A local documentary maker is videotaping stories from former iron industry workers in Chattanooga, TN, a city once known as "the dynamo of Dixie."
SATURDAY, JULY 17, 2010
I am happy to report that as of last night the campaign has cruised over the 100% mark! Thanks to our very generous first 85 backers we are in a great position with only 10 days remaining. So happy+grateful to everyone. But you see, this project needs much more than $6000 ultimately. I picked an amount I thought was achievable for a Kickstarter campaign so that it would be successful. This modest goal only covers some of the costs to keep the work going this summer. The more we raise the longer the work can continue. Every single dollar pledged over the $6000 goal is needed just as much as every single dollar leading up to the goal. Can you help? Its not too late.
Proper oral history gathering takes time and money. So much goes into preparing and processing each and every interview. What becomes of the tapes and the photos and other material to make a storyline into a documentary also takes a great deal of time and money.
So, I'll say it again.
Your donation is so important.
W H AT . I . W A N T . T O . D O
And The Iron Did Swim is an independant documentary project that combines oral histories with documentary arts, photography and filmmaking to explore the history of the foundries and foundry workers in and around Chattanooga, Tennessee, and the Southeast. The project debuted in May of 2009 as a photography exhibition. Today, I seek funding to continue the oral history gathering of videotaped interviews with former iron workers. These interviews will be used for my documentary, while becoming part of a new public archive at The Chattanooga History Center. This digital archive will be available for generations of research, education and enrichment.
Some context: At one point in the city's history, Chattanooga was known as the Dynamo of Dixie due to the large number of foundries and factories making up the city's economic backbone at the beginning of the century. Dirty, hot and hard foundry jobs have supported thousands of families in Chattanooga over the last 100 years. And while we all understand these places generated great filth and wealth, they had also been a source of great ideas and inventions during the industrial revolution. There are only a few small foundries still in operation here today, but as recently as 2001 there were still nearly 2000 foundry jobs. The U.S. Pipe plant laid off the last of its 345 employees when they closed their doors just 5 years ago in 2005. The people whom I have met, mostly from US Pipe, have each shared their deep pride and attachment for the foundry and their sense of family inside the plant. Folklore animates the official history of each of these places including unconfirmed local rumors of forklift street races, furnace room pranks, and a few tragedies.
Eventually, I hope to expand the project's coverage beyond the city of Chattanooga to stories and context from neighboring states and the greater region. Visit www.foundrypublishing.com for more info.
H O W . I . P L A N . T O . D O . I T
I am already in touch with many former workers who have agreed to be interviewed and contribute their story as an act of historic preservation of the iron industry, the city of Chattanooga, the state of Tennessee and even the country. I have lists of hundreds of individuals whom I will be contacting to request their participation. This initial series of interviews will primarily focus on an identified list of individuals whose stories have significant and immediate value in terms of capturing the earliest time periods of our city's industrial storyline directly from our oldest living former iron workers. The immediate selection of narrators will be prioritized to capture the oldest generation of workers first, so that we don't risk losing their stories forever. Priority will also be given to collecting a broad profile of narrators, sensitive to race, gender, age, and position.
For each videotaped interview, background research will be conducted to determine the topics and questions for each session, ensuring the oral history will not simply duplicate the written record but will supplement it, adding unique material available nowhere else. Following each interview session, a digital archive and transcription of each tape will be created. Additional scanning and digitizing of donated / loaned/ archive material (photographs, memorabilia) provided by interviewees will take place as necessary.
W H A T . T H E . M O N E Y . I S . F O R.
HARDWARE/SUPPLIES Digital video tapes, extra batteries and hard drives will also be purchased with these funds. Scanning fees for archive material will be covered with these funds. Interview tools including a reference guide with headlines and images to stimulate conversation + memory. Digitization of tapes.
TECHNICAL These funds will allow the production to hire a cameraperson who can look operate our gear and fine tune the sound and picture quality while I am conducting the interviews. I have been a one man band on this up until now. You can imagine how much better it is to have another set of eyes and ears catching quality control, so I can stay engaged with each interview conversation.
PRODUCTION includes transportation and gasoline to travel to each interview location. If there are interns with us, they will probably get hungry at some point. Some of these locations are on the outskirts of Chattanooga, between 20 and 120 miles away. We are a border state with Georgia, Alabama and North Carolina.
GEAR The funds will also go toward the purchase of a video camera. I have been limited to using rented and borrowed gear which can be expensive and unreliable. Being able to work on-demand and independently with my own video camera will immediately and immensely increase the efficiency and quality of this project.
QUALITY Finally, it will cover some of my lowbudget fees as director and field producer so that I can focus on this project this summer.
Of course, as you may realize, the real cost of a project like this exceeds the money I am raising on Kickstarter. Your contribution and this campaign is a giant step toward my goal. You are investing in history. The more I raise the longer I work!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Thank you for joining the team! In appreciation you will receive all of the exclusive project updates, including sneak peak photos and video bites from the field during production. You will also be of the first to see the new project website when it is unveiled later this year!
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Thank You! As thanks you have all of the exclusive access to project updates, sneak peaks, and the new website. I will send you a set of very cool foundry industrial poetry magnets. 6 pieces. These sets are all images taken from my project collection. You can put them on the refrigerator or filing cabinet as a reminder of how great you are for supporting the arts and this documentary on Kickstarter!
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Way to go! I will send you a Double Magnet Set of cool foundry magnets. 12 pieces. These sets are all images taken from my project collection. You can put them on the refrigerator or filing cabinet as a reminder of how really great you are for supporting the arts and this documentary on Kickstarter! Plus all of the first-look access to project updates, sneak peaks, and new website.
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SPECIAL FINAL WEEKEND OFFER TO NEW BACKERS Double magnet set AND an original 5x7 print from the exhibit collection. Tell a friend and lets kick this campaign into the final weekend with gusto. Because you're rallying for the final days I'm happy to send you an extra thanks! Tell a friend.
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Way to step it up! I will send you a Triple Magnet Set of very cool foundry imagery and imagination. You will love playing with these visual poetry pieces. Each set includes six pieces in each. You'll be able to reconstruct parts of an old foundry in the comfort of your own home! And of course, all of the exclusive access to project updates!
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NEW NEW NEW Collectible Combo: Super cool and brand new industrious and industrial wearable art! Miniature square pendants made from abstracted compositions within the foundry photo archive. Each one is unique and handmade. Pendants are aprox 3/4" square. I have searched within my proofs for small abstract compositions within many photographs and created colorful pendant charms to wear around your neck. Each one is hand cut, resin coated and hung on a simple chain. This reward pairs a pendant with a single magnet set for an artfully unique and totally hip tribute to our industrial heritage. These are not available anywhere else and there are only 20 offered during this campaign. Scoop 'em up!
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ART PRINTS! nice. I will send you an original art print from my exhibit collection of And The Iron Did Swim. Plus you'll also receive all the exclusive updates from the field.
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METALLIC ART PRINTS! I will send you an original art print from my exhibit collection of And The Iron Did Swim. Printed on special metallic papers for extra gorgeousness. Plus you'll also receive all the exclusive updates from the field, and a magnet set!
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FINE ART COTTON PRINTS! I will send you an original art print from my exhibit collection of And The Iron Did Swim. Printed on special lush and lovely cotton paper makes them extra nice. Plus you'll also receive all the exclusive updates from the field, and a double magnet set.
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FINE ART COTTON PRINTS + CHAPBOOK! I will send you an original art print from my exhibit collection of And The Iron Did Swim. Printed on special cotton paper for extra lush texture and depth. I will also send you a limited edition original Chap Book with notes, stories and images from the field during production. You'll also receive all the exclusive updates from the field, a magnet set, and your own copy of the documentary. Congratulations. You are a true patron of the Documentary Arts and will be receiving a sampler of this project's many layers!
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FINE ART PRINTS! +++ Are You Kidding me? You are Incredible. I will send you two original art prints from my exhibit collection of And The Iron Did Swim. One will be printed on special metallic paper and the other on lush cotton. I will also send you a limited edition original Chap Book with fieldnotes, stories and images, and a triple magnet set. You will be listed in the credits of the finished production as a contributing producer. You will have your own copy of the documentary. You are true patron of the Documentary Arts. I hope you enjoy your sampler.
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FINE ART PRINTS! +++ DOCUMENTARY ARTS PATRON AWARD : : You are Incredibly incredible. You are now one of the Executive Producers. Congratulations! You can have your own copy of our documentary. Plus I will send you your choice of two original art prints from my exhibit collection of And The Iron Did Swim. Choose cotton or metallic paper or one of each. I will also send you a limited edition original Chap Book with fieldnotes, stories and images. Plus blogged updates, and a triple magnet set. Finally, since you are the ultimate patron of the Documentary Arts you will also receive a superhip artpanel from the Fetish Series featuring beautiful abstract images of industrial curtains at the U.S. Pipe & Foundry Chattanooga plant. I Am Blown Away!
- (60 days)