Crowdfunding and the media

PUBLISHED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 29 October, 2012, 2:22am


David Fincher's last film made £145 million (HK$1.8 billion) worldwide. The previous one took £140 million, plus three Oscars, and a Golden Globe and a Bafta for best director. On the side, Fincher directs glossy ads for big agencies. Now: give this man your money.

"Help us make a NEW KIND of animated film ... one that's LOUD, VIOLENT and OFFENSIVE TO YOUR GRANDMA." So runs the invitation on the Kickstarter page for The Goon, which will be produced by Fincher and directed by Eric Powell, who wrote the comic strip of the same name. They're not funding a whole film: they're raising US$150,000 to cut a feature-length storyboard "to give Hollywood a complete look at the film's potential".

As with most crowdfunding, there are rewards. Pledge US$25 and you'll get digital downloads of the comic, plus access to the production blog. Cough up US$50 more for a pdf of the pitch and a T-shirt; US$10,000 gets you some personalised artwork, "a faux-bronze sculpture of a gorilla-shaped mob enforcer" and a private screening with the film makers in California ("travel expenses paid by donor").

Why Fincher needs to go cap in hand is unclear. Hollywood doesn't seem entirely averse to comic book adaptations at the moment.

A recourse to busking is understandable in other fields, of course - such as publishing. A new company called Unbound touts online for donations towards Rupert Isaacson's planned epic novel about an Elizabethan horse whisperer and a new flan-centric cookbook by Tamasin Day-Lewis. Chip in with £500 for that and you get a signed copy, a baking workshop and a tart named for you or a loved one.

But bargain of the week has to be journalist Julie Burchill. Stump up £350 towards her proposed memoir about loving Jews and you get a signed copy, a digital download, blog access, a handwritten postcard in Hebrew, a night out, and you can join Julie for "a small Israeli-style Shabbat celebration at a Jewish restaurant in London". Sorry, Fincher - with an offer like that, you can shove your monkey statue.

Guardian News & Media