Spectacular Optical Book One: KID POWER!

A new anthology of essays and interviews about cool and inspiring kids in cult film and TV.
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Kier-La Janisse
Email Verified
Writing
Toronto, Ontario
Canada
2 Team Members

"I worked side-by-side with Kier-la Janisse in the first incarnation of the Alamo Drafthouse creative team.  To this day, I marvel at her depth of understanding and knowledge of the esoteric nooks and crannies of pop culture.  If I learned one thing during our time together it is this: when Kier-la Janisse curates ANY program, your life will be far richer if you check it out.”
- Tim League, founder and CEO of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Thanks to everyone who made our campaign successful! Once the campaign closes you can still pre-order the KID POWER book through the Spectacular Optical website, www.spectacularoptical.ca!

And be sure to "like" our Facebook Page to keep up to date on all our future books and book launch screening events!


Short Summary

Growing up, did you ever sit in front of a TV, a 16mm school projector or a VCR and come under the hypnotic spell of the tuff, sassy, cool and inspiring kids that you saw on the screen? Perhaps you grinned as Jacob Two-Two stood up to The Hooded Fang, thrilled as Hawk Jones grabbed a small arsenal to take down some gangsters or cringed as a bespectacled Scott Baio got Stoned?

We certainly looked up to many of these pint-sized tots, tweens and teens, and chances are you did too. That’s why we’re devoting the first anthology in the new Spectacular Optical book series, KID POWER!, to this inspiring world of kid cult classics from North America, the UK, Australia and beyond. From the 1940s antics of Curley and his Gang to the overwrought denim-clad melodrama of The ABC Afterschool Special, from the surreal fantasies of The Peanut Butter Solution to the pre-teen bloodsucking melodrama The Little Vampire, KID POWER! is a heavily-illustrated collection of film writing by a diverse array of some of genre criticism’s most unique voices.

My name is Kier-La Janisse, and I’m very excited to be taking on the role of co-editor and publisher for the Spectacular Optical series. I have been a film writer and programmer since 1997. I’ve had two books of my own published by FAB Press (HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN and A VIOLENT PROFESSIONAL: THE FILMS OF LUCIANO ROSSI), as well as many articles in magazines and journals ranging from FANGORIA to INCITE JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA, but KID POWER! will be the first book published under my own imprint, the micro-press Spectacular Optical. This inaugural anthology of kid-centric essays and interviews is co-edited with my friend and Managing Editor Paul Corupe, best known as the founder of both the Canadian cult film website Canuxploitation.com and Toronto’s Black Museum horror lecture series.

For KID POWER!, the first in our series of themed cult film writing anthologies, I’m honoured to have the participation of writers from across the globe including author/film producer Zack Carlson (DESTROY ALL MOVIES!! THE COMPLETE GUIDE TO PUNKS ON FILM and THE AMERICAN SCREAM), FANGORIA Magazine Editor-in-Chief Chris Alexander, underground comic legends Rick Trembles (MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY) and Robin Bougie (CINEMA SEWER), film scholar Alexandra Heller-Nicholas (RAPE REVENGE FILMS: A CRITICAL STUDY) performance artist/pop culture historian Robert Dayton (CANNED HAMM, THE CANADIAN ROMANTIC), film programmers Bret Berg (CineFamily), Jesse Hawthorne Ficks (MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS) and Briony Kidd (Stranger With My Face Horror Film Festival) and writers Owen Williams (EMPIRE) and Cheryl Singleton (FANGORIA) as well as myself and Paul rounding out the bunch. It’s gonna be epic!

What We Need & What You Get

We’ve largely completed pre-production work on KID POWER!, which is set to launch at the Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, Canada (July 17-Aug 5), with a U.S. launch shortly thereafter. To help cover the initial printing costs and get Spectacular Optical off the ground, we’re offering the chance to pre-order the book and help us make it the way we envision it. We know you’ll want the book. But we think you’ll want it sooner rather than later!

The funds raised here will go specifically toward printing costs and artist fees – not only designer fees, but all contributors to the book (with the exception of myself – part of my own contribution) will receive royalties on every copy sold. Part of our goal with Spectacular Optical is to create a small but sustainable business that is able to pay artist fees to the many awesome (and often underpaid) writers and graphic artists working in our field, and to give them books they are proud of.

Cover and Chapter Headings for the KID POWER! book are being created by Portland-based artist Austin Sellers (www.austinmadethis.com). The book will be a stylish, full colour trade paperback with a matte-coated cover with spot gloss.Check out the cover below:

The full contents of the book are:


·  It's a Yorkshire Thing: An Interview with David Bradley of KES - by Kier-La Janisse
An in-depth talk with the star of Ken Loach's beloved British classic

·  After-School Shootout: The Lowry Brothers' HAWK JONES - by Paul Corupe
Paul Corupe interviews the director of the all-kid 80s cop action movie

·  Bad Hair Day: Producer Rock Demers on THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION – by Bret Berg
The CineFamily's Bret Berg talks to the man who prompted a million childhood nightmares

·  Curley and his Gang: The Laughably Short Life of Hal Roach’s Second Kid Comedy Crew – by Zack Carlson
Destroy All Movies!! co-author Zack Carlson takes Hal "Little Rascals" Roach to task over his flubbed follow-up

·  They Can See In The Dark:  An Interview with Richard Nielsen, Writer/Producer of THE LITTLE VAMPIRE - by Cheryl Singleton
A rare conversation with the creator of the strange, short-lived Canadian-German TV series

·  Motherless Child: The Power and Poetry of THE UGLY LITTLE BOY - by Chris Alexander
A personal remembrance of coming-of-age with Isaac Asimov's moving tale, adapted for the small screen with 70s series Classics Dark and Dangerous.

·  They Let Me Keep a Crocodile: A Conversation with Stephen Rosenberg, Child Star of 1978's JACOB TWO-TWO MEETS THE HOODED FANG- by Zack Carlson
Zack Carlson tracks down the star of the DIY Canadian classic adapted from Mordecai Richler's celebrated kids book.

·  THE CHILDREN OF TIMES SQUARE – by Robin Bougie
Robin Bougie interweaves his own history with that of Curtis Hanson's seedy, streetwise 1986 TV movie.

·  Dear Judy: Australian Childhood Mythologized in SEVEN LITTLE AUSTRALIANS  - by Briony Kidd
Briony Kidd's love-letter to the feisty, tragic character at the center of Ethel Turner's classic 1894 novel, as seen in the 1973 TV miniseries.

·  The Dark Side of Disney: An Interview with Directors John Hough and Paul Hough - by Kier-La Janisse
We talk to John Hough - director of The Watcher in the Woods and the Witch Mountain films - and his son, filmmaker Paul Hough, about the implications of making (and watching) children's entertainment in the 1970s.

·  Cosmic Rays and Mind Travel: Anthony Read's CHOCKY Trilogy - by Owen Williams
Owen Williams looks at Anthony Read's odd and scary television adaptation of John Wyndham's final novel, Chocky, and its subsequent sequels.

·  Knowing is Half the Battle: An Interview with ABC Afterschool Specials Producer Martin Tahse - by Kier-La Janisse

·  A Who's Who of ABC Afterschool Specials – by Kier-La Janisse
An A-Z of our favourite familiar faces from the series in the 70s and 80s.

·  Stinky: Abbott and Costello’s Resident Man-Child - by Robert Dayton
Robert Dayton, the Canadian Romantic himself, asks, "Who is Stinky? And what does he mean?"

·  Motion Picture Purgatory: KENNY, THE KID BROTHER (1988)- by Rick Trembles
Trembles' legendary comic-form movie review takes on the half-bodied hero of Claude Gagnon's unforgettable docu-drama.

·  Kids Flicks Are No Laughing Matter - by Jesse Hawthorne Ficks
From Song of the South to Bugsy Malone and Rich Kids, Jesse Ficks looks at the life lessons imparted by classic family films.

·  Ann Turner’s CELIA: They Kill Rabbits, Don't They?- by Briony Kidd
Briony Kidd talks to Rebecca Smart, the child star of Ann Turner's terrifying and genre-defying coming of age film.

·  Nicoletta Elmi: Italian Horror's Imp Ascendentby Alexandra Heller-Nicholas and Craig Martin
The most memorable child actress from the heyday of Italian horror films gets a retrospective appreciation from Oz' most astute and enthusiastic scholars.

Editions of the book include:

·  Regular Edition

·  Collector’s Edition (limited to 50, comes with compilation CD)

·  Collector’s Set (limited to 25, comes with compilation CD, JACOB TWO-TWO “Child Power” T-shirt and KENNY skateboard deck designed by Jay Shaw (www.kingdomofnonsense.com)

Aside from these pre-sale packages, we also have many additional perks ranging from movie tickets to original artwork, care of our campaign sponsors Drafthouse Films, Fantastic Fest, The Fantasia International Film Festival, MONDO, Trash Palace, CineFamily, FAB Press, The Black Museum and animator/illustrator Leslie Supnet. Check out the detailed perk levels in the right-hand column!

The Impact

"Having been fortunate enough to work alongside Kier-La at multiple events, I could not be more convinced that she's one of the most knowledgeable, creative and insightful voices in the world of genre film today. She doesn't just know her shit, she knows how to help other people know her shit, too, in the most entertaining way possible."

- Todd Brown, Founder and Editor-in-chief, Twitch / Acquisitions, XYZ Films

This may be the first book I’m publishing under my own imprint, but it’s far from the first project I’ve managed at this scale. I’ve founded and operated film festivals (CineMuerte Film Festival, Vancouver) and independent micro-cinemas (the Blue Sunshine Psychotronic Film Centre, Montreal), and have also coordinated a number of film commission projects and live performances. Even the skills I learned running a fanzine back in the ‘90s have proven useful on this project! But aside from whatever skills, experience and connections we bring to the table (you can read our full bios below), we’ve also been mentored all along the way by the British cult film publisher FAB Press - so we have some good people on our side making sure we don’t fall.

KID POWER! will be published even if we don’t meet our goal—the book is completely written and copy-edited, contracts have been signed, photographs have been sourced and the book is being laid out. We’re well on our way!

This funding challenge not only allows you to pre-order a limited edition copy of KID POWER!, it’s also intended to help make the book as awesome as we know it can be—a heavily-illustrated, full colour edition with a beautiful cover. If we don’t meet our goal, we will still print the book, but it will be in black & white, with less frills. And we’re hoping that our debut can represent the best we have to offer, which will lead to the kind of word of mouth that will allow us to continue Spectacular Optical. Success with selling this first book will go a long way in ensuring a stable foundation for our next book.

Who we are:
Owner and Editor-in-Chief: Kier-La Janisse

Kier-La Janisse is a film programmer for Fantastic Fest and SF Indie, the founder of The Miskatonic Institute of Horror Studies and Owner/Editor-in-Chief of Spectacular Optical. She has been a programmer for the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin, Texas, co-founded Montreal microcinema Blue Sunshine, founded the CineMuerte Horror Film Festival in Vancouver (1999-2005) and was the subject of the documentary Celluloid Horror (2005). She has written for Filmmaker, Shindig!, Incite: Journal of Experimental Media, Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines, has contributed to The Scarecrow Movie Guide (Sasquatch Books, 2004) and Destroy All Movies!! A Complete Guide to Punk on Film (Fantagraphics, 2011), and is the author of A Violent Professional: The Films of Luciano Rossi (FAB Press, 2007) and House of Psychotic Women: An Autobiographical Topography of Female Neurosis in Horror and Exploitation Films (FAB Press, 2012). She is currently working on the book A Song From the Heart Beats the Devil Every Time about children’s programming in the counterculture era.

Managing Editor: Paul Corupe
www.paulcorupe.com

Since 1999 Paul Corupe has shared his passion for Canada’s film history at Canuxploitation.com, a site recognized as the essential source for uncovering the forgotten films of Canada’s past. He regularly writes about genre film and Canadian cinema in publications including Rue Morgue magazine. and documentaries including Bravo’s On Screen! television series.

Other Ways You Can Help

Just because you can’t contribute financially doesn’t mean you can’t help! It would be a great help just to post a link to our campaign on Facebook, Twitter and/or other social media, and encourage others to share the link too!

Find This Campaign On
$5,845CAD
raised by 157 people in 1 month
106% funded
0 time left
$5,500 CAD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on May 7, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $150CAD
    Featured
    KID POWER! Collector's Set

    A deluxe edition of the KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS a “CHILD POWER” T-Shirt, inspired by the film JACOB TWO-TWO MEETS THE HOODED FANG, PLUS a very limited edition skateboard deck designed by renowned artist Jay Shaw as a tribute to Kenny Easterday, star of KENNY: THE KID BROTHER, PLUS a LITTLE VAMPIRE-inspired button that says “vampires never apologize”. Shipping not included.

    5 out of 25 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $15CAD
    KID POWER! Regular Edition

    You get a copy of our full colour, heavily illustrated limited-edition book sure to be a collector’s item! OR – for the eco-minded who want to support without collecting, you can alternately select to receive a full-colour PDF of the book. Shipping costs not included.

    59 out of 300 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $25CAD
    KID POWER! Deluxe Edition

    This edition of the KID POWER! book comes with a limited-edition homemade CD of theme songs, interstitials, music cues and dialogue from not only the films and shows covered in the book, but many more besides! Shipping not included.

    50 out of 50 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $25CAD
    LUNCH BOX upgrade

    You can add a KID POWER! lunch box to any perk you've already selected for just $25! Or maybe you just want the lunchbox, that's fine too! See the lunch box with the prizes in the left hand column! (shipping not included)

    1 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $25CAD
    KID POWER TEE upgrade

    You can add a KID POWER!T-shirt (on white or black) to any perk you've already selected for just $25! Or if you don't want the book, and just want the T-shirt, that's fine too! See the T-shirt with the prizes in the left hand column! (shipping not included)

    3 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $35CAD
    MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS Masks

    You get a Deluxe Edition of the KID POWER Book (with CD) PLUS a cool, limited edition set of nine paper cult film character masks made as a promo items for San Francisco's MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS film series. PLUS a MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS button! See the masks with the prizes in the left hand column! (shipping not included)

    5 out of 5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $40CAD
    The CINEFAMILY Pack

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS a pair of tickets to The CineFamily, Los Angeles’ hub for weird and wonderful cinema, where KID POWER! contributor Bret Berg is one of the amazing team of programmers! A movie-lover’s hideaway that must be experienced! (shipping and travel not included)

    2 out of 2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $40CAD
    LET'S START A WAR

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS a Blu-ray of super-tuff kid flick I DECLARE WAR from Drafthouse Films, signed by co-director Jason Lapeyre! The Globe and Mail called it “Sharp, funny and edge-of-your-seat chilling”! (shipping not included)

    5 out of 5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $40CAD
    MOTION PICTURE PURGATORY Set

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS Volumes 1 and 2 of Rick Trembles’ classic, controversial comic-form movie reviews, both signed by artist Rick Trembles! (shipping not included)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $45CAD
    MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS Shirt

    You get a Deluxe Edition of the KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS a MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS T-shirt! PLUS a MiDNiTES FOR MANiACS button! See the shirt with the prizes in the left hand column! (shipping not included)

    0 out of 5 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $50CAD
    KID POWER LUNCH BOX!

    You get a Deluxe Edition of the KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS a collectible metal KID POWER lunch box! See the lunchbox with the prizes in the left hand column! (shipping not included)

    4 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $50CAD
    KID POWER TEE

    You get a Deluxe Edition of the KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS an official KID POWER! T-shirt! See the T-shirt with the prizes in the left hand column! (on white or black, shipping not included)

    9 out of 20 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $75CAD
    SCHOOL OF SHOCK Set

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS two tickets to The Black Museum, Toronto’s premiere series of lurid lectures for the morbidly curious, AND a full 3-disc set of Trash Palace Classroom Safety Films DVDs, containing such gems as “Rape Alert”, “Truckers for Christ” and “Teacher, Lester Bit Me!” (shipping and travel not included)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $75CAD
    WILD THINGS Set

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS an original limited edition MONDO poster for WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, designed by Ken Taylor! (shipping not included)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $75CAD
    HOME ALONE Set

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS an original limited edition MONDO poster for HOME ALONE, designed by Adam Simpson! (shipping not included)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $100CAD
    JACOB TWO-TWO Set

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS a VHS of JACOB TWO-TWO MEETS THE HOODED FANG signed by the film’s star, Stephen Rosenberg, AND a “CHILD POWER” T-shirt! (shipping not included)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $100CAD
    THE DARK HORSE

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS a 10-ticket pack to Montreal’s Fantasia International Film Festival (July 17-Aug 5), the largest event of its kind in North America, and one of the Canada’s most popular film festivals. You can use this 10-ticket pack for any regular screenings at the festival, not counting opening or closing nights. (Does not include shipping, travel and/or lodging)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $200CAD
    PORTRAIT OF POWER

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS animator/illustrator Leslie Supnet (THE ANIMATED HEAVY METAL PARKING LOT, SUN MOON STARS RAIN, FAIR TRADE etc) will create original artwork just for you, with a unique portrait of either your choice of the tuff kids featured in our book - or a portrait of you or someone you know! All done in her trademark tragicomic style. (shipping not included)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • $250CAD
    KID POWER! FILM FESTIVAL

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS Editors Paul Corupe and Kier-La Janisse will come to your house on an agreed-upon evening to introduce three hours of rare Kid Power programming. We will personally program and bring the films and a bounty of snacks for you and as many friends as you can fit in your living room. (Residents of Toronto only)

    1 out of 2 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
  • SOLD OUT

    $300CAD
    THAT'S FANTASTIC!

    A deluxe edition KID POWER! book (with CD) PLUS one FAN Badge (value $309 US) for this year’s FANTASTIC FEST (September 18-25) in Austin, Texas. Fantastic Fest is the largest genre film festival in the U.S.and the FAN Badge guarantees you a seat at all time slots during Fantastic Fest and access to all of the Fantastic Fest parties, including the opening and closing night parties. (Badge does not include travel and/or lodging)

    1 out of 1 claimed

    Estimated delivery: July 2014
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