Stuart Murdoch, Barry Mendel using Kickstarter to raise partial finance for God Help The Girl
Glasgow-set musical feature film will shoot this summer.
Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch is currently using Kickstarter (link here) as one financing source for his debut feature film, God Help The Girl. The Kickstarter campaign, launched in December, aims to raise $100,000 [by Feb 12] of the $3m budget. More than $50,000 has been raised so far.
The musical film is about a girl named Eve who writes songs as she works through some emotional problems in hospital. She then meets two other musicians also at personal crossroads during one long, dream-like summer.
For full production details visit
Murdoch [pictured] started the project by writing the songs starting in 2003.
In 2007, he attracted the attention of established US producer Barry Mendel, who has produced the likes of Rushmore, Munich, Bridesmaids, and The Sixth Sense.
In 2009, Murdoch recruited female singers to record the God Help The Girl LP and Stills EP, and the group also went on tour after the album’s release.
Of Kickstarter, Mendel wrote in an email to Screen: “It’s a new idea. As the DVD market softens, pre-sales do, too. VOD is maybe not yet ready in a pre-buy situation, so we need new sources of finance to fill the gap. Kickstarter is filling a vital need. But it’s doing more than that, too, in that it’s building a constituency for the film and a crowd-participation on the movie before we even set sail.”
The person yelling action on the first take of the movie will not be Stuart, it will be a Kickstarter. That’s pretty cool.”
Incentives are offered for various levels of Kickstarter investment in the film, from signed posters to screen credits to a walk-on part.
The film will shoot starting in June on location in Glasgow. A six-week shoot is currently planned.
It is not yet decided if the BFI or Creative Scotland will back the project. The producer does plan to make use of the UK Film Tax Credit.
Singer Films Carole Sheridan in Glasgow and Zephry Films’ Chris Curling and Phil Robertson are also on board for the project. Beth Allan from Glasgow’s Forest of Black will be in charge of physical production.
HanWay is handling international sales.
Glasgow-based Kahleen Crawford Casting, who has worked on films including Oranges and Sunshine, Weekend and Under The Skin, is currently working on casting the three leads.
The songs for the film were released in 2009 and they will be re-recorded (at least the vocals) once the cast is in place. Mendel noted: “The songs themselves could change, too. Almost all of the songs will be taken from what has been recorded (there won’t likely be many new songs), but it’s likely they will all sound different with the different singers and possible different arrangements.”
Channel 4’s Alpha Fund, for next-generation content, was an early supporter of the project.
Of the Alpha Fund, producer Mendel said it “gave us money to get our website up and running and to pay for the things we needed to get started on really early. In this case, because the characters have to act and be singers and musicians, we realized it would take a long time to find the perfect people. And it has. Hundreds of actors, singers and musicians have auditioned for us mostly by self-taping, another wonder of the modern world, without which we’d be sunk. The response has been incredible — from famous actors, musicians and young stage actors to people who have done next to nothing, the full gamut. We’ve already seen a few people we really like a lot so it could easily be one of them, too. Or someone we haven’t met yet. We have no idea how it will happen. And that’s part of the fun of it.”
Casting information is also available at the film’s website www.godhelpthegirl.com