Thursday, June 17, 2010

Taken By Storm - A documentary

A re-aqainted friend, whom i had not seen in close to 30 years, I met at a Jem Cohen screening last fall. It was a friend who I was in 9th and 10th grade classes with, most notably art, where we collaborated on a painting of one of my Tony Alva photos that was published in SkateBoarder magazine probably in 77 or so, (the painting by the way is now owned by Cynthia Conolly).

Well now Roddy and I both have very young sons that ride scooters together in the park, 3000 miles away from where we were in school together, and recently he told me about his biggest most ambitios project to date. Currently he's teaching film, and working on a documentary of the life of Storm Thorgerson and his design crew HIPGNOSIS.

He signed up to Kickstarter a few weeks ago because the film needs some financial help, I kicked down a bit and i thought i'd ask to see if any of you may be interested in helping as well. Seems like a pretty cool project. After the current "trailer" below, here's part of the blurb:

Storm Thorgerson is an artist who believes in the craft of his imagemaking, no matter at times whether these images were bombastic, surreal, impossible, hypnotic, or sublime. As HIPGNOSIS, along with partner Aubrey (Po) Powell, Thorgerson designed some of the most recognized album graphics in popular culture - Pink Floyd’s DARK SIDE OF THE MOON and HOUSES OF THE HOLY for Led Zeppelin - while relentlessly pushing the boundaries between art and commerce. Not only examining the prolific work of Thorgerson, TAKEN BY STORM will also examine his idiosyncratic techniques and visual achievements shunning computer fabrication for more ‘materialistic’ means such as constructing the various objects, scenarios, or performances in real time and space and simply photographing them. As a designer continually working with his creative philosophies and principals guiding his art in his quest to "do it for real" while the very nature of imagemaking has dissolved into the digital realm, Thorgerson has created a massive body of work that intersects movements in art, culture, and perception and TAKEN BY STORM will be a film resonating with the moment in which we live where beauty and poetic discovery are things which can still send us back in time and memory.

At the moment, the film is @95% shot (yes, that is 16mm film) and I am trying each and every avenue to raise the funds as soon as possible to get a cut of the project (which means, yes, even though I have a mac, etc. etc., I want to hire a good editor). I’ve filmed numerous interviews of Storm many at the sites where he created some of his most iconic images and gotten amazing interviews with musicians such as David Gilmour and Nick Mason from Pink Floyd, Robert Plant, Peter Gabriel, Graham Gouldman from 10cc, Alan Parsons as well as Dominic Howard from Muse, Rob Dickinson from Catherine Wheel, Noel Hogan and Fergal Lawler from The Cranberries, Cedric Bixler Zavala from The Mars Volta, and Simon Neil and James Johnston from Biffy Clyro. I’ve also interviewed artists such as Sir Peter Blake (who designed Sgt. Pepper) and Damien Hirst as well as rock photographer Jill Furmanovsky. I know it sounds a little crazy that I haven’t been able to raise the money to finish the film, but I’ve had loads and loads of interest from distributors, producers, sales agents, and the like, but no hard cash!

And so my urgent and humble plea, dear Kickstarter fan…

My Kickstarter request, if successful, could not come at a more opportune time. I have raised some private money towards the edit but need to raise the total amount of my project request to insure a cut of the film to be completed in the next several months. The money raised will be used to keep the editor on the project until a full cut is done that can be screened to potential distributors and sales agents. As things go, I hope to submit the film to next year’s festival circuit.

Storm has generously gifted me with several original artworks to help in my Kickstarter campaign as well as Atavistic Records supporting me with discounted copies of the soundtrack to my last film, I WAS BORN, BUT…, scored by indie rock musician Chris Brokaw. Chris is a co-producer on the film and recording original music again for the soundtrack and I am also getting original music from Antony Genn and Martin Slattery of The Hours who if you know their history (Pulp, Elastica, Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros, Black Grape), you know they ooze Britpop.

TAKEN BY STORM will really be a film for the ‘punters’ as Storm puts it and if all goes well will be the first film of mine to get a wide release. And so for TAKEN BY STORM to be featured on Kickstarter makes sense in so many ways…that the ‘punters’ (fans to us yanks) can be part of its completion and also help in getting the word out. Any and all contributions, any and all recommendations, any and all communication, I thank you profusely in advance.


links for project:

This project will only be funded if at least $20,000 is pledged by Tuesday Jul 6, 12:00pm EDT.

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