David Lynch hasn't directed a movie since the 2006 dud Inland Empire so it's not surprising that the producers of a documentary about the maverick director are going to extreme lengths to fund the project.
With Lynch's approval, the producers are offering a so-called limited edition of a self-portrait (pictured below) by the director on a poster, T-shirt or tote-bag to anyone who donates $50 or more for the feature-length docu LYNCHthree.
As a bonus of sorts, donors are being given the chance to influence the content of the docu by submitting questions about his life and work which they'd like Lynch to address.
"Not only are we looking for financial support, but we're also very interested in connecting with his fans for feedback and input,” producer Jon Nguyen told the UK newspaper The Independent. “There are so many questions that we would like to ask David and building a network of his fans enables us to reach out to them and hear what his fans would like to ask him if they could hold the camera.”
The producers haven't revealed the budget or how much they are seeking to raise but their website says, “Once we have raised the financing for the film, these items will no longer be available.”
The director of the docu is identified only as blackANDwhite, which the Los Angeles Times says is a pseudonym for a Jason S., who co-directed Lynch's Interview Project, which featured hundreds of brief interviews.
Nguyen seems vague about the specifics of the production, telling The Times, “We don't really know where the film will take place. A lot will take place in his compound, and if he goes anywhere we'll be willing to follow him."
Trying to raise money from punters is an increasing ploy by ever-more-desperate, or ingenious, producers. Some websites are offering inducements such as an 'executive producer' credit to donors. Spanish sci-fi film The Cosmonaut used online 'crowd-funding' methods.
The producers of Driven, a British doco about a couple who fell in love in the 1950s, travel around the world in a black taxi cab, have a son, separate and reunite decades later, are offering film credits for donations received in the shape of miles.
In 2008, the film Faintheart, partly funded by Vertigo Films and Film4, was among the first to make use of online input by selecting several cast and crew members from the web.