Documentary chronicling the life and fine art of NMAAHC Smithsonian Institute celebrated Artist, the late William Pleasant, Jr.
Documentary chronicling the life and fine art of NMAAHC Smithsonian Institute celebrated Artist, the late William Pleasant, Jr. Read more
About this project
Fine artist William M. Pleasant, Jr. ( www.pleasantart.org ) created a trove of paintings and other works that celebrated his first-hand witness of Gullah-Geechee and Southern experience in the Georgia/ South Carolina low country (1928 b-1997d). Artist, Jalal Pleasant (in collaboration with Riddimathon!, Inc.) is developing a short documentary on the artist's life entitled "SIGNS". It is a commemoration of a crucial, yet, fading cultural historical treasure that Wm. Pleasant, Jr preserved in his timeless work. The documentary will follow its template reference, the book, also titled 'SIGNS'. With interviews, film clips, photos, and regionally specific music and backdrops, "SIGNS" will detail the life and scope of Wm. Pleasant's work within the context of a fading early African American legacy. Production shall be made up of a series of scenes. Some live action, others photographic and then rendered in a collage like style. The film will begin with the early life of the artist and his relationships. This will be followed up with his personal inspirations and how the political and social climate of the period also helped to influence the artist's work and vision. The film shall continue to shift in time focusing on the artist's changing style and influences.
It may cost upwards of $25,000 USD to complete this effort. We are seeking to obtain funding in increments in a series of Kickstarter initiatives.
What is needed:
Donations will help to fund the pre and post production process and promotions. Film scenes will be shot in High definition and various effects will be applied to give this film a unique look and feel. This can only be achieved with the proper equipment. A robust computer is needed and software to help edit and produce the high definition video. A good quality microphone setup is needed for capturing clear audio and a led display for viewing and editing large formatted film scenes. A good quality light fixture is necessary also to help light complex scenes and a quality hd camera. Funds shall also help in the process of conducting in-depth research into the life history of the subject and cover travel costs.
William M. Pleasant, Jr. created a trove of paintings and other works that celebrated his first-hand witness of Gullah-Geechee and Southern experience in the Georgia/ South Carolina low country (1928b-1997d). That resource connects to me in a couple of important ways: one, as his second son I was young enough to have accompanied him on his many painting assignments in the region (1960's-70's Savannah). One of my earliest memories was when he took me with him to do touch up work on his Last Supper rendition at BETH EDEN BAPTIST CHURCH in the historic downtown area of Savannah Georgia. The outing, as well as many other art and history ventures that I joined him on, served to inspire my interests in the rich regional legacies. Two, my mother's work as an educator in Gullah-Geechee communities, coupled with my father's artistic work sealed my life-long interests in early African American culture (www.davidpleasant1.com).
The paintings are a living reference of those times and experiences. As I travel nationally and internationally in speaking engagements, on recordings, or as a performer, those works and experiences continue to live through me. They support my efforts within a clear and authentic ancestral connection. The connection of extant African American legacies through my work, provides the public with a unique opportunity to participate in a once hidden, yet now, strongly emerging multi-generational experience. The "SIGNS" documentary is a short filmic rendition of the book, 'SIGNS'. Through narrations, photos, video clips, music, and interviews, it will encapsulate the artistic and cultural life of artists William M. Pleasant, Jr.
The book is the pre-existing template for the video. A narrative will be developed from it relating to the extant paintings, but also, including interviews with elderly family and community members who may corroborate the time frame in which Wm. Pleasant, Jr worked and lived. The interviews will include extensive travel and documentation time as well as a meticulous compilation of personal family and public records. The selection of Pleasant's painting, The Huckster, the lead-in work in the book, as a 10 year entrant in the Smithsonian Institution Museum of African American Culture ( https://nmaahc.si.edu/ ), will be a focal point in the documentary's narrative arc.
Producer, Director, Jalal Pleasant (www.pleasantart.com) will, after the narration is written, documents compiled, and site specific shoots completed, edit and finish all of the collected bits. Many of the on-site shoots will also include travel and production details incurred by Jalal Pleasant. The final 25-45min result will also contain a musical score taken from various Gullah inspired pieces composed, and/or performed by David Pleasant's Riddimathon! The narration will then be laid on top of that finished filmic detail.
Risks and challenges
We are assembling a team of formally trained creative professionals who are experienced in matters of production. We are confident that any unforeseen production issues shall be solved without issue. We have established a facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pleasantsigns
At this location backers can keep up to date on production and review notes surrounding our various shoots.
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- (30 days)