Ready, Set, Fund: Love and History in Texas


Phil Collins and the Wild Frontier

Ready, Set, Fund is a column about crowdfunding and related fundraising endeavors for Austin and Texas independent film projects.

At first glance it might seem rather odd to feature English music icon Phil Collins in this month's column, but Collins has quite a personal connection to Texas history. Due to his interest in the Battle of the Alamo of 1836, his personal collection of artifacts related to the Alamo numbers in the hundreds, and he's narrated at a sound and light show about the Alamo. While on a publicity tour across Texas to promote his new book, The Alamo and Beyond: A Collector's Journey, Collins was interviewed by Texas Filmmakers Production Fund recipient filmmaker Ben Powell about his obscure collection as well as his retirement from music.

Phil Collins and the Wild Frontier, which is currently funding on Kickstarter through Sunday, January 20, focuses on Collins' attempt "to redefine his public persona." Powell further states that "observing the impact his music career has on his life and the more painful realities of being a celebrity, what unfolds is an examination of mankind's obsession with artifacts. Mr. Collins, a man absorbed in a collection of objects from a bygone era, is himself a relic of 80s pop culture and objectified by his stardom."

Awardwinning filmmaker and local film instructor Steve Mims (Incendiary: The Willingham Case) is seeking funding on Kickstarter through Wednesday, January 23, for his feature-length comedy Alex & Ash, which he wrote specifically for the humorously talented Alex Dobrenko (Hearts of Napalm) and Ashley Spillers (The Bounceback, Saturday Morning Massacre). The pair portray a couple so obsessed with a puzzle that they become not only disconnected from the real world but also from one another.

Other local film-related projects funding this month:

  • Bloody Work -- A documentary of a series of unsolved brutal murders that took place in Austin in 1885. Filmmaker Martin Wagner has been in the film industry for several years but this is his writing and directorial debut. (Kickstarter, ends Monday, February 18)
  • Circle -- Based on his 2004 stage production, writer/director Heath Thompson is creating a feature film centered around Dave, who unsuccessfully attempts to hide away in his messy apartment. Well-meaning friends and family help him rediscover himself in this story of loss and friendship. (Indiegogo, ends Thursday, January 31)
  • Djinn -- By Raul Garcia, this romantic thriller takes a twist when an ancient creature turns up during a vacation for six friends already involved in their own personal drama. (Kickstarter, ends Tuesday, February 12)
  • Farm-City, State -- David Barrow documents the Austin food landscape as he follows Johnson's Backyard Garden founder Brenton Johnson, not only around his successful organic farm but also his formation of a new nonprofit, FarmShare Austin. (Indiegogo, ends Monday, January 28)
  • Unbranded -- This adventurous documentary follows Ben Masters, Thomas Glover, Jonny Fitzsimons and Ben Thamer as they ride Mustang horses -- born and raised in the wild -- for six months and 3,000 miles through the deepest backcountry of the American West, from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. (Kickstarter, ends Friday, February 1)
  • What's Born in Darkness -- Recent University of Texas at Austin RTF graduate Thomas Harbert tells the "story of a moment that turns a rivalry into a mutual obsession with revenge" between a detective and his criminal nemesis. (Indiegogo, ends Sunday, February 10)

Previously featured projects ending soon:

Have a project that you would like to be considered for an upcoming "Ready, Set, Fund," feature about crowdfunding and related fundraising endeavors for Austin and Texas independent film projects? Contact us with subject line "Ready, Set, Fund" if you've got a film fundraising project going on you'd like us to know about.