The crowdfunding phase of my Douglas MacLean DVD project just concluded. I like to refer to the process as “fan-funding”. It’s not so much a crowd that’s funding these projects, to me — it’s a loyal, enthusiastic and interested consortium of fans who are backing the Undercrank productions I’m undertaking.
Every time I launch one of these, I’m so impressed that so many people I know, don’t know, or will get to know are voting with their wallets or credit cards to bring some rare films they’ve never heard of starting people they’ve never heard of or whose work they haven’t seen to home video. It’s a partnership I’m honored to be part of. It’s one thing to want to do something about bringing an obscure group of films to DVD, but it’s humbling when anywhere from 150 to 300 (or more) classic film fans also think my idea is a good one.
The last four or five Kickstarted DVDs I’ve produced and released have helped change the culture a little, and hopefully have filled out the landscape of silent cinema. Folks like Alice Howell, Marcel Perez and Douglas MacLean may not be like the big names we all know from silent comedy. But they made and released films, comedies that were successful and popular, on the same release schedule as those of Keaton, Lloyd, Chase et al. They had the same presence on silver screens around the country, and deserve to have the same status on TV screens today.
If you pledged to the Douglas MacLean project, thank you. If you haven’t, that’s also fine. You’ll have the opportunity to buy the DVD when it’s released, since all my projects are made available on Amazon, DeepDiscount, the TCM Shop, and many other online platforms.