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Executive produced by Thurston Moore & Nels Cline, Tom Surgal's FIRE MUSIC is the definitive documentary of the Free Jazz revolution.
Executive produced by Thurston Moore & Nels Cline, Tom Surgal's FIRE MUSIC is the definitive documentary of the Free Jazz revolution.
356 backers pledged $56,225 to help bring this project to life.

A Fire Music Update April 2017

Posted by Submarine (Creator)

Dear Friends of the Fire,

Here is an update apprising you of the latest developments concerning the film. Unfortunately because the scope of the project is so expansive and the filmmaking process is so expensive, we've had difficulty amassing the additional money we need to finish the doc. We are currently pursuing different avenues of fundraising to secure the needed resources to complete the movie. After being turned down for a couple of grants, we remain undaunted and have just submitted an application to the Sundance Documentary Fund. We are also engaging with potential investors in the private sector who have expressed interest in the production. Hopefully we can score the bread soon, so we can get things back on track and forge ahead.

Keep the home fires burning,


pamela page, colin mackenzie, and 9 more people like this update.


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    1. Terry Kattleman on

      Mr. Surgal, it's clear at this point that your backers require some specifics--the sort of specifics that grantors expect, and since you say you've been turned down for a number of grants, I'm sure you have this info readily available. How much of the film have you completed? The only specific piece of info in your previous updates was that you had about 50 min. of a rough cut; 50 min. of a projected film of what length? How much did it cost to produce the 50 min., and how much will it cost additionally to produce the entire film? What exactly is so expensive about producing a documentary in the age of digital filmmaking? Would you kindly break down the costs for us? Is there a projected date for the completion of the project? As noted below, Kickstarter funding is contingent on the expectation that the recipient will be able to complete the project, and complete it in a reasonable period of time. It's not venture capital seed money. Thanks in advance for your detailed response.

    2. Missing avatar

      Simon Ryder on

      I agree with Michael Jones on this.
      This is a very vague update, 6 months after announcing you've run out of money. Any project has to have limits, and the project organisers need to work to a budget (whether that's the original one, or an increased one due to extra funding support). Especially with a topic as broad as 'the definitive documentary' of free jazz!
      There's no indication of how much more money's required , & how much more that is than the original budget. This all smacks of over-enthusiasm and over-ambition outweighing completing the project. While I and other backers might be willing to increase our support, what confidence can we have that even if another tranche of funding is forthcoming, the same thing won't happen again?

    3. Missing avatar

      Michael Jones on

      The point of a Kickstarter campaign is to raise enough money to complete your project - not just to raise a random amount - spend it - announce its not enough then let everybody down.

      Oh well guess I've learned something.

    4. Lisa Irene on

      Question: I understand significant funds would be needed -
      Is it possible to make (small) donations? For example,
      I would be willing to add to my modest backing.....

    5. Lisa Irene on

      Thank you! Hoping for ease and finances for your fantastic project -

    6. Terry Kattleman on

      How much money do you need to complete the film? How much of the film is completed? Do you have a target date for completion?