About this project
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
With much gratitude!
The 'Good Ol' Freda' Team
"Good Ol' Freda" is the untold story of Freda Kelly, the Beatles' trusted secretary and friend throughout their rise to fame.
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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.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!