Belle & Sebastian frontman Stuart Murdoch has always been a big thinker, with his head a bit in the clouds. As leader of the twee-pop ensemble, the albums they've released have always been accompanied by elaborate backstories and histories, carefully constructed photography and art design and in general, a cinematic approach that wears its influences on its sleeve. It was only a matter time before Murdoch moved into filmmaking itself and it appears that the time is now.
A few years ago you might remember that Murdoch dropped a sideproject of sorts, God Help The Girl, which featured members of Belle & Sebastian helping out on the musical arrangements, but a whole batch of singers led by Catherine Ireton who was found via an internet contest, of all things. The album was well received, but was just a precursor to bigger project Murdoch had in mind, namely, a feature film (that an EP titled Stills was also released, is not a coincidence). Well, he's been very busy and it looks like everything is coming together for "God Help The Girl." Murdoch now has experienced film producer Barry Mendel ("Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums," "The Life Aquatic," "This Is Forty") on board (who helped him "shape and edit" the script), a $3 million budget, a summer shoot scheduled…he just needs $100,000 more bucks to get this thing moving.
Thus, a Kickstarter campaign is now underway for the movie, and as usual, a number of incentives are available depending on how much you contribute (encouragingly, many of the most expensive donation blocks are sold out). The musical is "about a boy and a girl and a girl and the music they made one lazy summer" and the influences are hardly surprising to anybody who has followed Murdoch over the years, said to be touching upon "the French New Wave of Truffaut and Godard, the early post-punk movement in music, pop musical movies of the 70's and 80s, classics by John Hughes, the great British comedies of Bruce Robinson and Bill Forsythe and just the city of Glasgow itself."
But this $100,000 gap is the make or break for the movie, with Mendel saying, "If we can reach the Kickstarter goal, this movie will get made. If we can't, it won't. We need the money and also to show the powers that be that there's grassroots support for our project." No word yet on if there is a studio or production company behind the project, but with a $3 million budget, we presume there are some bigger players involved, who aren't being revealed just yet.
If any musician was made to make a movie, Murdoch is it, and while his very affected and whimsical oeuvre may put some people off, there is no denying he's got a strong creative voice, and we'd definitely be interested to see what he pulls together. Should all go according to plan, "God Help The Girl" will shoot this summer with a 2013 release in the works. More info over on the official website.