A story of betrayal and murder in a struggling midwestern coal town.
Betrayal and murder in a struggling midwestern coal town.
More than 80 years after his death, Kelly Wagle is still the most notorious man in Western Illinois history. He was the top bootlegger of his day, a controversial figure in his hometown of Colchester, where Prohibition lasted for 27 years. Wagle's career was full of shrewd moves and close calls. He had an uncanny knack for getting out of trouble. It helped that half the town owed him a favor -- Wagle was known for his generosity and kind deeds. But the bootlegger also had a violent temper, and his personal life was full of dark secrets.
Kelly Wagle was shot and killed in 1929, only a few hundred feet from his front door. He had expected it, told everyone it was coming, but no one saw anything except a green Ford Roadster heading out of town. The murderer was never caught. But to the present day in tiny Colchester, as Kelly's widow used to say, "everyone knows who did it."
The film is based on "The Bootlegger" (1998), written by John E. Hallwas, which was nominated for the National Book Award for Nonfiction and the Pulitzer Prize for Nonfiction.
It will be a documentary feature, filmed on location in Colchester, Macomb, Galesburg, Chicago, St. Louis, and Omaha. It will feature author John Hallwas, interviews with Colchester residents, and historical images from the Archives of Western Illinois University.
$1000 - Travel for production
$400 - Backup hard drives
$250 - Food for production assistants
$1000 - Music composer
$1000 - Audio mix & master
$750 - Festival submission fees
$300 - Shipping
$1000 - Posters, handbills, stickers, buttons
$2500 - Theater rental for screenings
$1000 - DVD printing & duplication
$2175 - Film/television rights to "The Bootlegger"
$11,375 = TOTAL
"Multum in parvo" [much in little].
-- Colchester town motto, 1865
I will be gathering footage and editing over the course of the next year, or maybe two. Whenever the film is ready, I will submit it to 10-15 festivals. With lots of luck, it will have a nice festival run. With even more luck, it will find a distributor. One way or another, my goal is to release the film by June 2015.
If the project doesn't meet its goal, no money changes hands.
1. It's less risk for everyone.
2. It allows people to test concepts without risk.
3. It motivates.
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