Lana Del Rey and her boyfriend Barrie-James O'Neill have donated a sizable sum to a Kickstarter campaign to make a movie starring rock eccentric Daniel Johnston titled Hi, How Are You: A Short Film. The "Summertime Sadness" singer's pledge of 10 grand gets her a reward of a "signed Smurf ukulele" – the reward for pledging $7,500 or more, according to The Guardian.
Rapper Mac Miller also donated $10,000 to the project. He will receive an executive producer credit, an organ that Johnston used on an L.A. tour, an original illustration and a download of the movie soundtrack. He tweeted, "Me and Lana Del Rey are both executive producers on a movie. That's tight."
The film's Kickstarter describes it as a "tale of an aging artist encountering psychedelic dreams, nightmares and characters from his past." It features an interview with Johnston about his "most prolific and maddening era."
As of today, the campaign has garnered 329 backers and earned over $41,000, surpassing its goal of $35,000. There are 16 days left in the campaign, and it is still accepting donations. According to Kickstarter, the producers – who identify themselves as "a group of dedicated Daniel Johnston fans" that had previously made the movie Archie's Final Project – are estimating they'll be done with the film by March 2015. Del Rey will receive her booty by January.
Another Johnston documentary, by director Jeff Feuerzeig, The Devil and Daniel Johnston, came out in 2006. Rolling Stone gave it three-and-a-half stars out of four, and it won the Documentary Directing Award in 2005 at Sundance. Since then, Johnston has put out two new albums, 2008's Beam Me Up! and 2009's Is and Always Was, and an iPad game, Space Ducks, which complements a comic book he created that was also titled Space Ducks. Additionally in 2008, New York artist Jeffrey Newman created figurines out of Johnston's popular "Jeremiah" frog drawing, which has been spray-painted on a wall in Austin and emblazoned on a T-shirt worn by Kurt Cobain. Most recently, the skate-themed clothing company Supreme began offering other T-shirts displaying Johnston's illustrations.
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