For the past few years, I’ve been following around the members of the legendary Kronos Quartet. For those of you who don’t know, the Kronos Quartet is like the Michael Jordan, or the Bob Dylan, or perhaps even the Williams sisters of the classical world. They’ve been around for more than 40 years, sold two million records, played thousands of concerts, won a Grammy, and changed the way we think about music.
I’ve made many films over the years but have never been as excited as I am about this one. A Thousand Thoughts will be a documentary portrait of the Kronos Quartet – following their long career as well as their collaborations with musical icons like Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Terry Riley, Steve Reich and many others. But rather than being some lame Behind-the-Music type doc, A Thousand Thoughts will use the story of the Kronos Quartet to create a larger work about the mysterious ways in which music moves us, about time passing, loss and beauty, and about utopia.
I feel very strongly that all of this is especially important right now. Music can play a special role during difficult times, and the Kronos Quartet has been using their music to try to change the world for longer than many of us have been around.
WHAT'S A LIVE DOCUMENTARY????
In the past few years, I’ve been making what I call “live documentaries” – it’s all the elements of film but it only happens live: I narrate the piece in person and cue images and video while a live band performs the soundtrack. My “live documentary” The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller was a collaboration with the legendary band Yo La Tengo and for The Measure of All Things I collaborated with the chamber group yMusic as well as with Brendan Canty of Fugazi and Todd Griffin and Catherine McRae of The Quavers.
I continue to be fascinated and charmed by the live documentary form and am excited to continue the experiment with A Thousand Thoughts. With this piece, the Kronos Quartet will perform a live score at each show, and we will tour all over the world doing screenings. This film will only happen live – unfortunately you won’t be able to binge-watch it on Netflix or check it out on YouTube while doing email. You will be there with us when we bring the film to your city! Now more than ever, the collective experience of cinema is important – it’s even political.
Your support will help me with shooting and editing this film, including paying my dream team of collaborators: Kirsten Johnson (Cameraperson, CitizenFour) is the cinematographer, Joe Bini – who has edited many of Werner Herzog’s films – is an editor/creative collaborator; and Willie Williams – who creates all of U2’s live shows – is doing visual design.
We have already booked a bunch of screenings of A Thousand Thoughts for early next 2018 (the Wexner Center, NYU Abu Dhabi, the Barbican), and I really need your help getting from here to there! Thanks for considering supporting this project. I look forward to screening this film for you at some point soon when the Kronos Quartet and I come to your town.
Risks and challenges
The truth is there are any number of fluke things that could come up and complicate this project. There could be be hurdles in getting the piece booked at venues in the US and abroad. As with any project, there could be some unforeseen legal complications. I am a determined and tenacious person though. I have been making films for almost 20 years, and I've also made several other live documentaries before, so I am confident that I could overcome any reasonable challenges that might arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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