Posts Tagged 'Kickstarter'

Formerly Jailed Journalist Takes On Police Recording

“Police Tape,” by Josh Wolf, is a film that examines the impact of police recordings in our society over the past 20 years, from the Rodney King beating captured by a bystander to the killing of a 7-year-old Detroit girl under the watch of reality TV cameras.

This is the same Josh Wolf who was arrested and jailed for almost a year because he would not hand over his video of a 2006 anarchist demonstration to a federal grand jury.

Wolf has the project listed on Kickstarter, and he’s already exceeded his financial goal with 11 days to go, so presumably this is a subject that captures the public’s interest.

To read more about his project and see the trailer, go to the Kickstarter page here.

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Malls Across America

Photo by Michael Galinsky

How strongly do you believe that American mallgoers in 1989 deserve their own book? Enough to give to Michael Galinsky’s Kickstarter project?

In 1989, following in the footsteps of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand, and William  Eggleston, I drove across the country and documented malls across America.  I had a cheap Nikon FG-20 and an even cheaper lens – but I had a lot of passion. I shot about 30 rolls of slide film in malls from Long Island to North Dakota to Seattle.  It was hard to tell from the images where they were taken, and that was kind of the point. I was interested in the creeping loss of regional differences.  I thought a lot about Frank’s “The Americans” as we drove from place to place without any sense of place.

Photojournalism: Brought To You By You

Photo by Tomas van Houtryve

Wired’s Raw File blog has a report on  Emphas.is, the new crowdfunding site for photojournalism. In it, acclaimed documentary photographer Tomas van Houtryve  talks about his experience as one of the first to use the site since its much-delayed launch on March 7.

Van Houtryve, who is raising money for his “21st Century Communism” project that documents the remaining Communist countries, seems at the same time excited about the site’s potential and frustrated about all the technical glitches he’s experienced so far — he actually had to start the project on his own site first until Emphas.is could get its act together. Still, he says:

“Backers have started to pose relevant questions. As my project proposal has made its way through social networks and attracted support from strangers, I’ve made some really fruitful new connections. In addition to generous funding contributions, several individuals have stepped forward with key contacts and very precise and helpful advice. I have already managed to make stronger photos due to their input. This is a pleasant shift over the lone-wolf existence.”

The model for Emphas.is is the same as Kickstarter, only it’s solely devoted to photojournalism projects, so presumably you sort the wheat from the chaff and attract people who are very committed to photojournalism. Plus, they’re promising world-class photographers are going to use this platform, and the backers will get to connect to projects in a personal way.

As the site says, “Apart from the satisfaction of seeing an important project realized, you are invited to tag along on the journey.” It remains to be seen whether this model could be a savior of sorts for photojournalism, but it does look like there will be some good journeys to tag along on.

Nixon & His Cronies, Super 8 Style

Photo: Our Nixon

Everyone knows Richard Nixon was a prodigious recorder. It got him into some hot water during the Watergate scandal, and it turns out the FBI confiscated a lot more than just nefarious stuff that ultimately lead to his downfall. The National Archives has been holding onto more than 204 rolls of Super 8 home movies filmed over three years by some of Nixon’s most trusted advisors: Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, Chief Domestic Advisor John Ehrlichman, Special Assistant to the President Dwight Chapin and Deputy Assistant Larry Higby.

It’s over 3,700 hours of never-before-seen material — official White House events, visiting dignitaries, campaign stops, the historic trip to China, and even innocuous things like birds and beach time with Henry Kissinger.

The home movies record every aspect of their experience of the Nixon White House, from the prosaic to the profound.  These four men carefully documented their time with Nixon because they believed that Nixon would transform America. And in a way, they were right.

Filmmakers Brian L. Frye and Penny Lane have acquired that footage from the National Archives, had the first-ever digital copies made, and are  now making a documentary film called “Our Nixon.” And naturally they’re funding the project through Kickstarter; they needed $10,000 to get if off the ground and they’ve already raised it (well before the May 6th goal, too).

There probably won’t be any dancing on tabletops, but maybe it’ll unearth the human side to that very cold, calculating White House administration. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

For more info on “Our Nixon,” check out the Kickstarter page, or the film’s website.


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