It’s All Good might well be the most dramatised crowdfunded film to date. The Chicago-based comedy group FND Films managed to not only pull off one of the great internet heists of the past few years, but from it give themselves free exposure because of it. For that alone, It’s All Good is well worth the watch.
The film is a fictionalised version of the three filmmakers real lives. Aaron Fronk, Vinny DeGaetano and Cooper Johnson are three friends who started making comedy videos on Youtube (Coop came into the group a little later) to great success. Off the back of this they managed to put together a rather successful production company, but comedy it seems has stayed with them. With It’s All Good we see the trio enduring through a tougher time, struggling to even get a gig filming a Little League Game. Down on their luck, the friends consider packing it all in, but a chance conversation with a woman in their local late-night dinner spot inspires Aaron to look towards a crowdfunding venture to get their dream off the ground. Unexpectedly, the boys end up with $75,000 at their disposal, but absolutely no idea what to do with it. Feeling jaded and burnt out, they decide to treat themselves with the money before tackling the issue of what sort of Feature to make. Soon though, and mainly thanks to Coop, the money is all but gone and now the three filmmakers need to explain to their fans and backers why they can’t complete their film.
FND Films managed to take meta to a new level with It’s All Good. They created an ambitious and gutsy two-year plan that they executed to perfection, at their own personal and professional risk. The films synopsis mirrors what the gang did in real life to promote the film. They pitched a vague idea to their fans on Indiegogo, collected the money, then went silent for nearly two years. There were no video updates, no Dailies (check out their Youtube page to see what these are) and the only news the fans would receive would be pictures of the group living a luxurious lifestyle, before hastily deleting their posts to arouse suspicion. When FND then posted their video update regarding the cancellation of the film (which in-fact ended up being part of the film itself) fans were understandably furious, but the way in which the story blew up over the internet is what really made the project. News Channels, Websites and Newspapers all over the world were reporting on what they had done and a huge backlash was building. The comedy team managed to hold their nerve long enough to build up a buzz and then revealed it was all one big joke and they had conned us all – for a second time.
The film itself is good, but perhaps something that will appeal to their fanbase more than the general masses. If you’re a fan of FND, this film is for you, you won’t be disappointed and you don’t need to try too hard to figure out the characters because you know them already. The fact they played to their regular characters was a bit of a safe bet, and those characters struggle to hold out through an entire 90 minute runtime. The story starts strong, but fizzles out towards the end. The consequences don’t seem big enough, and it all gets a bit too sporadic. It gets zany and surreal, which stays true to their style, but as a feature rather than a sketch it does struggle to get over the finish line. There could have been more of a fallout to do with their fans, rather than the route they allowed the story to go in, but regardless it still makes you laugh and that’s the big box that needs ticking. In terms of their marketing for the film, for ingenuity It’s All Good gets a solid 10/10. It’s a fun indie comedy and as their debut feature, FND have shown promising signs that they’re more than capable of making more in the future. And I’m sure many fans will be hoping this is the case.
It’s All Good is now available on digital download on their website now