'Hot Air' rises: Filmmakers reach $65K, push on to Nolte

For 45 days, Derek Sieg and Jeremy Goldstein did everything they could think of to raise money to make a movie. They sold t-shirts on the Downtown Mall. They buttonholed every connection they had. And they smoked a 300-pound pig.

"That was pretty extreme," says Goldstein of the pig. "Neither one of us had ever done anything like that before."

That was phase one of their efforts to get their script, Hot Air, made into a movie. And to do so, they're convinced they need Nick Nolte to star as the personal injury lawyer and hard-partying restauranteur whose misdeeds have pushed him to the point that he decides that faking his own death is his only recourse.

A name like Nolte is essential for attracting money to the movie, say the filmmakers, so they brazenly launched their "Let's get Nick" campaign.

Using a funding-by-the masses system called Kickstarter, the filmmakers set a goal of $65,000–- the minimum required by the Screen Actors Guild to get Nick Nolte to sign on as the Hot Air lead.

With 258 different backers, Sieg (Swedish Auto) and Goldstein (Skid Row) raised $65,527 during their 45-day campaign.

"We thought 45 days was a bit long," says Goldstein, "but it took 44 days and 20 hours to go past $65,000. It was a nail-biter with the last $500."

The filmmakers plan to shoot Hot Air in Austin in October and November.

"We are putting together a budget and schedule for shooting with the line producer," says Goldstein. "Once that's ready, we're going after Nick Nolte and money for production."

He adds, "We can't wait to walk into Nick Nolte's agent's office with 258 Cville folks behind us!"

Will Nick Nolte say yes to Hot Air? To be continued...


I would have given them money but you weren't allowed to just give them cash or write a check. You know, the old fashioned way. Instead they handed me a little electronic tablet thing with a touch pad that was annoying as all hell to try to use, and insisted I had to go to some website I've never heard of and sign up with a user name and password. And then I had to go over to Amazon.com and sign up there in order to make a donation. The whole thing was just ridiculousness of epic proporations. I finally got so pissed I was like, you know what...forget you guys. I wanted to give you cash, you wouldn't accept it, and you're wasting my time with all this nonsense. Gotta go.

They could have had even more money and not had a nail biter during the final $500 if they'd expanded their options for money raising, instead of painting themselves into this tiny corner where the only way you could donate was through some stupid little tablet and having to sign up to multiple websites and getting routed around to here and there and everywhere, making it WAAAAAY more complicated and time consuming then need be.

Other fundraisers take note: The way these guys did it is not the way to go. If you want to increase your chances of raising money for your cause then give people options - cash, checks, PayPal, etc. Don't paint yourself into a corner and make things as difficult and annoying for people as possible so they shake their heads and give up on you and walk away like I did.

NTWTGAT, you need to look into the dynamics of how Kickstarter works to understand the method to their madness. While not as easy as accepting a check or straight cash, they needed to fund the entire goal on Kickstarter or else the entirety of their collections on the website would never be funded. Kudos to Derek and Jeremy for thinking outside the box to make your dreams come true. Those of us who donated are happy to contribute and wish you well in your efforts.

How hard is it to add a "Cash Donation" donation with attribution to the donor if they wish?

How hard is it to log into your Amazon account??