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A Thousand Thoughts is a documentary portrait created by filmmaker Sam Green about – and in collaboration with – the Kronos Quartet.
A Thousand Thoughts is a documentary portrait created by filmmaker Sam Green about – and in collaboration with – the Kronos Quartet.
497 backers pledged $54,122 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$54,122

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THE FILM

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.

THE TEAM

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. 

Best, Sam

THE REWARDS 

silk-screened Kronos Quartet postcard!
silk-screened Kronos Quartet postcard!

 

William Wegman's 1996 diptych portrait of the Kronos Quartet.
William Wegman's 1996 diptych portrait of the Kronos Quartet.

 

still image from Sam Green's new short film "Julius Caesar was Buried in a Pet Cemetery"
still image from Sam Green's new short film "Julius Caesar was Buried in a Pet Cemetery"

 

There are many great still images from A THOUSAND THOUGHTS - this is one that might we might use for the color archival print reward
There are many great still images from A THOUSAND THOUGHTS - this is one that might we might use for the color archival print reward

 

a special postcard from the Kronos Quartet and Sam Green on the road
a special postcard from the Kronos Quartet and Sam Green on the road

 

One of the many great vintage posters in the Kronos Quartet archive
One of the many great vintage posters in the Kronos Quartet archive

 

another vintage poster from the Kronos archive
another vintage poster from the Kronos archive

 

I can't believe you're still reading this!!!!! Wow. You must not have a lot going on! Just kidding. This last image isn't a reward or anything - just a quote that I love that's serving as a kind of North Star for me as I edit A THOUSAND THOUGHTS.
I can't believe you're still reading this!!!!! Wow. You must not have a lot going on! Just kidding. This last image isn't a reward or anything - just a quote that I love that's serving as a kind of North Star for me as I edit A THOUSAND THOUGHTS.

 

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.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Soundtrack track! And thanks!

    a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS and our eternal gratitude! Your name will be listed in the credits on the film’s website

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Silk-screened Kronos postcard!

    Get a silk-screened postcard, showing a fantastic early newspaper photo of the Kronos Quartet wearing leather jackets! (headline: "They look like rockers but play the classics"). Will look great on any wall! Or a good gift to mail to a friend. (To see a photo of the postcard, scroll down on the left)

    Plus, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    a new short film by Sam Green

    a digital download of JULIUS CAESAR WAS BURIED IN A PET CEMETERY - a short documentary portrait of the greatest pet cemetery in the world. Soundtrack by Yo La Tengo. This film is not available anywhere else!!!

    Plus a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    signed Kronos Quartet CD or vinyl album

    get a Kronos CD or LP signed by all four members of the quartet! You can request an album, but based on availability, we might not be able to send that one.

    Plus a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    archival print from A THOUSAND THOUGHTS

    A printed 8x10 still image from A THOUSAND THOUGHTS - perfect for framing! Photographed by the illustrious cinematographer Kirsten Johnson (CAMERAPERSON) so you know it's gonna look good.

    Plus a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    6-pack of Sam Green films

    Digital downloads of 6 documentaries by Sam Green. Including the director's cut of THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND, THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE, UTOPIA PART 3: THE WORLD'S LARGEST SHOPPING MALL, THE FABULOUS STAINS: BEHIND THE MOVIE, CLEAR GLASSES, LOT 63, GRAVE C

    Plus a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    rare Kronos and Terry Riley track!

    PERHAPS THE GREATEST KICKSTARTER REWARD EVER OFFERED! A digital download of the Kronos Quartet and Terry Riley performing Riley's song "John Cage in Redding, California," the mind-boggling story of John Cage's visit to Terry Riley's high school way back in 1953. This song has never been released and you won't find it anywhere else!

    Plus a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website.

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    20 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    a postcard from Kronos and Sam Green

    Receive a special signed postcard from the Kronos Quartet and Sam Green on the road - might be from Kathmandu or it might be from Cleveland . A personal greeting from one of their exotic performance locations!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    3-CD Kronos grab bag - autographed!

    A perfect reward for anyone interested in learning more about the Kronos oeuvre. A selection of three of the quartet's iconic albums in CD form - autographed!

    Plus a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Vintage Kronos Quartet poster

    A fantastic-looking, autographed poster from a huge collection of posters in the Kronos Quartet archives. We will select your poster specifically for you!

    Plus a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    2 tickets to see A THOUSAND THOUGHTS

    Two tickets to see A THOUSAND THOUGHTS in NYC, London, San Francisco, or another city where it screens. (Travel not included - this is just the tix.)

    Plus all the other rewards: a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, JULIUS CAESAR WAS BURIED IN A PET CEMETERY, JOHN CAGE IN REDDING, CA, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website.

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    20 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    2 VIP tix to see A THOUSAND THOUGHTS

    Two VIP tickets to see A THOUSAND THOUGHTS in NYC, London, San Francisco, or another city where it screens. Plus backstage passes to hang out with Sam Green and the Kronos Quartet after the show. (Travel not included - this is just the tix.)

    Plus all the other rewards: a digital download of a piece of music from the soundtrack of A THOUSAND THOUGHTS, JULIUS CAESAR WAS BURIED IN A PET CEMETERY, JOHN CAGE IN REDDING, CA, our eternal gratitude, and your name in the credits on the film’s website.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Record shopping with David Harrington!

    Spend an afternoon shopping for music with Kronos founder and artistic director David Harrington (in SF or NYC only). Harrington is the most passionate and curious person about music we've ever encountered, so you will be guaranteed a great time and will certainly be exposed to tons of new music!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Limited edition William Wegman portrait!

    William Wegman is a Kronos fan, not to mention a total mensch, and he’s making a limited edition of his fantastic 1996 diptych portrait of Kronos Quartet for this Kickstarter campaign (see image on the left). It’s an edition of 15 signed prints, 17x22 inches, pigment print on paper. The value is $3,000, so you are ahead of the game if you choose this reward. Guaranteed to look good on any wall!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Kronos Quartet concert in your house

    Impress your friends with this one - Kronos Quartet will play a concert in your living room. Best done when Kronos is going to be in your city anyway. The backer must take care of all expenses. Email us to discuss before pulling the trigger on this one.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Sam Green live cinema show in your house

    Sam Green will do a personal screening of one of his recent live cinema programs (excluding A THOUSAND THOUGHTS) at your house or other non-commercial venue. A lovely evening of live cinema and music - invite all your friends! If you are not in NYC, travel and accommodations are additional. Email if you have questions.

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Funding period

- (28 days)