Kickstarter is taking the film industry to a new level by offering filmmakers the opportunity to fund their movies with the aid of their audience. Lately we have shown an interest in these budding filmmakers who are using Kickstarter to fund their feature films, but well-known actress and humanitarian, Whoopi Goldberg, recently launched her Kickstarter campaign for her documentary, “I Got Somethin’ To Tell You”. Despite her busy schedule, Whoopi took some time to answer a few questions for us regarding the film and its influences.
Q: Where did the idea for this film come from?
Whoopi Goldberg: It’s a documentary about the impact of Moms Mabley on comedy. I knew if I was going to bring Moms to life on the stage (which is my plan), I would have to find a way to reintroduce her to folks and I thought a documentary was a good way to go.
Q: Who do you expect your audience will be? Who are you trying to reach out to?
Whoopi Goldberg: I’m trying to reach anyone interested in comedy and its history, women who are interested in pioneers because Moms was a true pioneer. See there were, at the beginning of her stand-up career, no other women out there doing it and it would take about 30 years before any other woman did true stand up and oh! By the way, she was black.
Q: What is the draw for your audience? What issues does your storyline deal with? What makes your film unique?
Whoopi Goldberg: The documentary is about how a small black woman, born at the turn of the last century and in the deep south, used her comedy to, against all odds, become the first black female comic to play the T.O.B.A. circuit (the only places black performers could play for years) and then parlay that into becoming one of the highest paid performers in the country. What makes this a unique story is the fact that to this day there has not been anything in the mainstream media about it. Unless I tell this story, it will disappear into the ether like so many other stories of black entertainers such as Butterbeans and Susie, Mantan Moreland, and Bill Robinson.
Q: Did you draw influences for this film from other films? Are there any directors you draw inspiration from?
Whoopi Goldberg: Yes, all the documentary filmmakers whose work I have seen.
Q: Are there any specific locations you want to film at or have filmed at? What makes these locations important to you and the film?
Whoopi Goldberg: Yes, the Apollo because it was the mecca for most black performers. If you could make it at the Apollo, you could make it anywhere. Moms became the first female comic to play the Apollo and was also their highest paid comic. They kept her close, but never down.
If you are interested in helping her fundraising efforts for this film, Whoopi Goldberg’s Kickstarter campaign can be found here: http://kck.st/MVGeeW