Fan Generated Campaign Aims to Raise $125,000 in One Month to Save
“Blue Like Jazz” Movie Based On New York Times Bestseller
Viral Marketing Efforts Spark Unprecedented Response from Kickstarter.com
Garnering Over $80,000 in First Week
Two Nashville, Tenn. based men have launched a viral campaign to raise $125,00 in only one month to save the making of “Blue Like Jazz,” the movie based on the book of the same title from New York Times’ Bestselling Author Donald Miller. With over 20 days to go, the online efforts have already surpassed the halfway mark in only six days and have caused an unparalleled stir on www.kickstarter.com, the site where fans can donate to the making of the film, causing it to be the most popular project on the website.
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. The movie, to be directed by Steve Taylor, was set to start production in Nashville, Tenn. and Miller’s hometown of Portland, Ore. when financial backing fell through.
After seeing the news on the author’s blog, 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 reaches $125,000. To see the original video post from Prichard and Frazier, visit www.savebluelikejazz.com.
“Blue Like Jazz was a huge book for us,” explains Prichard. “One could say that it is our generation’s Mere Christianity. It comes at faith, religion and Christianity in such a unique light…one we weren’t accustomed to seeing. We believe this story is important, and we believe that if this film is made, it could change things in way’s unthought-of. We want to see this come to fruition, and if $125,000 is all that stands in the way, then we say… ‘Let’s do this.’ We have seen incredible response in less than one week’s time. People from all over the world have stepped in to become a part of this story, including donors from Sweden, Singapore, Australia and the United Kingdom. Early on, it was evident to us that we were merely a small piece of a much greater story, and we haven’t looked back since.”
The website encourages 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 include 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 public has resonated with Prichard and Frazier, whose efforts have created over 1,300 Facebook fans and an estimated 900 financial supporters. The website raised $15,000 in the first 36 hours after the launch. Notables such as Derek Webb, Dan Haseltine and Charlie Lowell (Jars of Clay), Jeremy Cowart, Robbie Seay Band, Bebo Norman and Michael Hyatt (CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing) have echoed the campaign’s endeavor on Twitter. www.savebluelikejazz.com saw 36,000 plus page visits in the first 48 hours alone. Relevant Magazine, Christianity Today and local news stations have covered the campaign as well.
“This movie was dead,” adds Miller. “I pronounced it dead, knowing we had to film in a few weeks and most of our investors backed out. It was the fans that brought it back, and it’s certainly alive and kicking. I simply can’t believe we are watching this happen. It’s filmmaking history. I never thought I would get to watch anything like this happen. “
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.
# # #