Hey, Kickstarter backers. Jake here. The charming, formerly bald subject of the documentary you supported a while back, remember? I'm guessing that you're getting sick of Nate hogging all of these updates. Don't worry; I am too. (Just kidding, Nate! [Unless you're not reading this, in which case: What. Are my Kickstarter updates not worth your time?])
But seriously, here's the deal: A few days ago I watched the first beginning-to-end rough cut of this little documentary, and honestly? It's incredible. You know how people say, "I laughed, I cried," etc.? Well I actually did laugh and cry, and not just because I was re-living the experiences, but because it's so powerful as an actual movie. And it's not even finished yet! (More on that later.) I think it's a safe prediction to say you'll all be blown away by the way Nate has pieced the story together—the dude's got some crazy good editing skills. (His subject is pretty great, too, I might add.) The first time I saw any of the footage Nate had put together—what is now the first 10 minutes of the documentary—I remember thinking to myself, "Whoa. This looks like a real documentary." I get that feeling every time Nate and I get together to view new footage, but the feeling I got after viewing the whole thing was different. This time, I thought, "Whoa. That looked like a really good documentary."
Sitting next to Nate in his (ridiculously awesome) editing room every other week-ish for the past six months has been tremendously fun, which is something I hadn't even considered when we dove headfirst into this thing. And now that we're entering the final stages of postproduction, I'm nearly giddy about working on the things that will take Let's Do This from really good to remarkable.
In fact, that's probably a pretty good summary of the phase of post-production we're in now, post-rough cut—taking things from really good to remarkable. How do Nate and I plan on doing that, you ask? Here are just a few of the ways:
1) Several well-known bands have licensed their music for use on the Let's Do This soundtrack, including Green River Ordinance, The Damnwells, and The Farewell Circuit, and we're currently in negotiation with others. That's already a first-rate musical line-up, and I haven't even mentioned the fact that...
2) My longtime friend and world-class musician Mike Lang is composing a completely original score for the film. I frequently tell people that Mike is the finest musician I know—and I've met my fair share over the years. In addition to being a skilled multi-instrumentalist (I have personally witnessed him not just playing, but slaying guitar, piano, bass, drums, and mandolin), Mike has previously composed music for several film projects, including documentaries. I'm heading to Colorado in July to spend some time with him working out a vision for the score—and then I'm content to just let him work his musical magic and grace us with the result.
3) As Nate said in the previous update, he's planning on doing "tons of fine-tuning" and "color correction," which I can only assume is film industry jargon meaning something like, "make look more good."
4) Finally, Nate and I are in preliminary conversations with some folks at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society about our mutual interests, and there's potential for some very cool things in the film's future. I'm hesitant to say anything more at this point, since most of it thus far has been excited conversations over cups of coffee, but if even some of the conversations translate into reality, things could get awesome.
Long story short: We want this film to be something very, very, special, and we're committed to making that happen. When you see the care and attention to detail evident in the final product—hopefully later this year, and perhaps in the fall—I think you'll not only be happy you supported the project, but that you'll appreciate that we took the time to do things right. You'll probably think to yourself, "Whoa. That looked like a really good documentary."
P.S. I have my one-year review CT scan next Monday. Here's to an "all clear"!
One hour. Fourteen minutes. Three seconds.
That's the runtime for the first cut.
There's still more to go. A great interview to shoot that will glue this whole piece together. Tons of fine-tuning. Color correction. Audio editing. The writing and recording of the original musical score. The painting of the poster. Striking up DVDs.
It's a rough cut... but it works.
All of it could not have been done without your help. Thank you. Truly.
Yes, yes. I know it's been a while! So what's new?!
We are still deep into the editing process of the first cut of the film. I have been calling this the writing phase of the documentary because this is where we have to craft the story. There's so much video that the issue of finding what is most important to tell the story that we want to tell that is taking up much of the time.
Also, juggling this film with full-time jobs and lives. That's also a small hassle.
It is astonishing to think about all that has happened in a year. A year ago, my wife and I met with Jake and Libby to talk about the germination of the idea that has now become Let's Do This. Jake hadn't even yet started with chemo and I was shocked to see that his weight was the exact same as when I knew him back in high school, over nine years before. After talking about what we could do with the film, we thought about how to finance it. We thought maybe there was a chance the film would thrive with the possible backing of Kickstarter, but we weren't sure it would reach the goal.
With crossed fingers, we pulled the trigger and our page went live. You all know how generous the drive became. We are very thankful for your support and we will not let you down.
There's still a long road ahead for our little film that could, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter. We can't wait to show you the fruits of our labor and the journey that Jake went through.
Here's a two-minute look for everyone to share...
seconds to go
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