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C-U Confidential #10 print fund

$1,280 of $1,300 goal

Raised by 41 people in 6 months
UPDATE #5: As of Mar. 16, 2019, we have begun sending out secret Saturday communications to our Confidential agents who helped us out in this campaign to fund traditional offset printing for C-U Confidential issue 10! You will find them under the Updates tab here; you can also have them sent directly to your In Box by donating a bit to help us top off our earnings and fulfill the stretch goal. We will slowly but surely reveal bits and pieces about how the issue is shaping up as well as share excerpts EXCLUSIVELY RIGHT HERE. Make sure you're among the first to know what we know before CUC #10 emerges on the streets of Champaign, Urbana, and those Illinois cities beyond! Thanks!!!

Greetings! My name is Jason Pankoke. I live in the Midwest college town of Champaign, Illinois, and have called it home for a quarter century. I have worn many hats as a friend, laborer, artist, creative, volunteer, and media tinkerer since I moved here in 1993. My most distinctive feat, however, has been taking on the role of self-publisher and all the highs and not-so-highs that go with that responsibility.

I have published C-U Confidential as a Weblog since 2006 and print digest since 2007. It is a grassroots chronicle of what cinema-going, film-making, and appreciating the art form might mean to the residents and transient academic population of a smaller town like Champaign and its immediate neighbor, Urbana. It is a constant source of stories and information for our community. The ‘blog has been and always will remain accessible to everyone for free. CUZine, obviously, takes funding to produce, even if we distribute it for free.

Over the course of producing the last three issues including the one we have in progress, #10, our traditional advertising revenue has mostly dried up. We relied almost exclusively on these funds to print the issues and break even so we could place them in dozens of public spaces for the taking and/or hand them out at will. It took several tries through e-mail and social media blasts to scrape by with enough to produce both #8 and #9. We have made two (2) attempts so far to book ad space in #10; what we have today is not nearly enough so, now, we turn to you, the Champaign-Urbana community and supporters of independent and regional cinema.

The goal is to raise at least half of our projected $2,200 print budget for C-U Confidential #10 through this campaign. We hope the rest can come from our typical sources but we can’t bet on it just yet. We will expand our goal to cover any shortfall by ad revenue if we can first hit our $1,100 minimum. Extra pledges that put our available budget north of $2,200 total will go towards a larger press run so we may have better coverage to distribute the digest in locations outside of Champaign-Urbana and at public events.

What exactly will one read about in #10? David Gracon, a professor at Eastern Illinois University, talks about Hallways Microcinema wherein he presented alternative media programs in his home. James Hall, a University of Illinois junior in cinema studies, reports on the former UI undergraduate film journal MacGuffin. Troy Michael, the publisher of Innocent Words Magazine, theorizes on what keeps him going in the lively world of independent journalism and fandom. I will present a “lost” (yet relatively recent) interview with Skip Huston, discussing the success of the Avon Theater in downtown Decatur, IL, in addition to the detailed and wide-ranging miscellanea that fills out every issue. All this material will be exclusive to this publication when it streets; we hope to see our dearest readers browsing through and sharing #10 with others beginning in late January 2019.

Therefore, our self-imposed deadline to reach the minimum $1,100 goal is [Sunday, December 30, 2018] January 25, 2019.

Over the course of producing C-U Confidential, we have not been very swag-savvy and have elected to keep the prizes light in this campaign. This is all about educating our readers and giving props to the film culture of where we call home. We will promise these modest perks:

1. Everyone who pledges has the option of being thanked in print and/or the 'blog;

2. Everyone who pledges $10.00 or more will have two (2) copies of #10 mailed to their (street) address of choice if living outside of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, while residents of Champaign-Urbana can choose to receive their two (2) copies of #10 through the mail or in person at a meeting arranged by the publisher;

3. Anyone who pledges $60.00 or more will receive either A. ten (10) copies of #10, or B. a complete, unread set of CUZine #1-10.

We hope that our track record with producing C-U Confidential in all its forms (digest , ‘blog , Facebook ) and its slightly younger cousin, the New Art Film Festival of Champaign , speaks for itself in its uniqueness and dedication to supporting and recording a part of the culture that makes our Twin Cities an interesting and vital place to be. Let’s collectively afford CUZine the respect it deserves by giving #10, the formal close of its first decade, the boost that it needs to go to press and then land in the hands of our friends and neighbors one more time. Thank you for your consideration.

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SECRET SATURDAY MESSAGE #10 [RIGHT ON TIME EDITION]: Agents! Below we have your 5th and final sneak peek at what will appear in C-U Confidential #10 and we encourage you to share this GoFundMe campaign with your own contacts so that we can finally hit our $1,300 goal before we go to press! We have only $20 left to raise, so, what are our friends and neighbors waiting for?!? We will take a break next week from updates so we can concentrate on the page layout and file delivery. We'll let you know when we're so close we can smell the ink wafting in the air...

The following comes from an article contributed by yours truly about connecting with one's work and purpose when waylaid by a world full of stress, anger, and vile signals that contradict the good that humankind can and should do.

Enjoy & watch for the announcements we've been waiting to hear for some time!

~~~~~

"Our rose-colored glasses are not tinted that brightly as of late, citizens of the C-U, for we continuously lose our bliss and focus on a world in increasing strife. Through the media noise, we seek out voices of reason and pillars of hope that will give us direction to move past this cycle of agitation. And then, when we manage to settle down and return to our indigenous cinema studies, the purpose of what we do is even less clear than before.

"The trick is to pick through what seems to be mental wreckage and find the parts we need to put it back together. Even on the least of days, a workmanlike approach can work wonders if it means getting to the next day no matter one’s station, vocation, or extracurricular efforts. We can imagine this to be the case with so many of the people covered in 'C-U Confidential'. Just don’t ask those with 'thrill' in their job title to admit it.

"Once based in nearby Danville with a home track in Cuyuga, Indiana, the Death Riders Motorcycle Thrill Show stormed the fairgrounds of America’s south and Midwest in the 1970s and 1980s. Audiences lapped up their brand of death-defying stunts when vehicular destruction-for-fun helped to fuel the nationwide car craze of their decade. It was a curious occupation then and is a forgotten slice of regional flavor today...

"...So, what can we do with [the movie] DEATH RIDERS and its namesake in the Confidential context? Exactly what we’re doing right now!"

From "Stunted Work"
by Jason Pankoke
C-U Confidential #10, April/May 2019, p. 20

~~~~~

Do good & stay tuned! *End communique*
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SECRET SATURDAY MESSAGE #9 [TOO LATE EDITION]: Agents! Below we have your 4th sneak peek at what will appear in C-U Confidential #10 and we encourage you to share this GoFundMe campaign with your own contacts so that we can finally hit our $1,300 goal before we go to press! We received one generous $20 pledge since our Update last week, so we have only $20 go! We have begun the page layout and will aim to turn in our files to the printer next week. Finally!

The following comes from an article contributed by yours truly about the Avon Theater in Decatur, Illinois, which passed its 100th anniversary in 2016 and reached the 20-year mark under the loving care of Skip Huston and family this April. Enjoy & watch for more!

~~~~~

"Apart from the tactile qualities one would want from a boutique movie house – pristine projection and sound, delicious concessions, agreeable ticket prices, cleanliness and helpfulness – there is no disputing the 'Avon way' works. 'It’s the ‘upscale commercial’ crowd who has carried our water all these years, so why mess with a winning formula?' states Huston. 'We were very fortunate to have been certified for first-run movies about 15 years ago. That was when we stopped being a primarily ‘art-indie-repertory’ theater and started competing with the big chains.' The Avon books the blockbusters so they can afford to maintain a high caliber of service and pay their employees well, while also bringing in smaller-scale releases that Huston affectionately refers to as 'Avon movies.'

"Individual flavor is what endears an independently- and locally-owned venue to its customers, differentiating it from other theaters that book similar fare. This author visited the Avon in October 2016 just before its centenary to take in HELL OR HIGH WATER, a well-reviewed crime film with Chris Pine and Ben Foster, as well as the Avonian ambience. Brightly lit, well kempt, adorned with mementos in the main lobby while tastefully decorated in the entryway of the 'Avon twins' added in 2004, it is a comfortable space where one can happily lose themselves.

"At the time, I visited with Huston about what was in store for celebrating the Avon’s 100th anniversary – it turned out to be showbiz as usual as a block party idea fell through – and which early milestones helped to shape the Avon that we know today. 'The first key moment was in the summer of 1999 when we played THE RED VIOLIN,' noted Huston of the remarkable drama in which a 17th century instrument is passed down through the centuries, affecting the lives of its handlers. '[It is] an incredible movie [and the] presentation galvanized the Decatur public. It was like, ‘So that’s what they’re doing.’ [The film] will forever be what cemented us in the current era.'"

From "Aging Gracefully the Avon Way"
by Jason Pankoke
C-U Confidential #10, April/May 2019, p. 22-23

~~~~~

Do good & stay tuned! *End communique*
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SECRET SATURDAY MESSAGE #8: Agents! Below we have your 3rd sneak peek at what will appear in C-U Confidential #10 and we encourage you to share this GoFundMe campaign with your own contacts so that we can finally hit our $1,300 goal before we go to press! We received one generous $50 pledge since our Update last week, so we have only $40 to go! We are now prepping the visual elements and will start page layout soon.

The following comes from a feature contributed by Eastern Illinois University professor David Gracon about a program held in his home in Champaign called Hallways Microcinema where he experimented with the form and content of a "film screening." Enjoy & watch for more!

~~~~~

"The events happened on a semi-monthly basis or when I simply had the time and energy to put them on. Hallways was strictly a labor of love and, if I felt overwhelmed, I simply took a break from putting it on. I had a stress-free, non-institutional, and borderline anarchistic arrangement with myself regarding Hallways.

"I went on to host and program 21 cultural events between 2013 and 2017 in the hallway. Most were obscure, lo-fi, avant-garde film and video screenings, the wall at the end of the hallway doubling as a screen that flickered back onto the small, yet engaged, audience. Hallways also had poetry readings, lectures, talks, single-person performance pieces – Amy Sayre did a lively feminist performance regarding the history of the Grim Reaper, for instance, from the perspective and voice of his female victims – and ambient experimental music concerts mixed with film and video works.

"This interdisciplinary approach to the programming fostered some interesting threads between the artists, poets, filmmakers, presenters, and academics, which often culminated in animated discussion that sometimes lasted long into the night. At times, it turned into a low-key party. My friend and neighbor Jana claimed she liked the party part the best after each event. This comment never bothered me because hanging out and being around each other was also the event."

From "The Wall is a Screen"
by David Gracon
C-U Confidential #10, April/May 2019, p. 16-17

~~~~~

Do good & stay tuned! *End communique*
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SECRET SATURDAY MESSAGE #7 [SUNDAY EDITION]: Good day! Below we have your 2nd sneak peek at what will appear in C-U Confidential #10 and we encourage you to share this GoFundMe campaign with your own contacts so that we can finally hit our $1,300 goal before we go to press! We are just about done with the content all told and will begin the design process this week!

Otherwise, yes, it's been another week, Confidential agents. (We promised..)

The following comes from the actual "retro" feature about "MacGuffin," a film journal published and written by University of Illinois students in the early Seventies, written by current UI student James Hall. Enjoy & watch for more!

~~~~~

"'MacGuffin' represented the dreams of a generation alienated by critics and cinephiles of the past. Lessened were the influences of the [Pauline] Kaels and [Andrew] Sarrises of the world. Contributors to this journal challenged standards that had been set forth by their forerunners in an attempt to bring about a fresh look at the new, subversive, countercultural, and ironic cinema of their time. In this regard, despite its short run, 'MacGuffin' truly achieved its goals and stood as a gold standard for film writing and cultural address on the UI campus at a time when youth were finally becoming accepted for brandishing an original voice.

"Although the journal is now all but forgotten, its legacy is more important than ever. In a time when genre films reign supreme and conglomerates churn out franchise films, we should remember a previous era when artistic endeavors were favored more highly than consumerist schlock. True criticism is needed in the current period when criticism that is highly emotional and simplistic has been accepted as the norm in major publications. Cinema is an art form and it is possible for young people to successfully craft essays about the media around them."

From "Catalyst from the Past is No Mere 'MacGuffin'"
by James Hall
C-U Confidential #10, April/May 2019, p. 32

~~~~~

Do good & stay tuned! *End communique*
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