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Posts Tagged ‘kickstarter’

Console Gaming Redux with OUYA

July 13, 2012 1 comment

Remember the original Nintendo Entertainment System? You know, the NES. Nintendo in all its 8-bit glory. Where “saving” a game of Super Mario Brothers meant hitting the pause button and turning off the TV during dinner. Or how no matter how many times you tried you just couldn’t kill that damn laughing dog in Duck Hunt. In other words, remember your childhood? Well it seems the makers of the new gaming console OUYA (pronounced OOO-yah) do and they’re running a ridiculously successful Kickstarter campaign to prove it.

The makers of OUYA are powering their new console with Android, and they hope to bring back “innovation, experimentation and creativity to the big screen.” Televisions, that is. In a world of smart phones and tablets, they are setting out to prove that console gaming isn’t dead. And it seems that they were right because just a few days into their Kickstarter campaign they have already raised over $4.2 million with the support of over 33,000 backers (at the time I wrote this). The sky is apparently the limitfor this project.

I myself have become quite addicted to Kickstarter as of late. The sites fosters creativity and ingenuity. And not only to you get to brag about supporting ideas that normally wouldn’t see the light of day, but they give you rewards for doing it. It’s a win-win scenario.

With the Wii, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 dominating the market, I wouldn’t exactly say console gaming is dead. I myself am an Xbox fan, mostly because I love Halo. That being said, I chose to back this project because it offers a cheaper way to game. With console games costing $60 on average with hit and miss quality, the idea of cheap (or even free) games developed by independent designers appealed to me. Here’s hoping that the final product will be as good as it sounds.

If you want to check it out, their Kickstarter page can be found here: OUYA Kickstarter

Thanks again for playing along.

J.

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Kickstarter of the Month: Best Friends Forever

April 7, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, I may have taken a month off but now I’m back with a vengeance for the latest installment of Kickstarter of the Month.  After doing a little searching on the site I came up with this gem:  Best Friends Forever.

Written by  Brea Grant and Vera Miao, this film is a story about friendship.  And road trips.  Oh, and an apocalypse.  Based on that simple premise alone I couldn’t help but look into it more.

From their Kickstarter page:  “BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is a dark comedy and sci-fi horror film, combining equal parts buddy film, road trip and nuclear apocalypse story, but with girls. Harriet, the perpetual but unsuccessful optimist, has finally figured out how to take her passion for comics and turn it into a responsible life. But when she and Reba, her seemingly devil-may-care best friend, hit the road to Austin, TX, an impending nuclear apocalypse endangers the best-laid plans and even the best of friendships.”

You may remember Ms. Grant from her stint on Heroes (a fact which originally drew me to this project), but she is much more than that.  I spent a good deal of time watching the videos on their Kickstarter page (which can be found here) and I have to admit that this woman has a bit of spunk that only her partner Ms. Miao can match.  If this is the kind of energy they put in to promoting their project, than one can only imagine how much passion they put into the actual final product.

I don’t normally get into the male vs. female debate (I prefer to let the end product speak for itself), but I do appreciate when others have a stance that they defend adamantly.  That is something the Ms. Grant and Ms Miao are doing here with their movie.  It is fairly well documented that there are few female directors/producers/screenwriters who are successful in the business right now. But that landscape is changing, especially when you look at the success of Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker) and Kristin Wiig (Bridesmaids).  The success of those films and others like it in recent years is opening the door for movies like Best Friends Forever so that the end product is allowed to speak for itself and we are not robbed of great filmmaking.

For more information check out their website (http://bestfriendsforeverfilm.com/) or their Facebook Page (here)

J.

Critical Beat: Sunday Punch Review

February 12, 2012 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being directed to the Kickstarter campaign for the short film Sunday Punch via a tweet from star Dichen Lachmen (@Dichenlachmen; she’s worth following).  The film was produced by the company Foe Killer Films, written and directed by Dennis Hauck and starred Dichen Lachmen (“Dollhouse”), Sam Levine (“Freaks and Geeks”) and David Yow (lead singer of The Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid).

From Ms. Lachmen to the six-shooter in her belt, there's a lot of awesome going on in this poster

Well, my prize came in the mail a few days ago and I have to say it was money well spent.  A quick synopsis, from the  back of of the DVD case:

“Jill’s job is to walk through boxing rings holding up signs that tell the audience what round it is.  Charlie’s a small time gangster that thinks Jill owes him a favor.  That favor is to discreetly drug a boxer that refuses to throw tomorrow night’s fight.  It’s a stupid plan, but Jill isn’t in a position to argue.  It’s all downhill with a bullet, until Jill decides it’s time to start pushing back, hard.”

And that’s pretty much it.  Clocking in at about eighteen minutes, they don’t have time to tell much more of a story than that.  And that’s the only disappointing part with the film.  You feel like there’s more to the story and you’re only getting a glimpse of it.  Sunday Punch leaves you wanting more because it is that good.  You finish the movie wanting to now more about these characters.  Why did Charlie think Jill lived under his thumb?  What happened after the fight?  To create a world where you care about the characters and their lives within such a short timespan is an impressive feat.  At the same time the look and feel of the film is downright beautiful.  Hauck chose to utilize lower lighting and earth tones with the film that gave the viewer a sense of natural desperation within the story.

Dichen Lachmen is mesmerizing in every scene she is in.  Her character Jill is a woman who has been pushed around for too long, and she is finally fed up with it.  Early on in the story she tells David Yow that she is alright with her position in the totem pole of the boxing world, and that may be true.  But Jill is not happy with her position in the totem pole of life.  She has been pushed too far and is not going to take it anymore.  And Dichen Lachmen carries Jill with such confidence that you not only believe to be a strong women, you believe in her as a strong women.

And then there is Sam Levine.  If this was a feature length movie I think Sam Levine would steal every scene he is in.  He plays a small time gangster who thinks he is more important in that world than he really is.  He does this by putting pressure on those below him; in this case Jill.  Every time you see his character, Charlie, and Jill interact you feel the need to take a shower.  And that’s a compliment to Mr. Levine because the way he brings Charlie to the screen is just so naturally creepy.  And he does it all with a smile.

At the end of the day, Sunday Punch is definitely worth checking out.  There are definitely worse ways to spend eighteen minutes of your life.

8/10

J.

“Take it Back” by Kettle Black Productions

January 26, 2012 Leave a comment

Good Evening!  I would like to introduce you to a new segment that I am working on.  That is the Kickstarter of the Month.  Each month I will look at the current projects being crowd-funded by Kickstarter and determine which one I feel has the most potential and that I will back.  For those of you who don’t know, Kickstarter is ” the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields.”  Keep in mind that each project will only be funded if they reach their funding goal.  Fore more info, please visit their site.

This month I am supporting the short film “Take it Back” by Kettle Black Productions(http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1756715825/take-it-back?ref=category).  At this point you may want to know what about “Take it Back” made me decide to support this project.  Right off the bat, I love the story.  The idea that the last words spoken to a person have meaning is something that harkens back to my childhood and the great Garth Brooks song “If Tomorrow Never Comes”.  We have all wondered that if tomorrow never comes, would the people we loved know just how much we loved them.  To take that idea and add the mob vs. DA element just sounds logical. What would/should be the last thing someone should say when they are possibly in harms way?  And how should that be approached?  I would really like to see what director/writer Brian Potter and David Black have to say on the subject.

A short look at the storyboards by Rico Schenck demonstrates that these guys are not messing around.  They wish to tell a serious story about a serious topic.  It demonstrates passion and originality, something that I think is very important on projects such as this one.

If you have a chance, please check out the project at their website (http://TakeItBackMovie.com) or their Facebook page (http://Facebook.com/TakeItBackMovie).  And to Brian and David, best of luck.  I hope you get to complete this project.

J.