For those of you who’ve been following our progress here at The Winding Stream, 2011 was our best year yet. Here are some highlights:
Thanks to 2010 fundraising efforts we were able to complete principal photography in March and July. We have great interviews in the can with John Carter Cash, Laura Cash, Carlene Carter, Bill Clifton, Patsy Stoneman, and Dom Flemons of the Carolina Chocolate Drops – as well as two great perfomances of Carter songs by the CCDs!
A grant from the National Endowment for the Arts allowed us to move ahead on the edit. An additional grant from the Roy W. Dean Foundation has been given to us for when we complete the edit (it provides an array of in-kind post-production services).
I signed a contract to write a companion eBook that will be an oral history of the Carter and Cash Families based on the extensive interview material we’ve gathered over the years. The eBook will also feature a few video clips and there will be an on-demand print version as well.
We are in the pre-production phase for a mobile app that will be a tour of the Carter Family Fold, repurposing video material we’ve shot over the years. This will be done in partnership with The Crooked Road, a cultural heritage route in SW Virginia.
Recently, I re-established an important relationship with the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. Their Public Programs Manager and Executive Director are excited about the film and, upon its completion, want to put together a screening of the film and maybe a public programs/concert series celebrating the Carters in 2013.
In November we had a successful benefit screening and concert at the Old Liberty Theater in Ridgefield, Washington, raising money and friends for the film.
Up ahead we have been invited to Montana’s Big Sky Documentary Film Festival where we will have a public work-in-progress screening of the film, I’ll conduct a music documentary workshop and I will be participating in a pitch session to broadcasters and funders. We hope to do the same in April at Toronto’s Hot Docs Festival and are currently submitting our application for that. I have also submitted an application for an intensive multi-week documentary lab in Los Angeles with FIND, an independent film organization.
Meanwhile, I am working to identify and approach corporate underwriters and am receiving some professional coaching to that end.
So, clearly we’re moving in the right direction. But what’s next? Well, we still face the challenge of raising the money to complete post-production on the film. Our fantastic editor and friend to the project, Greg Snider, has done “above and beyond the call of duty” work on this film and has been only partially compensated for his time and talent. Needless to say, often he has had to take other editing work to pay his bills. In March, he will be significantly freed up from his most recent project and could get back to work on The Winding Stream. I want to take advantage of this window of opportunity and be able to pay him, as well as an illustrator and animator, an archival researcher and our music supervisor, so that we can come up with a really good cut of the film by the Fall. The low-budget price tag for this penultimate phase of the project is $150,000. At that point, funding for the music and archival rights would still need to be addressed but we would at least have a very-close-to-finished version of the film to work with for that final push.
So for 2012, I am trying to devise a new strategy for raising the rest of the dough!
Your ideas are welcome. And of course, all of us here at Winding Stream HQs appreciate your financial and moral support. Thanks!
Here’s to a big finish in 2012.
All the best,