About this project
"She unlatches the door to one house...and all find it is their own home which they enter." from Cyrus Bartol's remarks at Louisa May Alcott's Funeral
The Documentary Project:
Everyone has a special place – a mountaintop, a cathedral, a beloved home – that makes them feel safe, connected, and inspired. For millions of people from all over the world, Orchard House is that place: a gathering place, where people from many backgrounds have come together for over 350 years to count themselves part of a community - a community steeped in hope, courage, and perseverance.
Many who wish to experience Orchard House may never be able to visit in person, and there are millions more that do not realize the house exists. Together with your pledges and our dedication, this film will change that.
As a backer you may ask:
"Why make a documentary about Orchard House, the real-life home where 'Little Women' was written and set in 1868? Hollywood has already made four 'Little Women' movies."
Orchard House is not only the setting of Little Women, it is also a character all its own. Warm and strong, comforting and challenging, it is the ultimate manifestation of Home.
This film will offer the rare opportunity to peek beyond the pages of Little Women into a beloved piece of American history.
"What will the film look like?"
The history of Orchard House includes the prolific Alcotts, of course, but other stories remain unexplored. Even a visit to the home cannot reveal all there is to tell about Orchard House. That's why we need to make this documentary.
Our film will be an hour-long, PBS quality documentary that will dive deep into those stories starting in the 1600's. We will tell of the courageous occupants before the Alcotts, including the rescuer of a kidnapped woman and a Revolutionary soldier. We will also offer insights about Concord's rich literary history; chronicle the process of how the museum was created in 1911; and, of course, give a behind-the-scenes look into the Alcott family and their time in Orchard House. We will seek national and international distribution to share interviews with house staff, Alcott scholars, celebrity friends, and the people of Concord to illuminate the remarkable power of place Orchard House possesses.
"Why create this film now?"
Previously we had neither the capacity nor the resources to produce a project of this scope. But today, with your pledges, YOU are ensuring that the legacy of Orchard House reaches people all over the world and continues for many generations to come.
Orchard House is a beacon of hope. For thousands, it has become a place of pilgrimage, a beloved destination full of emotional resonance, inspiration and even a bit of magic. On several occasions, however, the house has nearly been lost. Fortunately, massive and on-going historic preservation efforts are saving this irreplaceable treasure. We now need to document Orchard House's past to ensure its future. We need your help to keep the magic alive.
The House and Little Women:
By the time Amos Bronson Alcott purchased the two dilapidated houses which were joined to create "Orchard House" (which Louisa and her mother jokingly called "Apple Slump" due to its signature tilt), it had already survived over 150 years of history.
By 1911 Orchard House had been vacant for decades. But the extraordinary power it holds over devotees of the Alcotts and Little Women was strong. It was not uncommon to see families peering in the windows, clutching Little Women, wishing "if only" they could get in. Feeling a duty to preserve this piece of Concord history, slated for demolition, a gutsy group of local women made it their mission to save the home and welcome all who traveled to experience it. By 1912 they had created one of the first literary house museums in the country.
For over a century since then, people of all ages have connected to "the shabby brown house" through the eyes of its most famous occupants, the “Little Women,” Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March (based on the real Alcott girls Anna, Louisa, Beth and May).
"I can’t count the number of times I read it (Little Women) between the ages of 10 and 15... It soothed and enchanted me, and it was only much later, as an adult, that I realized Louisa May Alcott had given me a road map of the journey from childhood into adulthood…I learned that I could be whatever I wanted to be, and that you could come from anywhere to achieve [it].” - Julianne Moore
This connection has continued to influence generations of readers, male and female (including President Theodore Roosevelt who once told a reporter he "worshiped" the book!), as the book has never been out of print, and has been published in over 50 languages.
"Like many women of my generation who read this novel growing up, I really felt like I lived in Jo's family. This book was one of the first literary explorations of how women balance the demands of their daily lives, from raising families to pursuing outside goals." - Hillary Clinton
With YOUR help, our documentary will open wide the doors of Orchard House and share the stories this extraordinary place has to tell. Without your help this opportunity will be lost. Please don't let this chance pass you by.
Join us "...to do something splendid...something heroic or wonderful that won't be forgotten...to astonish you all one day." from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women.
Risks and challenges
The greatest challenge for us will be raising the funds to create the film.
It is also a challenge to be able to truly honor the history, beauty, and creativity Orchard House offers as a subject. In reverence to the house we plan to make a documentary that is not only educational but also beautiful to watch and artfully composed. Even though our budget is modest, and films of this caliber can cost $250,000 - $500,000 to produce, we are confident that we can maintain exquisite production values on our non-profit budget due to enthusiastic and gifted professionals already on board.
We are fortunate to have a dedicated team at the ready to help us meet these challenges and meet them we will! But only if we raise our entire funding goal by October 22, 2014.
What have we risked so far?
With a small amount of seed money we have started top quality production work, which has produced over 9 hours of exciting footage, several great interviews, and our Kickstarter campaign. With this project page we wanted to give you a taste of what is possible. But we need every dollar of Kickstarter funding to make this feature documentary.
Frequently Asked Questions:
When will the film be finished?
We have a head start on production with the 9 hours of footage we shot while creating our Kickstarter video, but we can't begin scheduling production until this campaign is fully funded. We would like to have a finished film by the end of 2015.
Is $150,000 the entire budget for the film?
Yes - which is why it's crucial for us to raise every last dollar of our goal! But, of course we have some "stretch" goals and exciting additions to make to the film if we raise some extra money.
I pledged but my card hasn't been charged - did my pledge go through?
You can contact us to be extra sure, but if you got a confirmation e-mail from Amazon, then yes your pledge has gone through! Your card won't be charged unless we are fully funded at $150,000 by October 22.
What happens to my pledge if you don't raise your funding goal?
The great thing about being a Kickstarter backer is that your involvement is risk-free! If our project is not fully funded by October 22 you keep the money and your credit card is never charged. If we ARE fully funded, your card will be charged and you will get the pleasure of knowing you were part of our success with your contribution to a one-of-a-kind project with some special rewards!
Can I change my pledge amount?
Yes. If you decide you would like to give more, or receive a different reward, you can sign on to Kickstarter and click “Manage your donations”
When can I expect my reward?
For rewards under $1000 we will begin fulfillment as soon as we can and you can expect fulfillment by March 31, 2015. Rewards over $1000 require some communication and scheduling arrangements and may take up to a full year to fulfill. We will work to exceed expectations on delivery, but can promise rewards by October 22, 2015.
Is my pledge tax-deductible?
Yes! Orchard House is a 501(c) 3, non-profit organization and donations made through Kickstarter are tax-deductible. For information on valuation of rewards for tax-purposes please contact us directly.
How can we get in touch with you?
Please e-mail us at email@example.com
Like us on Facebook: facebook.com/LouisaMayAlcottsOrchardHouse
Follow us on Twitter @LouisaMayAlcott
Find us on Instagram @alcotts_orchard_house
And of course, visit our website: www.louisamayalcott.org to read the blog and see updates.
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