An inspiring portrait of three Italian master tailors with a passionate devotion to their Old World trade
Press Coverage for MEN OF THE CLOTH
Thanks a million to everyone who contributed to make this campaign a success -- my generous backers and wonderful sponsors who donated some truly special rewards! Please sign up for the mailing list to receive updates on MEN OF THE CLOTH.
We welcome additional donations through PayPal or Fractured Atlas to pay for the following distribution-related expenses: a distribution consultant, travel to film festivals, printing of posters, publicity, and errors and omissions insurance.
THE STORY OF THE FILM
I first conceived of MEN OF THE CLOTH when I was Senior Fashion Editor at DNR, a menswear magazine that is now part of the fashion bible Women's Wear Daily. I became fascinated by Italy's artisan tradition and the incredible pride and passion that's part of the cultural DNA of Italy's master tailors.
I truly admire these artisans who live a life of meaning and purpose – and create clothing that’s as beautiful inside as it is outside. They’re unsung heroes – with skills that have been honed over the course of a lifetime -- and my film honors their legacy for a younger generation.
MEN OF THE CLOTH unravels the mystery of their artistry as they confront the decline of the apprentice system and navigate their challenging roles in the twilight of their career.
In this fast-paced world, the art of making handcrafted custom (or bespoke) clothing -- with a pattern created for each individual – has been declining for years. There are few remaining Italian master tailors, and this turn of events inspired me to share the story of Nino, Joe and Checchino with the world. But while their personal stories are quite distinct, they also give us an insight into the current state of their craft as a whole. So as much as it’s a character-driven film, MEN OF THE CLOTH is also a meditation on the value of craftsmanship and handmade clothing.
In the film’s visual through-line, we show a process that takes several weeks in real time: we follow the making of one bespoke suit from start to finish – from a bolt of cloth to a beautifully constructed garment.
HOW THE FILM WAS FUNDED
MEN OF THE CLOTH is a truly independent film made with dedication and passion. Since its inception, my film has received generous contributions from individuals around the world. I’m very grateful for this grassroots support because it comprises the majority of the film's funding. We’ve also gotten some early funding from the National Italian American Foundation and some funding at the editing stage from the William B. Dietrich Foundation.
I launched my first online crowdfunding campaign last year, and the money that I raised allowed me to hire an accomplished editor who tackled 100 hours of footage. With the help of dozens of contributors, we were able to finish editing, to create the titles and graphics and to compose and record the musical score. That process took a year to complete.
We’ve now “locked picture” on a 96-minute feature film. But in order to get the film ready for festivals, screening events, the DVD, and other avenues of distribution, we need to pay for some necessary post-production steps.
HOW YOUR DONATIONS WILL BE USED
What I need now are the finishing funds to polish the film and to prepare it for screening at festivals and for broader distribution. This includes:
• Color Correction
• Sound Mixing
• Mastering to HDCAM tape
If you enjoy soulful and inspiring stories that celebrate the creative spirit and humanity of individuals, please become a backer of this campaign -- and you’ll ensure that the film gets out into the world.
HELP THIS CAMPAIGN BY SHARING WITH THE WORLD!
In addition to pledging, another way that you can help is to spread awareness of this campaign by contacting your friends, family, and co-workers. In order to be successful, I want this to go viral!
Send an email to friends and family with a link to this Kickstarter campaign.
On Facebook: you can simply click the "Like" button directly below the video at the top of this page or paste the URL straight onto your page with a message.
On Twitter: you can tweet and post a link to the video by clicking the button under the video or simply sharing the direct URL for this page.
Post on your blog and embed this Kickstarter video.
Face-to-face: spread the word about this campaign with people you interact with in your everyday lives.
Become a sponsor: If you’re a craftsman, tailor or artisan of any stripe, please consider donating a custom-made or made-to-order item to this campaign. In exchange, we’ll promote your work through our mailing list and through social media.
Any way you can help -- big or small -- is deeply appreciated!
The MEN OF THE CLOTH team
Produced and Directed by Vicki Vasilopoulos
Edited by Sandrine Isambert
Assistant editors: AJ Gesualdo, Jason Sacharoff
Filmed by David Gaynes, Andrew David Watson, Christian Jacks
Original Music by Chris Hajian
Motion Graphics by Michael Saul
WE'RE OFFERING UNIQUE REWARDS FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION
The sponsors of my campaign are all kindred spirits. They’re exclusive or small-scale businesses that make goods with a superior level of craftsmanship. They’re quality-driven, not “status-driven.”
Centofanti Tailors -- a bespoke shop that’s an institution on the Main Line (outside Philadelphia). Joe Centofanti is a main character in my film.
Nino Corvato – a Sicilian-born master tailor in Midtown Manhattan who’s in a class by himself; he’s a main character in my film. Nino is featured in this article (the info is based on my film): bit.ly/TJMjjS
Martin Greenfield Clothiers – The one and only Martin Greenfield in Brooklyn will be featured on the MEN OF THE CLOTH DVD. He’s both a Holocaust survivor and President Obama’s tailor. Here’s an article on him in the Wall Street Journal: http://on.wsj.com/Tacnnq -- and one in the Washington Post: wapo.st/TFRfZv
Basil Racuk – a California-based designer whose leather bags are sold at such high-end stores as Leffot and Bergdorf Goodman in New York. Not only are all his bags handmade by Basil in his northern California studio, all the materials are sourced locally in CA as well. Here’s a great piece on Basil on the Handful of Salt blog: bit.ly/lueBvN
Margo Petitti -- known for her limited-edition hand-sewn scarves and pocket squares in classic menswear suiting patterns in wool, silk and cashmere from luxury Italian mills such as Vitale Barberis, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Fratelli Piacenza. Produced in a small factory in Fall River, Massachusetts, her designs are sold at Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus and Paul Stuart. (The items offered here are not available in stores.) Here's an article on Margo Petitti in Robb Report.
Kelly Christiansen – a talented knitwear designer based in New Jersey who sells on Etsy.com. Her unisex scarves are available in the variegated oatmeal, dusty grey, charcoal, fatigue green, and sand.
Denisse DiGiorgio -- an artisan at The Tailored Nest sewing studio in upstate New York who uses tailoring/couture techniques for home decor. Her linen pillow (pictured below) is entirely cut, sewn and assembled by hand.
Finevintagefedoras at Etsy.com - dealer Scott Dalsbo is offering a fine vintage Borsalino Milan straw hat.
J. M. Gentry’s – Erik Sellers is an Arkansas-based clothing designer who creates custom bow ties and vests (you will get your own pattern made). “I truly love tailoring – making it and wearing it,” he says. Here’s his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JMGentrys
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS
Kickstarter is the world's largest funding platform where personal creative projects can be funded by individuals who share the same goals as the creators. These backers become part of the "tribe" or community around a project because they help make it happen!
Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if I don’t raise my goal of $20,000, backers will not be charged and I will not receive any funding. So if you are considering backing this film, please don’t delay!
HOW TO MAKE A PLEDGE
Once you decide what level you would like to choose, 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. You may also choose to not select any reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. (You may also increase your existing pledge by clicking the blue “Manage Your Donation” button.)
If you would like to make a donation in exchange for a tax-deduction instead of a reward, you may do so through Fractured Atlas, our non-profit fiscal sponsor, by visiting the Contribute page of our web site. (However, your contribution will not count towards the Kickstarter funding goal.)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN I CONTACT YOU WITH ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THE FILM OR DONATING TO THE CAMPAIGN?
Yes, of course! Feel free to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG TO FINISH THE FILM?
Following real people takes a great deal of time because we deal with actual life events. About four years ago, after I had (ostensibly) finished filming, one of my characters acquired an apprentice, and that necessitated raising more production funds and filming more footage. Our last production shoot was actually in October 2011, after we had already started editing the film! But that day’s footage resulted in a very important scene in the film. The editorial process took about a year (a typical time frame for documentary features). We held two audience feedback screenings along the way, the last one in July 2012, after which we trimmed and tweaked the film some more.
WHEN DOES THE FILM COME OUT?
People often ask me ‘when does the film come out?’ or ‘how do we know if the film will come out?’ These queries are understandably based on the idea of Hollywood films, which have a pre-set release schedule; that’s what most people are familiar with. But films that are independently produced and financed have to create their own timetables, and MEN OF THE CLOTH is no exception. In time-honored tradition, the film will have a film festival premiere next spring and will be released shortly thereafter. We’ll screen the film in any city or venue where there’s a receptive audience – and I’ll be honored to be there in person for as many of these screenings as possible!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I DON’T REACH MY FUNDING GOAL?
You aren’t charged for your pledge and I don't receive any of the funding. Of course, I hope that doesn't happen!
WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR?
This Kickstarter campaign will enable me to finish post-production on the film.
CAN I EXCEED MY GOAL?
Yes, absolutely – that would be great!!
WHAT HAPPENS IF I SURPASS THE GOAL?
If I am fortunate enough to surpass my goal, it will help us with paying for travel expenses to screen at film festivals; creation of a foreign language version of the film and a one-hour version for television; Errors and Omissions Insurance for distribution; publicity and printing of posters; and a distribution consultant.
CAN YOU DONATE FROM OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Of course! 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 please contact me.
CAN CONTRIBUTORS INCREASE THEIR PLEDGES ONCE THEY HAVE MADE THEM?
Yes—that would be wonderful! If you have already contributed, and are signed in to your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on this page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button.
HOW IS MY PLEDGE PROCESSED AND CHARGED?
Once the campaign is successful, your pledge will be processed by Amazon on December 21st. The process is safe and secure.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
I’ve worked single-handedly for over 10 years to make my film and now it’s almost done, so I feel like that was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken both financially, personally and career-wise.
One of the basic challenges for every independent film is securing distribution. The main challenge for me is finding an executive producer, producer’s rep, or sales agent who can help me navigating the distribution options for my film...So I’m working on that.
I’ve received many inquiries from design schools who’d like to screen the film and from individuals who’d like to buy the DVD. So at the very least, we will self-distribute the film and I’ll work with a distribution consultant to devise an appropriate strategy that will connect MEN OF THE CLOTH with as wide an audience as possible.
We’ll create both a consumer DVD and an educational version that we can use for a college tour. We’ll also edit a shorter one-hour version of the film for potential broadcast in the U.S. and abroad.
**Please note: I cannot send out the DVD’s until the film has had its festival premiere (otherwise, it jeopardizes its chance of acceptance). But I’ll be sure to update my donors if it’s past our estimated delivery date. To save money on postage, we may wait to ship the posters along with the DVD’s when they’re ready.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.