The Methuselah Generation Kickstarter Project

A while back I mentioned the Methuselah Generation, a documentary film on progress on longevity science and the future of the human life span. The more of this sort of media project underway the better, I think - the state of the science really just sells itself once you kick people into waking up and thinking about the topic of aging and rejuvenation biotechnology. The trick is to make this something that people are talking about and thinking about.

In any case, the Methuselah Generation filmmakers recently drew my attention to their Kickstarter fundraising page:

The Methuselah Generation is a 3D documentary about the science, philosophy, and implications of the coming age of extremely long-lived humans. It profiles the lives and work of scientists who are attempting to create new technologies that can bring about a new age in humanity, and explores their motivations and personal beliefs. Our film will ask (and attempt to answer) profound questions about longevity as it pertains to humanity, the environment and economics. And even if you don't believe that life extension is possible, the stories and the people involved in the science will fascinate you in this great cinematic treat.

Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition: either they raise the minimum funding by the set date, $30,000 by December 26th in this case, or none of the funds are released. It's a good system for ensuring a certain minimum level of achievement for a donor's funds - if too little is raised to ensure a good shot at the project then your money is released to be used elsewhere.

On that note, I'm still awaiting the arrival of a Kickstarter for scientific research with some eagerness. There are a number of possible candidate ventures and prototypes in progress (such as SciFund, for example), but I don't think any have achieved the necessary level of validation in the marketplace. Crowdfunding clearly has an important role in the future of fields like biotechnology, where is very possible to perform useful research projects for a few tens of thousands of dollars. Building clearing houses for that funding process is a necessary step to see it gain more traction.


I can't help but think $30,000 is a lot to ask for to get that film started. These are recent graduates, and should be looking at more modest goals for their start. The finished movie should also be profitable. So are they trying to cover all their costs before they even start selling copies?

Don't get me wrong, though, it looks like it could be a fun film, and I'd happily pay for a ticket. I'd even consider donating 50-100 if they had a more reasonable goal, maybe between 10 to 20 k. My guess is this won't get funded.

Posted by: Patrick at November 14th, 2011 7:11 PM

Patrick, the $30k is to *finish* the project; they've come up short. I'm sure that it cost considerably more than that in total. Film production is very expensive, $30k isn't much in that business. Also, they are not recent graduates and it's not their first film.

Posted by: Brent at November 20th, 2011 4:24 PM

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