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Funding secured, 'Duluth is Horrible' to be filmed in Duluth

Filmmaker Vincent Gargiulo makes the case for funding his next project, "Duluth Is Horrible," on his Kickstarter video. Gargiulo has cleared the $10,000 threshold needed to get the film off the ground. (

You might not like the title of a San Francisco filmmaker's proposed movie, but enough people liked the concept to fully fund his Kickstarter campaign.

Vincent Gargiulo hit his $10,000 goal on Friday afternoon, which means "Duluth is Horrible" is a go.

"I'm still a little shocked," he said. "It hasn't quite dawned on me yet that it's a real thing."

It took Gargiulo less than the projected 30 days to raise enough money to temporarily move to Duluth in February and hire a local cast and crew to make the film that is set here, but not directly about Duluth.

Gargiulo, who has never been to Duluth and wasn't initially sure where it was located, caused chatter among locals who didn't like the title when he launched his fundraising campaign on the popular crowd sourcing website.

Meghan Callahan of Duluth didn't voice an opinion on it when she made a post about the project on local community blog Perfect Duluth Day. Some commenters on the post objected to the title.

Gargiulo won over at least 81 contributors, including at least a handful of Northland residents. Callahan donated, too.

"It's because I posted it on PDD and it resulted in a huge uproar," she said. "I felt karma dictated I chip in at least a few bucks."

Kate Kucinski of Duluth heard about the project when it was launched in mid-December and had no problem with the title.

"Even though 'Duluth is Horrible' is a bit brash, I think it will get people talking," she said.

She was a late contributor and pitched in $10 on Thursday afternoon -- her first Kickstarter donation.

"I'd been thinking about it," she said. "When I saw he was close to his goal, I thought, 'I want this to happen.' It's great publicity for Duluth. I thought, 'This will be so fun.'"

The movie, which is already written, is a 20-minute dramatic comedy with loosely connected stories about a breakup, a zookeeper, an online date, cat complaints, karaoke, Carmen Miranda, car rental and magic.

Gargiulo came up with the title of the film in a dream, he said.

So far, Gargiulo has done basic preliminary work.

"I found something called the 'Arctic Clothing Guide' and bought everything on the list," he said.

Gargiulo plans to come to Duluth the last weekend of January and begin meeting people, holding auditions and finding locations for shooting. He expects to wrap up around mid-February, but will stay as long as it takes.

Fundraising was slow in the early-to-mid part of the campaign. At one point Gargiulo offered to change the name to "Duluth is OK Actually" if someone donated $2,500.