Patrick Read Johnson is making a film called 5-25-77 that follows a group of kids on Star Wars‘ opening night. The picture is close to the finish line, but Johnson needs more money to finish it. To raise that money he’s doing an unusual road show, presenting the cut as it currently stands at movie- and geek-friendly locations like Devil’s Tower, in the hopes of finding new fans and donors.

Because this is 2012, the journey is being chronicled, and that chronicle is becoming a parallel film, Hearts of Dorkness. The trailer for that, which is also a pitch for Johnson’s primary effort, is below, and worth a look.

Earlier today, Badass Digest ran a guest post from Joseph Beyer, the “Director of Digital Initiatives and self-described idea agitator at the Sundance Institute.” His essay is an enthusiastic state of the union for super-indie films, and in the middle of that piece he says,

You wanna make indie films? You wanna do it “your way” with total creative control? You wanna do it BETTER than anyone can tell you to (cause you know your audience best) … huh? Is that what you really want? … Your job is to get it out there. Your job is to connect with an audience, to build interest in your own work. That goes for the Writer/Director/Cast/Producers/Crew and Fans. That’s the fucking job, people. If you’re the Artist – you make it and you sell it. If you’re the Audience, you support and promote it. Deal? Deal.

That’s exactly what Johnson is doing here, and I think it’s pretty great. Movie audiences have so much in front of them now that the best way to find an audience is to reach out and take it, even if that means hitting up one person at a time. When the means of production have changed so that anyone with friends and a little moxie can make a movie, the new barrier to entry for the “real filmmaker’s club” (that’s my made-up term, feel free to use your own) is actually an old one. You’ve got to hustle, and sell. Johnson has the hustle down, and I’m eager to see how it works out.

As for more info about this particular document, the Hearts of Dorkness trailer page, via FirstShowing, offers:

Writer/Director Patrick Read Johnson (DragonHeart, Baby’s Day Out, Angus) is making history by driving across America to save his award-winning film, 5-25-77! We–The Hearts of Dorkness team–are following along with him, recording his experiences, and sharing them with you here on YouTube and on our website, http://www.heartsofdorkness.com

Enjoy our new video, showing you a little bit about Patrick, his movie, and his ultimate road trip to finish 5-25-77! And, go to the FundRazr page to help us keep rolling!: http://fnd.us/c/1JIQb

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