In early 2012, Stuart Murdoch of Belle and Sebastian raised $121,804 through Kickstarter to shoot his directorial debut, God Help the Girl. The film, a musical about an anorexic girl (Emily Browning) who breaks out of a hospital and forms a band, premiered at Sundance and opens in theaters on Sept. 5. In August, Murdoch made good on the $400-level pledge promise: a guided tour of film locations in Glasgow.
“We hired a vintage bus from the 1950s and took people all over,” says Murdoch, 46. “We had about 24 people on the bus – from the States, Holland, Germany, Japan.”
Murdoch found backers to pay for set visits, walk-on parts, a signed clapboard and prop guitars; four of the six people who paid $300 to play Scrabble with the singer will likely get their chance when Belle and Sebastian start a world tour on Sept. 28 in Miami.
One lesson from making the film has extended to the band: “I want us to do better in representing ourselves onstage,” says Murdoch, noting preproduction on its next album is in progress. “We could do more with our albums, get into bigger projects.”