When student filmmakers Kelly McCutcheon and Jack Kapson premiered their first documentary “Neuqua on Drugs” a month ago, they had no idea how much of an impact it would make within the Naperville community.
Phone calls poured in and emails were sent from residents and educators inquiring about the documentary, which tells the uncut story of Naperville’s youth drug culture. Everyone had the same question for the two students; “How can we get a copy of the film?”
For Kapson, a Neuqua senior, and McCutcheon, who graduated in May, the response was overwhelming.
“I was thinking I would burn like 20 copies or so on my computer, but then (the demand) turned out to be a lot more than that,”said McCutcheon. “A bunch of people were calling me or calling people who knew me to get DVD copies and I thought, ‘Oh, God, I’ve got to get this going.’”
With little to no avenues for funding, in order to produce and sell DVDs McCutcheon and Kapson recently decided to launch a Kickstarter to make the documentary available to a broader audience.
Kickstarter is an online funding platform for various types of projects, which gives artists and creators a certain amount of time to meet their funding goal. In McCutcheon’s case, she needs to raise $5,000 by August 16 to make the “Neuqua on Drugs” DVD a reality.
“This is really the only thing that we knew would work right away and we were just praying for this because there was no other way for us to mass produce it,” she said. “And so far it’s working pretty well.”
So well, in fact, the project has already raised more than $1,000 from 24 backers within four days.
“It’s really awesome that it’s getting this much support right away,” McCutcheon said.
If their goal is met, the two filmmakers plan to get the film copyrighted and sell the DVDs on a professionally designed website. They hope to produce 500 to 1,000 copies, depending on the amount of funding it receives. Kickstarter allows project creators to exceed their set funding goals.
McCutcheon plans on selling copies of the film at $20 to $25 a piece. And as far as promoting the fundraiser, McCutcheon said she couldn’t have done it without Jack Kapson’s parents, Jill and Cliff. The Kapson’s have helped the two students with the project by setting up a Facebook and Twitter account in order to get the word out.
“Jack’s parents are really involved with this right now,” she said. “And I give them so much credit.”
Since the documentary premiered, the past month has been a whirlwind for both McCutcheon and Kapson, who have been interviewed by numerous local media outlets about the film.
“I was really happy and excited after the premiere, but it was also overwhelming,” she said. “I went out of town for a week just for a little vacation.”
Recharged, McCutcheon is looking forward to studying film at Columbia College in Chicago this fall. As far as the DVD fundraiser, she's hopeful they'll meet their goal, but taking things one day at a time.
“Now at this point, I have no idea where this is going," she said. "But I’m just trying to take it step-by-step.”
For more information on the "Neuqua on Drugs" Kickstarter fundraiser, click here.