Here's to a great summer working on the documentary.
As we come to the end of this summer, we are also coming up on the 1 year anniversary of our Kickstarter Campaign... which has gone down in the crowd-funding history books as a success because of you, our backers.
In the past year we have met some amazing people and shot on other continents.
We have sifted through all of our footage (a task that could have taken up an entire year all on its own!), expanded our crew, legitimized our production by setting up the business, got our IMDB listing, and found a fiscal sponsor which allows us to apply for grants. We built business plans and have scripted nearly the entire production.
We have acquired rare and beautiful vintage filmed footage of Cannery Row and the trains on the Del Monte Express line and of Monterey Bay. (We will show this footage to you in the documentary)
We have found great old photos of Ed Ricketts that have been rarely seen (we will show photos in the documentary), we have painstakingly transcribed some of Ed's rare journals with Ed Jr up in Northern California.
And we have acquired hard-to-obtain access to private archives and collections... including permission to film those rare collections. (again, you'll see these in the documentary)
And of course, we have filmed much more.
Then there are all the amazing opportunities we have been working on behind the scenes, opportunities that will benefit the documentary enormously. We can't yet let the cat out of the bag about these things just yet... but when we finally can, well, you'll wonder how we managed to keep the information under wraps for so long! :)
And with all the things we have accomplished, there are things we have not done yet: most importantly: we have not completed the film. We had made desicion the last winter to push our finish date by at least a year to fall 2014, which allows us time to develop and shoot several elements of the story that we could not get done in 2013 alone. We knew that by doing this, the work-load would become MUCH heavier. And it also means the momentum we had enjoyed in 2012 would slow down, which can suck the energy out of any project. But with your support and encouragement as well as our collective passion for this project we have pushed ahead very hard, and its paying off.
Another thing we have not accomplished is getting all the rewards delivered to each backer. When we stretched out our production time-line, we inevitable had to stretch out our deliveries as well. That said, each and everyone will receive every reward they've earned with their backing level.
What's next for the production? We complete some behind-the-scenes work to build some good equity in the value of the film, and then we talk pre-sales with distributors. In the meantime, we continue editing. We continue shooting. We continue to get rewards sent out to backers. We continue to make connections and build the project.
In the immediate future, our director, P.J., has been invited into an artist residency with the National Steinbeck Center as a filmmaker. NSC is celebrating the 75th Anniversary of The Grapes of Wrath, and to do so, they are taking their resident artists on a 10 day journey from Oklahoma to California following Route 66, the route taken by the Joad family in the book. Plus, our documentary crew has been commissioned by The National Steinbeck Center film the journey. We are extremely honored and excited.
But what does this have to do with our Ricketts documentary? Well, a few things. One important thing is having our crew commissioned for their work. Which helps us keep filming FOR ED RICKETTS. Also, working closely with The Steinbeck Center has opened some amazing doors for our production. And more are opening all the time. (You can find out for about The National Steinbeck Centers's Grapes of Wrath project at www.GrapesOfWrath75.org.)
A lot is happing, even if it is slow. But its all worth it. Very worth it.
As always, we are grateful for all of your support. All of you are on our minds constantly. Your belief and passion in this project keeps us going very strong.
So as we look to the year ahead and all the exciting developments: Thank you.
- the producers | "For Ed Ricketts"