Earlier today we received some good news at DocGeeks: one of the projects we have been supporting, Follow The Money, has reached its intended minimum target on Kickstarter.
For thirty days and thirty nights three British filmmakers follow a ten dollar bill as it criss-crosses the United States. The bill passes through the hands of countless wonderful characters, and as the journey stretches out across 6,000 miles, a unique portrait of contemporary American life unfolds. This is, in short, the story of Follow the Money, a new documentary film by John Hardwick, Ben Unwin and Steve Boggan.
With quite some days left at the clock until their Kickstarter deadline passed, DocGeeks had a story ready to go up, telling you why you should support this film. Is it still relevant now that the team have their money? We think so and we will explain it to you in a minute, but first, let’s talk about the filmmakers’ idea.
What is Follow The Money all about?
In 2010, long before Follow The Money was even a twinkle in the documentary filmmakers’ eyes, journalist and author Steve Boggan was in the US, working on a book that would inspire the film. Steve was the one who initially came up with the idea of following a ten dollar bill as it crossed the country. He wrote down his experiences and produced a wonderful book about his travels called; you guessed it, Follow The Money.
The book came out in 2012. It was tremendously well reviewed and even was named BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week.
John Hardwick convinced Steve and Ben Unwin to go out to the US again and this time make a film. They borrowed some cameras and headed out there for 30 days and 30 nights.
Why you should still support this doc
Even though the filmmakers have reached their target today, this figure – a whopping £17,500 – is merely a minimum needed in order to finish the film. The money will be spend as follows (we love this graph – everyone on Kickstarter should have one):
With nine days to go you could say the response has been overwhelming. But, any ‘extra’ money they will raise will help to improve the quality of the finished doc. It will allow the team to invest more time in an even better sound mix, picture grade and perhaps clear a few more pieces of music for the soundtrack – and hopefully we will see the team at some Q&A sessions when their film gets screened at various festivals.
On top of this – as ever – you can get some great rewards in return for even a relatively small donation. To take a look at the Kickstarter campaign, click here.
Who are the people behind the film?
You might recognise the name if you are an avid DocGeeks fan, with his professional eye for detail Ben has expressed quite the number of nice opinions about various documentaries over the past few years. Not a spectator, Ben has directed music videos and commercials for clients such as Dido, Yusuf (AKA Cat Stevens), Panasonic and Hyundai. His first feature documentary Well Done Now Sod Off about the band Chumbawamba, won the Audience Award at the Leeds International Film Festival. As well as directing, Ben also edits for other directors across a wide range of genres from documentary to comedy series.
John is a TV and film director who has made programmes for Channel4, Film4 and the BBC. He has made two previous feature films, including Svengali, a comedy drama starring Jonny Owen, Vicky McClure and Martin Freeman which is being released next year (FYI: we’ve seen it already and can thoroughly recommend it).
Steve is a journalist who writes for national newspapers and magazines in the UK. He is a former chief reporter at The Independent whose work has appeared in The Guardian G2 and its Weekend magazine, The Times, The Sunday Times magazine, The Observer magazine, the Daily Mail, National Geographic Traveller and The Independent’s Saturday magazine. He was included in the 2012 Time Out Culture 100 list, the magazine’s choice of the most original and influential people in the creative and media industries. And if you haven’t already got a copy of his book at home then you should run out and get one now.
The power of the people – it’s up to you to spread the word
As ever with these campaigns, the power lies in the word of the people. The more you tweet, ‘like’ and share the project or your enthusiam for it, the more chance they have of increasing their pledges. So we leave you today with the various media channels on which you can find Follow The Money:
Twitter – @FtmFilm
Facebook – www.facebook.com/followthemoneyfilm
Website – www.followthemoneyfilm.co.uk/