Why “Talk Is Cheap” Writer Jarrett, Producer Osborne Use Kickstarter Campaign
“”Talk is Cheap” writer/producer/director Jim Jarrett (left) with Barrie M. Osborne (center) and Jon Labrie (right)
BY: Marjorie Galas
Jim Jarrett was looking for a little constructive criticism from friend and producer Jon Labrie. Jarrett shared his script with the former Chief Technology Officer of Weta Digital hoping to get some notes. Labrie not only refined the script but insisted on sharing it with Oscar winning producer Barrie M. Osborne (Lord of the Rings, The Matrix). Four days after receiving the script, Osborne called Jarrett and said he had to produce the project.
Jarrett’s script, “Talk is Cheap” follows a documentary filmmaker who’s doing a piece on a popular political talk radio host. What she uncovers is a story about the host’s daughter Nikki, a social activitist who’s trying to make a strong statement about environmental issues (and defiance what her father represents) by not speaking at all. Encouraging young people to join her fight, Nikki is able to spark a global phenomenon through the power of social media. Osborne, particularly inspired by the difference one person can make, agreed with Jarrett to approach fundraising through social campaigns, utilizing both Thunderclap (to alert individuals about the campaign) and Kickstarter with a campaign that rewards all one dollar contributors with a producer credit.
“Social media mirrors the message of what this film is about,” said Jarrett. “Barrie got the power of people coming together and had a willingness to go this way, because the campaign mirrors the message of the film.”
The concept for the script came to Jarrett two years ago when he attended a holiday party with his then 19 year old daughter. After sitting through a political debate about climate change, Jarrett asked his daughter about her thoughts.
“She looked up from a book and said ‘It doesn’t matter, in less than 100 years the world isn’t going to be here,”” said Jarrett.
The playwrite who’s written work highlighting the life of Vincent Van Gogh and Edward Meisner as well as short pieces for children saw an opportunity to explore his daughter’s world view. Encouraging her to join him, the two began researching environmental issues to prepare for the creation of the script.
“My daughter became more immersed in the content as we went along. It can get overwhelming and upsetting but we wanted an unbiased look,” said Jarrett. “We both read as much as we could, and we both began to feel incredibly optimistic.”
Through the course of his investigation, Jarrett spoke with film producer and 360.org member Marc Weiss who’s made a number of environmental films. Weiss suggested Jarrett utilize Thunderclap to spread the word about the film’s Kickstarter campaign. A “crowdspeaking” platform, Thunderclap requires a specific amount of registrants to launch the campaign. Once the requirement is reached, Thunderclap sends a unified, time-stamped message to all registrant’s social media contacts.
“We had a goal of getting 100 people to sign up and we got 180,” said Jarrett. “By the end of the day, we reached thousands upon thousands of people.”
While Jarrett hopes the Kickstarter campaign will get individuals excited about the film and feel connected to “Talk is Cheap” by contributing a single dollar, Osborne and Labrie are committed to getting the film made if Kickstarter falls short of it’s 1.5 million dollar goal. Jarrett will be casting the film with students he’s worked with throughout his 20 year teaching career. Jarrett has tapped Jim Patrick (“Fury”, “True Blood”) in a lead role and has other actors in mind for key parts.
“Barry was completely supportive of this decision,” said Jarrett. “I was the last protege of Meisner and have been teaching for 26 years and have a beautiful artistic family that I’m proud to be a part of.”
For more information about the film, visit:
Visit the official Kickstarter campaign page at: