Starting about a month ago, FHDM has been regularly asking a favor of me.
On September 16, he blogged that due to a lack of funding, Blue Like Jazz the movie wouldn't be getting made. I thought this was sad. Since I'd heard that it was going to become a movie, I've had mixed emotions about it, but having heard FHDM talk about it so much for the past several months that I've been following his blog, I knew it was important to him and to lots of people, and I was sorry that it wasn't going to happen.
Then a couple of guys decided that they wouldn't let it die--and that the fans of the book would want to help out. They set up a page on Kickstarter to raise the bare minimum that would get the film made and asked people to help. They and FHDM and the movie's director Steve Taylor set up all sort of rewards and incentives for giving at various levels. FHDM blogged about the campaign to save the movie on September 29 and asked for my help. So I did what any responsible soulmate would do. I followed the link and looked at the details of the campaign, and I thought about it.
I've said that I have mixed emotions about the movie. Most of that is worry that a book I love that ranks as one of the most important in my life might not translate well to the silver screen. I've seen many a beloved book ruined by a movie version. I'm picky about things like that. Additionally, while BLJ is a sort of memoir, it's still basically nonfiction exposition, not a story. I know that the process of turning it into a story has been a huge part of FHDM's life for a few years now, but it still makes me nervous.
So while I didn't jump right on the bandwagon, I kept a close eye on the progress of the little movie that could, and I was impressed and proud when the project became fully funded in less than two weeks of fundraising. People care about this movie and did something about it. But they haven't stopped. Those involved said that while the $125,000 initially set as the goal was the bare minimum needed, anything given over that amount would just go towards making the movie better.
In the meantime, FHDM's blog has been updated regularly with videos of people involved saying thanks and tracking the progress as the numbers on kickstarter kept growing. For the past week, I've been fairly certain that I wanted in. I wanted to be a part of something that's never been done before, a movie that was funded by a few thousand fans. I won't say I'm not still a bit nervous about the movie itself, but somewhere in this process, I became thoroughly convinced that it deserved a chance. Story is a big deal to FHDM, pretty much everything he writes about these days is influenced by the idea of living a story, and I've been amazed at the story of how this movie came to be. In a way, I think it raises the stakes for the movie to be something great. So many people have supported this effort that it may be difficult for a movie to live up to all that expectation, but suddenly I just want it to succeed.
And with that in mind, I can tell you that I am now officially an investor in Blue Like Jazz. And if you read this by midnight on Monday, imaginary reader, you can be too. It's what any good soulmate would do.