Crowdfunding Friday: Curtains, cuboids and Kong in Birmingham

Feature Ryan Lambie 7 Mar 2014 - 06:07

A documentary about a giant King Kong statue? A horror film about a shower curtain? It can only be Crowdfunding Friday...

On the 3rd March, Kickstarter passed a significant milestone in its five years of existence. Across a variety of projects, around 5.7 million people made pledges amounting to $1bn - a phenomenal sum, particularly when you consider that half of that cash was put forward within the past year. It's a sign, perhaps, of how established crowdfunding has become, and how quickly it's growing - particularly when we consider that Kickstarter is by no means the only platform of its type on the web.

You can find more statistics about Kickstarter's last five years here, as well as a few handy facts. We now know, for example, that $1bn will buy you 44,555 RoboCop statues, or alternatively, one Roman Colosseum. Meanwhile, here's this week's selection of crowdfunding projects.

Curtain

We've watched the above pitch trailer for indie horror Curtain, and we're still piecing together what it's about. We know it's about a nurse who moves into a new apartment, and it's clear there's something otherworldly going on in her bathroom. But how does her shower curtain connect to a plot that appears to involve zombies, men with demonic eyes, and knife-wielding maniacs in the woods?

We'll have to wait for the finished film to find out, which is where crowdfunding comes in: New York filmmaker Jaron Henrie-McCrea has already written and shot Curtain, and he's run out of money. To get the film edited and finished, he's asking for $20,000. What he's produced so far looks macabre and tongue-in-cheek, so if you're as keen to find out why the leading lady's shower curtains are being sucked into a mysterious portal as we are, then this may be one project worth backing.

Planets³

Sometimes, it just takes one arresting image to make you click on a crowdfunding project. In the case of Planets³, it's the image of a cuboid planet floating in space - a neat way of illustrating Cubical Drift's online RPG project. Comparisons with the mighty Minecraft are inevitable, but it nevertheless looks like a detailed and ambitious game where players are free to build and explore in whatever way they choose. There's one idea in here we really like the sound of: if players are skilful enough to build their own space ship, they can fly off and explore other cuboid planets.

The scale of Cubical Drift's world is impressive, too - each planet comprises a surface, complete with its own temperate and cold regions, but below that you'll find layer after layer of earth, a mysterious underworld, and a core waiting right in the centre if you're willing to dig deeply enough. All this detail isn't cheap to produce, however, and the creators are looking for $250,000 to get the game finished. That's quite a lot of money, but if Cubical Drift continue to update their page with additional glimpses of their work-in-progress and its features - as Frontier Developments did with Elite Dangerous - then the pledges could soon flood in.

House Of Monsters

What happens when a group of mummies, vampires and werewolves all gather in one place? Dawn Brown's stop-motion animated House Of  Monsters. With its characters all carefully handcrafted and brought to life one frame at a time, this web series project looks like a lot of fun, and the pitch video above is a great watch in itself: there's something incredibly satisfying about seeing how the animators build and manipulate their maquettes and sets.

It's also worth noting that what you see above is a glimpse of the team's short film from 2012 - should House Of Monsters get the $20,000 its creators are looking for, the money will be put into a new series of shorts with more detailed sets and character designs. If these new films can replicate the style and colour of Warren Manster's concept art, then they could look spectacular.

The Return Of Kong?

Here's a great, quirky project to end on. Back in the early 1970s, pop artist Nicholas Munroe created a gigantic statue of King Kong, which stood proudly in Birmingham city centre for all to see. Reactions to the sculpture were mixed, however, and it soon vanished from public view, and began a long tour around the country as it passed from owner to owner - at one point, it was owned by a used car dealer, before it was sold on and eventually ended up in Cumbria.

The Return Of Kong will be a feature-length documentary that follows the life and times of this unusual piece of public art, with contributions from its many admirers, an account of its strange journey, and the start of a campaign to bring Kong back to his spot in Birmingham.

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