About this project
"Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine" explores the seminal music magazine from its 1969 launch in Detroit to the untimely death of its publisher Barry Kramer in 1981. Check out our current trailer:
As irreverent and profane as it was passionate about the music that it covered, CREEM featured writers like the late Lester Bangs, Robert Christgau, Greil Marcus, Susan Whitall, Ben Edmonds, Jaan Uhelszki, Patti Smith, Cameron Crowe, Richard Meltzer, Dave Marsh (who was the first to coin the term "punk rock" in 1971), and many others. At times, the CREEM newsroom could be be as wild and unruly as the music it covered. The film will explore the sometimes larger than life personalities of the magazine's staff and their relationships to the artists they covered.
An insightful piece over at Rockcritics.com provides a detailed overview of CREEM and it's enduring legacy:
Director Scott Crawford has a personal connection to CREEM. As a onetime music magazine editor/publisher, it was CREEM that inspired him to write about music and culture. Crawford worked alongside many ex-CREEM writers in the trenches of the magazine business as an editor throughout much of the previous decade.
This is a story that J.J. Kramer (Barry Kramer's son and onetime heir to the CREEM throne) has wanted to tell his entire life. J.J. will be producing the film—and his trust in the filmmakers to tell this story the right way was instrumental in getting this project underway.
We're traveling the country talking to musicians, artists, poets, eccentrics and ex-CREEM staffers to bring the story of the most unflinching and uncompromising music magazine in America. We're working with the full cooperation of the late publisher Barry Kramer's estate—which will provide access to a wealth of archival material and never-before-seen photographs.
Here's a partial list of who we have already talked to or plan on including in the film:
As you know, a project of this magnitude takes time and money. If we successfully reach our goal, we plan on using the funds to pay for the following:
• music licensing fees
• travel/location costs
• archival usage fees
• post-production costs (editing, sound, color, etc.)
• digitalization of archival footage
• audio restoration and print restoration
• legal representation
Kickstarter is a wonderful tool for filmmakers like us—but it's an ALL OR NOTHING proposition. If we don't hit our goal, we can't make this film! Every last dollar counts!
Our target running time for the film is 90 minutes, as the harsh reality is that you can't have any success at film festivals if you're over 90 minutes long. But we know the CREEM story is much bigger than 90 minutes. CREEM changed rock journalism and popular journalism. It launched the careers of photographers. It influenced radio programming. It inspired kids to become the next generation of young rock stars. It made Detroit a rock'n'roll destination.
We want to tell the whole CREEM story, but to do it, to expand on all these aspects of its influence, we need a way to go beyond the 90 minute barrier. And we've got one: special features on the DVD. We've established a series of stretch goals for the campaign that will enable us to create individual special features on the DVD that tell additional aspects of CREEM's story.
Stretch Goal at $115,000: CREEM the Later Years
After publisher Barry Kramer died in 1981, the remaining CREEM staff, along with some new blood, banded together to carry the magazine forward. While this chapter in CREEM's history was certainly wrought with serious challenges, the writers, photographers, and artists they covered made their own special mark on CREEM's storied history. This is a part of the CREEM narrative that we'd like to bring to life by exploring the contributions of folks like Bill Holdship, Dave DiMartino, John Kordosh, Gregg Turner, John Mendelssohn, Sylvie Simmons, Iman Lababedi, Chuck Eddy, and many more. This will be included as a special feature on the DVD.
Stretch Goal at $130,000: Lasting Influence
The influence of CREEM magazine can still be felt throughout todays rock'n'roll landscape. We'd like to profile a handful of contemporary artists, writers, photographers, and the like who exemplify the spirit of CREEM in a bonus feature on the DVD.
DIRECTOR/WRITER: Scott Crawford's critically acclaimed debut documentary entitled Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC played to sold-out theaters globally in 2015 and made "Official Selection" at over a dozen fIlm festivals including DOC NYC, Sydney International Film Festival, Big Sky and others. The film received the "Audience Award" at the 2015 Noise Pop Festival and "Best Documentary" at the 2015 Asbury Park Film Festival. Salad Days was a successfully funded Kickstarter project.
PRODUCER: J.J. Kramer is the only child of CREEM's late Publisher, Barry Kramer, and the onetime heir to the CREEM throne. At 5 years old, J.J. was the Chairman and primary shareholder of CREEM and, for the better part of his adult life, J.J. has been fighting to preserve CREEM's storied legacy.
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Jaan Uhelszki Music journalist Jaan Uhelszki was an editor at Creem magazine from 1971 to 1977. Her writing has appeared in Uncut, Mojo, Rolling Stone, Guitar World, and USA Today.
SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER: Jim Saah is a returning collaborator from Salad Days, Scott’s last film (jimsaah.com.) Jim is a native of Washington, DC who has worked professionally in photography and film for over 25 years. He is an experienced shooter and editor whose credits range from union organizing films to music documentaries. Projects he has worked on include movies about the bands Wilco, Death Cab for Cutie and Eddie Vedder. Jim was Director of Photography, editor and producer on Salad Days.
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Patrick Wright co-produced and was associate editor for Music By Prudence, which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Documentary Short and aired on HBO in May 2010. He edited the feature documentary See You Soon Again, about Baltimore-based Holocaust survivor Leo Bretholz and was an Associate Producer on 12 O'Clock Boys. Wright has produced and directed films on HIV/AIDS, clergy sexual abuse, and a profile of Ann Coulter. He is Co-Director of the JHU MICA Film Centre and Director of the MFA in Filmmaking at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.
Risks and challenges
We're committed to reaching our completion date. But, as we've learned, things happen that you never see coming—and that can slow your roll at times. We see the biggest potential stumbling block being the music licensing of what needs to be a loud, fist-pumping, rowdy soundtrack. However, our team of licensing pros are good at what they do, and we're confident that we'll be able to pull off what promises to be the biggest single expense of our production budget.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter