Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Man’s Got Vision; Help Him Share It

I want you to help me get rid of some of my money. Seriously. The catch is this: To help me get rid of my money, you’ve got to be willing to part with some of yours. Don’t worry: This isn’t some Internet scam or pyramid scheme. It’s all legit. So, please, hear me out. Hear me all the way out. Let me explain.

I want you to donate money, even just a little, to Steven Boone. Boone is one of the authors of the blog Big Media Vandalism and a contributor to sites such as The House Next Door. In addition, he’s a “micro-budget filmmaker” who has made mostly “esoteric” shorts that can be found on Vimeo. (I recommend “Wolf City High and Low” and “Notes for a David Lynch Adaptation of Moonwalk” if you want a taste of Boone’s creativity.) Up to now, Boone has made his films using “borrowed, broken and public computers,” and that’s been fine. But as he approaches the creation of an ambitious film series he’s calling “The Best of Everything,” he figures he needs his own dependable equipment. And that’s where you (and I) come in. Please, keep reading.

Boone is attempting to raise $3,500 to purchase a computer (with editing software), a camera and a microphone. But here’s the deal: The deadline for donations is July 19, less than a month away, and if the full $3,500 isn’t in the pot, Boone isn’t taking a dime of it. That’s why even though I’ve already made my donation, my offering is effectively an empty gesture unless more people can chip in and help Boone reach the $3,500 mark. (As of publication, he’s got a long way to go.)

I hate empty gestures, but that’s not the reason I’m encouraging you to get involved. Rather, I’m asking you to donate because I believe in Boone’s project. On the following Kickstarter site, which allows you to donate using an existing Amazon account, you'll find a description of his “The Best of Everything” series as well as a teaser trailer for the first chapter.

Read the description. Watch the trailer. If you do both, I think you’ll be convinced to donate. And here’s why …

How many movies will you see this year that you know, even before you walk inside the theater, haven't been created as art whatsoever but as profit vehicles only? How many empty Hollywood films will you pay to see even though you know that chances are high you’ll walk out of the multiplex feeling empty? Can I tell you with certainty that Boone will make an awesome video series? No. I can’t. But this much is clear: the man has passion and a vision, and that’s something that cinephiles should support whenever we can.

Are you reading this at home? How many DVDs do you have on the shelf that you’ve never even watched? How many times have you walked away with two DVDs for movies you only kinda-sorta liked but added to your collection anyway because you found them in the $10 bargain bin?

I’m not asking you to spend money you don’t have. If money is tight, if you really can’t contribute, don’t. But most of us could probably skip Starbucks twice, and there’s $6 right there. Most of us could probably pass on the sequel to the blockbuster we weren’t crazy about the first time around, and that’s good for $10. And that’s not a lot, but it’s a lot better than nothing.

Still, if I may be so bold, I encourage you to donate $20 (or more, if you can). Sacrifice buying one of those DVDs you’ll never watch and instead contribute to the creation of something that you might really admire.

Full disclosure: I’ve traded a few friendly emails with Steven, but I don’t know him well. So, on the one hand I can’t necessarily vouch for him, but on the other hand I’m not here asking for a handout for a close personal friend.

So, watch the trailer below. Read the description of the project. See if it makes you feel inspired. Then donate, even if it’s a small amount. Even if it’s $1. Then, just as important, please spread the word.

There’s less than a month to go. I want Boone to have my donation. I need your help for that to happen.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for donating. Thanks for supporting a man with vision. We need more of them.

Steven Boone on "The Best of Everything":
"The Best of Everything" is my latest and most ambitious video essay, a ten-chapter series. I use the format to lampoon, poeticize and dissect my own struggle to find love, meaning and a purpose during the tumultuous past decade in New York City. This is the story of a blue collar working stiff who insisted on writing and chasing his addiction (movies) against all reason-- and even after I went homeless. In this video, you will hear cultural/social commentary you just can't get from The New Yorker or The Times, not only from myself but also the movie-mad folks down here in the streets with me. I'm coming from a place Shohei Imamura called "the lower half of society"-- or, as I call it, the best seat in the house.

1 comment:

Neil Fulwood said...

This probably isn't the most appropriate post to leave this comment on, as you're trying to draw attention to a man with, by the sounds of it, a genuine and passionate and filmmaking talent.

I’ve nominated you for a Versatile Blogger award (though in your case it ought to be renamed The Friend to Independent Filmmakers award).

Details here:

Best wishes,