Ready, Set, Fund: From Roky Erickson to Anthony Burgess


Two Headed Dog with Roky Erickson

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

With SXSW looming on the horizon to take over Austin for 11 days next month, it seems an appropriate time to feature crowdfunding for local film projects centered around music and performance. One such project, Two-Headed Dog, is seeking funding on IndieGoGo through February 22. This documentary centers around local rock legend Roky Erickson, who is about to embark on a tour for the first time ever through Australia and New Zealand with his son Jegar Erickson and his band. (Local film fans who like cable access might remember Jegar's Austin Movie Show, which ran 2004-2007.)

Local filmmaker Mike Mann, who premiered his short doc Brewed at SXSW 2011, has been invited to document Erickson's tour Down Under. However, Mann is in need of funds to cover his travel expenses as well as production costs at Erickson's live shows.

If you aren't familiar with Erickson's story, I highly recommend watching the powerfully moving 2005 documentary You're Gonna Miss Me, about Erickson's struggles with mental health, drug use and poverty as well as his underground success as a gifted psychedelic rock pioneer. Expect Two-Headed Dog to provide Erickson fans with insight into his progress dealing with his mental health issues and further establishing himself as a rock icon in Austin and beyond.

Check out more Austin film projects featuring local musicians and performers after the jump.

Beaver Nelson's Macro/Micro Kickstarter project, which is funding through March 7, incorporates multimedia into a visual and aural experience. Check out his Kickstarter pitch in the video above. Nelson is creating an album-length film that will be used in two different ways -- either watched on its own with the CD as a soundtrack, or to be projected behind Nelson during a live stage performance with a re-mixed synchronous musical track. The stage production includes a theatrical set and spoken word pieces, which Nelson will include in his tour this summer.

The Sun Also Rises, funding on Kickstarter through February 21, documents the history of musicians in the local ten-piece ensemble East Cameron Folkcore.  This documentary film project focuses on a group of musical refugees from other bands that became bound together through music and friendship after the tragic loss of a fellow musician. In addition to digital download of the completed movie and a musical performance video, the backer level rewards beginning at $50 include a download of various East Cameron back catalogues -- approximately six albums worth of music.

Thanks to the successful Kickstarter campaign last month for Nemesis Rising, filmmakers Eric Stewart and Anton Curley were able to travel to New York to document the behind the scenes action for The Intergalactic Nemesis troupe's performance on Conan. The Intergalactic Nemesis Book Two - Rough Cut Kickstarter campaign is funding through Friday, March 2, raising money for rehearsals for their latest installment that will premiere June 8 at the Long Center. Backers at the $50 level will receive several perks, including admission for two to the "rough cut" screenings at Alamo Drafthouse on March 3 and 4.

Other local television and film-related projects funding this month:

  • ATX: A Television Festival -- Film and television industry professionals Caitlin McFarland and Emily Gipson are in the home stretch to raise funds for this nonprofit event. This campaign features levels that act as badge pre-sales, with funds raised to be applied towards programming and other needs. (Kickstarter, ends Tuesday, February 21)
  • The Adventures of Sophie and Tinker --  A family-oriented adventure about a young girl named Sophie who moves away from her friends and meets a most unusual young boy, Tinker. Together they discover mysteries that must be solved with clues and the help of other characters they encounter. Local character actor Sonny Carl Davis has a featured role in this engaging and interactive story.  (Kickstarter, ends Friday, February 24)
  • Disenchanted -- This project, planned as a television pilot or web series, follows three twenty-somethings on their first day of work at the Enchanted Forest Renaissance Faire, where they must deal with the politics of a ren fair and the outrageous characters around them. Shooting at the Sherwood Forest Faire, currently featured in National Geographic's Knights of Mayhem. (IndieGoGo, ends Wednesday, February 22)
  • For the Record: Tarantino in Concert -- Although not directly a film project in Austin, this Kickstarter-funded mixed media project centers on bringing a Los Angeles troupe of performers to Austin for their world premiere of For the Record at SXSW in March. Music, theatre and film brings the featured director's motion pictures to life in a concert setting. (Kickstarter, ends Wednesday, February 29)
  • Generation Me --  This light-hearted film by filmmaker Ericka Marsalis-LaManna reveals how social networking and other non-verbal forms of communication including texts and emails have become so commonplace, fueling "a generation obsessed with status updates and self portraits." (IndieGoGo, ends Thursday, March 1)
  • The Last Horror Show -- This short film project takes on the cult classic A Clockwork Orange by bringing to the screen the final chapter of Burgess' novella that was omitted from Kubrick's film. Little Alex grows up in this adaptation. (IndieGoGo, ends Monday, February 27)

For filmmakers wanting to raise funds in a short turnaround, check out a new crowdfunding website called Crowdtilt based out of Dallas. Campaigns are no longer than seven days, and there are no tiered levels or rewards. Crowdtilt seems ideal for smaller fundraising goals for a wider range of projects. Do you know of any successful campaigns using Crowdtilt? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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 if you've got a film fundraising project going on you'd like us to know about.