About this project
ABOUT THE MOVIE
ALL THE LABOR is the story of five Austin, Texas musicians collectively-known as The Gourds. Kevin Russell, Keith Langford, Max Johnston, Jimmy Smith, and Claude Bernard are some of the hardest working musicians in the business. In March 2011, The Gourds recorded their tenth full studio album at “The Barn” in Woodstock, New York. Produced by longtime Bob Dylan sideman, Larry Campbell, “Old Mad Joy” was released in September on Vanguard Records. We began filming ALL THE LABOR in August 2011 when the band rented an abandoned kitchen in a former mental institution in south Austin to practice the songs Campbell helped them hone back in March. The crew for that first week of shooting included myself, Texas filmmaker, Mike Woolf (MAN ON A MISSION), and Brendan Canty (ASHES OF AMERICAN FLAGS). Since then a slightly larger film crew has followed the alt-country roots rockers as they toured relentlessly in support of their first major label release. While all of The Gourds’ critically-acclaimed records deserve the praise they have received, fans know that a full understanding of the band can only be achieved through experiencing them live. ALL THE LABOR will introduce viewers to the energy and excitement of the band’s live performances while painting an intimate portrait of these talented songwriters and musicians at the top of their game. You will hear and see The Gourds like you've never seen them before in ALL THE LABOR.
ABOUT THE SAMPLE CLIP
The video "teaser" above is just one of many great performances that will be featured in the finished film. I've edited in a few quirky fun clips of the band just being themselves during the filming of the documentary. The finished film will include commentary by band members, personal performances of classic Gourds songs, archival images, and lots of behind-the-scenes footage that will tell the story of this amazing quintet.
HOW ALL THE LABOR GOT STARTED
A long-time friend, and one of the most devoted Gourds fans on the planet, JR Roof, introduced Missoula, Montana to the band in 2001. JR had seen them in Amsterdam where he had previously lived. He loved the music so much that after moving to Montana he began sending daily emails to Gourds front man, Kevin Russell, demanding that the band do a show in Missoula. Kevin finally responded and JR booked the band at the now defunct Blue Heron club. That sold out show was my introduction to The Gourds and like scores of fans before me, I was completely blown away. JR brought the band back to Missoula nearly a dozen times over the next decade and I made every show. Last spring The Gourds played two nights at the Top Hat in Missoula and stuck around most of the next day before heading on to Spokane. The band spent that sunny afternoon in JR's yard relaxing and talking about music. Jimmy Smith was playing the rough mix of their new record, OLD MAD JOY, on the CD player in the van. When I heard it, a conversation about a film ensued almost immediately.
OK, so it took me 10 years to figure out that a documentary should be made about these guys, but really the timing couldn't be better. If you've heard the new record, you know that their songwriting is as brilliant as ever and they're playing like never before. The film will give fans a full history of the band, but this is a very important moment in their long and impressive career. I feel very fortunate that we all connected to document their work now. As filmmakers, we're also in a great position to make this particular film now. Our most recent feature documentary, FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON will be broadcast nationally on the acclaimed PBS series, Independent Lens this month. All of our feature documentaries have found national broadcast in the U.S. on PBS, cable TV, and beyond. Check out our official web site for a complete resume of broadcasts, festival screenings, awards and more. We don't just finish a film, make a DVD and call it good. We work hard to make sure our documentaries achieve the largest possible audience.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
Like many projects, we started this one when it was time to start, not when we had the funding to make it. At this point, we need to raise $45,000 to finish post-production and final sound mixes of the performances that will be featured in the film. We plan to have a fully-mixed finished cut ready for an Austin, Texas premiere in early spring, 2013. I've been making documentaries for two decades now, but this one is a special challenge. When it's all done, we will have shot more than a dozen Gourds shows with as many as seven cameras per show. We also recorded 16-24 individual audio tracks at each show so that when the final audio is mixed, it will sound like you are there, in-person, at each show.
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS
Kickstarter is a funding platform for creative projects, driven by an all-or-nothing modus. If we don’t raise our goal of $45,000, we lose everything, and no money changes hands. If we do reach our goal, the film will be released in spring 2013, with a DVD and Blu-Ray release in the fall. Our campaign will last 60 days. 60 days go by very fast. If you can, please pledge now – it will help build crucial momentum.
WHAT'S THE BEST WAY TO SUPPORT ALL THE LABOR
Make a pledge today via Kickstarter. Any contribution, no matter how small or large, will make a difference. All contributions will be rewarded and because our company is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, ALL CONTRIBUTIONS ARE FULLY TAX-DEDUCTIBLE! Please check out the donation tiers to your right to find the level and gift that’s right for you. Spread the word by telling your friends, family and social networks about our film and this Kickstarter campaign. Please send the URL of this page with a heartfelt endorsement to everyone you know! "Like" and Share the link on Facebook, Twitter, by email or blog. Encourage people to follow us. We can be found online here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/All-the-Labor/234746453254184 If you have other ideas how to help please contact us.
WHAT IF I DON'T WANT THE REWARD
No problem. There is a button that you can select if you don't want the reward. Just know that you have helped us move this project forward to the finish line. Thank you!
CAN WE EXCEED THE GOAL?
You bet! Every penny raised is going directly toward completing the movie, so the more we raise the better the final film will be.
CAN I GIFT AN INCENTIVE?
Absolutely! If you would like to donate to the film but gift the incentive to someone else, go through the usual process of making a donation in your name. For billing purposes, this action must be in your name. After our deadline, we will send a message to you on Kickstarter that will be forwarded to the e-mail address you provided. If you choose to gift your incentive, you can simply reply with the person's information whom you'd like to receive the reward and we will send it to that address.
CAN I INCREASE MY PLEDGE ONCE IT'S BEEN MADE?
Yes. Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green "Back This Project" button has been replaced with a blue "Manage Your Donation" button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.
IS MY PLEDGE AMOUNT DISPLAYED PUBLICLY?
No. Only you and the project creator will be able to see the pledge amount.
WHO WE ARE
ALL THE LABOR is a production of High Plains Films, a project of the Big Sky Film Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, in association with Big Sky Pictures, LLC. The mission of the Big Sky Film Institute is to celebrate and promote the art of non-fiction filmmaking through production and exhibition of documentary films, and to encourage media literacy by fostering public understanding and appreciation of documentary film. ALL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THIS PROJECT ARE FULLY TAX-DEDUCTIBLE.
The project has been fortunate to have help from an incredibly talented team of camera operators, sound engineers and associate producers. Special thanks to everyone who has worked on the film to-date - Mike Wolf (Beef & Pie/Austin, Texas), Dru Carr (High Plains Films/Missoula, Montana), Travis Morss (Missoula, Montana), Ken Furrow (Missoula, Montana), Dawn Smallman & Greg Snider (Far Away Films/Portland, Oregon), Davis McClarty (Gourds Management), Joe Priesnitz (Gourds Management), Stephen Brower (Vanguard Records), Abe Ray (The Loft Recordings/Portland, Oregon), Stan Orlowski (Seattle, Washington), Mark Creaney (Austin, Texas), and Brendan Canty (Trixie Film/Washington, DC).
Just as the Gourds CDs, records and performances have touched fans around the world, we are confident that this film will be a part of that tradition and expand the reach of their music. During our campaign and beyond we will keep you updated on the progress of the film, and we welcome any feedback and comments. Please help us finish this film and bring this music to the masses of alt-country, Americana, roots-rock fans out there who have yet to be introduced to the genius of The Gourds. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF ALL THE LABOR!! WE CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT YOU!! Hope to see you all at the premiere of the movie in Spring 2013!
Director, ALL THE LABOR
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