEL: 15 FRAMES + DOWNLOAD + EXTRAS Includes the HD download of the full film PLUS you get the full DVD experience -- without the DVD! You'll get digital versions of the deleted scenes, a director's commentary, a digital flipbook, bloopers (missed dunks! airballs!), a making-of-documentary, and more! PLUS you'll be sent the UNIQUE 15-frame clip of the film that exists thanks to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    313 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $24 or more About $24

    YOU MADE 1 SECOND POSSIBLE! + DVD The DVD of the finished movie (with special behind-the-scenes features), PLUS you'll be sent the UNIQUE 1-second clip of the film that exists thanks to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    455 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $36 or more About $36

    NEW REWARD LEVEL: 1.5 SECONDS + BLU-RAY Announcing a beautiful high-definition BLU-RAY disc jam-packed with extras! If you saw my web series The West Side or if you watched the Multimedia Lookbook at left you know this film is going to be very visual, so enjoy it in the highest quality possible! The disc will come with all of the behind-the-scenes features, PLUS you'll be sent the UNIQUE 1.5-second clip of the film that exists thanks to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    179 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $48 or more About $48

    YOU MADE 2 SECONDS POSSIBLE! + DVD + DOWNLOAD The DVD of the movie (with special features), PLUS the HD Download of the film, AND you'll be sent the UNIQUE 2-second clip of the film that exists thanks to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    149 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $72 or more About $72

    NEW REWARD LEVEL: 3 SECONDS + SIGNED BLU-RAY OR DVD + DOWNLOAD + SOUNDTRACK Not only are you getting the high-def Blu-ray (or DVD, your choice), you're getting a SIGNED COPY! Includes an HD download of the film (for watching on the go), and you'll be sent the UNIQUE 3-second clip of the film that exists thanks to you. PLUS this level includes a digital download of the SOUNDTRACK! Note: all levels greater than this one have been UPGRADED to include the soundtrack download and you can also choose Blu-ray or DVD -- and they'll be SIGNED (or not, if you don't want them to be, your choice)!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    42 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    YOU MADE 5 SECONDS POSSIBLE! + DVD + DOWNLOAD + PRODUCER CREDIT The DVD of the movie (with special features), AND the HD Download of the film, AND you'll be sent the UNIQUE 5-second clip of the film that exists thanks to you... PLUS you will be credited as a FOUNDING PRODUCER in the credits of the film itself, on the Man-child website (there will be a special Producers page), and on IMDB.com.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    256 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $240 or more About $240

    NEW REWARD LEVEL: 10 SECONDS + SIGNED BLU-RAY OR DVD W/ NOTE + DOWNLOAD + PRODUCER CREDIT + SOUNDTRACK + SCRIPT At this level you get everything from the $120 level (including the producer credit and the soundtrack) but your Blu-ray or DVD (your choice) will not only be SIGNED but will also come with a personal thank you note! And new at this level is a downloadable copy of the FINAL SHOOTING SCRIPT! PLUS you'll be sent the UNIQUE 10-second clip of the film that exists thanks to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    30 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $480 or more About $480

    NEW REWARD LEVEL: 20 SECONDS + SIGNED BLU-RAY OR DVD W/ NOTE + DOWNLOAD + PRODUCER CREDIT + SOUNDTRACK + SCRIPT + TICKETS This new 20-second level includes everything in the $240 level above and throws in TICKETS to the New York theatrical premiere, as well as the after party! Come drink with us! The kid actors won't be drinking, though -- who do you think we are?!? PLUS you'll be sent the UNIQUE 20-second clip of the film that exists thanks to you. This level is the same as the $720 level below except the $720 level includes a consultation.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $720 or more About $720

    YOU MADE 30 SECONDS POSSIBLE! + DVD + DOWNLOAD + PRODUCER CREDIT + TICKETS + CONSULTATION The DVD, the HD Download, the 30-second clip that you alone made possible, the Founding Producer credit, AND... TICKETS to the New York theatrical premiere, as well as the after party. PLUS an hour-long consultation with me (in person in New York City, or via Skype elsewhere) about anything (example topic: how to launch a website for no money and build it up to 500,000 + pageviews/month with no staff in a little over a year... without paying for traffic or being annoying).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    7 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,440 or more About $1,440

    YOU MADE 1 MINUTE POSSIBLE! + DVD + DOWNLOAD + PRODUCER CREDIT + TICKETS + CONSULTATION + BLOG POST You just made an entire minute of the movie possible. THANK YOU TIMES 1,000! Actually, times 1,440. You get all of the above -- the DVD, the download, the unique minute-long clip of feature film you enabled, the Founding Producer credit, the premiere and after party tickets, the hour-long consultation (in person in NYC or over Skype), PLUS I will write an entire blog post about you, your business, or your film on NoFilmSchool.com, which gets half a million views/month. I don't do sponsored posts, so this is a unique opportunity!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,600 or more About $3,600

    NEW REWARD LEVEL: 2.5 MINUTES + SIGNED BLU-RAY OR DVD W/ NOTE + DOWNLOAD + PRODUCER CREDIT + SOUNDTRACK + SCRIPT + TICKETS + CONSULTATION + BLOG POST + SET VISIT The new reward at this level is the last one in that long list, and it's a fun one... Come SPEND A DAY ON THE SET! See how movies are made! Watch me bring my vision to life! Hang out with the cast and crew! Eat meals with us (we can't promise caviar, given the project's budget). Yell "action!" once or twice and you'll probably get a chance to be an extra while you're on set too. Just don't knock over the lights! Transportation to and lodging in NC (RDU area) not included, though there may be some scenes filmed elsewhere (NYC).

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $7,200 or more About $7,200

    YOU MADE 5 MINUTES POSSIBLE! + SIGNED BLU-RAY OR DVD W/ NOTE + DOWNLOAD + PRODUCER CREDIT + SOUNDTRACK + SCRIPT + TICKETS + CONSULTATION + BLOG POST + SET VISIT + MASS EMAIL In addition to a web site that gets 500k pageviews/month (and is always growing), I also run an email list with 36,000 readers. One reason it's sizable is because I DON'T sell the list (ask any subscriber, they'll tell you). I don't spam my readers! But if you think you have something that relates to filmmaking, photography, or online creativity, and you're trying to get the word out, here's your chance to reach 36k targeted readers directly. However, if the email reward is why you're donating this much, GET IN TOUCH WITH ME FIRST, okay? It has to be something I can write about. If you want me to send out 36,000 emails about penis pills... there is no pricetag for that. Not going to happen! Oh, and you get everything included in the 2.5 MINUTE package above, of course. Finally: THANK YOU. You just made an entire short film('s worth of my feature film) possible!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Featured

Funding period

- (38 days)