Four years ago Los Angeles "writer/producer/director" Linda Stuart graced Kickstarter with a crowdfunding project that impressed, it seems, nobody.
With a strange, almost haunting headshot of herself on display, Stuart asked for a whopping $5 million to make a movie called "Kate Allen Is Getting a Life." She promised B-list stars: Thora Birch, Heather Matazarro, Jennifer Elise Cox. She promised plot: A spoiled, but passionate, writer being cut off from wealthy parents, only to sell out for corporate success. And she promised a movie by 2014.
Instead, Stuart's Kickstarter raised $243, and attracted only the spite of the rest of the industry. Film School Rejects, a review site, called Stuart "an individual with purported ties to the industry failing at every single level" and mentioned other directors that raised far less money for successful projects: Spike Lee and Zach Braff, or instance. The movie became known by some in the industry as "the worst Kickstarter movie campaign in history."
But yesterday, finally, all of the people who weren't waiting for Kate Allen finally got her:
Uploaded in full to YouTube, the film runs about 35 minutes long and features, it seems, none of the cast that Stuart said she had wrangled. The experience is complete with 80s-era font, low-resolution shots, and dialogue including a "No, you shut up!" exchange sequence. The movie is uploaded at 480p, for some reason. The credit roll at the end hints of iMovie, and the music is, well, it's not the Tracy Chapman and Natalie Merchant that Stuart mentioned on her Kickstarter page.
Nevertheless, I feel a kind of soft sport for Linda Stuart. When her page got bad press she told the Hollywood Reporter that it was the "written equivalent of a public stoning." Imagine every sign pointing to failure and finishing your project anyway, isn't that persistence some version of the American dream? Or is it delusional? Sometimes I can't tell the difference.
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