Even though we’ve got our own crowdfunding going, can’t forget about everyone else. This week we look at two music-friendly documentaries, The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers and Jay Duplass’ Kevin. Both Kickstarter campaigns are in their final two weeks, but with a long way to go…
Generally, when you hear the name “Duplass” in reference to a film, it’s followed by the word “Brothers.” The team of Mark and Jay Duplass has been busy over the years, making The Puffy Chair, Baghead and Cyrus and, simultaneously, making their name synonymous with successful independent films with mainstream crossover appeal. In other words, things are looking good for the Duplass Brothers… so of course Jay decided to go it solo on a documentary project called Kevin that World Premiered at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival.
As you can see, this isn’t our typical Certified Film Threat in Progress fare in that the documentary has already been completed (despite needed some finishing touches in post) and has had a successful, high profile film festival premiere. Still, as many filmmakers know, once you get the film finished, the work is just beginning. In this case, as much as it is about helping Kevin Gant re-launch his career by traveling with the film to various festivals (and setting up live gigs to coincide), it’s also about that little extra indie filmmakers need to do nowadays to make their films more than just something you watch, but an event. In the end, Jay and Kevin benefit, sure, but it’s the audience that really wins.
The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers
We’ve talked about this project on Film Threat before, particularly because of the unique way in which the crowdfunding campaign was launched: with a live concert and screening of footage at the Texas Theatre in Austin, TX. But that was a little under a month ago, and with the final days of the campaign creeping up, we thought we’d give it one last look.
The film follows Oklahoma-born musician, and now documentary filmmaker, Beau Jennings as he travels to different locations, important in the life of Will Rogers, to perform original songs about Rogers. On the Kickstarter page, Jennings details his reasons for writing songs about Will Rogers, and being a part of the film with “The goal of ‘The Verdigris’ is to honestly and faithfully explore a source of great inspiration for me. There are many reasons I find Will Rogers inspiring, and yet it is difficult to put into words the concrete reasons for retracing his footsteps from New York to Alaska. The idea is that by the end of the trip a better understanding of what made Will Rogers who he was can be used to reflect on what makes us who we are. If we can do this part properly, we can only hope that a new awareness of Will Rogers and his incredible life can be a fortunate result.”
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