When we've told people that we're preparing a documentary about Don Buchla, we get one of two reactions:
a) Wow! It's about time The man's a genius! Why hasn't this happened already?
b) Don who?
We want to make a movie that can live up to the expectations and desires and hopes for the people who answered a), and that can introduce Don in the best way possible to those who answered b).
Don Buchla is a legendary instrument maker whose inventions were part of the greatest musical transformation of the 20th century. His pioneering work laid the basis for what electronic music was to become by creating a unique analog synthesizer which completely changed the way people think about, compose, and perform music. The list of musicians and composers who have used the Buchla range from avant-garde composer Morton Subotnick to Nine Inch Nails, with plenty more along the way. Don hasn't stopped inventing since the arrival of the Buchla, and his other instruments combine an idiosyncratic sound with a sense of wonder and theatrical magic.
"Music is a mirror that we hold up to see how cultural structures are formed. Race, social hierarchy, class, national origin the twentieth century saw a questioning of these issues on a global level, and in a sense, electronic music was the soundtrack to that intense investigation into the human situation. Almost all traditional notions of space, time, and physicality have been reconfigured in ways that we are just beginning to understand. I think that electronic music has helped us understand the process we've lived through. Think about everything from the tones you hear coming out of your telephone to the frequencies underlying cellular communication to the algorithms used to route the information holding it all together -- most of this stuff has been explored one way or the other by the avant-garde."
--Paul D. Miller (DJ Spooky)
Don was definitely part of the avant-garde. He has been called a mad scientist, a genius, an innovator, a recluse, an iconoclast, and has gathered a horde of fiercely loyal admirers by following his own visionary path, and dancing to his own muse. His name and instruments are known from Indonesia to France.
We have begun to film because there have been performances and interviews to capture that we simply couldn't pass up, such as Morton Subotnick and Ramon Sender from the San Francisco Tape Music Center, who commissioned Don to build the first Buchla; French composers Jean-Baptiste Barrière and Marc Battier; and performances by Subotnick and Marimba Lumina player and co-collaborator Joel Davel, who has assisted in Buchla's workshop for two decades.
But now we need to raise production funding to complete the rest of our filming. Among the other people we will be including in the film are early Buchla composer/performer Suzanne Ciani, analog synth performer/music journalist Gino Robair, Lightning virtuoso Forrest Tobey, synth maestro Alessandro Cortini (of Nine Inch Nails and Sonoio), Marimba Lumina co-designer Mark Goldstein, and, of course, Don himself. Ideally, we're hoping you can support us beyond what we're asking for here so we can also edit and do post-production for the film.
With your help, we will be able to do the legacy of Don Buchla justice.
HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK?
MAKE A DONATION AND GET A REWARD
We set a goal and a deadline. You choose an amount you'd like to donate, and the gift you want to receive. After our funding goal is reached we will send out rewards. Those rewards that require the completion of the film will be sent out after it is finished.
IF OUR GOAL IS NOT MET BY THE DEADLINE THEN WE DON'T GET ANYTHING
If we fall short of our goal by any amount then we won't get any of the money. Even if it's only by $5. That's why your help spreading the word about the film and Kickstarter campaign is so important.
IF WE MEET OR SURPASS OUR GOAL BEFORE THE DEADLINE THEN WE GET TO KEEP THE WHOLE AMOUNT
All the donations will go to our production company Clarity Films, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, to help towards finishing the film. Many folks raise much more than their goal, so the more you help us do that the sooner the film will be finished!
*****TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS******
A portion of every donation over $100 is tax deductible. You will receive a letter confirming your donation as well as the amount that you can deduct (the donation amount minus the value of the reward).
I AM INTERESTED IN YOUR PROJECT, CAN I HELP?
YES! You can help by getting the word out and encouraging others to donate. Tell your friends and family about the film. Link to our Kickstarter campaign on your Facebook profile or Twitter feed. Embed our video or widget on your web page or blog. It's a word of mouth campaign and its success relies on people being aware of the Kickstarter campaign. The more you can help us find new folks the closer we are to making our campaign a success.
Risks and challenges
Filmmaking, especially documentary filmmaking, can encounter unforseen challenges, both in terms of shooting and in the post-production. The funds for this campaign are for the production phase of the film; the post-production funding will need to be raised elsewhere. (Of course, any funds we raise above our goal can be funneled into post-production, which makes the likelihood of smooth sailing that much more probable!)
We've made a lot of films, some of them well-funded, others not at all. And we've always managed to finish them. We plan to keep all of you appraised of our progress, both the successes and the setbacks, so you'll know where things stand. You're helping make this happen; you deserve to be kept in the loop!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)