Alex Winter’s documentary on the late musician Frank Zappa — titled “Who the F*@% is Frank Zappa” — has raised $876,362 on Kickstarter, making it the top fundraising campaign for a documentary via crowdfunding site.
The previous record was held by the “Bill Nye Film” project, which raised $859,425 from 16,850 backers.
Winter will direct the film from his own script and produce with Glen Zipper. The Zappa Family Trust has given its backing to the project.
The campaign, which ends Friday evening, has an array of digital downloads of Zappa’s music and eight executive producer credits for $10,000. The original goal of the campaign had been $500,000.
It’s also offering Zappa’s house in the Hollywood Hills for $9 million. “You’ll get the entire place to keep, including 9 bedrooms, a tennis court, a pool, as well as the spaces that housed the UMRK, Frank’s private offices, and even his private subterranean Vault. (Contents of the house not included, but we’ll find a couple awesome things you can keep),” Winter said.
Zappa was a self-taught composer, arranger and producer who sought to push the boundaries of music. He released more than 65 albums and made several films in a career cut short by prostate cancer in 1993 at the age of 52.
Winter starred in “The Lost Boys” and the two “Bill and Ted” movies with Keanu Reeves. He directed the films “Freaked” and “Fever,” while his documentary credits include “Downloaded,” “Deep Web” and “Smosh: The Movie.”
Zappa’s first album, “Freak Out!” from the Mothers of Invention, was released in 1966 and launched an avant-garde musical style that included abrupt, rhythmical changes, orchestral themes, spoken words and electronic noises. The group followed with “Absolutely Free,” “Lumpy Gravy,” “Cruising With Ruben and the Jets” and “Uncle Meat” before disbanding.
Reformed versions of the Mothers of Invention performed until 1975 with albums including “Burnt Weeny Sandwich,” “Weasels Ripped My Flesh,” “200 Motels,” “Just Another Band From L.A.” and “The Grand Wazoo.”
Zappa was a strong advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received a lifetime achievement Grammy in 1997.