by Steve

George PlimptonKickstarter is a pretty fantastic idea for a website. The site facilitates the funding of creative projects, with various people pitching their idea and encouraging people to back their project. If enough money is raised, the project goes ahead and the backers get some sort of reward, depending on how much they contributed.

If the people heading up the project fail to raise enough money, none of the backers have to pay out. It’s a great way to support new creative plans, without having to make a huge financial commitment or risk, and so is a great way for those creative folk to raise funds from “the crowd” rather than depend on one funder, or on their own capacity to flirt with bankruptcy.

Anyway, the project that has really caught my eye is for the documentary Plimpton! and the funding of the film’s post-production.

I love a good documentary, and George Plimpton seems pretty much the ideal subject for one. I guess he is most famous for being the editor of the Paris Review for fifty years, publishing works from Jack Kerouac to Philip Roth to Jonathan Franzen, along with the interviews with many of the key writers of the twentieth century, such as Ernest Hemingway, Saul Bellow and Truman Capote.

That story would be interesting enough, yet Plimpton was also a Zelig-like figure who seemed to spring up in all sorts of unlikely places. He pitched against major league players, trained with the Detroit Lions and attempted to play professional golf. He was friends with Presidents, took photographs for Playboy and appeared in several Hollywood movies. When Robert Kennedy was assassinated, Plimpton was one of the men who wrestled the assailant, Sirhan Sirhan, to the ground.

All in all, he led a spectacular, improbable life. As clichéd as it sounds, if this was fiction you wouldn’t believe it.

So, this films seems well worth our support. If I have any money floating towards the end of the month, I’ll certainly consider making an investment in order to play a very small part in making this documentary the best it can be.

There is more about the project, including a preview video and information about rewards for backers, on the Kickstarter website.

Image from MDCarchives via Wikipedia