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My Entire Life Has Been Leading Up to This. Will You Help Me Make My First Feature Film?

08.16.11 @ 7:05PM Tags : , , ,

Here it is, at long last: my first feature, Man-child. I’ve spent the past year writing it and many more years dreaming about it. I’ve just launched an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to try to turn the dream into reality, and I’m hoping and praying that, if you’ve found NoFilmSchool to be a valuable resource, you’ll consider helping me. I hope to share everything I learn during the production of the film here on this site, going beyond DSLRs and technology, and getting into more content about financing, directing, producing, the film festival circuit, distribution… absolutely everything I learn along the way. But of course, to do that I have to make the movie first, and I need your help to do so!

Head on over to the Kickstarter page to back the project and sponsor a unique portion of the film ($1 per frame), or read on for a few more details. For those of you who don’t know, Kickstarter is a great web site that… wait, what am I saying? Watch the video above, I explain it as part of my pitch!

I shot this video on my 5D Mark II in my back yard here in Brooklyn, late on Friday night. I actually meant to launch the campaign Monday, but it took me an extra all-nighter to cut down my way-too-long pitch (I’m a lot more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it, and found this to be a harrowing experience at times). I edited the video in Adobe Premiere Pro and did the titling and compositing in After Effects (to add some helpful information to this post so it’s not all about me, both of those programs are 50% off as part of Production Premium for a limited time).

One of the reasons I’m launching the campaign now is this: I’m ecstatic to report that last week the script was accepted into IFP’s Emerging Narrative program, which felt like a great confirmation of a long time spent toiling on the screenplay behind-the-scenes (several months ago I detailed my hour-tracking strategy, which keeps me motivated and honest with myself, here on NoFilmSchool). There’s also a new program at the Film Society of Lincoln Center called Emerging Visions, and I’m doubly excited to be part of that as well. As I say on the Kickstarter page, “with the help of those programs I hope to be able to bring the right personnel on board to make this film as good as it can possibly be.” However, everyone knows indie film is in rough shape so I’m hoping to raise enough money from small donations to be able to make it as a “microbudget” film. $115,000 is very ambitious for a Kickstarter campaign — much more on that in the days to come — but at the same time it’s very ambitious to even think a sports film can be made for this amount!

You’ll be hearing a lot more about the project from me in the future. Thanks so much for watching and I look forward to hearing your thoughts, as well as any support you can give. Finally, please Twitter, Facebook, e-mail, or share the campaign in any way you can! Community support is going to be the only way this campaign has a chance of succeeding, and so with that in mind, here are some shortened links (they all point to the campaign):

I’ve been working on this so long that I don’t even know if I’m making sense anymore. Be back soon with more NoFilmSchool posts! In the meantime, thanks for your support and thanks as always for reading.


We’re all here for the same reason: to better ourselves as writers, directors, cinematographers, producers, photographers... whatever our creative pursuit. Criticism is valuable as long as it is constructive, but personal attacks are grounds for deletion; you don't have to agree with us to learn something. We’re all here to help each other, so thank you for adding to the conversation!

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  • Supported! I’m sure you’re gonna get it! Good Luck and thanks for this wonderfull website.

  • This is incredibly exciting. Jumping out and taking a lunge at ‘the dream’ is a massive step. I totally admire and take courage from your actions. So, so exciting. Pray and hope you achieve the dream. Looking forward to your updates.

  • I’m with you all the way. I have to support a fellow brooklynite in their full feature. Assuming the amount of people that support your site, 115k shouldn’t be a problem. (look at Total Film Blog Awards) And definitely will be spreading the word.

  • Good luck! I’m sure this is gonna be an awesome movie!

  • Great stuff Koo! I’ll be supporting once I get home. I look forward to hearing a lot more about your project in the coming months.


  • brilliant start!

  • Awesome promo video. Best of luck!

  • Awesome man!!! I’m going to tell all my friends to support you! best of luck Koo, love the site, its helped me many times of the past few years.

    • Great to hear! Glad you guys liked the video, I’m not a natural pitch man so it was chop suey in the editing room.

  • Best of luck dude! Having heard about you working on it from your posts in the last few months that I’ve been reading the site, I hope it succeeds. I’ll pledge something myself when I can afford it, and look forward to watching the finished the product!

  • does anyone else get the feeling that this whole endeavor is gonna be a

    (puts on glasses)

    slam dunk?

  • Congrats on getting this far, Koo. I just pledged $10. I wish I could afford to pledge more, as this site has already been super helpful to me, but I’m in the middle of my own overly-ambitious, underfunded feature film (mine’s a documentary, though). I also shared the link with my Twitter followers. I have quite a few, although they’re mostly China experts, not film people. Anyway, I hope it helps a bit and I wish you the best — you deserve some good karma after providing this site to everyone for free for so long.

  • Congratulations, man! This is exciting news. I’ve been a long time follower of the site (a daily follower) and am looking forward to meeting you at IFP! Our project Cowboys versus Indians was also selected so we’ll definitely run into each other!

    All the Best!

  • I’ll pledge as soon as I get home
    good luck!!

  • lol!! I just pledged 5 seconds! Would like to give more, but it’s all I can afford right now! Thank you for your DSLR guide and this website! I really want to see your movie succeed and pave the way for the rest of us! Good luck Koo! :D (i would love to do an interview of you for my website!)

  • Good on you Koo – Live the dream mate. Donations coming from Australia

  • Best of luck Koo.. am sure you gonna make it and your movie would look just as good as your beautiful site..

  • Thanks so much Hani! Every little bit helps.

  • Ryan Jacobi on 08.17.11 @ 10:36AM

    Good luck! Looks like a really worthwhile project! I could only donate a little financially, but if you need help on the shoot or the edit, let me know. I’m living in North Carolina right now.

    The documentary i’m currently a DP and editor on is just starting to put together their kickstarter campaign, i’ll let you know when it’s live!

  • Amazing! So I just watched the Adobe Story article from the other day as well as the Adobe ON Location stuff. Will you be going with Adobe or FCP with this production?

  • I’ve been waiting for this day for a long, long while…congrats…all the best!

  • Thanks for all the great posts over the past year, I’m happy to support your project and wish you the best with it!

  • I’m sure this will be great. I’m looking to do the same by the end of 2011. While I can only donate a bit, If you happen to need to borrow some free equipment / ever in LA hit me up.

  • Happy to support your project. Can’t wait to see the final film!
    Best of luck and thanks for providing this website for free all this time. I check it out on a daily basis almost.

  • Koo! You are the man! I will donate when i get a chance!

  • Count me in. Good luck man. We’re all just big kids.

  • Brett Pierce on 08.18.11 @ 3:54AM

    I really hope you reach your goal man. I’ve turned so many people onto your site and the cinematography guide and there’s no doubt you deserve it. You’re gonna get there, don’t worry!

  • best luck koo, i have the confidence that u gonna make it!

  • Very clever ‘trailer’ – I never donate to things like this but your site has been invaluable to me and you sold me with the pitch and your personal connection to the topic. I gave what I could afford. Wish it were more. Good luck!

  • hey, what matters is you’re gonna cut it on the hack pro right?

    • We’re not going to be in post-production for quite some time, so it’s anyone’s guess as to what we’ll be cutting on. But it’s working great now…

  • I only recently discovered your site but, I think it’s a valuable resource for anyone – not just indie filmmakers/film students like myself. I liked your promo video and I’m convinced your dream will become a reality. I’ve backed you on kickstarter and look forward to seeing the completed film!

  • Dada Shikako on 08.19.11 @ 3:37PM

    Hey! I live in MD, but I am moving to NY in October! I am a cinematographer as well! hit me up if you need a DP that belives in indie fun!

  • I just wanted to add my voice of encouragement. If anyone can do this, you can! Whatever happens, keep pushing man, your script pitch sounds really interesting.

  • Hi Koo
    I’m always happy when your mails arrive in the Inbox..
    wondering what you have got for snack this time..
    And the book are just awesome.. so i pray you will get through..
    and with that i mean all your goals for this film and site..
    Like someone over me said.. Because you deserve it..!!

    Thanks or great site and help

  • Hey Koo,

    Like many before me I just wanted to wish you good luck. Been reading your blog for over a year now and have found it really informative and inspirational. From purchasing and using my 7D and equipment with the DSLR Cinematography Guide, editing with your Building A Hackintosh Guide, script writing (AKA procrastinating) with your recent post about tracking time, and learning everything else from the myriad of posts in between, you have helped me with pretty much every aspect of video production and hopefully one day making an independent feature of my own.

    Anyways, just wanted to say thank you and let you know I donated to your film. Good Luck.

    • Thanks so much Marc. Script writing is not procrastinating though! Not every script will get made but every script is a learning experience…

  • Your nofilmschool blog and DSLR guide has been such a constant part of my learning process as a filmmaker that I had to return the favor and kick you some starter money! Best wishes on directing your first major!

  • interesting, there’s a million of us out there with the same sentiment as you. “my whole life has been leading up to” ect ect ect well, just get it done, shit what can you say. My whole life. I’m not kidding either but then who gives a shit about how much anyone loves anything? no one.

    just get it done. put in the work, and do not use, leech or abuse anyone else like the majors and just about everyone else.

    good luck. i get paid at the end of this month and will give you some money then. i like karma.

  • Koo, you run such a great website, how could I say no to pledging? Good luck!

  • Sept 23rd is my birthday. Help me get a great movie for my birthday! $10 to you buddy.

  • What a great pledge video! Didn’t know you were a performer as well!

    Have you got a sticky feature on your CMS? You should keep this post up the top.

    I really want to see you make this mutha.

    • Thanks Robin. I did sticky this for about three days, and then I felt like that’d been long enough. Maybe I’ll bring it back!

  • Has anyone ever told you that you look like Keanu Reeves?

    • Absolutely. More than any other celebrity (or regular person) — by far! Really though, I don’t mind being compared to Johnny Utah.

  • Russell Edwards on 08.22.11 @ 6:48PM

    I am so broke right now, but I will give at least $10. Your site is a big help and I’ll skip a couple quad shot cafe mochas to help you get your film done.

  • 10 bucks towards the man!

  • They say if you can raise 20% you’re extremely likely to raise the rest as well. Good luck man! It’s looking bright!

  • I think that number is 25%! Hoping to get there…

    Thanks Alec!

  • I just finished reading all about “stickiness” i use that word about 20x a day. Glad i’m not the only one. Great site, great motivation, you’ll be hearing from me again soon. Good luck Koo.

  • Koo, Just curious to know why did you end up going with KickStarter instead of IndieGoGo? If you went the IGG route, at least you would end up with some funding even if you don’t reach your 100% goal… Regardless, best of luck and I hope you make it all the way!

  • Hi Koo, the pitch-video is brilliant! And man-child too sounds like a great idea. I am sharing this posts with friends. I wish you best of luck!

  • Hello outstanding blog! Does running a blog similar to this require a great
    deal of work? I’ve virtually no knowledge of programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog soon. Anyhow, should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share. I know this is off subject however I just needed to ask. Thanks!