Ever Watched Something Come Back To Life?

I was remembering the Blue Like Jazz movie resurrection story the other day, I’m still blown away that we pulled it all off.

  • Donald Miller writes a well-received book called Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality.  It gets pretty popular among 20/30-somethings for how personable Miller’s writing style is and his honest takes on Christianity.
  • Steve Taylor approaches Miller to make a movie out of Blue Like Jazz. They find investors for it to happen.
  • The day before pre-production, an investor backs out. Miller announces on his blog that the movie is seemingly dead for now.
  • A band of fans got together and decided that this wasn’t going to stop this movie from happening.  We’d heard about it, read about it, and now we were going to save it. The Blue Like Jazz Kickstarter was born.
  • Ten days later the Kickstarter campaign passes its $125k minimum to fund the movie. We did it.  Blue Like Jazz was to be the first major release American movie to be crowd sourced, and I, along with quite a few others, was now an “Executive Producer”. The campaign continued to raise money the next 20 days which helped afford better production. Taylor and Miller were stunned at how quickly this happened and got back to work on it immediately.
  • The movie was finally released in April 2012, and I rather enjoyed it.

It was an amazing experience watching something we cared about come back to life after it had been declared dead.  I couple things I learned from this adventure:

  1. If you care about something enough, try to make it happen! A few of us got over 3,000 people to join in and raise $125k.
  2. Institutions, precepts, and ‘The Man’ don’t have to be accepted blindly. If people want to see something change, they should, and can, step up and change it themselves. There’s a reason labor unions are effective at what they do.
  3. I find honest discussions about Christianity get taken much more seriously in our culture than bible thumping or Christian fantasy movies like Fireproof.