MR. SPEAKER - A documentary about House Speaker Tip O'Neill
MR. SPEAKER - A documentary about House Speaker Tip O'Neill
Tip O'Neill, a truck driver, wound up two heartbeats away from the Presidency. NY TIMES Best Seller, and Award Winning Filmmaker.
Tip O'Neill, a truck driver, wound up two heartbeats away from the Presidency. NY TIMES Best Seller, and Award Winning Filmmaker. Read more
About this project
We're relaunching! Find the new project at this link: http://bit.ly/MrSpeakerDocumentary
Tip O’Neill was a Boston Irish truck driver, big and lumbering, a child of the Great Depression. He worked his way up to being two heartbeats from the Presidency, the Speaker of the House of Representatives and dedicated his career of over 50 years to improving the lives of the working class.
I believe that the lessons of Tip’s political career are just as timely and relevant now as they were when he first ran for office over 70 years ago, so I'm raising $44,000 to produce a professionally-written script for the documentary and a fund-raising pitch video. Anything over that amount will go directly towards the pre-production and production of MR. SPEAKER.
The documentary we're funding will encompass his whole life and beliefs. From his first campaign at age 15 to his retirement, we will capture a life that was the twentieth century. We intend to shoot the film on location in Boston, Washington, DC and Ireland, interviewing plain folks who knew him as family, as well as some of the most famous politicians of today who remember him with relish.
HE LIVED THE AMERICAN DREAM
Tip O'Neill was the second longest running Speaker, and clashed with four presidents. A liberal Democrat Party loyalist, as Majority Whip he risked everything when he broke with L.B.J. over Vietnam, and finally succeeded in defunding the war. Why? He did it because he kept seeing body bags coming home to his district. And to him all politics was local, that meant “for the people.” He was the first one to see Watergate coming and he taught the House members on both sides of the aisle how to say the word “impeachment” without wincing. After Watergate, the scandal mongers in Congress and the national press went after Tip, but they couldn’t get him. Do you know why? Because he wasn’t in it to get rich (he didn’t) and he wasn’t in it to hide the truth; he was in it for the people and everybody who knew him, knew that.
He was “Old School” with the back-slap and the bawdy joke, he liked a drink, and had a great sense of humor about himself. He even made a cameo on “CHEERS”.
He was unpretentious, gregarious, studied history, recited Kipling, Yeats and Shakespeare from memory and was deeply passionate about politics, the Red Sox and a good meal. He fought tirelessly for peace in Northern Ireland. He called everyone “pal.”
When O'Neill retired as Speaker of the US House of Representatives, he had an 86% approval rating from the American people; even higher than Ronald Reagan at the end of his last term.
TIP'S STORY RESONATES TODAY
The narrative trail and visuals will follow Tip through:
- a stormy childhood
- a working-class life with no future
- the discovery of politics
- the lessons of his early defeats
- the inspiration of FDR and the New Deal
- his rise to elected office in the Massachusetts State House
- the honor of ascending to John F. Kennedy’s open seat in the U.S. House of Representatives
At the risk of his political life, he exhibited several career defining profiles in conscious and courage, the effects of which are still felt today.
1. During the 1930’s Red Scare, as a first term junior state legislator (with the risk of ending his political career just as it was beginning), he defied his constituents, the Democratic Party and the Catholic Church by opposing the Loyalty Oath
2. As a member of Congress, he defied Lyndon Johnson and some of his constituents over the Vietnam War, a key milestone in changing the public perception against the war. The lesson was successfully learned by the House Democrats in 2006 and 2008.
3. He helped dispose of Spiro Agnew and Richard Nixon over Watergate
4. As Speaker, while he battled with Ronald Reagan over civil rights, Social Security, foreign policy and jobs at home, their relationship went beyond partisanship. Their relationship, contrary to the politics of today, epitomized bipartisanship and the “Golden Age of Politics” while helping define mutual civility and finding common ground.
HOW I GOT INVOLVED
I knew the guy. I was a staff member for Tip O’Neill, and was impressed by his character and courage. Before history forgets, based on the New York Times Best Seller Tip O'Neill and the Democratic Century by John A. Farrell, I want to make a great documentary about someone I knew to be a great man.
The filmmaker I have chosen to make this documentary film is award-winning writer/producer/director/actor Dimitri Logothetis. You can visit Dimitrisite.com or his IMDB page to learn more about Logothetis and his work.
Since his early days as director of acclaimed feature films, television and documentaries, Dimitri Logothetis has excelled in all genres ranging from dramas to action and thrillers. His documentary work is world-renowned, having made what was one the best selling video documentary in history, Champions Forever, which featured all the living heavyweight champions. Last year, Dimitri directed, produced and wrote an award-winning documentary on infamous 50′s Chicago mobster Sam Giancana. His experience and skill at making feature films and television dramas enhances his documentary work. He knows how to get to the core of a story and keep it interesting.
Dimitri has committed to making this documentary film about Tip O'Neill. His creative ideas and planning already thrill me. Also, he brings with him a crew of film craftsmen and technicians he has worked with for twenty years, who just last year combined talents under his leadership for a documentary that has won three film festivals.
Dimitri will be working with Jim McGrath, an Ovation Award-winning playwright who has written over fifty hours of network and cable television, including the top rated network movie of the week of 2005.
Yet through all of the political, social and economical changes and turmoil of this past century, Tip O’Neill lived, practiced and passed on to future generations his one legacy that could very well determine the destiny of future elections; the value of grassroots politics.
“All Politics is Local!”
This is why Kickstarter seems to be a great way to get things rolling.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL
Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. The way it works is that we have to meet our funding goal before the campaign expires – or we don’t get anything.
We can only finish this documentary with your help. You are as much a part of its creation as we are. The more people who participate, the more ability we will have to get Tip's story out to as many people as possible.
So, help by donating and spreading the word to others. Share this link,“Like” us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, email this Kickstarter link to your friends, family, supporters, co-workers and anyone else.
THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT!
Risks and challenges
The major risk and challenge for me comes with the fact that I have never made a documentary before, or any kind of film for that matter. However, I have a passion to produce this film, and my way of overcoming this challenge has been the selection of an accomplished, award-winning filmmaker and creative team:
Dimitri Logothetis, Director:
Dimitri directed Champions Forever, which for many years was the best selling documentary video in history. His most recent documentary, "Momo: The Sam Giancana Story" (2012) has won the Best Documentary award at two Los Angeles film festivals and recently, the Monaco international film festival. He has Executive Produced forty hours of scripted series television, directed twenty-one hours, directed nine feature films, and produced six feature films. He has worked with Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro and Robert Aldrich and David and Mark Wolper. Developed and produced a highly successful Stephen King movie for Columbia, and written a television mini-series for Warner Brothers and Turner. He was an Executive Producer and ran two television series for Warner Brothers.
Jim McGrath, Writer:
Jim McGrath is an Ovation Award-winning playwright, and has written over fifty hours of network and cable television, including the top rated network movie of the week of 2005. He worked with Dimitri Logothetis on the award-winning documentary "Momo: The Sam Giancana Story" and on many other projects.
Logothetis and McGrath know how to build a project from a simple passionate idea all the way to an artistic and technical achievement. They've done it many times, together and separately.
Dimitri Logothetis in conjunction with his production company DREAM ON FAMILY Lmtd and Tod O’Connor (Producers) are raising funds through KICKSTARTER for the documentary (Documentary) “Mr. Speaker”, the Life of Tip O’Neill, based on the New York Times biography “Tip O’Neill and the Democratic Century” by John A. Farrell. You, the Contributor, may select one or more of the pledges and pay the indicated amount(s) in accordance with the following agreement between the Producers and you, the Contributor:
1. Upon selection of a pledge, your payment will be collected through Amazon Payments (Amazon) via KICKSTARTER. By using this provider you agree to KICKSTARTER’S terms and conditions. The Producers do not receive any confidential payment data from this provider, and they are not responsible for Amazon’s performance. Any separate charges or obligations that you incur in your dealings with Amazon are your responsibility.
2. Your payment is a deposit to be used for the initial development and production cost of the script for the Documentary including the website cost, the production and delivery cost for the pledge items, and the Producers’ expenses associated with the Script Cost.
3. If you have elected to receive a refund in case that the initial fundraising goal will not be reached on or before the stated deadline from all deposits and other investments, then the Producers through Amazon via KICKSTARTER will proceed to refund such deposit promptly to you, less processing cost and third party fees, if applicable.
4. Once the initial fundraising goal has been reached, or if you elect to leave your deposit regardless of the amount raised, then the following shall apply:
1. The deposit shall be earned by the Producers and become non-refundable to the extent that it is used for the Script Cost, with each Contributor’s deposit being applied as follows: first to the fulfillment of the pledge items, and then to the Script Cost in a percentage equal to the total applied Script Cost in relation to the total Contributor deposits remaining after the cost for the pledge items.
2. The Producers agree to use good faith business efforts to deliver to you the pledge items on or before the estimated delivery date. However, you acknowledge and agree that delivery as of such date is not a promise by the Producers since unforeseen events may extend the development and/or production time. Accordingly, you agree that any unearned portion of the deposit shall not be refundable until and unless the Producers have not delivered the pledge items to you within 12 months after the estimated delivery date.
3. For the avoidance of doubt, in consideration of the Producers’ good faith efforts to develop, produce, and deliver the Script with the funds raised, you agree that any deposit amounts applied against the Script Cost as described above shall be non-refundable regardless of whether or not the Producers are able to complete the Script. In the unlikely event that the Producers are not able to deliver the Script, the Producers agree to post an audited cost accounting on it’s the Project’s Kickstarter website to fully explain the use of the deposits for the Script Cost. In consideration of the promises by the Producers hereunder, you agree to irrevocably waive any claim for refund of any deposit amount that has been used for the Script Cost in accordance with the above.
5. TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT YOUR SOLE AND EXCLUSIVE REMEDY FOR ANY DISPUTE WITH THE PRODUCERS IS TO CLAIM A REFUND IF AND WHEN DUE PURSUANT TO THE TERMS HEREOF. IN NO CASE SHALL THE PRODUCERS’ AND DREAM ON FAMILY LMTD AND ITS AFFILIATES’,EMPLOYEES’, OFFICERS’, OR DIRECTORS’ (COLLECTIVELY,) LIABILITY TO YOU EXCEED THE AMOUNT THAT YOU PAID THROUGH KICKSTARTER. IN NO CASE SHALL THE PRODUCERS BE LIABLE FOR INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING FROM YOUR PLEDGE. TO THE EXTENT THAT SOME STATES OR JURISDICTIONS DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR THE LIMITATION OF LIABILITY FOR CONSEQUENTIAL OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, IN SUCH STATES OR JURISDICTIONS, THE PRODUCERS’ LIABILITY SHALL BE LIMITED TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
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