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A live documentary loosely inspired by the Guinness Book of Records. Help us get to our world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival! Read more

Brooklyn, NY Documentary
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This project was successfully funded on January 8, 2014.

A live documentary loosely inspired by the Guinness Book of Records. Help us get to our world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival!

Brooklyn, NY Documentary
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About this project

*****STRETCH GOAL******

We've reached our main goal of $25,000 - thanks so much for all of your help.  I actually do need more than that to get this film out into the world, so any additional donations are greatly appreciated. 

I’ve always loved The Guinness Book of Records. Like most kids, I was enthralled by Guinness - the photos of the woman with the smallest waist, the tallest man and his normal-sized family, the fattest twins on motorcycles are still seared into my imagination. I came across an old paperback copy of Guinness a while back and was intrigued by the book. I couldn’t put it down - it’s so full of wonder and human drama. It occurred to me that the book really can be read as kind of epic poem about humanity. It’s all about the mystery and wonder and tragedy of our lives. It’s about time and fate. About the things that befall us, and the weird things we are compelled to do.

These are themes that I love. So I set out to make a film more about all of that than about the book itself. (My high-powered lawyers have advised me to emphasize that The Measure of All Things is in no way endorsed, sponsored, or connected to The Guinness Book of Records or Guinness World Records Limited ). The Measure of All Things weaves together a series of portraits of record-holding people, places, and things - the tallest man (7 feet 9 inches), the oldest living thing (a 5,000 year old Bristlecone Pine in Southern California), the man struck by lightning the most times (seven!), the oldest living person (116), and the woman with the world’s longest name - to create a poignant meditation on fate, time, and the outer contours of the human experience. 

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 from my laptop while a live band performs the soundtrack. My most recent “live documentary” is called The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller and was a collaboration with the legendary band Yo La Tengo. 

I continue to be fascinated and charmed by this live documentary form and am excited to continue the experiment with The Measure of All Things. With this piece, I’m going to do some live shows with the fantastic chamber group yMusic and others with my longtime collaborators the Quavers (Todd Griffin, Catherine McRae, and Brendan Canty). 

After two years of shooting all over the world and editing, I am thrilled that The Measure of All Things will have its world premier in January at the Sundance Film Festival. I’ve had eight other films screen at Sundance but I’m particularly excited about this one. We really need your help though to get to Park City and get this movie out into the world. I always work very frugally, but there are a bunch of costs that come up in this final stage of finishing a film. With your support, we’ll be able to pay for things like: design, color correction, sound mix, and of course making a great website. Thanks for considering supporting this project. I look forward to screening this film for you at some point. 

 Best, Sam

COLLABORATORS

Live Soundtrack - yMusic 

yMusic is a sextet made up of Hideaki Aomori, CJ Camerieri, Clarice Jensen, Rob Moose, Nadia Sirota, and Alex Sopp. Equally comfortable in the overlapping worlds of classical and pop music, the ensemble was created in 2008 to bring a classical chamber-music aesthetic to venues outside the traditional concert hall. The ensemble includes a unique combination of instruments: string trio, flute, clarinet, and trumpet. Hailed by NPR’s Fred Child as “one of the groups that has really helped to shape the future of classical music,” its members have individually toured and recorded with artists such as Bon Iver, Bjork, Peter Gabriel, Antony and the Johnsons, Ryuichi Sakamoto, The National, Rufus Wainwright, Grizzly Bear, Meredith Monk, Yo-Yo Ma, The New York Philharmonic, David Byrne, and Sufjan Stevens. yMusic’s debut album, “Beautiful Mechanical,” was named Time Out New York’s #1 Classical Record of 2011.

Creative Collaborator - Annie Dorsen 
Annie Dorsen works in a variety of fields, including theatre, film, dance and, as of 2010, algorithmic performance. Most recently, she presented Spokaoke, a participatory karaoke for political and historical speeches, at Crossing the Line Festival (NY), Black Box (Oslo) and BIT Teatergarasjen (Bergen). Her new algorithmic theatre project, A Piece of Work, was recently seen at Brooklyn Academy of Music (NY), Parc de la Villette (Paris) and De Keuze Festival (Rotterdam), among other venues. Her previous algorithmic piece, Hello Hi There, continues to tour internationally, most recently at Parc de la Villette, Kanuti Gildi Saal (Tallinn), Cincinnati Arts Center, 4+4 Days in Motion Festival (Prague) and at Bard Live Arts. Magical, a collaboration with Anne Juren, also continues to tour, most recently at Sophiensaele (Berlin), and will be seen in 2014 in Cologne, Zurich, Tallinn, Lyon and others. She has taught, written and lectured extensively on performance (both algorithmic and non) and is the co-creator of the 2008 Broadway musical Passing Strange, which she also directed.

Andrew Black - Cinematography 

Andrew Black is a Director of Photography whose work includes documentary and feature films. His work has been for theatrical and broadcast distribution and shown in festivals worldwide. Black worked with Michael Moore on Fahrenheit 9/11 and Sicko. He shot the Academy Award nominated The Weather Underground by Sam Green and Bill Siegel. His work airs widely, most recently on a national PBS broadcast of Mustang: Journey of Transformation, which was shot in a remote area of Nepal. He annually shoots the Emmy Award winning Global Focus, a PBS show featuring environmentalists from around the world. Based in San Francisco, California, Black travels extensively for work and has visited over 35 countries.

Pete Sillen - Cinematography

Peter Sillen is a New York-based filmmaker. Sillen creates portraits of an array of individuals who live and work outside stereotypical 9-to-5 situations. With sensitivity to his subjects and their environments, Sillen’s work gives an unobstructed view into the lives of a number of uniquely talented artists and workers. Career highlights include “I Am Secretly an Important Man” a feature length documentary on Seattle writer Steven Jesse Bernstein (premiered at MoMA as part as Creative Capital’s 10 year anniversary), “Benjamin Smoke,” a feature-length documentary collaboration with fellow filmmaker Jem Cohen (nominated for an IFP Independent Spirit Award as well as a Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Documentary Association), and the feature-length “Speed Racer: Welcome to the World of Vic Chesnutt” (premiered at Sundance Film Festival 1994, screened in festivals throughout the world, including Berlin, Munich, Rotterdam, Edinburgh, Seattle, London, Melbourne and San Francisco and aired extensively on the Sundance Channel and PBS.) Sillen's other films include: “Branson: Musicland USA" (Sundance Film Festival, 2003), “Alice’s House” (The Black Maria Film Festival, 2004) “Grand Luncheonette” (The Museum of Modern Art, 2005).

ArKtype / Thomas O. Kriegsmann - Producers
A Brooklyn-based producer of acclaimed international projects and tours, ArKtype’s work has been seen worldwide, including projects with Mikhail Baryshnikov, Yael Farber, Peter Brook, Jay Scheib, Julie Taymor, Yaron Lifschitz, Dmitry Krymov, and Victoria Thiérrée-Chaplin. Recent premieres include Big Dance Theater & Baryshnikov Productions’ Man In A Case at Hartford Stage and the off-Broadway run of Nalaga’at Deaf-Blind Theater’s Not By Bread Alone. Additional projects include Rude Mechs (Austin); Theatre for a New Audience; Soho Rep.; Young Vic (London); Big Dance Theater; Aurélia Thiérrée & Victoria Thiérrée-Chaplin (Paris). Upcoming premieres include Jessica Blank & Erik Jensen’s HOW TO BE A ROCK CRITIC and Jay Scheib's PLATONOV or THE DISINHERITED. www.arktype.org

C41 MEDIA - Producers

C41 MEDIA is a full service production company specializing in long form, branded content and documentary films. Launched in 2011 by Pete Sillen and Brendan Doyle, C41 Media has worked with many innovative brands and clients: including Apple, Brizo, Heath Ceramics, Herman Miller, and J. Crew. Sillen has spent 15 years as both an award winning documentary filmmaker and commercial director. Doyle has served as Sillen’s producer and collaborator. The duo teamed up to create a boutique shop where great stories can be expanded beyond the 30 second spot.

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 complications with my collaborators or hurdles in getting the piece booked at venues in the US and abroad. As with any project, there could also 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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Rewards

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    62 backers

    Our eternal gratitude, your name in the credits on the film’s website, and a digital download of some original music from the soundtrack of THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS.

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    96 backers

    a digital download of the director's cut of Sam Green's Academy Award-nominated film THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND. With extra scenes - you can't get this version of the film anywhere else! Plus the music download.

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    A printed still image from THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS - signed by Sam Green. Perfect for framing. Plus the music and WEATHER UNDERGROUND downloads.

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    a vintage 1970s GUINNESS BOOK OF RECORDS inscribed personally to you by Sam Green and also annotated to highlight some of his favorite records. A guaranteed conversation piece!

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    a grab-bag of three fantastic films made by Sam Green's talented friends and collaborators. DVDs by Astra Taylor, Brent Green, Mary Harron, the Yes Men, Sandi Dubowski, Gary Hustwit, Jem Cohen, Alex Rivera, Natalia Almada, Matt Wolf, Yony Leyser, Marie Losier, Kevin Everson, Jackie Goss, Braden King, Pete Sillen, Craig Baldwin, Vanessa Renwick, Caveh Zahedi, and many others. Comes with a short essay by Sam Green about the films. All DVDs signed by the makers!

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    a complete collection of the films of Sam Green. A seven-DVD set! Titles include THE WEATHER UNDERGROUND; THE RAINBOW MAN; LOT 63, GRAVE C; THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE; A CINEMATIC STUDY OF FOG IN SAN FRANCISCO, as well as many others. All DVDs signed.

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    Two VIP tickets to a screening of THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS in a metropolitan area near you. These screenings are guaranteed to sell out - don't miss out. Get your tickets now and we'll even save you the best seats in the house.

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    Sam Green's mother, Barbara Green, who is a famous sender of newspaper articles, will mail you a series of personalized newspaper clippings geared specifically towards your interests. Extra bonus if you are into nutrition and articles on the importance of eating fiber!

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    Sam Green's mother, Barbara Green, who is a famous sender of newspaper articles, will mail you a series of personalized newspaper clippings geared specifically towards your interests. Extra bonus if you are into nutrition and articles on the importance of eating fiber!

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    A personally inscribed copy of Rebecca Solnit's marvelous new book THE FARAWAY NEARBY -- PLUS Rebecca will write you a personalized, 500-word horoscope, based on very good historical data related to your birthdate, with some astrology and astronomy thrown in for good measure! A treasure for the Rebecca Solnit fan.

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    Two VIP tickets to a screening of THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS in a metropolitan area near you, PLUS we'll save you the best seats in the house, PLUS we will party with you after the show. Drinks on us.

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    Two VIP tickets to the Sundance world premiere screening of THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS. Plus, an invite to the film's after-party in Park City. (this is tickets for the screening only - does not include travel or lodging)

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    We'll make you an Associate Producer of THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS. Your name will appear in the credits of the film, plus you'll get two VIP screening tickets to the Sundance world premiere or a screening near you (travel and lodging not included). You'll also receive the Sam Green signed DVD collection and other special perks.

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    We will do a personal screening of THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS for you - at your house or other non-commercial venue. Sam Green will narrate the piece in-person with a live band performing the soundtrack. 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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    We will do a personal screening of THE MEASURE OF ALL THINGS for you - at your house or other non-commercial venue. Sam Green will narrate the piece in-person with a live band performing the soundtrack. 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

- (27 days)