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The first feature film by Koo (dir. of The West Side, founder of 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.
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2,336 backers pledged $125,100 to help bring this project to life.

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Five years ago today


Five years ago today, this campaign became the most-funded narrative film in Kickstarter history (folks like Zach Braff and Spike Lee have since blown that record away many times over!). Thank you all for believing in me. Without the inspiration of this campaign I don't know that I would've been able to fight as hard as I did to get this film made for the last five years!

I had no idea it was going to take this long to get AMATEUR in the can (or that I was going to do so many more drafts of the script, or that was going to change the title from MANCHILD)... but I also had no idea that support from you all would lead to the opportunity to make this film with the support of Sundance and Netflix, and with a TERRIFIC cast and crew. I'll share more details about our cast soon but for now I wanted to wish you all a happy Kickstarter anniversary! 

I'll be editing (and recovering) for the next few months. I can't wait to finish this film and share it with the world sometime next year!

Here's some of the cast and crew taking over a diner at 4AM after picture wrap:

Thank you from us all!


AMATEUR is in the can! THANK YOU!


Five years after our Kickstarter campaign, I'm excited and overjoyed and relieved to share that AMATEUR is finally in the can. THAT'S A WRAP!

Yes, we finally made a movie, thanks to you all — though much of the journey is still to come, we just wrapped and we can get started editing! I can't wait. Thank you all for believing in my vision for AMATEUR (then titled MANCHILD) years ago. While I know it's taken a long time to come to fruition, just know that I'm a better writer and director today than I was then, and even more hard work went into the film than originally planned. So at the end of the day, a better movie will be worth the wait!

I'll be back soon with more details about the film, including who we cast, where we shot, etc.! For now I just wanted to share the great news. I've worked seven days a week since April, and feel like I haven't slept in months, so I'll check back in with the details of AMATEUR once I'm a little bit less dead to the world!

As for why I wasn't able to share updates about our progress in the past few months: anyone who's been associated with an indie production knows that sometimes you can't make formal announcements before shooting because you're hanging on by a thread, the film still might not happen, and you have to fly under the radar in order to get the film in the can by any means necessary. This movie was no different. We couldn't talk publicly about production in advance, and I never felt sure it was actually going to happen until the camera was rolling... and even then there were still big outstanding questions... but now that it's in the can I'll be sure to make sure we share how we made it, and other such making-of details. That stuff will be more interesting once there's a film out in the world, so it might take a bit, but know that we did shoot behind-the-scenes material and the plan is to absolutely share that with you all once we have a chance to put something together. Right now we're focused on putting the actual film together, and post production is going to be a doozy on this film, so stay tuned!

Thank you to our terrific cast and crew, and thank YOU for backing the film here on Kickstarter. We couldn't have made it without you, and we needed all the help we could get... but against all of the odds and through all of the challenges, somehow we managed to make a film that I can't wait to share with all of you!

More soon. THANK YOU.


A conversation with Kickstarter, and podcasting the making of AMATEUR

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Hello Kickstarter backers,

At the Sundance Film Festival this week I sat down with none other than... Kickstarter! For more on the amazing Netflix news, as well as the long journey I've been on since you all backed me years ago, here is my in-depth conversation with Kickstarter about AMATEUR:

For more on The First Feature, a podcast specifically about AMATEUR I'm very much looking forward to sharing with you all, here's the announcement episode:

If you'd like to subscribe to my podcasts, you can do so through iTunes, Soundcloud, or whatever application you use to listen to podcasts (they are also at The show overall will cover a variety of filmmaking-centric topics that you may or may not be interested in, so I will also of course share the AMATEUR-specific episodes here as Kickstarter updates.

And in case you missed the huge news about Netflix at sites like Variety, you KNOW it's real when we're on Marie Claire (note: they are making some release date assumptions!).

Exciting times — but busy times. I've worked every day of the past month, including weekends and new year's, except for one weekend which seems like a distant memory... But that hard work is yielding results. More on the film soon!




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We are casting basketball players in AMATEUR and can use your help!

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We are currently doing a casting search for basketball players for AMATEUR!

There are more details here (the article is about the scout we are working with to find players):

Man Who Discovered Anthony Davis Now Searches for Another Kind of Talent

"Most sports movies star actors who aren't convincing practitioners of the sport, and the believability of the film is damaged as a result," Koo said. "We're looking to audition elite basketball players instead of actors who list basketball as one of many skills."

We're looking for high-school aged players (and those that can pass for high school-aged) of various races. If these older players have a noticeable foreign accent that is great. AMATEUR's lead role is an African-American middle schooler — actors should be age 13-16 — so we are also looking for younger American players.

In addition to working with a basketball scout, we have a great casting director — but we can also use your help! If you know any players interested in acting, send them our way at If you don't know any players, you can still help us out by sharing the article by email, on Facebook, or Twitter. In fact you can just click here to tweet (you can edit before sending).

Thank you all for the support! More news as we have it!