Shannon Whisnant "The FootMan"

Shannon Whisnant “The FootMan” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Crowdfunding has provided the means for anyone to gain access to the film business. It used to be “who you know,” but no longer in the age of social media. Now, it’s more a case of how you can help. Crowdfunding is also increasingly providing a means for already accomplished filmmakers and other content producers to gain access to funding.

The latest documentary seeking funds through the crowdfunding site Kickstarters tells the stories of two men: one who literally lost his mummified amputated leg; the other who found it in a BBQ smoker. Oscar winning director Ed Cunningham has been working on the documentary for 6 years. Now he’s turned to Kickstarter to find finishing funds. He’s seeking some $80,000 to get the film ready for festivals and $307,000 to prep it for commercial distribution. For a donation of $5,000 a donor can get an Associate Producer credit. For $10,000, an Executive Producer credit.

Now, the story. You may recall that it was all over the tabloids several years back. In 2007 a mummified leg was discovered in a BBQ smoker bought at storage unit auction by a North Carolina man, Shannon Whisnant, who quickly turned it into a local tourist attraction. John Wood, the man who lost the leg, in a flying accident several years before, wanted it back. In the perfect tabloid twist,  Judge Greg Mathis, on his reality television show, awarded Wood custody of the leg in November of 2007, but awarded Whisnant $5,000.

At present, the film has raised over $3,200 of its initial $80,000 goal with 29 days left to go in the Kickstarter campaign. Among the other docs now seeking funding on Kickstarter are “Above All Else,” the story of the Keystone XL pipeline, “Video Games: The Movie,” the story of modern video games and the culture around them and “The Journey,” the story of the Monarch butterflies who migrate en masse to Mexico every year on the Day of the Dead.

 

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