Hey everyone! Steve here.
Most of you know me pretty well from joining this campaign, seeing the movie, or following the "Dying to do Letterman" project for the past 6 years. But one thing you might not know about me is that I try to go to the Kentucky Derby every year. I have some fantastic friends in Louisville, and if I can make it, I go.
When I'm at the race I always bet a longshot. Why? Because there's nothing more fun than rooting for the guy everyone thinks doesn't have a chance. What's more American than a longshot? Heck, my dream to perform on Letterman was a longshot. I've got a weak spot for anyone who has been counted out.
That being said, one of our longshots for "Dying to do Letterman" didn't come in.
While we did qualify for Academy Award® consideration this year, the shortlist for the Best Documentary category for the upcoming Oscars® came out last week and we didn't make the cut. There were some great docs that we got to see at festivals that made it. But there were many more that we thought would end up on that list that didn't end up there either.
The truth is that our making that list (and then the final 5 that get nominated) was always a longshot. By definition a longshot is something that should never be counted on or taken too seriously. The type of film we have, the subject matter, the tone, and basically everything about it made us a longshot in the Best Documentary category and we knew that.
But when we started showing our film to audiences 9 months ago, so many amazing things started happening. We started getting standing ovations. People stayed through 45 minute Q&A's and then e-mailed us when they got home. And we started winning awards!
We won audience awards AND the jury awards. At one point we had won more awards than festivals we had attended (having won multiple awards at some feasts.) Joke, Biagio, Denise & I realized we had created something pretty special. Something that was taking on a life of its own.
All that was confirmed further when we were invited to take part in the prestigious DocuWeeks -- a program we thought we had no chance of being invited to because we weren't the "typical documentary."
DocuWeeks -- run by the International Documentary Association -- invites a small number of films to qualify for Academy Award® consideration each year. Past DocuWeeks films had included Taxi to the Dark Side, Jesus Camp, Born into Brothels, Spellbound, and Wasteland -- and now, on that same list, Dying to do Letterman. We were speechless.
To cover the cost of participating in DocuWeeks (they cover many of the expenses but not all) we started our Kickstarter campaign, and it became one of the most successful ever, thanks to our fans…thanks to YOU.
Taking part in Docuweeks qualified us for Oscar® consideration, and because of all the incredible reactions and feedback we all started to think this longshot just might come in.
It didn't happen. While we are of course disappointed, I have to say, thanks to all of YOU we were in that race.
YOU put us in the game.
And I would bet on this longshot again if I had the chance. In fact, this leg of the race may be over, but this film's journey is just beginning.
I promise you we will be worth betting on...because we have amazing fans and friends like you who keep us in any race we enter.
So congrats to those who made the list and very best of luck from all of us here at team Dying to do Letterman. The D2DL team is charging ahead, chasing our huge dream to share our film with a billion people. Thanks for spreading the word and see you at the finish line.
PS We are currently finishing up all the DVD extras and prepping all the Kickstarter Rewards. We should be able to announce soon when you'll be getting your swag! Thanks for being part of our family.
pledged of $37,000 goal
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Jul 6, 2011 - Sep 4, 2011 (60 days)
Pledge $1 or more
DYING TO JOIN THE FUN - - we're thrilled to call you a friend! Get a five-minute mp3 of Steve's stand up comedy and access to the exclusive update and behind-the-scenes videos in our "Backers Only" updates--please promise to tell 10 friends about our project!
Pledge $10 or more
DYING TO KNOW IF STEVE IS FUNNY- - mp3s of every joke Steve sent to Letterman while trying to get on the show, the special track from above, and access to the exclusive videos in our "Backers Only" updates--please promise to tell 10 friends about our project!
Pledge $25 or more
DYING TO DREAM - - all of the above PLUS your own I'M DYING TO... button with YOUR dream personally hand-written in by Steve (see rewards section of Frequently Asked Questions--these buttons are SPECIAL. Some claim they are magic. Seriously. Watch Jimmy Carter story in said FAQ.)
Pledge $50 or more
DYING FOR THE SPECIAL EDITION DVD - - all of the above PLUS the KICKSTARTER ONLY version of the physical DVD. Includes over an hour of bonus materials: feel how nervous we were before our festival screenings, see the graphics Joke and Denise made us yank from the movie, catch outtakes from our Kickstarter video, enjoy a VERY SPECIAL comedy routine from Steve (see our $250 reward for a hint) & see the video thank you message from Steve, Denise, Joke and Biagio. You can only get this limited edition DVD here at Kickstarter (delivered after theatrical release, ETA early 2012)
Pledge $100 or more
35 backers All gone!
DYING FOR TRULY COOL SWAG - - all of the above PLUS the movie personally autographed to you by Steve (you can tell Steve what to write) a physical copy of the CD featuring all the jokes Steve sent to Letterman while trying to make the show, an original street team flyer from our festival screenings, and ONE OF THE LAST REMAINING world-premiere tee-shirts from our Cinequest debut (we'll do our best to get your size, but these are the last ones -- without an owner -- on the planet.)
Pledge $100 or more
62 backers Limited (188 of 250 left)
DYING FOR TRULY COOL SWAG -- THE SEQUEL -- all of the above PLUS the movie personally autographed to you by Steve (you can tell Steve what to write) a physical copy of the CD featuring all the jokes Steve sent to Letterman while trying to make the show, an original street team flyer from our festival screenings, and a special edition "DYING TO DO LETTERMAN" tee-shirt...uniquely numbered by Steve. ONLY available here on Kickstarter. (Get it while you can -- the other swag package sold out in 36 hours!)
Pledge $150 or more
DYING TO READ THE BOOK -- all of the above PLUS the BOOK personally autographed to you by Steve (you can tell Steve what to write.) The book has just been announced today (August 10) and is being published by HCI -- the publisher of the original CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL series. This will be an autographed 1st edition of the book -- don't miss out.Estimated delivery: Jan 2012
Pledge $250 or more
20 backers All gone!
DYING TO BE PART OF THE ACT - - all of the above PLUS Steve will include your name in a one-of-a-kind comedy performance. See it as one of the featured extras on the exclusive KICKSTARTER ONLY special edition DVD. Let Steve immortalize your support of his life story as only he can...with a laugh and a smile.
Pledge $1,000 or more
5 backers Limited (5 of 10 left)
DYING TO DO OUR NEXT DOCUMENTARY -- 10 of you will be featured in a one-of-a-kind short film documentary written and narrated by Steve, directed and edited by Joke & Biagio, celebrating your patronage. We'll hop on the phone with you, gather some cool materials (photos, video, your voice, more) and weave those together into a mini documentary featuring those of you who joined the Dying to do Letterman journey in a big way. Released on the web and Special Edition DVD (included with this package and autographed by Steve) plus up to five I'M DYING TO...buttons hand written by Steve.
Pledge $2,500 or more
DYING TO BOOK STEVE -- Steve performs a night of stand-up comedy, including a short routine customized just for you! (Travel/lodging/venue not included.) Includes all the photos you want to take with Steve and plenty of I'M DYING TO... buttons written out by Steve at the event.
Pledge $5,000 or more
DYING TO HAVE A PRIVATE SCREENING -- your own private screening of Dying to do Letterman. Wherever you like: your home, a theater, a community center...wherever. Steve arrives with the movie, does Q&A after, & writes out all the I'M DYING TO buttons you want. Impress your friends, use the screening as a fundraiser...it's all up to you. Steve's yours to use and abuse. Steve's travel/lodging and any venue costs not included.
Pledge $10,000 or more
DYING TO HAVE STEVE FOR THE WEEKEND -- let Steve host your weekend event--company retreat, family reunion, whatever the event, it's your own weekend of Dying to do Letterman fun. A stand-up comedy show from Steve one night, a screening the next, wherever you like...your home, a theater, a community center, camp grounds, a hospital, a garage...your call. Impress your friends, use the screening as a fundraiser...it's all up to you. Travel/lodging and any venue costs not included.