Hal Hartley Is No Fool

Ask independent filmmaker and composer Hal Hartley for his creative motto and he'll tell you, “‘My way or no way at all’ — but that doesn’t mean I’m not prepared to compromise.”

Since the ‘90s, Hartley has been forging a path of his own, often circumventing the industry’s conventional marketing and distribution avenues. In 2011, he launched his first Kickstarter campaign to distribute the narrative feature Meanwhile — and succeeded, with the help of 590 backers. “This is making me rethink how I can be a creative person in the commercial world,” he wrote in a project update before hitting his goal.

“It’s been gratifying to connect with newer and younger audiences — free from ossified preconceptions of my work — through Kickstarter campaigns,” he says. Working outside of the traditional Hollywood machine has also offered Hartley the opportunity to take risks: “The more I can address [my] audience without intermediaries, the better they’re prepared to see me do something new.”

For Kickstarter Gold, Hartley returned to Kickstarter to create a special DVD boxed set of his award-winning Henry Fool trilogy through his production company, Possible Films. In addition to presenting the trilogy in HD for the first time ever, Hartley plans to release After The Catastrophe, an album featuring brand-new arrangements of songs he wrote for the films. Keep an eye on his project updates, where he’s known to offer frequent peeks behind the curtain.

Thomas Jay Ryan as Henry in Henry Fool (1997)

Thomas Jay Ryan as Henry in Henry Fool (1997)