FAULT Focus: Crowdsourcing People Power – The Saviour of Indie Cinema?

Have you heard of Apocalypse Nerd? Chances are that the majority of you will draw a blank when asked. Such is the problem for an increasing number of indie film ventures such as this one; struggling to attract the funding necessary to realise their projects and -perhaps crucially- often curtailed in this by a lack of exposure.

Indie Film Apocolypse Nerd is coming in 2014 - we hope!
Indie flick Apocalypse Nerd is coming in 2014 – we hope!

Famously, Shane Carruth, the director of indie hits Primer and Upstream Color, sold everything he had (including his house) in order to finance his two films. But for the less obsessive independent filmmaker, what options are there to go the distance and make the shoot actually happen beyond its initial (and perhaps idealistic) conception?

This question brings us back to our original starting point. Apocalypse Nerd, based on the comic book by underground artist Peter Bagge, is a long-feature collaboration between Bagge himself and writer-director Tupaq Felber. The two hope to realise their film on a relatively modest budget of £89,000 and have turned to the internet- more precisely the website Kickstarter– to try this.

Attracting attention online to get backing or help is nothing new, and has helped a bevvy of artists and others alike to achieve their goals. Peter Bagge and his team are enthusiastic about the utility of this platform for their personal aim with Apocalypse Nerd:

“This platform has the potential to become an integral part of the independent film-making process.”

On the set of Apocolypse Nerd
On location for Apocalypse Nerd

Perhaps the artist is right. In an age where so many spheres of our lives have been empowered by the internet, why couldn’t indie cinema benefit too?

The idea is clear. But for low-budget filmmakers with a presumed lack of initial resources, making a project or storyline stand out enough to back is becoming an increasingly difficult feat, even online. With little over a month to go before the projected launch of filming, and only about 1/90th of their funds pledged, the crew face an uphill struggle.

As challenges go, Bagge and Felber’s is no small one. But stranger things have happened and greater adversities have been overcome. Realistically Kickstarter and other similar methods of online promotion and backing might be just the platform for lucky and determined indie productions to make the film of their dreams, despite industry studio trends. Fortunately this team seem nothing if not determined:

“Whatever we have to do, we will get this movie to you.”


Adapted from the Dark Horse [300, Hellboy, Sin City] graphic novel by Peter Bagge, APOCALYPSE NERD is a buddy-comedy about a couple of chronically adolescent friends about to turn 40. A week in the countryside has them dealing with their assorted personal issues, as well as an inconveniently timed cataclysm.

For more information, or to pledge support for their project, visit the team’s page on Kickstarter

Words by Kat Rutherford
Images courtesy of Tupaq Felber