Scrubbing Up Nice

It’s been a while since I blogged and the ravages of student coursework, cuts and Gove along with trying to build a fourth career in order to get out of teaching have taken up some of my time, but enough about me, I’m not the only one trying to keep it real and stick to my dream against the odds. Some time ago I  blogged about a friend of mine (late friend of mine) who wrote a book called Dangerous Parking, his name was Stuart Browne and his story, published posthumously, caught the attention of Peter Howitt,

Peter Howitt

Peter Howitt

director of Sliding Doors and Johnny English, among other things, and he decided to make the film. Stuart’s wild and misspent youth combined with his love for his family, north London tales and yes, the story of his battle with cancer was converted to the screen with Sean Pertwee, Saffron Burrows and Howitt himself as Stuart. The film was made and is well worth a look, even though it went straight to DVD, funny, sexy and visceral, but what was interesting about the film aside from its quality was the way it was financed. It was a cooperative effort financed by the stars, staff and crew alike as well as punters buying shares in the film. I sent a few quid – at the time that was a reach, but Stuart was a great man and it was tragic that he didn’t live to see the success of his book or to see the film, or to follow up on his talent.

Anyhoo I’ve splashed out again, this time on Zach Braff, no I don’t know Zach Braff (I wish) but I loved Scrubs (yes that Zach Braff)

Zach Braff

Zach Braff

and I liked Garden State, but the trouble for filmmakers is finding the money for projects that they want to make without compromise. If you get the money from investors whose interest is more in the return than in the expression then you must make compromises and some filmmakers don’t want to do that, and rightly so, but Zach Braff explains it much better in his video embedded below. What he wants his enough money to make a film in the spirit of Garden State, he is using Kickstarter (Peter Howitt was a bit of pioneer even seven years ago) Kickstarter is crowdfunding and is the easier way for filmmakers to raise money and for punters to contribute. Braff is nearly there it will work for him and no doubt many other films just as worthy (or less worthy) will have a chance of success. To be fair, there is some suggestion in a recent Guardian blog that may Braff should stump up the money himself and that the rich and famous are now hijacking Kickstarter to make yet more money. They may have a point, but the principle of crowd funding does, at least suggest an audience – see for yourself, at the very least the appeal itself, is funny.


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