About this project
$25,000 Stretch Goal - Triple Film Festival Entries & Make Film Available on VOD Platforms - This will allow us to triple our submissions to film festivals around the world and we will be able to release the film on video on demand platforms such as iTunes and Amazon if we need to in the future. This ensures that as many people see the film as possible.
Reward: If we meet this goal everyone that pledges at least $50 will get all of the regular rewards they're entitled to (DVD of the film, t-shirt, etc.) AND you'll get a free exclusive bonus DVD with roughly two hours of material (additional stories about the town and its recovery).
$30,000 Stretch Goal - Film Advisory Service - This will allow us to pay the necessary retainer fee to work with a film advisory service that can help connect our film to prominent distribution companies (virtually guaranteeing a distribution deal).
Reward: If we meet this goal everyone that pledges at least $100 will get all of the regular rewards they're entitled to (Blu Ray & DVD of the film, small movie poster, t-shirt, etc.) AND you'll get will get an extra I'm with Phil t-shirt, bumper sticker, and an invite to an exclusive, secret event held during the 2014 Phil Campbell Hoedown.
$35,000 Stretch Goal - We're Still with Phil - This will allow us to create a special follow-up, short documentary to be filmed this summer about the current state of the town of Phil Campbell, AL and its continued recovery.
Reward: If we meet this goal ALL of our backers will get a free download of this short documentary. (Download link will be emailed by January 2015.)
Please know that all of these stretch goal rewards are on top of the existing rewards you can get for pledging to our campaign! If we meet these stretch goals we will announce more goals in the future as we have even bigger plans for this project.
I’m with Phil is a feature length documentary about a group of people, all named Phil Campbell, who spontaneously decide to help the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama after it is struck by a devastating tornado. After years of careful revisions the film has finally been fully edited, it has a complete musical score, and we believe it will be highly competitive at film festivals. But what we really want is for the film to help the still grieving town of Phil Campbell in a substantial way. To do that, we need to reach the widest number of people possible through a distribution deal. Money is currently what stands in our way.
Thanks to the kind support of Kickstarter backers we have met our base funding goal of $20,000! Now we can finally free the film from the licensing fees that have been holding it back from being legally releasable and purchase an errors & omissions insurance policy. As excited as we are about meeting this goal, we are even more exciting about reaching our new stretch goals before the campaign ends on April 6th!
The film is finished, the cost breakdowns are on paper, and the story has already attracted interest from international media. All we need to do is continue to push this film across the finish line.
This is where you come in. By pledging to donate to our Kickstarter campaign and sharing it with others, you will help the film and the people whose stories the film contains (and you get some neat rewards for helping too).
***Any donation you make to our Kickstarter campaign is tax deductible.***
We are working with a local 501(c)(3) nonprofit, Citizens for Phil Campbell Community Development Corporation, a group dedicated to improving the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama.
We are asking for your help. We have to work together to make this happen, today.
Our story begins with Phil Campbell of Brooklyn, NY, who has been obsessed with Phil Campbell, Alabama for almost twenty years. He first learned about this small, remote, dry, Southern town one dateless night in the early 1990s while watching the country-music show “Hee Haw.” On a whim, Phil traveled to the town, only to discover that other Phil Campbells had done the same.
His thought: What if he found all the Phil Campbells around the world and asked them to meet him in Phil Campbell, just for a weekend, to see what would happen? He organized an American Phil Campbell Convention in 1995, which got him listed in Ripley’s – Believe It Or Not!, but it wasn't until the rise of the Internet and social media that he was able to get really ambitious. In 2011, Brooklyn Phil announced the biggest of stunts: an International Phil Campbell Convention in Phil Campbell, Alabama – in time for the town’s 100th anniversary, no less.
The Phil Campbells, who became connected through social media, were excited. Phil Campbell residents were excited, too, and they started to prepare for the arrival of all these strangers who shared the name of their town.
But then, a terrible, devastating EF-5 tornado struck the town, uprooting trees, tossing about cars, destroying homes and stores, and killing 27 people. Something truly horrific had happened, and the town would never be the same again.
Back in Brooklyn, and around the world, the Phil Campbells felt pretty helpless. What now? People were pretty blue until one of the Phil Campbells asked Brooklyn Phil: What if all the Phil Campbells got together to help Phil Campbell?
It sounded like the right thing to do. But how exactly do the Phil Campbells help, if they’re separated around the world and barely know each other? In six short weeks the Phil Campbells had an answer, and the movie I’m with Phil was born.
Twenty Phil Campbells from around the world were able to make the trip to Phil Campbell, AL in June of 2011, an act of solidarity that earned them international media attention, including stories from the BBC, AOL, ABC Nightly News, NBC Nightly News, The New York Times, and NPR.
By the time they arrived in Phil Campbell, the Phil Campbells had received help from Hollywood actor Jason Biggs and TV-and-film director Stephen Gyllenhaal, and had raised enough money to build a Habitat for Humanity home for a displaced family of five. The town of Phil Campbell even thanked the Phils by putting them in a parade!
From all this, a larger, improbable community has grown. A small brigade of Phil Campbell residents (and Phil Campbell of Birmingham, Alabama) later raised money and drove across the country to visit Phil Campbell of La Farge, Wisconsin after learning that his wife was suffering from cancer. Another fundraiser was held online for Phil Campbell of Chattanooga after he suffered a minor heart attack and had to take unpaid leave from his job. Some Phil Campbells have even returned to Phil Campbell, AL to help on the construction of the Habitat home, and Phil Campbell of Coffs Harbour, Australia, a minister, has returned to Phil Campbell, Alabama more than once after his initial visit to see his friends at the newly rebuilt Mountain View Baptist Church.
Phil Campbell, Alabama is a small rural town. Most Phil Campbells are working-class and middle-class folks. Regular people. I’m with Phil is a story of people helping people even when nobody really has the resources to do so, because it’s the right thing to do. We hope that I’m with Phil will motivates others to do the same.
I’m with Phil is already garnering praise not only as a story that inspires, but as a film of quality and nuance. Among the fans of I’m with Phil is Bob Hawk, indie film godfather who discovered Kevin Smith in the 1990s. Hawk has consulted on hundreds of documentaries, including Oscar winners/nominees such as Common Threads, Regret to Inform, In the Shadow of the Stars, Complaints of a Dutiful Daughter and Troublesome Creek: A Midwestern.
Hawk gushes: "I've been producing and/or consulting on documentaries for 30 years and think most highly of Andrew Reed’s I’m with Phil. It portrays a unique set of circumstances that are dramatic, heartwarming and inspiring -- and in its very specificity gives it an honestly earned universality. With memorable characters and moments of both a devastating event and good-humored camaraderie, this is a journey well worth taking. And it's not over yet."
We wouldn't dare ask for your financial support without offering something in return. There are a lot of great incentives you can earn for backing our project, and the more you pledge to donate the higher reward level you receive if we reach our fundraising goal!
You will receive an MP3 download of "Tornado Blues," a beautiful song written by Phil Campbell of Glasgow, UK for the town of Phil Campbell, AL, which he performed on stage during the hoedown. You will also receive a thank-you email from another one of our very own Phil Campbells, chosen at random from somewhere around the world to specifically email you.
You will receive the above rewards plus you will receive a web link that allows you to download the film. The film download will be available after we have premiered the film at the first major festival.
AND you will also get a web link to download the film score. The film score is largely the work of Alabama musician Corey Lawson, who created an eclectic mix of pure Americana.
AND you will get a thank-you email from a town resident.
You get all of the above plus you will get a limited edition DVD copy of I'm with Phil (which will ship after our film's festival debut).
AND you get an iconic I'm with Phil t-shirt (available in a size of your choice).
AND you get an I'm with Phil bumper sticker.
AND you also receive an official invitation to the annual hoedown in Phil Campbell, Alabama, to be held Friday, June 20th through Sunday, 22nd, 2014.
You get everything above plus you will get a limited edition Blu-ray disc copy of I'm with Phil.
AND you get a 8.5"x11" I'm with Phil movie poster signed by director Andrew Reed.
AND you get a one of a kind thank-you card from a Phil Campbell Elementary school student.
AND you get a 10 minute online video chat with a Phil Campbell, chosen at random from around the world.
You get all of the above plus you can actually be IN the I’m with Phil movie! A video of yourself can appear in the credits of I’m with Phil. How would that work, you ask? Simply record a video of yourself saying, “I’m (Your Name) and I’m with Phil!” then send it to us, and we will edit it into the credits of the film. Now THAT’S participation!
AND you will have your video featured alongside those of our other Kickstarter supporters on a special video wall page on our website that we will create after the film’s premiere.
You get everything above plus a full size 18"x24" I'm with Phil movie poster signed by twenty Phil Campbells. What makes these posters special is they have traveled around the world to be signed. They started in Springdale, Arkansas, where Phyl Campbell picked up the posters from the print shop, then Phyl signed the posters and mailed them to Phil in Round Rock, Texas, who signed them and mailed them to Phil in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and so on, until the posters had visited eleven U.S. states, plus Northern Ireland, England, and Australia. The posters, truly one-of-a-kind, represent the commitment the Phil Campbells share with each other and the town of Phil Campbell, Alabama.
AND you will get to have a 20-minute online video chat with Director Andrew Reed or Producer (and writer) Phil Campbell of Brooklyn, NY (your choice).
AND you will receive a DVD copy of the movie Grassroots starring Jason Biggs, who – did you KNOW this? -- plays a Phil Campbell in this 2012 film, and so makes an appearance in I’m with Phil. Grassroots is based on the memoir by Brooklyn Phil Campbell, so you will also receive a signed copy of Brooklyn Phil’s book Grassroots!
You get all of the above plus you and a guest will receive an invitation to star treatment at the Phil Campbell Hoedown in June of 2014! Be honored on stage by Mayor Steve Bell at the Hoedown, then receive a guided tour of the town with the mayor and a small group of town residents. Later you will receive a free dinner with the mayor at an area restaurant (travel fees not included).
AND we will make you an Honorary Phil Campbell on our website. Your headshot will appear on the Meet the Phils page, linking to your own page where you can share as much about yourself as you would like, and link to your own personal projects/enterprises!
You get all of the above plus a one of a kind piece of furniture. Artist and master furniture designer Robin Wade crafted a small nightstand that came from a tree that was heavily damaged during the tornado in Phil Campbell; Wade took the tree back to his studio, dried it in a kiln, and used the tree’s natural knots, grains, and other idiosyncrasies to make something unique, something truly one-of-a-kind. Learn more about Robin Wade and his philosophy of sustainable furniture on his website. (Shipping for the nightstand is included but this item is only available to those within the continental US.)
AND you will be listed as an associate producer on the film’s credits and on the filmmaker's section our website (complete with your bio). (Limit 1)
CLAIMED! You get all of the above plus what is arguably one of the best perks ever offered on Kickstarter. It is TOPS. Robin Wade also crafted a cocktail table that came from that same tree that was heavily damaged during the tornado in Phil Campbell! The table represents a dead thing that is given a new purpose, a new life -- for us this represents the rebirth of Phil Campbell, Alabama. Check out the video below to learn more about the table! (Shipping for the large table is included but this item is only available to those within the continental US.)
AND you will be listed as an associate producer on the film’s credits and on the filmmaker's section our website (complete with your bio).
I’m with Phil is both a film to enjoy and a way to help others who need it. Please consider becoming a part of I'm With Phil by contributing to our Kickstarter campaign, sharing the story, and spreading the word.
We will be promoting I’m with Phil as well as campaigning to help the town of Phil Campbell throughout the spring and summer of 2014. If you would like to be informed of this journey, please “Like” our Facebook page (facebook.com/imwithphildoc), “Follow” us on Twitter (@imwithphildoc), and check out our website (http://www.imwithphil.com).
We're with Phil! Are you? Please back our campaign and donate today.
Andrew Reed (Producer/Director/Editor) Andrew Reed grew up in the town of Phil Campbell, AL and in March of 2011 he began work on a short, quirky documentary on the Phil Campbell Convention. However, after the tornado hit in April of 2011 and the convention was turned into a relief effort, Andrew decided to continue the documentary in hopes that it could ultimately become a tool to help his devastated hometown. Andrew has been involved in video production since 2005 and has worked on a variety of short films and documentaries. Andrew is currently earning an MFA in Film and Video Production at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
Phil Campbell of Brooklyn, NY (Producer) Phil Campbell is not only an organizer of Phil Campbells, he is also the author of the eccentric memoir Grassroots, which was adapted to film as Grassroots, directed by Stephen Gyllenhaal and stars Jason Biggs as Phil Campbell. He's currently blogging for The Huffington Post and is hard at work on a number of other writing projects. Phil lives with his wife Emily Hall and their son Mungo. You can friend him on Facebook here.
Bring Chase Productions (Producer) Bring Chase Productions was brought on to offer editing critiques as well as website and distribution assistance. Owned and operated by Shane Bartlett, Jon Reno & Matt Schosser, they specialize in development, production, distribution and marketing strategies. Founded in 2009 in Nashville, they currently have offices in Los Angeles and Raleigh where they are developing several feature film projects.
Jason Flynn (Producer) Jason assisted in organizing camera operators for shoots and has provided valuable editing critiques for the film. As an assistant professor at the University of North Alabama, Jason established the Film & Digital Media Production Program. Jason has an MFA in Film and Video Production from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and is currently working on a short film, Rarefied Soldier.
Paula Gilovich (Associate Producer) Paula was brought in for on-location consultation in Phil Campbell, Alabama in 2012. Her keen interviewing skills, her acute sense for story and narrative, and her wonderful sense of humor are greatly appreciated. Paula is a producer at ABC Home and a playwright living in New York.
Corey Lawson (Composer) Corey Lawson composed the score for I'm with Phil. He has performed live and as a studio musician for several bands and artists including Nashville Star's Zac Hacker, Songwriter Billy Lawson, Chris Roach, and Days Distance. Corey recently finished recording a new album with his band Live By Satellite.
Risks and challenges
When you pledge to donate to the typical Kickstarter campaign, even if it reaches its fundraising goal you still have to trust that its creator will actually follow through with completing the project. However, in our case the project is already finished, we just need help paying for licensing fees, errors & omissions insurance, and some festival costs if we are to get the film distribution.
We hope to deliver your rewards to you by the end of May 2014. One thing to understand is that we will have to wait until after the festival premiere to distribute any digital or disc copies of the film, so that is one reason why the wait is so long. Additionally we will need time to gather the donor videos that will appear in the film credits and then create the new DVD and Blu-ray copies of the film.
Digital items will likely be delivered much sooner than physical items which obviously require shipping. We intend to mail out each backer's physical items at one time in order to consolidate the total number of packages we have to ship, and thus save a little money, so please understand the situation we’re in.
If you have any questions about anything before or after pledging, by all means ask!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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