Saturday, January 11, 2014

Kickstarter Weekends: Michigan City Vandals, One Nation, Low Budget Ethnic Movie

[Don’t forget to vote for my band every day at the GTR Online Battle of the Bands!]

It has been a long while since we did a Kickstarter Weekend and I figured we were due. Today I have three new projects although one of them is actually an Indiegogo project. You know its funny; I consider myself to be very knowledgeable about Kickstarter but not nearly as much when it comes to Indiegogo but whenever someone I personally know does a crowd funding project they tend to use Indiegogo. One day if someone asks me to help them plan to KS campaign I’d be able offer them serious help but if they were doing Indiegogo I’d be less useful to them. Oh well, it’s not a big deal. If nothing else Indiegogo's twitter account are nice folk.

Anyway before we get to the new stuff let’s take a look at the previous project. We only looked at one last time so yay, less typing for me!

MALICE – Metamorphosis: Funding Successful!

Total Earnings: $12,195 ($12,000 Goal)

I obviously made a huge deal about this project to fund this show’s third season last time since Malice was a huge part of the reason I started these KS Weekend blogs. And as you can see they BARELY made it over the finish line. As of now they have released a few episodes but, for reasons I have no interest in talking about here whatsoever, I haven’t watched them yet. So yeah, that’s a little awkward.

Three new projects after the jump.

Michigan City Vandals Album Project
I'm 60% sure they won't beat you up
Goal: $5,000

Deadline: 11:59pm PST, 2/20/14

As someone who was heavily involved in the West Michigan music scene for nearly ten years believe me when I say that the Michigan City Vandals are one of the best acts to ever emerge from it. Hell, I would say that they would be one of the better acts to come from the state of Michigan, though that’s obviously my opinion. What isn’t opinion and is a matter of fact is that they are a very talented group of musicians and they need some help to do their next album.

The Michigan City Vandals are a rock band based in Benton Harbor, MI, though I’ve noticed they have a presence in both Kalamazoo and Chicago and probably other places as well that I’m just unaware of. I first met these guys years ago in Kzoo and while I did talk with them for a good bit I didn’t think I made much of an impression. Some years later, after having literally hearing nothing from them in a long while, I caught them in Kzoo again and, after taking one glance at me, lead singer Julee Laurent-Clancy knew exactly who I was, where she knew me from, my name and my band’s name despite the fact that it had been years since our single digit interactions (maybe we talked twice and maybe we played a show together once back then?). Seeing as most local bands tended to identify me as “the black kid who comes to punk shows” I was rather touched by this. Since then I’ve tried to maintain a good relationship with MCV. On a less personal note the band is known for their charity work having donating 100%+ of album profits and putting on tons of benefit shows so on top of being a bad ass rock band they’re also good people.

Which brings us to their current situation: they want to make their next album but studio costs are expensive. So they’ve gone to Indiegogo to try to get the funds needed. They’re asking for $5,000 which sounds like a lot but it’s an almost laughably small amount compared to some of the crazy five figure sums I’ve been seeing bands ask for on Kickstarter lately (and also the lowest goal of the three projects we're looking at today) . They kindly break down where the money goes on their page (link provided below, naturally). Anyway because it’s Indiegogo technically if the campaign fails to meet its goal they’ll have the choice of keeping whatever they made (though I believe Indiegogo takes a larger cut in that case) but I rather see them have a smashing success. These guys are really good and though I haven’t heard any of these new songs (at least I assume I haven’t) I’m very confident that they’ll deliver an awesome album.

Seriously; look at this video and if you tell me that’s not a great rock song then you and I are from different planets.

Visit the Michigan City Vandal’s Indiegogo page.

One Nation: Out of the Darkness 
They might want to invest in better fitting clothing
Goal: $13, 000

Deadline: 5:03pm EST, 3/3/14

You just knew I had to do another comic book KS project at some point! Created Brad Faye and Alexander Martin "One Nation" grabbed my attention due to its post-9/11 themes and its lead characters. You should be aware of this but one of the major problems in fiction, of which comic books are no exception, is a lack of diversity in its leading characters. Faye and Martin seem to feel similar as this book’s protagonist is a young Muslim American woman, which is a point of view we hardly ever see. Not to mention the secondary lead is a young black woman which is another shockingly underused POV in pretty much everything. Unfortunately they are a bit vague about what the story of the comic will be, more focusing on the two main characters and the themes of the story. But hey, I believe the most important thing about a story is having interesting characters and so long as they’re well written readers/viewers will enjoy seeing them pretty much do anything no matter how mundane it may be (this is the basis for 50% of Japanese comics). Of course the preview art suggests that this will be an action comic with plenty of ass kicking and I can tell you I’m down with that. They’re asking for a thirteen grand but they’re also giving themselves plenty of time to raise the funds. So far it’s been fine.

The fact is though that we’re in a weird point in American culture where it feels like the people want more diversity in their movies/TV shows/comics but the Powers That Be seem to be content to continuing to giving us the same old same old because they don’t seem to understand their audience. This a good opportunity to tell comic book creators what we as an audience would like to see; the better this project does the louder a statement it will make. If you agree with that you should check out the project.

Visit One Nation: Out of the Darkness’ Kickstarter page.

Low Budget Ethnic Movie 
I don't know what's happening here but NOW I'M MAD TOO!!!!!
Goal: $20,000

Deadline: 10:00pm EST, 1/25/14

I should point out that the title of this movie, which is apparently a working title and may not be used in the end, refers to the concept of movies starring non-white actors being assumed to focus on race and racial identity regardless to whether that’s a major plot point (i.e. a film that stars a Korean actor might be assumed to be a film about being Korean, even if it’s about…I don’t, surfing or a beauty pageant). In fact, while race does play a role in this film its main focus is basically about being over thirty and feeling like a failure.

Directed by Daniel Yoon the film focuses on a group of people in their thirties and early forties living in the San Francisco Bay Area who, having grown up with the belief they could do anything if they put their mind to it, have to now deal with the fact that they have failed to live beyond the ordinary. I was very much struck by this premise since I too have been sort of feeling that way myself; as I rapidly approach my 30th birthday I’m having a hard time dealing with the fact that I haven’t lived up to my expectations and that there’s a serious possibility that my dreams will never come true.

Anyway I just really want to watch this movie so I really want this project to succeed. It’s in a little trouble right now because of this writing it has two weeks left on the clock but has achieved less than half its goal. Now I’ve seen large scale comebacks before so there’s no reason to write it off yet but they clearly need some help. So I’d say check out the page and see what you think about the film.

Visit Low Budget Ethnic Movie’s Kickstarter page.

If you know any cool Kickstarter (or Indiegogo, I guess) projects, or if you have a project that needs support, feel free to post a link in the comment section (though take in mind as moderator of the comment section I have the right to not allow any posts that I am especially against for any reason).

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