With the JOBS act, finally passed in Congress, boasting an incredible series of changes for crowdfunding projects, the methods for independent filmmakers and artists to finance their projects stand to get easier and more versatile real soon. And as Kickstarter and Indiegogo seem to generate success stories every day, it appears two major filmmakers feel confident enough to bring their new projects to the people.
Once seen helming such cult favorites as “El Topo” and “The Holy Mountain,” director Alejandro Jodorowsky has sadly been absent from behind the camera for the last couple of decades or so, choosing instead to pop up in supporting roles in middling independent films. That's all set to change, though, as he's announced over at his funding website (via Empire) plans to bring a personal project, “La Danze De La Realidad” to the screen. In a video filmed in what appears to be his home, with his cat mewing adorably in the background, Jodorowsky outlines his goal to present, “in a magic and poetic way, my childhood in the small town of Tocopilla (in Northern Chile).” He also plans to shoot there, and on the website describes three things present in the film that marked his devotion to drama: a fireman's burial, an epileptic seizure, and a Chinese prince's singing.
Clearly Jodorowsky's back on fine eccentric form, and with this new venture pitched directly to the audience with little regard for the traditional industry, we might just see a new film from him this decade, if he's not busy fortune-telling or puppeteering as he is wont to do.
Meanwhile, legendary scribe and filmmaker Paul Schrader has also announced plans to crowdfund his new project, and has a slew of notable talent to back him up. “The Canyons,” a feature film to be directed by Schrader and written by Bret Easton Ellis, is currently accepting donations toward a $100,000 goal, and marks a collaboration between Schrader and former Lionsgate producer, Braxton Pope. We caught wind of the film, a psycho-sexual crime drama following a group of 20-somethings in Los Angeles, back in March, and even then it was planned as a low-budget independent feature. They're financing the film partly with Pope's company, Sodium Fox, and partly with Kickstarter to achieve complete creative freedom. “We all experienced the frustrations of financing and institutional censorship,” Schrader wrote on the Kickstarter page, “But now, with advances in digital photography and distribution, we can tell a story in the manner we choose. Movies are changing and we're changing with it.”
If anyone knows the ebb and flow of the film business it's Schrader, and for those interested in donating, he also clearly knows the proper methods of reward. Instead of just a signed DVD copy (which is still offered) in exchange for donation, Schrader is offering personalized scripts, story meetings over lunch, as well as autographed photographs from his vault. One lucky person will even get a signed money clip given to Paul from Robert De Niro on the “Raging Bull” set, if you have $10,000 lying around, that is.
“The Canyons” will begin principal photography on July 9th, and while no further details have been given on Jodorowsky's project, the talent involved in both might easily earn them a few bucks on reputation alone.