The Kickstarter campaign failed. But, you probably already know that. I wrote in the final campaign update, and tweeted, and said everywhere else I could think of, that I would never do another Kickstarter campaign. It was utterly exhausting: 3 months of preparation and 14-18 hour days for 31 days straight during the campaign proper. Yeah. I was fried.
I got about ten or so comments from people either asking me to run another campaign, or asking if I’ve got another place for them to contribute to TRK. The fact is $50k was barely enough to make TRK the way I envisioned it. The likelihood of raising that, let alone more, through any casual means is extremely unlikely.
Another thing I mentioned during the campaign was that the Kickstarter campaign was the only way TRK would ever get made. That is true… kind of.
The way I wrote the script lent itself to micro-budget filmmaking. It also had a very independent feel in the way I dealt with the emotional arcs of what was happening. I was promoting TRK as a techno-thriller, but some people thought of it more as a character drama based in computers, which has also never been done. The reason it was a character drama instead of a techno-thriller was because of what my producer would call, the stakes. The stakes just weren’t high enough.
The following isn’t really a spoiler, though it may seem like one at first glance.
The chief motivation for the character was that someone had come up with a way to monitor everything on the Internet, and the heroes, the hackers were gonna fight back against that person, taking the offending computer systems down.
I recently did a survey, asking people the following:
“Do you care that the NSA monitors everything you do online?”
Their response, “Yeah.”
“Enough to do something?”
“No. Not really. It’s kind of just in the back of my head.”
And, that’s really the issue. People simply don’t care that their being monitored, closely.
So, I’m upping the stakes. The villain has changed, the trouble the hackers get into has increased, the enormity of the monitoring has grown, and we’re gonna show you why you should care about being monitored, enough to do something.
That is a massive rewrite. It’s still gonna be about hackers. It’s still going to be technically accurate, and retain its geek appeal. In fact, it’s gonna be even more accurate than before!
The rewrite’s gonna do some things for me: 1) Like I already wrote, it’s increasing the stakes; 2) It makes it more realistic; 3) It solves some of the plot problems that were bothering me before; 4) It’s gonna make you care about a real problem; 5) It’s going to allow me to pitch it to studios/financiers who will facilitate a higher budget.
And that last point is the biggest. The goal now is to write something that’s gonna change the way we look at a lot of different things, computers, the government, individual responsibility. It’s going to give me a bigger budget so I can get a real cinematographer who is capable of making TRK look amazing, better sound, and perhaps even a few stars. It’s gonna ROCK!
You might be thinking, “Well, that’s a shame. Jonathan’s just another sell-out,” and if so, you’d be wrong. Instead, think of me as a creative insurgent in Hollywood. I want to help start a revolution, a return to good movies with good plots. Christopher Nolan did it with The Dark Knight trilogy. Rian Johnson did it with Looper, and I’m going to try and do it with The Root Kit. I haven’t given up hope. Neither should you. The Root Kit’s gonna ROCK!
P.S. There's a very real possibility that the title will change. But, for now, The Root Kit is the working title I'm using.