by TVWriter™ Press Service
The French call it; Raison D’être which literally means ‘purpose.’ The phrase is infamous for the associated in philosophical circles with the trial of Socrates, where the question is asked; “Is the life lived sans Raison D’être worth redemption?”
Mr. Jack, a New Media series from writer turned director Mick Lexington takes this age-old question and asks it in the modern-day backdrop of The LES of Manhattan, the last bastion of Bohemianism in New York City, warts and all.
The crowdfunding campaign for Mr. Jack kicked off Friday, August 16. The series is based on Lexington’s novel and follows a young artist returning to New York after a self-imposed exile and his struggle to reconnect with the reality he has detached from.
The project is a collaboration of Lexington, fashion photographer turned cinematographer James M. Graham, and musician Justin Wert who, working outside his jazz roots, will deliver the a-tonal series soundtrack.
The plan is to raise enough to top off the budget to shoot the pilot episode of Mr. Jack and shop it around to raise funding for five more episodes. Says Lexington on the project, “We own the cameras and sound equipment which covers a considerable part of our expense. What we need help with is the day to day operation of shooting onsite in New York City.”
Val, the main character in Mr. Jack is the classic tragic artist archetype. He feels he is not worthy of happiness. He does not recognize that he must take responsibility for his own contentment.
Instead, Val lives vicariously through the character called Mr. Jack, who by claiming credit for other people’s art, sleeping with other men’s wives, and substituting chemicals for his own endorphins, takes a shortcut to happiness.
Mr. Jack is Lexington’s passion project, and he is to seeking independent financing via Indiegogo to make it as a TV series without compromises.
“I had 500K on the table to develop another TV series I created. The catch was I had to work with a producer who wanted to turn to turn my drama into a slapstick action thriller. I walked away from that rather than have the project compromised.”
Lexington turned to crowdfunding because he believes it empowers the full gamut of artistic expression from the artist to the spectator.
“Before crowdfunding,” he says, “the only control the viewer had was the purchase of a ticket. With crowdfunding, it is the collaboration of creator and viewer that shapes the future of communication.”
Lexington believes that in the past entertainment and art were in essence two different things. He sees crowdfunding as facilitating their merger, putting it this way.
What is considered as art today does not challenge the audience or viewer. It anesthetizes it inebriates, but it does not transform. It should be the duty of not only the filmmaker but of every artist, regardless of medium, to pursue the objective of throwing complacency off-kilter.
I don’t believe an artist should put the responsibility for the significance of a work of art on the viewer. The artist cannot create and distribute without some rationale behind their creation. The viewer may have their own interpretation, and there is no right or wrong interpretation; beauty fails any dictate as beauty a cannot be legislated.
To Lexington, the importance of the artist lies in the truth that splendor cannot be ordered from “above.” Art has to emerge from the conjoining of artist and audience, which benefits society by allowing the creation of “entertainment” that “touches our souls, breaks our hearts, causes us to laugh, permits us to cry, and kicks our asses into a higher state being.”
In view of the passion Lexington feels about Mr. Jack, it clearly is his Raison D’être, to do just that.
Mick Lexington was a semi-finalist in the 2013 People’s Pilot, leading to him coming to the attention of the producer he turned later turned down. The Crowdfunding campaign for Mr. Jack kicked off Friday, August 16.
Check out the campaign at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/mr-jack-new-media-web-series
See the video presentation at: https://vimeo.com/353159135