The Winding Stream is officially in post-production and we are now seeking funds to get the film done by the end of 2012! This is a story that has never been told in its entirety and it's one that we feel really needs to be told.
Our film is the saga of the family at the very heart of Americana music - the Carters and Cashes. This family has influenced generations of musicians and has produced a cultural legacy that is celebrated to this day, 85 years since the first Carter Family recordings.
Our documentary is a big story about our culture and our history. It features lots of great performances and interviews with a wide range of country and roots music artists. But our most notable interview is the one with the legendary Johnny Cash, granted to us in the last weeks of his life. We believe he allowed this interview for one simple reason - he thought it was critically important that people know the Carter Family story. He felt he owed them. The Carters not only influenced the course of country music - the genre he loved and excelled in - with their songs, but they also influenced it by saving Johnny Cash's life.
In 2010, lots of folks through Kickstarter generously helped us complete principal photography. With that money we were able to finish shooting key interviews with Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash and his wife Laura, as well as interviews with June's daughter Carlene Carter, family friends and other well-known musicians. [NOTE: See our website for the complete rundown www.thewindingstream.com]
So now we have a bunch of great footage that needs to be incorporated into the cut we've been working on. Ideally, we're hoping we could raise enough to pay some folks who've been working very hard on this for years for little or no compensation - in particular, we're talking about our diligent and talented editor, but we'd also want to cover our animator/graphics people, our clearance people, our sound designer, our color corrector and other post-production people. That would get us to fine cut stage!
But all that comes with a big price tag - $250,000. And frankly we're nervous about going for that amount on Kickstarter since, as you probably know, it's an all or nothing proposition. If we don't meet our goal, the project doesn't get funded.
Still, we're not complete cowards. So we're going to think about this in parts.
We've already completed Phase 1 in 2010. We raised that money for the aforementioned principal photography. Done! Successful! Thanks!
Phase 2 launching now will pay for the rest of the editing and some other post-production costs. Plus the fees and rewards and postage attached to this campaign. That's $50,000.
Phase 3 depends on the success of Phase 2. Maybe we can exceed our Phase 2 goal of $50,000 now? Can we raise the remaining $200,000? Though it's unusual, there have been some Kickstarter film projects that have succeeded in raising that amount and more.
Could The Winding Stream - the story of the legendary Carters and Cashes - be one of those historic Kickstarter campaigns?
Can you help us get there?
There's some urgency to our pitch beyond Kickstarter. In a recent conversation with folks at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles, we learned that they are extremely interested in screening the film there, perhaps as a premiere event, and will focus some additional programming on the Carter Family as well. We can't think of anything better to be a part of. We want our film in the mix!
We have to get The Winding Stream done by the end of 2012!
We also have had interest from other museums (Country Music Hall of Fame, Experience Music Project), festivals and broadcasters, but obviously, we can't take advantage of their offers to show the film when it's not done yet.
And because we'd like the film to "do well by doing good" we're also committed to doing benefit screenings for The Winding Stream for MusiCares, the Grammy Foundation's philanthropic arm that helps musicians in need. That work can't start happening until we get the film done!
We're grateful to have received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, the Faerie Godmother Fund and the Roy W. Dean Grant. But films are expensive and with recent cutbacks in arts funding, this just hasn't been enough.
On several occasions, we've also encountered a skepticism among industry decision-makers who seem unsure that anyone cares about this story. But we know there's interest! We've had great support from the people who care about roots music, history, indie filmmaking and the world of rural America. We're hoping you folks are the ones who will help us get this film made.
Please note that because The Winding Stream is being done in conjunction with the non-profit Center for Independent Documentary, your donation is tax deductible (minus the cost of your reward).
To our friends who've already helped us in the previous Kickstarter campaign, we say thanks again. You're the best. If you're inclined to pledge again, we'd be honored. But even if that's not in the cards for you, we hope you'll help spread the word to anyone you know who might share your enthusiasm for this project.
The real success of a Kickstarter campaign relies on that exponential growth that occurs when you share our link and information about what we're doing! These campaigns grow only with your assistance. Please tell people about this film! Send them to this Kickstarter page and our website
And please pass along any outreach ideas you have to us. We're giving this our all in the coming days but we can't get it done without you!
Thanks a million.
Beth Harrington and the gang down by The Winding Stream