A veteran TV and film writer is trying his luck on Kickstarter to raise a whopping $2.5 million in support of a 10-hour miniseries about the Civil War.
Michael Frost Beckner, whose credits include “Spy Game” and CBS series “The Agency,” plans to unveil a campaign on the crowdfunding platform next week in support of “To Appomattox,” which chronicles legendary generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant.
In support of the effort, Beckner calls on some notable names on both sides of the camera who he says have pledged to take roles in “Appomattox” if he can get the project off the ground. Jason O’Mara ( “Vegas”) appears in the video, as does country music’s Rascal Flatts, which hopes to complete a soundtrack for the miniseries.
While Hollywood is no stranger to Kickstarter thanks to the likes of Kristen Bell and Zach Braff, an entire miniseries is something of a rarity for crowdfunding. But it was a necessary move for Beckner, whose 12-year odyssey to get “Appomattox” made via the traditional studio system has picked up a cult following online.
“I really want the fans to be creatively involved in the production,” he said.
Beckner is looking to raise $2.5 million for the first two episodes, which he plans to shop as a backdoor pilot for the remaining episodes. That’s half of the $5 million total budget, which he claims will be matched by a private equity firm. If not picked up, Beckner plans to release the pilot as an independent film.
Also appearing in the video is Mikael Salomon, an Emmy-winning director for HBO miniseries “Band of Brothers” who Beckner says is on board to helm “Appomattox.” Beckner has letters of intent from a who’s who of actors who have expressed interest in acting in the project, (subject to availability and deal,) including Walton Goggins, William Peterson, Paige Turco and Johnathon Schaeach (who also discusses the project in the video).
High-level pledges can attend a Q&A screening of the director’s cut and sit in on casting sessions. $10k will get a pledge associate producer credit, red carpet premiere and after party. Pledges start at $2.
If the Kickstarter goal is met, filming will begin in July in Virginia and New Mexico with an eye on an early 2015 release.