Blue Like Jazz
Donald Miller worked for two years to turn his bestselling memoir, Blue Like Jazz, into a movie. First there was the task of wrestling the book—a series of reflections on his struggles with the conservative evangelical church—into a screenplay with a traditional plot structure. It was an undertaking so arduous it became the subject of another book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years.
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When the screenplay was complete, there was the problem of finding financial backers for the movie—a double challenge considering the tough economic climate and the book's difficult-to-categorize subject matter. After a year of fundraising, Miller—who's written a total of five Christian-themed books and is part of an Obama task force on absentee fathers—was still $125,000 short. He decided to give up. Last month, he wrote a post on his blog declaring the project dead. Blue Like Jazz would not be made into a movie.
But it didn't stay dead for long. Two 24-year-old Miller fans launched a page on the crowdfunding website Kickstarter to solicit donations, and within a week and a half, they'd raised enough money to make the movie. Miller and his supporters then set a new fundraising goal: $200,642, so the film would beat wannabe Facebook-killer Diaspora as the highest-grossing project in the history of Kickstarter. Late this week, with just three days to go before fundraising ends and filming begins, the movie surpassed this milestone—as of Friday morning, backers had given a total of more than $203,000.