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Fund This Film: Alison Bagnall’s ‘Funny Bunny’ Incentives Include Life Coaching from Alex Karpovsky

By  · Published on March 10th, 2013

“If you love movies that are trying to tell real, unadulterated stories, pure, heartfelt stories, you need to be a part of supporting those films and helping them come into the world, because that’s the only way that they will.” – Alison Bagnall

When we contribute to a crowdfunding campaign, we tend to think of the specific project at hand. The quote above reminds us that for movies that pledge can also be an investment in more than a single film. It’s about supporting and encouraging independent filmmaking overall and certain genres or kinds of movies. Bagnall acknowledges that she makes a particular sort of film, which maybe is not everyone, yet which is really, really loved by enough people that they need to be made. Studios and larger production companies might not see reason to make films that a small audience is really into when they get more money out of films that a large audience is just sorta into.

The quote above comes from Bagnall’s Kickstarter campaign video for her next feature, Funny Bunny. And we can assume that if we like her previous works, 2003’s Piggie and 2011’s The Dish and the Spoon (one of our must-see picks for SXSW that year) and even Buffalo ’66, which she co-wrote, that we’ll want to see this too. As she describes it, the film is about “a friendless anti-obesity crusader, a trust fund manchild and a reclusive factory farming activist. These three marginal people bump up against one another and change the course of each other’s lives in unexpected ways.”

Funny Bunny is set to star a bunch of our favorite film fest staples, including Kate Lyn Sheil (The Color Wheel; Sun Don’t Shine), actor/filmmaker Kentucker Audley (V/H/S; Sun Don’t Shine), Olly Alexander (Bright Star; The Dish and the Spoon) and Alex Karpovsky (Beeswax; TV’s Girls). And as if Karpovsky’s involvement weren’t already enough of a sell, he’s got an extra role on the part of the crowdfunding effort. Basically, he’s one of the incentives. If you contribute at least $500, you can have a “life coaching” Skype call with the actor/filmmaker, though it’s noted that he’s no kind of expert on giving advice except that he’ll likely tell you a lot of funny stuff. Just to you.

Other pledge incentives are pretty basic. Copy of the film. Associate Producer credit. Hand-made origami. But this kind of film doesn’t necessarily need to offer random stuff. It offers itself. And it offers something bigger than itself, too. It’s like you’re pre-ordering a movie you know you’ll see anyway and then pre-tipping the service people who bring it to you, adding a little extra in the name of all service people everywhere as a thank you and an endorsement.

Okay, well, you’re really technically aiding in the payment of crew and costumes and props and travel and stuff like that. But the principle is still there.

As of today, the Funny Bunny campaign has another month and more than $46,000 to go. Watch the campaign trailer here:

Do you want to see this film? Enough to help fund it?

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.