Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 12, 2011.

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"Good Ol' Freda" is the untold story of Freda Kelly, the Beatles' trusted secretary and friend throughout their rise to fame.

We are so thankful to our 660 backers who helped us reach and exceed our goal!

After November 11th, 2011 when the Kickstarter campaign closes, 'Good Ol’ Freda' will still be accepting contributions through the Southern Documentary Fund, our 501c(3) fiscal sponsor. To donate by check, credit card, or paypal go here: DONATE

The film will cost much more than $50,000 to complete, so we're hoping to continue raising money over the next year.  Because SDF is a non-profit organization, these contributions are tax deductible (but will not come with kickstarter rewards.) 

Please email us at fredakellymovie@gmail.com if you have any questions.

With much gratitude!

The 'Good Ol' Freda' Team

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"Good Ol' Freda" is the untold story of Freda Kelly, the Beatles' trusted secretary and friend throughout their rise to fame.

THE STORY

On The Beatles’ 1963 Christmas record, George Harrison gives thanks to “Freda Kelly in Liverpool.” The three other Beatles shout out in response, “Good Ol’ Freda!”

George is referring to Freda Kelly, The Beatles’ secretary from the early Cavern Club days when they were playing to audiences of 30 people at lunchtime, all the way through their years of international popularity and stardom, and until they eventually broke up in 1970. 

Freda was only one of a handful of employees for The Beatles who lasted for the entire “Beatles Era.” And sadly, she is one of even fewer who are still alive today. As Beatles press officer Tony Barrow says, “Freda is one of the few ‘backroom boys’ who’s never got the recognition she deserves for all the hard work she put in on behalf of the Fab Four.” 

But Freda has never been interested in recognition. After The Beatles disbanded, Freda got married and started a family life in the English countryside, deciding to assume a life of anonymity instead of staying in the Beatles spotlight. And for 50 years she has maintained this private life, keeping her memories to herself.

Intensely private and loyal, Freda has never put her stories down on camera until now: this film will be the first time Freda shares her insider’s perspective on the greatest band of all time. Her motivation after all these years: “Who knows how much longer I’ll be here, and I want my grandson Niall to know what his Granny did in her youth. I want him to be proud.”

The film will tell The Beatles’ story through the eyes of their secretary and friend. Freda’s stories are charming and funny, humble and accessible – and they reveal a side to The Beatles rarely seen. Stories include:

  • Beginning her job at 17 years old, stories of trying to deliver the wages to the band during their performances when there were thousands of other teenaged girls trying to sneak backstage
  • Various tales of being one of the passengers on the Magical Mystery tour bus during the filming of the movie, including being elected to check The Beatles into a hotel under a secret false name
  • The Cavern days, when they would play for crowds of 30 people, girls would shout out individual song requests, and George would sometimes drive her home after the shows
  • Intimate stories of The Beatles’ parents and families, since a large part of Freda’s job was to spend time with them helping them deal with the fame and sacks of fan mail
  • Stories of working for Brian Epstein, The Beatles’ manager and her immediate boss who was known for being mercurial and firing employees on the spot (but for whom Freda has a great amount of respect) – ending with his stunning and tragic death in 1967
  • John Lennon firing her in 1965 because she hung out in another band’s dressing room before a show… and how he got her to come back
  • Serving as Secretary to the Official Beatles Fan Club, which had 70,000 members worldwide and was the main source of information for Beatles fans in a pre-internet era
  • Appearing on the TV game show Juke Box Jury with The Beatles in their legendary 1963 appearance
  • Being called the “Bride Who ‘Fears’ The Beatles” and “The Most Coveted Girl in the World” in the newspaper headlines
  • The various album releases, movie premieres, and after-parties
  • How her protective father wouldn’t let her take the job at first because he’d seen the Beatles drop her off in their cars and didn’t like the way they looked, he didn’t “see any future” in the job
  • Having to keep the illusion of “The Beatles” going long after she knew they disbanded – and the relief (but devastation she delivered) when she finally sent a letter out in 1972 alerting the fans of the dissolution of the fan club because the band no longer existed
  • How she kept writing letters loyally for an additional two years to respond to every last piece of fan club mail

The film will also look at Freda’s life-long career as a secretary. She still holds that title today, working at a solicitors’ firm outside Liverpool, maintaining that same sense of loyalty and privacy with which she served The Beatles. Most of her co-workers don’t even know that she once held one of the highest-profile secretarial jobs ever. But it is these qualities that make Freda who she is, and was – one of very few employees Brian Epstein kept in the inner circle throughout the decade-long “Beatles Era.”

HOW YOUR MONEY WILL HELP

This film can’t be made without you! Your support will help us produce the film and allow us to get Freda’s stories out to a widespread audience. In addition to producing a DVD of the film, we are hoping to play the festival circuit, have a limited theatrical release, and broadcast the documentary in as many international territories as possible. The Beatles’ popularity didn’t end at the UK or US borders, so we’re hoping to make this film available all around the world. But the documentary market is tougher than ever, so we can’t do it without your help!

If you are able to contribute financially, we have amazing incentives to the right, many of which are rare collectibles from Freda’s private collection and signed personally by her. If you can spread the word about our Kickstarter campaign to your friends, on Facebook, or to strangers on the street humming a Beatles tune – we would be eternally grateful! We have 40 days – until 11-11-11 – to make and hopefully surpass our goal!

Here’s a breakdown of how we plan to use the funds:

  • A three-week shoot in Liverpool for our crew to film several interviews w/ Freda, as well as on location in places such as: The Empire Theater, where Freda appeared on Juke Box Jury with the lads and also where John Lennon fired her in the dressing room for hanging out with another band; the Beatles’ childhood homes, where Freda spent time each week helping their families, and Liverpool Town Hall, where she was a guest of the Beatles for the Civic Reception in 1964. And many more!
  • Licensing music and scoring the film. A Beatles film has to have great music!
  • Licensing archival footage and still photographs
  • All the costs that going into editing the film, including the editor and equipment
  • Sound design and mix
  • Color correction, motion graphics, and online editing
  • Distribution expenses including a theatrical release, DVD authoring, merchandising, and mastering costs that go into putting the film into so many different formats 
  • Insurance and legal costs – yuck! – but they’re an unavoidable money pit in filmmaking

$50k is a “low” budget for a documentary, but we know we can finish the film if we raise at least that amount. (We also know we will be eating a lot of ramen noodles.) We hope to raise much more, however! The more money we can gather through this campaign, the more money we can put into the film to make an amazing product. So please get as many incentives as you want and don’t stop just because we’re nearing our goal – we’d love to double, or even triple, our goal!

HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS

Kickstarter is a way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. It’s powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if we don’t raise our goal of $50,000, we lose everything. Once we have reached (and hopefully surpassed!) our goal, we will contact you to get your address and then we will start working on getting those incentives to you.

HOW TO PLEDGE

Just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner. You will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. You must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded.

WHAT IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL?

If funding fails, all pledges are cancelled and that's that. Your card is not charged, it’s like nothing ever happened. We, on the other hand, will go into a deep depression.

CAN WE EXCEED OUR GOAL?

Yes, and we hope to! Every additional dollar that we raise will go into making Good Ol’ Freda an even better film. Surpassing our goal could mean such possibilities as:  a wider theatrical release, access to more archival footage, even perhaps some BEATLES songs which would be amazing!

CAN YOU DONATE IN ANOTHER’S NAME OR BUY INCENTIVES AS A GIFT?

Of course! Everybody has an aunt or brother who is Beatles-obsessed, right?  Why not get them a movie credit or a signed DVD? Just let us know the name you would like to donate under. We will contact you once funding is complete to gather information so that we can get your incentives to the address you choose.

CAN YOU SEND A CHECK?

Yes. Kickstarter only takes funds through credit cards, but we have an alternative system in place to accept checks. The same incentives will apply. Please email us at fredakellymovie@gmail.com if you would like to send a check and we’ll give you the information.

CAN YOU DONATE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?

Yes. We chose Kickstarter because it's international, and we know there are Beatles fans all over the world. Just click on the Amazon Payment Button and you will see that you can pay with a credit card from any country! But you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. If you have any problems just contact us at fredakellymovie@gmail.com

CAN YOU INCREASE YOUR PLEDGE ONCE IT'S BEEN MADE?

Yes! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.

IF THE FILM IS FUNDED, WHEN WILL IT RELEASE?

Still to be determined. Movies can take quite a while to make, and when the DVD can be released depends a lot on the festival circuit and distribution. Rest assured you will be the FIRST group to receive the DVD when it is available and we will keep you updated regularly on the release. The most likely window is between Fall 2012 and Summer 2013.

INTERESTED IN MAKING A LARGE DONATION FOR A TAX DEDUCTION?

If you are interested in making a donation of $5,000 or more to become a producer of the film, there is a possibility for a tax deduction through our 501(c)(3) partner. The same incentives will still apply. Please email us at fredakellymovie@gmail.com to inquire further.

Credits available for $5,000 or more are:

  • $5,000 – Co-Producer credit – 4 available
  • $10,000 – Executive Producer credit – 4 available

* Please note that producer titles do not bestow any creative or business involvement nor does the credit entitle any claim of ownership.

REACH OUT AND CONTACT US

Please feel free to email us with any questions!

fredakellymovie@gmail.com

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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660
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    Get your name on the 50th Anniversary Beatles Fan Donor Wall on our website: www.fredakelly.com

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    A special thank you email video from Freda Kelly

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    A 4x6 color photo of Freda, Ringo, and George during the filming of Magical Mystery Tour

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    Finished copy of the DVD - you will be the first to receive it!

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    DVD + two 4x6 photos (Freda, George and Ringo on Magical Mystery Tour + Paul and Freda in The Cavern dressing room in 1962)

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    DVD + 8x10 photo of Freda and Paul (photo signed by Freda Kelly!)

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    Congratulations! Your name goes in the movie credits on the big screen under special thanks! You’ll also receive three signed rewards: the DVD + 4x6 photo of Freda with Ringo and George taken during the filming of Magical Mystery Tour + 4x6 photo of Freda and Paul in The Cavern dressing room in 1962. All of these items will be signed by Freda Kelly!

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    One lucky backer can choose their favorite Beatle songs to be played on Europe's longest-running Beatles themed radio program: Pete Dicks' 'Beatles and Beyond' heard on 20 radio/internet stations in the UK-USA-Spain-Dubai! Backer will have up to 2 hrs, can request every track on the show, & Pete will read the reasons you selected each song! First time offered in 12 yr history of the show!

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    A signed copy of Larry Kane's epic book 'Lennon Revealed,' a DVD of the last interview John and Paul did together + the entire $100 package (name in credits, signed copy of DVD, and two signed photos). Most of this reward will be delivered by March 2012 but the DVD will be sent around March 2013.

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    An original Beatles Monthly magazine signed by Freda + the entire $100 package (name in credits, signed copy of DVD, and two signed photos)

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    How about a 30-minute Skype conversation with Freda during which you can ask all your questions! Pitch in with your friends for this reward and share the Skype call! Our team will coordinate a time between you & Freda + the $100 reward package. The Skype call portion of this reward could begin as early as February 2012.

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    'Love Is All You Need!' Here's a second artwork choice for you from The Eric Cash Collection. It's an electrifying painting of John in his dazzling psychedelic clothes singing during The Beatles 'All You Need is Love' show which was broadcast around the world. You'll get a 30x30" SIGNED giclee on canvas! An extra bonus: you'll get a signed copy of Judith Kristen's charming book 'A Date With A Beatle' .... with Eric's artwork on the cover! Plus the entire $100 reward! Don't miss out on this limited reward.

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    'On Top of The World!" Here's your chance to own an incredible piece of art by Eric Cash, the most famous Beatle artist in the US! Remember seeing The Beatles perform live on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964? Eric has preserved this magical moment in a beautiful 30x25" SIGNED giclee on canvas and it's guaranteed to bring back that great memory every time you see it on your wall. You'll get this plus an extra bonus: a signed copy of Judith Kristen's charming book 'A Date With A Beatle' with Eric's great artwork on the cover!! Plus the entire $100 reward! Don't miss out on this limited reward.

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    Last 15 hours sale: Because of popular demand (they sold out!) we asked (begged!) Eric Cash for additional copies of 'Love Is All You Need!' Here's a second artwork choice for you from The Eric Cash Collection. It's an electrifying painting of John in his dazzling psychedelic clothes singing during The Beatles 'All You Need is Love' show which was broadcast around the world. You'll get a 30x30" SIGNED giclee on canvas! An extra bonus: you'll get a signed copy of Judith Kristen's charming book 'A Date With A Beatle' .... with Eric's artwork on the cover! Plus the entire $100 reward!

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    Last 15 hours sale: Because of popular demand (they sold out!) we asked (begged!) Eric Cash for additional copies of 'On Top of The World!" Here's one more chance to own an incredible piece of art by Eric, the most famous Beatle artist in the US! Remember seeing The Beatles perform live on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964? Eric has preserved this magical moment in a beautiful 30x25" SIGNED giclee on canvas and it's guaranteed to bring back that great memory every time you see it on your wall. You'll get this plus an extra bonus: a signed copy of Judith Kristen's charming book 'A Date With A Beatle' with Eric's great artwork on the cover!! Plus the entire $100 reward!

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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    You can have your own private lunch date with Freda at the Hard Day's Night Hotel in Liverpool and ask her all your questions! We pick up the tab and will work with you to set up the date. Plus entire $100 package and a signed copy of Judith Kristen's charming book 'A Date With A Beatle.' (Transportation and lodging not included.)

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    Lunch in Chicago with Freda! $500 per seat and only 5 seats at the table. We pick up the tab! Plus the $100 reward package + a signed copy of Judith Kristen's charming book 'A Date With A Beatle.' (Lunch will take place sometime around the Fest for Beatle Fans August 9th-13th, 2012. Transportation and lodging not included.)

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    The first 'Lunch in Chicago with Freda' has sold out!!! But not to worry...Freda has agreed to do a second lunch date! $500 per seat and only 5 seats at the table with her. We pick up the tab! Plus the $100 reward package + a signed copy of Judith Kristen's charming book 'A Date With A Beatle.' (Lunch will take place sometime around the Fest for Beatle Fans August 9th-13th, 2012. Transportation and lodging not included.)

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    The Liverpool Reward: Original 1964 Cavern membership card (only one available and Freda will sign card if you choose!) + copy of David Bedford's book 'Liddypool' + Kevin Roach's books 'The Beatles: Living in the Eye of the Hurricane' and 'McCartneys: In The Town Where They Were Born' (all books signed by authors) + entire $100 package

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    0 backers

    The Greatest Beatles Fan Package Ever! 15 signed copies of the DVD + a 30-minute Skype call with Freda + a high-quality signed and numbered print of Freda's original 1972 letter closing The Beatles Fan Club signed by Freda to you + an original Beatles Monthly magazine signed by Freda + 8 x 10 photo of Freda and Paul signed by Freda + entire $100 reward package.

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    Famed Beatle author Jude Southerland Kessler has donated SIGNED AND NUMBERED COPIES of her two amazing books about John Lennon titled 'Shoulda Been There' and 'Shivering Inside.' Ms. Kessler will also give the #99 signed and numbered first edition copies of all 7 upcoming books - 'She Loves You' (Vol. 3) through 'Shine On' (Vol. 9) --- 9 first editions in all. And would you believe 'Shoulda Been There' is a very very valuable FIRST EDITION! She's also included a signed and numbered poster of the 'Shivering Inside' cover....the very last copy left of this poster ...... PLUS a signed and numbered copy of the famous 'Doors of Liverpool' poster! + the $100 package to boot! THIS IS A GREAT REWARD FOR ONE 'GOOD OL' FREDA' BACKER ONLY AND GOES TO THE FIRST PERSON WHO DONATES $1,500!

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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    Associate Producer credit (only 5 available). That’s right, get one of the main credits in the film, including getting listed on IMDb as an AP! + entire $100 package (This is an honorary title and does not give any creative rights or ownership of the film)

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    0 backers Limited (2 left of 2)

    “Magical Mystery Tour” with Freda! Limited Reward – 2 tours available. 5 people on each tour. Imagine a private customized 4-hour tour of all of the special Beatle places in Liverpool with Freda Kelly and a professional tour guide. Lunch is on us! You and 4 of your friends could pitch in together for this reward! Each of you will receive the $100 reward package too. You choose the date. (Transportation to Liverpool and lodging not included so maybe do during International Beatles Week when you're already in Liverpool?)

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    RARE POSTER from Freda's private collection with letter of authentication from Freda for Serious Beatles Collectors...only one available.This poster, just taken out of Freda's personal scrapbook after nearly 50 years, is in very good condition (has cellotape markings on three sides.) A very rare ORIGINAL poster from The Beatles performance: The Heswall Jazz Club on Saturday, March 24, 1962 at Barnston Women's Institute 7/6 Admission. Orange color and 5.5 x 10". EXTRA! EXTRA! Freda will throw in a couple surprise treats for you from her personal photo collection if you buy this reward + the $100 reward package.

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    "An Evening With Freda Kelly” - A private three-hour session with your guests where Freda will share her stories of eleven years working with The Beatles. You invite your guests and host the event in the city of your choice. In addition you will receive 25 signed DVDs + $100 reward package. Limited to the US and Europe, as we will be covering Freda’s lodging and transportation. (Contact us if you are outside of the US or Europe and still interested in this incentive, and we will work something out!)

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    Co-Producer credit (only 4 available). Be the Co-Producer of Good Ol’ Freda! Get an IMDb entry and see yourself in the film's credits + $100 package. (This is an honorary title and does not give any creative rights or ownership of the film)

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    Executive Producer credit...only 4 available. The highest producer credit you can get! Get the head honcho credit in the film itself, and also on websites like IMDb and all listings for the film. + $100 package (This is an honorary title and does not give any creative rights or ownership of the film.)

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Funding period

- (40 days)