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Happy Baby, the Movie – Few Days Left of Crowdsourcing Campaign

December 4, 2012 | By | Add a Comment

KB Here: I confess, I’m somewhat obsessed with Steven Elliot’s daily emails. There aren’t many of us out there writing confessional, personal essays that blend in with our professional efforts – you have to be willing to make yourself extremely vulnerable to pull that one off. But it’s refreshing to see a stressful Kickstarter campaign from behind the scenes, and see all the nail-biting that goes with it.  Email archive is here. I’ve shared this missive with with about 10 people:

Ahhh, so here we are. Day 1 of Let’s Make A Movie Month at The Rumpus. I’m already mildly panicked. I don’t know if that’s proper fundraising technique, the panic, but it exists.

This is unchartered territory. We chose $85,000 because we thought that was the absolute minimum to make this movie. The maximum is like $900,000. At $900,000 we’re shooting on 16mm film. Even that’s a super-low budget by most film maker standards. But then last night, after trying to relax by playing almost three hours of board games with friends in a cramped, poorly lit bar (turns out that’s not really relaxing), I thought, $85,000!!! Literally, there were three exclamation marks in my thoughts.
But everything we’ve ever done on The Rumpus is unchartered territory. People often ask me for advice marketing their books. The only advice I have is to come up with something no one has done before. If there was a way to market books that was cost effective and everybody knew, then everybody would do it. If turning your book into a best seller was just a matter of hard work there would be many more best sellers because authors are willing to work extremely hard to connect with readers

Here’s the copy from Kickstarter:

Happy Baby is a movie based on the novel of the same name by Stephen Elliott, declared, by the New York Times, as “Surely the most beautiful novel ever written about S&M, juvenile detention centers, and drugs.”

It’s the story of Theo, once an orphan in the Detroit foster care system now a grown man living in California. He returns to Detroit to reconnect with the love of his life. You can read a chapter from the book here.

We’re convinced we can make a quality compelling feature, outside of the system, for less than what feature movies are believed to cost. We’re also convinced, because of running The Rumpus, and making the movie About Cherry, that there are new and interesting ways to tell stories that don’t require all the traditional methods. We think we can avoid the frustrations of institutional censorship and financing. And we can open ourselves to making a movie

 that invites, and takes advantage of, all the new avenues and advances in digital photography, distribution, and community and the result will be a better artistic creation.

That’s why this campaign is both about raising the necessary money to shoot the movie and also connecting with the people that want to see the movie, and including them in making the movie. We want to be in touch with the people who care the most about our work before, during, and after we finish shooting.

Check our update page for regular updates.

Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/happybabymovie

“Like” us on Facebook: facebook.com/happybabymovie

  Project by

  Stephen Elliott

  San Francisco, CA

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