About this project
What's the story?
I first began working on I Am Secretly An Important Man, back in 1992. I was in the process of finishing my first film on singer-songwriter, Vic Chesnutt when I came across Jesse's spoken-word album, Prison. His writing was both funny and incredibly painful at the same time. Jesse seemed to blur the reality of the first-person narrative into this outrageous, semi-autobiographical therapy session. This album with Steve Fisk’s production and Art Chantry’s design, just felt cinematic. I was hooked and knew immediately this would be my next project.
A lot has happened between then and now... marriage, two sons, Benjamin Smoke (a feature film collaboration with Jem Cohen), a handful of short films, Old Joy, work, four U.S. presidents, and Free and Accepted. Throughout all of this I was pushing forward with I Am Secretly An Important Man. The film is a documentary portrait of Jesse. It's an impressionistic journey around the Pacific Northwest connecting people who knew and worked with Jesse with a good deal of found archival footage.
It's been a wild ride, but now comes the hard work of getting the film out into the world. We are working with Mike Plante at Cinemad Presents to program the film around the country. Luckily, there is still a vibrant patchwork of independent screens all around the U.S. and Canada. We're in the process of booking dates in many of them.
What are we doing?
We've found that the key to filling theaters is sustained audience outreach. This is why we are starting this Kickstarter project. We need your help. Connecting with an audience takes money. Our plan is to hire a local production assistant in each city or town to promote and engage the local writing, music and film communities. Most theaters we'll be screening in have one or more colleges near by. We've also had a lot of success using Facebook ads and local online banner ads. We're trying to raise $6,500 to put toward distribution. $5,000 of our Kickstarter money is for community outreach the other $1,500 is to hire our graphic designer, Daniel, to help us design our DVD packaging. Daniel has already brought so much to film with the film titles and poster design.
We thank you in advance for considering being a part of this project. All of us who have worked on I Am Secretly An Important Man, as well as everyone working on getting the film distributed, are grateful for all the past and current support. We're looking forward to getting the film into a theater near your.
Pete Sillen, Director and Co-Producer
*If you have a local arthouse theater, Arts organization, microcinema that would be interested in showing the film we'd love for them to screen it. Let them know about us and vise-versa. You can contact us at email@example.com or send them the Cinemad link at the bottom of the page.
Want to help but don't have any money to spare right now?
Like this Kickstarter project on facebook by clicking the button above right under our video. You can share it on twitter using the above tweet button and share it anywhere else by using this link: http:// - please help spread the word.
Where can I learn more about the Project?
Please visit the film's website at iamsecretlyanimportantman.com There you can watch our trailer, read the full synopsis of the film, check out our press kit and upcoming screening dates.
We first started thinking about Kickstarter last year. The main goal of our film is to bring Jesse Bernstein's work to a wider audience. We quickly realized that with Kickstarter not only could we generate much-needed funds, but it would also create an opportunity to get Jesse's work out in other ways. The thank you incentives (or rewards) started to become vehicles to put together collectible limited-edition versions of Jesse's work that related to the film. We've really enjoyed making the vinyl 45's and the letterpress posters. These are things that as filmmakers, we don't get to do every day. We're excited about how they turned out and hope you enjoy them. These are pieces of Jesse that wouldn't exist without Kickstarter as an inspiration.
Is my pledge amount publicly displayed?
No. Only you and the project manager will be able to see your pledge amount.
Can we exceed the goal?
Yes! Exceeding the goal would help us continue promoting the film in more communities.
Can I increase my pledge once I've made it?
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.
What happens if the money isn't raised in time?
If our goal isn’t met before the deadline, we don't receive any of the pledges. Your credit or debit card will not be charged.
If I donate, when do I get my incentive?
All incentives, big and small, will only happen if our goal is met. Most everything except the DVD w/ album has been created so we can ship funding rewards immediately. The DVD and Bernstein sandwich rewards, will take a little time.
What are the plans for the film?
We are currently booking the film into theaters around the country. We plan to continue with theatrical dates until early 2012 when we plan to release our DVD.
Special thanks to Krissy Weseloh, Gregorio Franchetti, Brett Van Deusen, Jake Trill and Katie Stern for helping us with this kickstarter project.
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