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The Media Collective

The grassroots brain child of two Nashville men has saved the making of the “Blue Like Jazz” movie, based on the New York Times Bestseller, by raising $125,000 in only 10 days.

“Blue Like Jazz,” which is scheduled for theatrical release in fall, 2011, has garnered an unprecedented response at Kickstarter.com, a “crowdfunding” website that raises money for creative  projects. With over 2,000 backers and $155,000 now raised, “Blue Like Jazz” is poised to become Kickstarter’s biggest raise ever if it exceeds $200,641 by the campaign’s closing date of October 25th.

In a message to the campaign’s supporters, the movie’s director, Steve Taylor, explained that the additional monies raised would be used to help provide much-needed resources for the movie’s production, set to begin in late October. “We’re still a very ‘indie’ production,” says Taylor. “All of us in the writer/producer/director categories are deferring getting paid until the movie’s profitable. Any additional money we raise goes ‘on the screen.’”

Due to the amount being raised and matched donations from financial backers, the movie will begin filming at the end of the month in Nashville, Tenn. and in Miller’s hometown of Portland, Ore. Marshall Allman (“True Blood,” “Prison Break”) will star in the lead role. Miller’s Blue Like Jazz has sold 1.3 million copies to date, and the writing of the movie’s screenplay was even highlighted in his latest New York Times bestseller A Million Miles In A Thousands Years.

“We are floored by the outpouring of support we have received with this campaign. We could not be happier about where we are headed. We raised our goal of $125,000 in only ten days, but his campaign is not over,” explains Prichard, one half of the founding duo of www.savebluelikejazz.com. “That number was the bare minimum. We want to keep raising money so we can make an even better movie. We want to blow the Kickstarter record out of the water. We want this to be the biggest crowd sourced creative project in American history. We want ‘Blue Like Jazz’ to go down in history as having the largest amount of financial backers for a film. Let’s keep this momentum, let’s make a better movie and let’s make history.”

“If it weren’t for your contributions, the movie would have been dead,” adds Blue Like Jazz author Donald Miller. It’s amazing to think what’s been accomplished in two weeks.”

The viral campaign, which set out to raise $125,000 in one month, surpassed their goal in less than half the time. After seeing the news on the author’s blog that the movie was being put on indefinite hold due to a lack of funding, two fans of Miller’s famous Blue Like Jazz, Zach Prichard and Jonathan Frazier, created a grassroots style effort to save the film with the launch of www.savebluelikejazz.com. One of the movie’s investors committed to matching the amount raised if their campaign reached $125,000. To see the original video post from Prichard and Frazier, visit www.savebluelikejazz.com. The website encouraged viewers to download and pass along “Save Blue Like Jazz” posters, place Twitter hash marks of #savebluelikejazz, “like” on Facebook and, most importantly, donate on www.kickstarter.com. Pledge incentives included recorded voicemails from Miller, “Associate Producer” credits in the film’s end titles, t-shirts, screening tickets, digital downloads, personal “thank you” calls from the film’s director and more. The campaign continues through October 25th, 2010.

More information on Donald Miller:
Donald Miller grew up in Houston, Texas, in the shadow of the Astrodome. He left Houston at 21 in a Volkswagen van, and later wrote a book about his trip called Through Painted Deserts. In his travels, he ran out of money in Portland, Oregon where he audited classes at Reed College, then selected as the most godless campus in the country. He wrote a book about that experience called Blue Like Jazz that eventually became a New York Times Bestseller and is now being made into a movie. Don then followed up with the best-selling Searching for God Knows What. After thirty-years of no interaction with his father, Don found his biological dad and wrote about it in a book called Father Fiction. About that time, he started The Mentoring Project, an organization that seeks to respond to the American crisis of fatherlessness by inspiring and equipping faith communities to mentor fatherless boys.  Don’s work with The Mentoring Project led the Obama administration to invite him onto the Presidential Task Force on Fatherhood and Healthy Families. Last year, along with the Ride: Well Team, Don rode his bicycle across America in an effort to raise money to drill wells in Sub-Saharan Africa. This experience, along with the writing of the screenplay for Blue Like Jazz, provided material for his newest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years (also a New York Times Bestseller). He has appeared at such diverse events as The Democratic National Convention and the Vertias Forum at Harvard. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his dog Lucy. More information can be found at http://donmilleris.com/ and http://twitter.com/donmilleris.

More information on Steve Taylor:
Filmmaker Steve Taylor earned his “Renaissance Man” stripes (Prism Magazine) from a uniquely diverse body of work. As a recording artist he’s sold over one million albums worldwide, earned two Grammy nominations for Meltdown (1984) and Squint (1993), and made history as the only artist to twice win Billboard Music Video Awards for self-directed music videos. Steve was also lead singer/co-writer in the MCA-signed modern rock band Chagall Guevara. His producer resume includes the Platinum-certified Sixpence None The Richer (featuring the hits “Kiss Me” and “There She Goes”), three Gold-certified albums for Newsboys, and tracks for Relient K and Third Day. In 1997 Steve launched Squint Entertainment, whose worldwide success in the pop music arena was a first for a Nashville-based label. In addition to Sixpence, Squint’s roster included Chevelle, Burlap To Cashmere, and hip-hop collective L. A. Symphony. Steve’s parallel career as a filmmaker began in college and includes his video for Sixpence’s “Kiss Me,” the long-form Newsboys comedy Down Under The Big Top, and the award-winning Squint: Movies From The Soundtrack. 2006 marked the release of Steve’s debut as a feature film director/writer/producer with The Second Chance, an award-winning drama that was distributed theatrically by Sony Pictures Releasing. He’s currently in pre-production on his next movie, an adaptation of Donald Miller’s million-selling memoir Blue Like Jazz. Steve lives in Nashville with his wife, the artist D.L. Taylor, and their daughter.

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