Kickstarter and Indiegogo have become the go-to platform for filmmakers who want to tell stories that fall outside mainstream Hollywood's current obsession with superheroes and remakes. This month's crowdfunding roundup has an in-depth look at Ghostbusters' devoted fanbase, a documentary on the life and work of award-winning science-fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin, and an oceanic exploration from the son of famed conservationist Jacques Cousteau.
Power of Grayskull
Encompassing everything from toys and movies to the extended He-Man universe, Power of Grayskull aims to be the definitive history on the classic '80s series He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Directors Randall Lobb and Robert McCallum have secured interviews with scores of animators, toy designers, and other critical players in the He-Man universe, including former Mattel president Tom Kalinske and comic writer Rob David. The team is hoping to raise $25,000 to film interviews and gain access to rare and never-before-seen items.
Worlds of Ursula K. Le Guin
Influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien, Philip K. Dick, her anthropologist parents, and fantasies like Alice in Wonderland, Hugo Award-winning science-fiction writer Ursula K. Le Guin forged her own path in the 1960s and '70s with such works as The Left Hand of Darkness and the Earthsea trilogy. Director Arwen Curry, who has received an NEH grant of $600,000, has already filmed extensive interviews with Le Guin and hopes to raise the final $200,000 to complete post-production on the documentary.
How to Let Go of the World (And Love All the Things Climate Can't Change)
Director Josh Fox was nominated for an Oscar for Gasland, a powerful look at the costs of hydrofracking, and now he's turned his critical eye to climate change in this globetrotting documentary that spans 12 countries on six continents. Fox and his team are looking to raise $100,000 to take their Sundance-selected film to 100 cities for free screenings around the country along with a host of scientists and political organizers to help communities kick-start a clean energy revolution.
Frances Marion's Lost Novel
Pioneering screenwriter Frances Marion was the first woman to win an Oscar -- she won in 1930 for her script for The Big House, and again in 1932 for The Champ -- and the author of a long-lost 1925 novel about a young New York actress who climbs her way to the top of the Hollywood food chain. The novel, Minnie Flynn, is now the subject of a $1,010 campaign to print 100 copies of this rare work from one of Hollywood's early stars.
First there was Trekkies, then there was Bronies, and now there's Ghostheads, a documentary about the die-hard fans of everyone's favorite paranormal investigators. Director Brendan Mertens and his team have already completed production on the film, which includes interviews with Dan Aykroyd, Ivan Reitman, and Ernie Hudson as well as Ghostbusters fans around the world, and are now trying to raise an additional $30,197 to complete post-production.
Odyssea 3-D: A Film to Save the Ocean
Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of famed French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, is the driving force behind this documentary on the tiny animals and life forms that make up the foundation of the food chain. Cousteau and his team spent three years developing the technology to film such high-resolution scenes underwater, and they are now looking to raise $300,000 for post-production editing and mixing.
A sweetly nostalgic film about a struggling, hypochondriac L.A. comedian who flies home to New York and tries to visit his five childhood doctors while avoiding his friends and family, 5 Doctors is a labor of love for creators Matt Porter, Max Azulay, and Phil Primason. The longtime friends recruited comedians Bobby Moynihan, Eddie Pepitone, and Joe Pera to star in the quirky indie. They are hoping to raise $15,000 to complete post-production and begin applying to film festivals.
Hurley Haywood & Peter Gregg: The Untold Story
Peter Gregg was already a world-famous race car driver when he met up-and-coming racer Hurley Haywood, and together the two would go onto become one of the most decorated endurance race duos ever. Director Derek Dodge, a former CNN producer and Travel Channel journalist, is attempting to raise $35,000 to tell Haywood and Gregg's incredible story, and has already secured Heywood's participation and a treasure trove of archival footage from their '70s heyday.
Are you more intrigued by the story of Ursula K. Le Guin or Ghostbusters' enduring legacy? Share your thoughts in the comment below.