OUR NIXON, a feature length documentary based on newly discovered Super 8 home movies filmed by Nixon's closest aides. Read more
This project was successfully funded on May 7, 2011.
About this project
*Breaking news! Add a limited edition "H.R. Bobblehead Haldeman" bobblehead figurine to any pledge of $75.00 or higher!
NEW KICKSTARTER GOAL: $25,000
We were being very cautious and conservative when we set our goal at $10,000. We knew it wouldn't be enough to get the whole project done, but it would be enough to get the first cut with color and sound complete. We had initially thought to set it at $25,000 (closer to our expected cash expenses), but Penny was worried we wouldn't make it. So maybe Brian was right this one time. Maybe. Anyway, the closer we get to $25,000 the faster and the more elegantly we can get "Our Nixon" out into the world (and into your mailboxes). Many excellent films take forever to finish just because they can't raise that last little bit. So we are revving our engines to try for 25K. Thank you for your support!
OUR NIXON : WHAT?!
OUR NIXON is one of those crazy magical things that sometimes just fall into your lap.
A few years back, we heard about this kind of strange bunch of home movies from our buddy Bill Brand. Bill told us that H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman and other members of Nixon's inner circle had filmed over 204 rolls of Super 8 home movie between 1969 to 1972, and that the films were just sitting in the National Archives all but forgotten. Just hearing about them, we instantly knew there was an amazing film to be made, just waiting for us to make it.
We saved up our pennies and coordinated with the National Archives and ColorLab to make the first ever digital video copies of all 204 rolls of Super 8 in early 2010. We were so excited and anxious waiting for those video transfers... it was not cheap to have the videos made, and keep in mind we'd never actually seen the home movies. It could have been a huge waste of money, but we had a hunch...
When the videotapes finally came, we were just blown away. They were even more amazing than we'd imagined.
Dwight Swanson over at the Center for Home Movies (and now one of our Kickstarter backers!) says that this material is "one of the great underutilized gems of American presidential history." Richard Brody, film critic at The New Yorker, says of our trailer that "as the footage unspools, I want to hold the moment and look closely at the faces, the expressions, the material details." Seriously, we don't want to oversell our movie or anything... but in all honesty, these Super 8 films are so totally fascinating that our biggest challenge is editing the movie down to a normal length. Suffice to say there will be many, many DVD extras.
We have invested our own money into OUR NIXON to get it off the ground while retaining complete creative control. You can hardly imagine a feature-length documentary with a smaller budget; we are mostly self-producing, so we are very careful with the money we spend. But we still need your help! We are looking to you to help us raise the funds necessary to finish OUR NIXON the way it deserves to be finished, most urgently to pay for top-notch sound design, color correction and an awesome original score. Any money we raise beyond the lean-and-mean goal will go straight toward promotion and distribution to launch this little film into the big ol' world.
Also, we should mention that we plan to put all of the raw footage on archive.org so that the whole world can watch, download and make their own edits of the Nixon home movies. It will be our gift to the copyright-free, found footage community.
PRESS & BUZZ
IndieWire | The New Yorker | Retro Thing | Brooklyn Star | Home & Amateur | Boy With Grenade | The New Nixon Blog | Kickstarter Newsletter | Kickstarter Blog | History News Network | Bad Lit | DINCA | Broome Street Literary Review | Huffington Post
OUR NIXON : "OFFICIAL" DESCRIPTION
Visit our website: www.ournixon.com
During the Watergate investigation, the FBI confiscated more than 3700 hours of Nixon's secret tape recordings. But the FBI also confiscated 204 reels of Super-8 film. The confiscated films were home movies made by Chief of Staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, Chief Domestic Advisor John Ehrlichman, Special Assistant to the President Dwight Chapin, and Deputy Assistant Larry Higby. Everyone knows about the secret tapes because they forced Nixon to resign. But the home movies were filed away and forgotten... until now.
For the first time, OUR NIXON presents those home movies to the public – to tell a familiar story from an unfamiliar perspective. You might be surprised by how much the story changes in the telling.
Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Chapin, and Higby were nuts about home movies. They filmed big events: White House performances by Bob Hope, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Cash and Raquel Welch; hordes of anti-war protestors on the National Mall; legions of adoring fans on the campaign trail; visits from heads of state like Haile Selassie, Nicolae Ceausescu and Indira Gandhi; their historic trip to China; and Tricia Nixon’s Rose Garden wedding.
But they also filmed each other: Chapin goofing around with his camera; Ehrlichman clowning with Kissinger on the beach; and Haldeman filming Higby filming Haldeman at the Great Wall of China. Ehrlichman filmed birds. He was especially fond of hummingbirds. The home movies record every aspect of their experience of the Nixon White House, from the prosaic to the profound. These four men carefully documented their time with Nixon because they believed that Nixon would transform America.The tragedy is that they were right.
Today, when we think of Nixon, we think first of Watergate. But OUR NIXON isn’t a film about Watergate. It’s a film about some of Nixon's men and the story they thought they were a part of – before Watergate changed everything.
OUR NIXON : REWARDS
We put a lot of time into thinking up unique, interesting rewards for our backers. Best of all: all backers (even for $1.00) will have access to EXCLUSIVE VIDEO UPDATES on this page, featuring sneak previews of the sights and sounds of OUR NIXON. You all will be the first to see this stuff! Also: after the campaign launched, we added a limited-edition "H.R. Bobblehead Haldeman" bobblehead doll to any pledge $75.00 or more!
Have a cool idea for a reward? Think we should make t-shirts? Let us know!
OUR NIXON : OTHER GOOD STUFF
THINK YOU'RE A NIXON EXPERT? Prove it! Take the OFFICIAL OUR NIXON QUIZ. C'mon: give it your best shot!
WANT TO MAKE A TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION? Donations over $500 can be tax-deductible! Tax-deductible donations over $500 are compensated with all the same rewards you see on this page. All you have to do is send a check to UnionDocs (our 501c3 fiscal sponsor) and let them know it's for "Our Nixon." Mail it to UnionDocs, 322 Union Avenue, Brooklyn NY 11211. Contact us for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Short answer: we don't know.
Long answer: depends on a lot of things, but we HOPE the edit will be complete autumn 2012, and that DVDs could be arriving in your mailboxes as early as January 2013. If we get a distribution deal, that may change things a little. But we are committed to our Kickstarter backers and intend to honor our pledge to get you "advance copies of the DVD" as quickly as possible.
Easy! We've set up a PayPal store at our website to make this easier. You can pre-order a DVD (release date TBA), purchase the Haldeman bobblehead, purchase the complete collection of the home movies on DVD, or any combination thereof. http://www.ournixon.com/store.html
Additionally, we are always happy to accept tax deductible donations of $500 or more through our fiscal sponsor. Simply send a check made out to "UnionDocs" to the following address. Be sure to tell them it's for "Our Nixon"!
322 Union Ave.
Brooklyn NY 11211
Pledge $1 or more
Yippee! We'll mail you an official OUR NIXON postcard with personalized thank you note to let you know when the film is released. Also, BACKERS AT ALL LEVELS have access to EXCLUSIVE VIDEO UPDATES throughout this Kickstarter campaign, featuring sneak preview clips of the images and sounds of OUR NIXON. Only our backers will be able to see these videos!
Pledge $10 or more
Limited edition retro-chic political button. Select from 10 beautiful designs, all faithful reproductions of real Nixon-era buttons. See them all here: http://www.ournixon.com/buttons.html (We'll ask which one you want when the campaign is over.) We'll also mail you an official OUR NIXON postcard with personalized thank you note to let you know when the film is released.
Pledge $25 or more
An advance copy of the OUR NIXON DVD (including super cool extras). Get it first!
Pledge $25 or more
A complete set of all 10 limited edition retro-chic political buttons. We'll also mail you an official OUR NIXON postcard with personalized thank you note to let you know when the film is released.
Pledge $50 or more
2 advance copies of the OUR NIXON DVD, so you can give one to a friend (and brag about the film you helped produce). Also: a complete set of all 10 political buttons!
Pledge $75 or more
Oh my goodness: your very own limited edition H.R. Haldeman BOBBLEHEAD DOLL! Custom-designed to look just like Bob. Put him on your dashboard, or on your mantel. Who doesn't love a bobble? Also: 2 advance copies of the OUR NIXON DVD and complete set of 10 political buttons!
Pledge $150 or more
Your very own complete DVD collection of the home movies filmed by Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Chapin and Higby. The DVD collection comes packaged with a handy guide to the people, places and events you will find in the home movies. A great gift for historians, home movie buffs, archival nerds, and Nixon freaks of all stripes. Also: 2 advance copies of the OUR NIXON DVD, and a complete set of 10 political buttons!
Pledge $250 or more
Invitation (for 2) to a private VIP screening party in NYC! Have a few drinks on us and celebrate the film you helped produce. And holy cow: you will also see YOUR NAME in the "Special Thanks" credits in the film! Also: the complete home movies DVD collection, 2 advance copies of the OUR NIXON DVD, and a complete set of 10 political buttons!
Pledge $500 or more
A limited edition Super 8 copy of any of the original home movies! You choose which 3-minute reel: the historic trip to China, Johnny Cash at the White House, Ehrlichman's favorite hummingbirds, Tricia Nixon's wedding day... and much, much, much more. (We'll give you a list of available footage.) And holy cow: you'll see YOUR NAME in the film's "Special Thanks" credits. Also: an invitation (for 4) to a private VIP screening party in NYC, the complete home movies DVD collection, 2 advance copies of the OUR NIXON DVD, and a complete set of 10 political buttons!
Pledge $1,000 or more
2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)
If you pledge at this level, you will be an "Our Nixon" Associate Producer. YOUR NAME will be included on the website and in the credits. You'll also get an invitation (for 6) to a private VIP screening party in NYC, a one-of-a-kind Super-8 home movie reel (you pick the footage), the complete home movies DVD collection, 2 advance copies of the OUR NIXON DVD, and a complete set of 10 political buttons!
- (63 days)