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The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers's video poster
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"You can find inspiration anywhere, if you're looking...this just happens to be where I'm looking." - Beau Jennings Read more

Dallas, TX Film & Video
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$10,346
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on May 21, 2011.

"You can find inspiration anywhere, if you're looking...this just happens to be where I'm looking." - Beau Jennings

Dallas, TX Film & Video
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About this project

"The Verdigris" is proudly the first official Project Launch from the Aviation Cinemas team (The Texas Theatre). A group of notable Oklahoma musicians and filmmakers have announced plans to create a documentary tracing the life of Will Rogers across the United States.

“The Verdigris: In Search of Will Rogers” will consist of two parts — a documentary film and an accompanying record. Oklahoma-born musician Beau Jennings, has spent the past several years writing songs about Rogers, his boyhood hero. Oklahoma filmmaker Bradley Beesley will follow Jennings across the United States as he performs these original songs at various locations where significant events in Rogers’ life occurred — from Oklahoma to Hollywood to Alaska.

“‘The Verdigris’ is something that has become very special to me — it’s named for the river that runs through both my hometown and Will’s — and I hope it can become something special to others, too,” Jennings said. “I think everyone knows Will as Oklahoma’s favorite son, but I also think he has faded into the past a bit, reduced to a few memorable quotes. Hopefully with this project, we can all rediscover what made Will Rogers so cool.”

The footage of Jennings’ performances will be interspersed with interviews and other narrative elements to tell the story not only of Rogers’ life, but also of Jennings’ attempt to explore through his songwriting the inspiration he finds in Rogers. The accompanying album will include songs performed on location, as well as songs recorded in the studio.

In addition to Jennings and Beesley, the project is presented by Aviation Cinemas (Barak Epstein, Eric Steele, Adam Donaghey, Jason Reimer) and the project team will include Producers Eric Steele and Adam Donaghey, co-producer Jonathan Fowler, and music producers/studio engineers Jarod Evans and Chad Copelin from Blackwatch Studios.

FAQ

  • In a word, no. The goal of ‘The Verdigris’ is to honestly and faithfully explore a source of great inspiration for me. There are many reasons I find Will Rogers inspiring, and yet it is difficult to put into words the concrete reasons for retracing his footsteps from New York to Alaska. The idea is that by the end of the trip a better understanding of what made Will Rogers who he was can be used to reflect on what makes us who we are. If we can do this part properly, we can only hope that a new awareness of Will Rogers and his incredible life can be a fortunate result.

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  • I grew up near the Will Rogers Museum, which is in Claremore, OK. I was assigned a book report in the 3rd grade, and so I chose some children’s book about Will’s life that my mom bought me in the museum gift shop, although I’m not sure I ever actually wrote it. I tend to think of ‘The Verdigris’ as finishing an assignment long overdue!

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  • I’ve learned there are lots of misconceptions about Will Rogers (he wasn’t a singer or songwriter, he’s a different person from Roy Rogers, and yes he died in a plane crash but he is also remembered as one of the first and most ardent champions of aviation). Like I mention above, the main goal of ‘The Verdigris’ won’t be to educate people per se, but a more accurate awareness certainly will be a positive aspect of a film that we hope gives a true and honest portrait of Will Rogers.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    19 backers

    Free download of 4-song EP consisting of live performances of songs from the upcoming album 'The Verdigris' as performed on the April 2011 fundraiser tour.

  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    34 backers

    The above, plus a free download of 'The Verdigris' studio album upon release.

  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    27 backers

    All of the above, plus a free download of 'The Verdigris' film upon release.

  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    15 backers

    All of the above, plus 2 film posters of your choice from historic Texas Theatre vault.

  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    1 backer

    All of the above, plus a physical copy of each of album from Beau Jennings’ discography, plus a chance to have your picture taken while sitting in Lee Harvey Oswald’s seat at the historic Texas Theatre in Dallas.

  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers

    All of the above, plus your name will appear in the end credits of The Verdigris alongside the job title of your choice. Options include: 1) Prop Gum Chewer, 2) Prop Lasso Spinner, 3) Prop Newspaper Columnist, 4) Prop Joke Teller, and 5) Prop Radio Commentator.

  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    0 backers

    All of the above, plus Beau will perform a private show for you and your guests at a date and location mutually agreed-upon.

  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    0 backers

    All of the above, plus a PRIVATE screening at the historic Texas Theatre in Dallas of the film of your choice (subject to copyright and availability) for you and up to 3 guests.

Funding period

- (30 days)