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An unconventional documentary portrait of the writer Wendell Berry and a tribute to family farmers everywhere.
An unconventional documentary portrait of the writer Wendell Berry and a tribute to family farmers everywhere.
An unconventional documentary portrait of the writer Wendell Berry and a tribute to family farmers everywhere.
574 backers pledged $52,063 to help bring this project to life.

New Backer Reward by Co-Producer Nick Offerman

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Nick Offerman mike checks before his SEER L.A. Fundraiser
Nick Offerman mike checks before his SEER L.A. Fundraiser

Nick Offerman, Wendell Berry Fan

Among Wendell Berry proponents, few are more indefatigable than Nick Offerman. He has enjoined his fans to read Berry's works for many years.  And it's worked!  As he put it in one interview, "If everybody read Wendell Berry, I believe we’d have a shot at being more decent." 

Here are only a few examples of Nick's advocacy in action:

But if you read any piece with Nick Offerman, read this extensive interview with the American Craft Council.  Entertainment journalists can be somewhat vapid.  That is decidedly not the case with contributing editor Joyce Lovelace – a fact made clear by how often Nick responds by saying a variation of "That's a very good question." It's great stuff.  And as he is wont to do, Nick cannot resist surfacing Wendell Berry:  

  • "He's an agrarian. He's a Kentucky farmer, agrarian, essayist, poet and novelist. He's my favorite writer. He's amazing. Such a wise, wise writer, and really funny, too. Reading his stuff really helped put a name to a lot of these feelings I had been having. You know, part of why I wanted to have this furniture concern was so that I could still feel like part of my family, in a way. Even though – you know, I feel very successful as an actor, I don't feel like they can comprehend that. They're so heroic to me in that they all have the most salt-of-the-earth jobs – librarian, farmer, schoolteacher, paramedic, on and on and on. There's no one who doesn't fall in, like, service. They're all in service. My mom is a labor and delivery nurse. So there's a really important part of this that just allows me to still feel like one of them."

As the interview ends, he returns to Berry:

  • "And I guess the only other thing I would say is I would just encourage – I imagine anyone who likes making things would love Wendell Berry. I started with his short stories, and by now I've read all of his novels and short stories, and a lot of his essays and poetry. It's really beautiful, and it really speaks to the heart of the crafts person. You're actually being a great American citizen by practicing a craft."

Co-Producer

Nick joined THE SEER as Co-Producer thanks to an introduction by a mutual friend and artist named Holly Sabiston. Holly is one of those rare truly wonderful people who gives continuously of herself and expects nothing in return, the kind of person who is so thoroughly generous that she can sometimes go unsung. 

Holly Sabiston will Not Go Unsung Here
Holly Sabiston will Not Go Unsung Here

Holly knew of our work on this film as well as Nick's devotion to Wendell Berry's writing. And so she introduced us. Since then, Nick has put more of his own personal time and real grit into helping us make THE SEER than almost anyone outside of our very small crew.  Among the many things he did that went largely unheralded:

  • He organized and hosted two different LA based fundraisers for the fil.
  • He mentioned the project in his new book GUMPTION.
  • He offered critical feedback on early cuts of the film.
  • He shared genuine moral support, which sometimes means more than anything.

But even now, Nick continues.

Image from THE SEER
Image from THE SEER

Woodworker

During one of Laura's interviews, Wendell noted how ours was an age of divorce. And that you cannot put everything back together.  You have to just find two things that belong together and put them back together.  "If it's a stool, a film or a poem or an essay or a novel or a musical composition, it's all about that. Finding how it fits together and fitting it together."

As the editing process unfolded and it became clear that this interview was key, we wanted to film the act of making things.  We asked Nick if he would let us film him working with wood.  As he so often had done before, he dove in.   While the film does not feature Nick's face (to avoid distracting people), we very much want backers to know that it is in fact Nick Offerman who is making that stool.

The Reward

Nick and his team have come through once again!  We are truly thrilled to share that we have made available a new reward for those who give $2,000 to support the film.  Offerman Woodshop will hand make a stool for you using the same design in the film.  This is an extraordinary piece and something truly special. The seat is made of a rugged slab from Nick's collection (dealer's choice), and the three legs are hand shaped with wedged through tenons. This stool will stand in your home or office as an enduring testament of the America that still makes things. 'Nuff said!

It's honestly humbling to tell you about this because we are so grateful for everyone's generosity.  After many years of working (mostly in the dark), it's encouraging to find people responding to the work.  We are so glad for your help to bring this film to a larger audience. 

The Finished Piece as seen in the film
The Finished Piece as seen in the film

See Nick at our SXSW Premiere

Nick will be live and in person at our SXSW Premiere.  If you are attending SXSW, please come see us Saturday, March 12 1:30PM at the Stateside Theater.    We hope to see you there!

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