About this project
PRODUCTION OF LIVING ON SOUL IS WRAPPED. PLEASE HELP US USHER THE FILM THROUGH POST-PRODUCTION AND FINISH IT SO WE CAN DELIVER IT TO THE WORLD!
In Summer 2014, Daptone Records invited me and my producing partner, Cory Bailey, to come on the road with them as they toured the Daptone Super Soul Revue across Europe. For 10 days, we traveled with more than 40 musicians, slept on Charles Bradley's tour bus, filmed a bunch of Soul Revues and shot hours of intimate behind-the-scenes footage of the Daptone Family.
One memorable afternoon along that journey, at Glastonbury, Daptone Records Co-Founder Neal Sugarman got word that the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem wanted to host the Revue for a three-night residency that December. We immediately knew we had a movie-in-the-making on our hands - an opportunity to make a special, different type of contemporary music film. Production on Living On Soul had officially begun.
Excited by the opportunity, we also knew that in making this film we had to do something very different. That's because a biographical Charles Bradley film was released in 2012. And because a fantastic documentary exploring Sharon Jones' battle with cancer is currently touring the film festival circuit. Plus I had just come off directing a different Kickstarter-funded record label documentary called Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton. Yet despite these creative hurdles, we believed we had the chance to capture something altogether different: a moment in time shared by a group of brilliant musicians - the entire Daptone Records family.
So we got some money together, crewed up in NYC and set out to make a film in the tradition of The Last Waltz, Monterey Pop, and Soul Power. A hybrid music documentary/concert film that would unearth the anecdotal history of Daptone Records and its artists through vérité-style scenes and live performances from the most iconic soul music stage in the world: the Apollo Theater.
We shot all three sold-out shows on six 4K cameras equipped with the best vintage lenses we could source in NYC. Before, during and after the performances, we also captured the electric atmosphere that was present throughout the Apollo and shared among the artists during those days and nights. The residency was a true celebration and manifestation of the long and arduous road Daptone's artists have traveled together; and the footage conveys that. But we knew we had to go further.
After another small round of private fundraising, we were able to return to NYC in Summer 2015. During this leg of production, we filmed a number of scene-based conversations and interviews to complement and contextualize all of the rich material we shot at the Apollo. And after ten more intensive days of shooting, we were ready to begin the edit.
Since then, Cory and I have been hard at work cutting Living On Soul. The film is coming together beautifully, and we know that with a bit more TLC, it will become the film we'd always hoped to make. That's where you come in. We've put all the money we've raised "on screen" and are hoping your generous donations can help pay for a few major parts of the process we've got left ahead of us in post-production.
The first thing we're looking to do is bring on an outside consulting editor. At this juncture, a fresh pair of eyes and talented hands is exactly what we need to get the film to the next level. Once we picture lock the film, we then have to mix and master it in 5.1 and Stereo for theatrical and home entertainment experiences, respectively. This component of the post-production process is obviously of paramount importance, and as a result is costly to do right.
Simultaneously, a colorist will online edit and color correct the film to ensure it looks its best for exhibition, and a VFX artist will create effects and titles. These creative touches and augmentations in post-production will make for a truly unique cinematic experience - one that takes the audience from their seats right into the room when and where we filmed. It's that intangible, transcendent quality these performances and moments possessed that post-production will heighten and translate to the big screen.
The last step towards our commercial release, then, is clearing all the music used in the film. We are working closely with Daptone Records and their artists' publishing companies to do this, but the fact remains that, justly, a substantial tab will need to be paid.
To help us cover these costs and more that inevitably arise when finishing a film, we're asking you to generously donate to our campaign, and help bring Living On Soul to movie theaters, televisions and digital devices around the world. We truly believe this film has the potential to connect with people everywhere, and we just want to see it get that opportunity.
Risks and challenges
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