Nobody Knows Anything (except William Goldman) is an upcoming documentary feature about two-time Academy Award-winning screenwriter, bestselling novelist, non-fiction author and playwright William Goldman, the man behind unforgettable classics such as Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid, All The President’s Men, Marathon Man, Misery and The Princess Bride and Hollywood bible Adventures In The Screen Trade. Featuring rare footage of Bill revisiting his personal archives as well as verite, in-depth interviews and animated sequences depicting seminal moments in a groundbreaking career, Nobody Knows Anything tells the story of an “unexceptional” kid from Highland Park who defied expectations, broke all the rules, and became one of the most influential storytellers of our time.
I wanted Bill on film. He means a lot to me personally and he's one of our greatest modern storytellers. He pioneered Hollywood's golden era in the 70's and he was one of the original outlaws. His movies are constantly referenced and reinvented, they still have power. Not many writers can say that. And as Rob Reiner put it, "Writing is the real art and it's hard to do." Most of the creators of the movies and television series now have either been mentored by William Goldman or studied him a lot. When someone achieves that kind of creative and cultural influence you want to spend as much time with them as possible. And Bill is a lot like his writing, very funny and incisive and surprising and generally outraged. It's not possible to have a bad time with Bill.
I met Bill years ago when I was working for someone who wanted to option one of his novels. I was told to call Mr. Goldman, schedule a meeting, and prepare intensively. He answered the phone and said, "Come by now and I'll give you ten minutes." I remember racing across town and fighting off a cardiac event in his elevator. He rejected the book option and sat me down and asked questions instead. When he found out I went to school for writing he warmed up a bit. His parting words were, "Good luck, not that you need it." A few weeks later I had my first big pitch so I kept rolling those words in my head. I ended up selling the thing and I wrote him a letter thanking him for the instant courage. He liked the letter and said I could write anytime to distract him from his pit. I've been harassing him since.
There isn't much footage of William Goldman floating around. He’s very private and humble and he doesn't like attention. I knew this but I also knew that it was very important to me and probably to a number of other people to get the man on film.
So two years ago when Bill miraculously agreed to this I jumped at the chance to film him all over New York from Madison Square Garden to Crown Heights to the Upper East Side and sometimes even Pennsylvania. And I thought he was pretty fascinating even before we looked through decades of his personal archives. He hadn't seen them himself in years. Just doing that, with Bill elaborating on those incredible letters and photographs and original materials from his life and work, rates as an all-time highlight. Writers are a cagey and superstitious lot, so it's a rare and lucky thing to get the story behind a great storyteller. Even rarer to get it in Bill's inimitable voice.
Long story short — filmmaking is expensive, and independent projects are often funded by grassroots campaigns. All of us on the team behind the film share a huge passion for this project, and we believe through this Kickstarter, it'll actually be possible to bring it to completion.
Director/Producer Caroline Case is a screenwriter and has written screenplays and adaptations for Warner Brothers, Sony, 21st Century Fox, Paramount, New Line, Morgan Creek, Universal and DreamWorks. She has rewritten films in production including The Express, Runaway Jury, Don't Say A Word and Impostor and has collaborated with directors Bronwen Hughes, Gary Fleder and Carl Franklin. Nobody Knows Anything (except William Goldman) is her feature documentary debut and she is directing and co-producing the endangered elephant documentary Ninety Seconds in association with the Center for Environmental Filmmaking in Washington, DC. She received an MFA from the Graduate Film Program at Columbia University and is a member of the WGAW.
Producer Suzanne Weinert began her career as the VP of Shoelace Productions, participating in the development and production of over 14 narrative features and documentaries (including the award winning Orangutans of Borneo and Wild Horses of Mongolia). She is the writer/producer of Exterminators which premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. She is the Executive Producer of the award winning film Hellion starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis which premiered in competition at the Sundance Film Festival as well as the producer of the western The Legend of Hell's Gate, the award winning coming of age movie The Doo Dah Man as well as the award winning family drama Windsor. She received a B.A. and M.F.A in Film from Columbia University, serves on the Advisory Board of SXSW as well as the Boards of the Austin Film Society and is a member of the WGAE.
Executive Producer Gary Fleder is a feature film director and producer of Homefront, The Express, Runaway Jury, Don’t Say A Word, Kiss The Girls and Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead. He has directed and produced pilots and episodes of more than a dozen television series including Life On Mars, Life Unexpected, October Road, Homicide and The Shield and directed an episode of the Emmy award-winning mini-series From the Earth To The Moon, collaborating with producer Tom Hanks. Fleder is a member of the DGA Special Projects Committee and has served as adjunct faculty at USC School of Cinema where he received his MFA.
Co-Executive Producer Louis Black co-founded The Austin Chronicle, where he is editor, SXSW, where he is a director, and was a founding Board Member of the Austin Film Society. He has written extensively on film, music and politics. Executive producer of Be Here to Love Me, A Film About Townes Van Zandt, he was a producer on the Peabody Award Winning The Order of Myths. Having produced documentaries and reissues of classic Texas films (Eagle Pennell's The Whole Shootin' Match and Tobe Hooper's Eggshells) he is currently working on a number of documentary and narrative films as well as more reissues of classic Texas independent films. Most recently he co-directed and produced Richard Linklater — dream is destiny which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Co-Executive Producer Tanner Beard is the founder of Silver Sail Entertainment which most recently exec produced the critically acclaimed Hellion starring Aaron Paul and Juliette Lewis, The Legend of Hell's Gate starring Eric Balfour, Henry Thomas, and Jenna Dewan Tatum. In addition, Beard himself has recently Executive Produced three films under icon Terrance Malick and producer Sarah Green, starring talent such as Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Cate Blanchett, Michael Fassbender, Natalie Portman, and Brad Pitt. Not only a seasoned director and producer, Beard starred in The Legend of Hell’s Gate currently playing on STARZ as well as The Letter starring Winona Ryder and James Franco, Thunder Broke the Heavens, The Doh Dah Man, and Robert Rodriguez’s TV series, From Dusk Till Dawn.
Cinematographer Sam Henriques is a two-time Emmy award-winner and recently DP-ed A & E’s comedy series Indiana Joe’s, MTV’s Failosophy and Nat Geo’s Armageddon 101. His short film Sling Shot premiered in the Sundance Film Festival's the "Focus Forward: Short Films/Big Ideas" series. Sam’s recent documentary works include: The Good Soldier, which won him an Emmy as Producer for Documentary & Historical programming, Portrait of Wally, Nursery University; and Burning the Future. Henriques is best known for shooting Academy Award nominee The Farm: Angola produced and directed by Liz Garbus and Jonathan Stack for which he won a Primetime Emmy for non-fiction Cinematography and Riding The Rails for American Experience which won a Peabody award. He has filmed for UNICEF on health issues such as Polio in Ethiopia, AIDS in South Africa, and child labor in the Balkans. Other notable films include: Good People Go To Hell, The Klezmatics, A Cantor’s Tale, and My Architect. He is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Cinematographer Theo van de Sande has shot over 50 feature films, 9 feature-length documentaries and over 40 shorts, documentaries, TV series and musical performances. He has worked with directors Robert Wise, Garry Marshall, Joan Micklin Silver, Lasse Hallstrom, Mick Jackson and Carl Franklin on the critically acclaimed Crossing Delancey, Miracle Mile, Once Around, Volcano, Blade, Cruel Intentions, High Crimes and Tuesdays With Morrie. He also shot The Girl With The Red Hair which received the Dutch Film Critics Award, The Illusionist which received the Dutch Best Film and the Dutch Film Critics Award, The Assault which received the Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, and Colors Straight Up which was nominated for the Academy Award, DGA Award and Spirit Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary in 1997.
Inconceivably, there’s more to be done. We need to shoot a few outstanding scenes and key interviews, and a Broadway musical production of The Princess Bride is currently in the works (which nobody would want to miss.) In addition to the remaining shoot costs, the editor needs to be salaried alongside graphics, archival, music, sound mix, and a number of essentials in post-production. The producer and I have waived salaries on the project and have kept production costs to a minimum without sacrificing quality crew. Many of our industry colleagues have generously given their invaluable time, energy and talent in support of Bill and this project. We need your invaluable help too! Now please! In thirty days! We’re not kidding!
Currently we've shot over twenty supporting interviews with close friends and family, colleagues and protégées, including: Aaron Sorkin • Rob Reiner • Robin Wright • Matthew Weiner • Kathy Bates • Cary Elwes • James Caan • Callie Khouri • John Patrick Shanley • Mandy Patinkin • John Cleese • Scott Frank • Shane Black • Frank Rich • Stephen Sondheim • Susan Burden • Peter Gethers • Mike Lupica • Frank Rich • Tom Rothman • Michael DeLuca • Mark Johnson • Hawk Koch
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Risks and challenges
We have worked tirelessly on this project for the past two years and are determined to see it through. With over twenty-two interviews and countless hours with Bill already filmed, our challenges only lie in the final home-stretch of post-production and negotiating licensing and rights. These Kickstarter funds and support of the community will allow us to overcome these challenges.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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