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Documentary film about Leo "Bud" Welch, 82-year old Blues Discovery of the Decade.
Documentary film about Leo "Bud" Welch, 82-year old Blues Discovery of the Decade.
Documentary film about Leo "Bud" Welch, 82-year old Blues Discovery of the Decade.
126 backers pledged $15,115 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Leo "Bud" Welch Documentary Movie

$15,115

126

Leo "Bud" Welch is an 82-year old Mississippi-based Blues and Gospel musician who released his debut album earlier this year, taking the Blues world by storm. After decades of hard work in the cottonfields and the woods, missed opportunities and gigs in local juke joints and churches, Leo’s very late international success is a story that needs to be told.

Our goal is to make a feature documentary called I don’t know what you’ve come to do – The Story of Leo “Bud” Welch. The film will be a reflection upon country life in Mississippi over the past 8 decades and how it formed Leo “Bud” Welch’s music that touches so many people these days. 

© Zoe Fotografie
© Zoe Fotografie

 We will tell the story of Leo’s life – starting with his younger days, working hard in the cotton fields and playing his cousin’s guitar whenever he could. How he played his first concerts in schools and churches but couldn’t make decent money as musician at the time. How he spent decades cutting timber, but still couldn’t afford the bus ticket to Memphis when blues superstar B. B. King invited him to an audition. How he played the blues at night in the fields and woods while cutting timber for days on end. 

Together with Leo, we will visit places that were and are important in his life. His birthplace, the farm he grew up on, the cotton fields and the Mississippi woods where he cut timber during the day and played the Blues at night. The two local churches Leo still plays the Gospel in every other Sunday. We will talk to old friends, collaborators, his manager and discoverer Vencie Varnado (a retired US Army First Sergeant) and go on tour with Leo, both in the US and Europe. 

We will talk about segregation, religion, work life, American history, modernization and of course about gospel music and blues, and how Leo combines these two: The music of God and the music of the Devil. 

Speaking of music, we will of course have some wonderful live perfomances of Leo in our movie, too - like this one here. It's the very first video ever of Leo - the one that started everything, recorded by his now manager, Vencie Varnado on his 50th birthday. 

Since the legendary inventor of artistic colour photography, William Eggleston, lives and (still) works just a couple of miles from Leo’s home, our visual language will be inspired by Eggleston’s iconic style that has shaped the way the world thinks about the Magnolia State: Strong colours, strong contrasts, unusual, iconic motives. 

© Francesca Castiglioni
© Francesca Castiglioni

Additional rewards

BIG MOVIE POSTERS

© David Hanson
© David Hanson

For everybody above the $80-pledge, we're throwing in a big poster of our movie, sized DIN A1 (841x594 mm/33.1x23.4 inches), of course signed personally by our man, Leo “Bud” Welch.

Supporter's Corner

Everybody above the $50-pledge gets access to our Supporter’s Corner, a closed Facebook Group where you will get access to some of the awesome archive material that we’ve been digging up so far. This very special material cannot be found anywhere else on the web!

Here's a little teaser of one of the videos in the Supporter's Corner:

Support us now to see all 4:08 minutes of this incredible video from 1985 - and there's a lot more to see in our Supporter's Corner.

TEAM:

The Leo “Bud” Welch Documentary is co-produced by two Vienna/Austria-based production companies, Red Monster Productions and Let’s Make This Happen Productions.

Wolfgang Almer:

© Enlumen
© Enlumen

Wolfgang will be Director and Producer of the movie. He has 17 years of experience in music and multimedia work and has founded four companies on the way.

He has discovered and promoted many award-winning music artists and currently works as artistic director of a big open air festival called LINZFEST. He was the first to invite Leo “Bud” Welch to Europe and has a long record of pioneering new music artists in Austria and Europe. Wolfgang holds a Master’s degree in Film & TV-Production and has worked as actor, producer and consultant on local film productions. His film production company Let’s Make This Happen Productions is in the founding stages right now.

Stefan Wolner

Stefan is our Co-Director and Editor. With his company Red Monster, he’s also co-producing the Leo “Bud” Welch Documentary.

Stefan has been making movies since his early teenage years. He worked at ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Company) as director and was part of many successful projects there. He realized many short movies, advertisement and industrial movies and has won several international awards. Since 2012, Stefan also worked as production & unit manager, e.g. for the six-episodes TV-series Wagner vs. Verdi, for the nature documentary The Triumph of the Tomato and for ORF’s children’s programme.

Stefan holds a Degree in Media Design and a Master’s Degree in Film- and TV Production.

Viktor Schaider

Viktor Schaider is our Director of Photography. He has been studying in Klagenfurt, Vienna and Maine and lives and works as a cameraman and photographer in Vienna since 2004. His works have won ten awards, his latest film Attention – A Life in Extremes will hit the cinemas this coming fall. You should watch it, it’s great.

Where does your money go to? 

All the money will go into the production of the movie. The small crew of three will work for free to make this movie happen. Some money will be needed to cover our shooting costs like rental equipment, flights, (cheap) residence and some food on the way. We’ll also be able to do the editing and sound editing for free, but we will still need some money for colour grading and archive footage. 

If we raise $ 15.000…. 

We’ll be able to make a basic film about Leo “Bud” Welch, visit places and people that are important to him and go on tour with him in the US and Europe for some days. There will be very limited archive footage and minimal post-production work. Also, there will be only Leo’s music in the film. 

 If we raise $ 20.000….. 

We’ll be able to get our hands on some more archive footage, add another camera to the live recordings and improve the look and feel of the movie in post-production. There will still be only Leo’s music in the film. 

 If we raise $ 30.000 or even more…. 

We’ll be able to make the film look pretty much like we imagine it with at least  4 cameras for live recordings and enough money for good post-production work. We will also clear the rights for some great blues standards that Leo loves to play and sing. The more money we get, the more songs we can get in the film.

Risks and challenges

Leo “Bud” Welch is 82 years old. And even though Leo is in VERY good shape right now, time is not on our side. So there is a risk of Leo not being able to take a very active part in the movie due to health reasons.

We will of course take precautions for this, prepare back-up plans and, most importantly, not lose any time and be really fast. But if something happens, we will still have to improvise and see what we can do with the footage we can get.

Also, there are some risks that every filmmaker faces when finishing a project. We might need some additional funding to complete the film because of some unforeseen events that require additional filming or the discovery of new archival material we really want in the movie.

However, the team is extremely motivated and will not rest until it’s done. It’s going to be a wonderful movie about the home of the Blues and one of the last real authentic bluesman, Leo “Bud” Welch.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    THANKS!
    Our gratitude and a personal Thank You via email from the filmmakers.

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    GET THE MOVIE FIRST!
    You will receive a digital download of the finished movie as exclusive preview. Plus a Thank You-Video from Leo himself.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    SHIRT + MOVIE!
    You will receive a signed T-Shirt of Leo "Bud" Welch plus digital download of the finished movie plus a very special limited edition signed Thank-You Card.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    CD/LP+MOVIE!
    You will receive a signed CD/LP of Leo’s debut record ‘Sabougla Voices’ plus digital download of the finished movie plus a very special limited-edition Thank You-Card signed by Leo Bud Welch.

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    GET THE DVD!
    You will receive a DVD of the finished movie plus a very special limited-edition Thank You-Card, both signed by Leo "Bud" Welch.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    END CREDITS!
    You will get a Thank You in the End Credits of the movie. Plus a Thank You-Video from Leo himself.

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    DVD+CD/LP: You will receive a signed DVD of the finished movie plus a signed CD/LP of Leo’s debut record ‘Sabougla Voices’.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    ALL THE SONGS!
    You will receive exclusive digital access to all royalty-cleared songs (audio) we record while shooting. Plus a Thank You-Video from Leo himself.

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    END CREDITS + DVD: You will get a Thank You in the End Credits of the movie. Plus a signed DVD of the finished movie.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    End Credits + CD/LP: You will get a Thank You in the End Credits of the movie. Plus a signed CD/LP of Leo’s debut record ‘Sabougla Voices’.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    ALL THE VIDEOS!
    You will receive exclusive digital access to all royalty-cleared songs (audio & video) we record while shooting. Plus a Thank You-Video from Leo himself.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    THE WHOLE PACKAGE! You will receive a DVD of the finished movie plus a CD/LP of Leo’s debut record ‘Sabougla Voices’ and an official Leo "Bud" Welch T-shirt, all signed by the man himself. PLUS a Thank You in the End Credits of the movie!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    MEET THE MAN!
    You will receive a CD/LP, a DVD and a T-Shirt (all signed) plus 2 tickets to a Leo Bud Welch show near you (travel and lodging costs not included) where you will get a chance to talk to the man (provided that Leo’s health still allows him to play concerts in your area).

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    GUITAR STRINGS! You will receive one string of the only string set that Leo "Bud" Welch played on for the last year (Yes, the man watches his strings).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    DINNER&MOVIE
    The filmmakers will invite you to have dinner (our treat!) before a screening of the movie at whatever festival we can coordinate to meet! Oh, and we’ll bring a DVD, CD/LP and T-Shirt (all signed by Leo) as dinner gifts.

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    SCREENING + Q&A WITH THE FILMMAKERS!
    A screening of the the movie at your festival/cinema/club/living room plus a Q&A-Session with the filmmakers afterwards. If you’re in Central Europe or in a major European City, we’ll be there in person. If not, we might need financial help with the travel arrangements or do the Q&A via Skype.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER!
    Become a producer of the movie – an Associate Producer (End) Credit plus all of the $1000-Pledge.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER!
    Become a producer of the movie – an Executive Producer (Front Film) Credit plus all of the $1000-Pledge.

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Funding period

- (24 days)