Crowdfunding inventor is at it again

Chrissy Hettich
Norwegian American Weekly

Norwegian-American filmmaker searches for backers for feature film “Dial 9 to Get Out”

Before technology had today’s capabilities, leaders of various artistic projects had to find their own way to fund their projects if they happened to run out of money. Filmmakers, founders of businesses, and the like can now thank Mark Tapio Kines, son of a Norwegian immigrant, for creating the idea of “crowdfunding” which has led to websites such as Kickstarter and GoFundMe. Kines is the first crowdfunded filmmaker in history.

Kines’s first two features played at the Norwegian International Film Festival in 2003. As he says, “This all happened because in 2002, I was at a video trade convention in Las Vegas, trying to sell my first film directly to video retailers, and a friend said, ‘You’re Norwegian, right? Because there’s a whole table of Norwegians over there!’ So I went over and hung out with these guys for an hour or so. We had a good chat, but imagine my surprise when, a few months later, one of them invited me to this very prestigious festival! You never know when being Norwegian will come in handy!”

His Norwegian industriousness has also served him well, helping him successfully raise $150,000 for his first feature film “Foreign Correspondents” (1999) with his first crowdfunding website. After filming ended, he found himself without enough financial support to finish post-production for the feature. In order to afford to finish the film, Kines decided to put his talents as a web designer to good use.

“We were a couple of hundred thousand dollars in the hole. The only option I had to really get the word out about my film—and my needs for finishing funds—was to make my own website (forcor.com) and use it to promote the film. And I knew I could do that for free. So I worked hard at making the best website that I could, offering all kinds of insights that only a film director could share,” says Mark Tapio Kines.

It worked. With the amazing success of the funding of “Foreign Correspondents,” it was only natural that the filmmaker try crowdfunding again. Currently, Kines is using his second crowdfunding website to fund his third feature film “Dial 9 to Get Out.”

Photo courtesy of Mark Tapio Kines The team of Dial 9 so far: from left, Mark Tapio Kines, writer and director; Meta Valentic, producer; Scott Spears, director of photography; Christopher Farrell, composer; and William Lebeda, titles designer and visual effects supervisor.

Photo courtesy of Mark Tapio Kines
The team of Dial 9 so far: from left, Mark Tapio Kines, writer and director; Meta Valentic, producer; Scott Spears, director of photography; Christopher Farrell, composer; and William Lebeda, titles designer and visual effects supervisor.

“It’s darkly comic, it’s suspenseful, it’s got strong characters and some over-the-top moments”, remarks Kines.

A thriller and black comedy, “Dial 9 to Get Out” is about a young woman who works as a temporary employee at a computer company. What she does not realize is that the charming man who runs the company likes to chase down and murder his temps for sport. However, the movie, which follows the Norwegian trend of scary thrillers like “Headhunters” and “Dead Snow,” cannot be finished if Kines does not reach his goal of raising $120,000 by April 3.

“If we don’t raise the money for Dial 9, the movie simply won’t happen! But at least I will have gotten the word out about it. Maybe somebody will have taken an interest, and there could still be a chance to get it funded privately.

“As for convincing someone on the fence, well, if they like this kind of movie – strong female character, lots of suspense and tension, and gallows humor—that will help a lot. If it’s funded, Dial 9 won’t die on the vine, that’s for sure.”

As of March 24, the campaign had earned $30,000 of its $120,000 goal. To become a backer for the film visit http://kck.st/1eMnCAH by April 3. More information about Mark Tapio Kines can be found on his film production company’s website www.cassavafilms.com.

This article originally appeared in the March 28, 2014 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.

You may also like...