One of the most controversial crowdfunding campaigns ever has taken a surprising turn. Back in 2014, the Chicago-based sketch comedy group FND Films (a trio made up of Aaron Fronk, Vinny DeGaetano and Cooper Johnson) created an Indiegogo campaign to fund their first feature. After raising over $77,000, the guys seemed to disappear and donors were left with no update on the movie’s fate. That was until two weeks ago, when they returned to their YouTube channel and posted a video apologizing that due to complications and elements beyond their control, the movie could no longer be completed.
Donors were enraged, quickly flooding social media and asking for their money back. Photos were also revealed that showed the trio vacationing in Europe and taking extravagant trips. Fox News even covered the story and interviewed Fronk, who told the outlet that they “ran out of money” and completed about 10 percent of the film.
But now it’s been revealed to be a creative stunt, because FND Films has released the trailer for their Indiegogo-funded movie “It’s All Good.” The premise? A group of guys raise $75,000 to create their first film and instead blow all of it on frivolous luxuries.
Esquire interviewed FND President Fronk, who told the publication that the prank had been planned from the start, and it was very stressful to keep the secret for two and a half years.
“We felt this was a unique move, something that had the potential to get big, so we ran with it,” Fronk said. “The whole thing has been a tricky process—we were constantly worried about blowing it. We needed a catalyst for why the money was gone, but you have to ride the line where it’s a believable scenario…Lying to people for two and a half years is rough—we’ve had to take a hit in our careers because we wanted to make it look like we disappeared. We couldn’t tell certain actors in the film what the movie was about, and you’ve got these people who donated thousands of dollars based on the most vague pitch that you can’t clue in. I’ve so badly wanted to say, ‘No no no, it’s just a joke.’”
The comedy will (finally) be released digitally on October 21. Check out the trailer below: