'Atlas Shrugged' Producers Turn to Kickstarter for Marketing Muscle
The new trend in movies is jumping into the crowdfunding pool through sites like Kickstarter or Donald Trump's FundAnything. Podcast king Adam Carolla earned more than $1.4 million for his upcoming movie, Road Hard, through the latter. Everyone from Zach Braff to Spike Lee financed their next endeavors through Kickstarter.
Now producers John Aglialoro and Harmon Kaslow have joined Kickstarter.com to raise $250,000 for the third part of their Atlas Shrugged adaptation. The film is officially titled Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt?
According to the film's website, the movie is already fully financed. The Kickstarter campaign is more about getting the audience directly involved and marketing the film. Some of the perks for contributing include everything from an exclusive Kickstarter T-shirt to an invite to the premiere. People can get rewards for donating as little as $10 or as much as $10,000 (yes, at least one person has donated this amount).
The campaign has already reached more than $35,000 as of 4 p.m. EST Sept. 23. Maybe it's because Ayn Rand fans are a little more likely to have jobs. The Kickstarter page includes some apparent storyboards and artwork for the movie as well as messages from the producers.
The first two Atlas Shrugged films were received with much snubbing and sometimes even vitriol from mainstream critics and film sites, and it's something the team says they are embracing now especially with this new campaign.
"We're very aware we have a built in 'anti-Ayn Rand' audience," says Scott DeSapio on the film's website (he runs most of the social media for the films including the Kickstarter campaign). DeSapio says the Kickstarter campaign will make these "haters" come "ALIVE." However, this time around the team behind the Atlas Shrugged trilogy is just saying thank you.
"To them, we say thank you. Thank you for helping us spread the word," says DeSapio in the previously mentioned post.
As far as a film about individuality and Rand's self reliance theories asking for money...well, they address this, too. In the same post, DeSapio says that Rand believed that one should donate to a cause they deem worthy. What she was against was altruism for the sake of altruism.
As a fan of Rand's work and the first two films, I happen to think a Kickstarter campaign is perfect (though Trump's site would have been more fitting). The very idea of crowdfunding is capitalist in nature. Asking for money for nothing is a terrible idea and most people would never do that. However, crowdfunding opens up choice which is essential to freedom. Choose exactly what you want to give to and what you don't and only do it if you feel it is worth it and you get something of value in return.
That's why these films pitch themselves to audiences and then offer everything from DVDs to T-shirts to whatever to get your dollars. Crowdfunding is less about donation and more about choice and spending your money on exactly what you feel is worthy of it.
The fact that a man has no claim on others (i.e., that it is not their
moral duty to help him and that he cannot demand their help as his
right) does not preclude or prohibit good will among men and does not
make it immoral to offer or to accept voluntary, non-sacrificial
assistance." - Ayn Rand