Actor Don Cheadle has launched a crowdfunding campaign in hopes to raise $325,000 for his upcoming Miles Davis biopic which was recently given the new title, “Miles Ahead.”
The biopic will give an in-depth look at the life of the iconic trumpet player, bandleader and composer.
While Cheadle said he is personally adding a substantial amount of cash to the film’s budget, it simply won’t be enough to bring the historical piece to life.
“Most studios don’t make these kinds of movies anymore, so we are doing it independently,” he said. “I’m personally putting a big chunk of money into our budget as well as putting all my fees back in. But the extra money we hope to raise on Indiegogo will help us recreate the multiple time periods we’re dealing with and with the logistics of incorporating all the music.”
The film is a big risk for the “Hotel Rwanda” actor as it will mark his directorial debut.
While crowdfuning certainly isn’t the norm in movie production, it is far from a new tactic.
Kristen Bell, Zach Braff and Spike Lee all launched crowdfunding campaigns of their own through Kickstarter to raise money for their films.
Bell has been the most successful with the campaign, collecting $5.7 million in donations.
As of Friday morning, Cheadle has raised a little over $80,000 since the campaign was launched on June 3.
“We are eager to get the world out about our film and to build a community of people who are just as excited as we are about a Miles Davis movie,” Cheadle said. “While Miles used his horn to communicate and create ‘social music,’ we are using social media and today’s online platforms to reach out to the music community, the film community and all people who are excited to see an explosive, cool music-filled movie.”
On the campaign’s website, Cheadle expresses how honored he is to be chosen to be a part of such a major film.
“Since sixth grade, when I started listen to my parents’ Miles Davis records, his artistry has been an inspiration to me; he was someone who only ever followed a path as a runway to create a new one,” the site reads. “Surprisingly, Miles’ life, his passion, his creativity, his fire have never been brought to life in a film and the fact that his family has chosen me to do this now is an honor.”
The campaign offers a variety of gifts to people who donate, based on how much money they give.
Donations of at least $5 will earn exclusive updates about the progress of the film, while a larger donation of $750 will earn a “thank you” in the credits, a promotional hoodie and T-shirt, and the opportunity to hear music from the set of the film.
Larger contributions of $15,000 would have earned the donator the title of an associate producer, as well as an exclusive visit to the film’s set, but that donation package has already been sold out.
The $10,000 package, however, is still available and will earn the donator an all-expense paid trip to play golf with Cheadle himself.