About this project
“Danny Fields was there and I told him I want to tape his life story and he said he would let me.” -Andy Warhol, January 14th, 1987 (attending a Dolly Parton party), The Warhol Diaries, deceased February 22nd, 1987.
DANNY SAYS FILM SYNOPSIS
Danny Says is a documentary on the life and times of Danny Fields. Since 1966, Danny Fields has played a pivotal role in music and “culture” of the late 20th century: working for the Doors, Cream, Lou Reed, Nico, Judy Collins and managing groundbreaking artists like the Stooges, the MC5 and the Ramones. Danny Says follows Fields from Phi Beta Kappa whiz-kid, to Harvard Law dropout, to the Warhol Silver Factory, to Director of Publicity at Elektra Records, to “punk pioneer” and beyond. Danny’s taste and opinion, once deemed defiant and radical, has turned out to have been prescient. Danny Says is a story of marginal turning mainstream, avant garde turning prophetic, as Fields looks to the next generation.
"Danny Says" is the title of a Ramones song written by Joey Ramone, a Phil Spector production from the End of the Century album.
Michael Alago, Eric Andersen, Penny Arcade, Scott Asheton, Roberta Bayley, Jim Bessman, Susan Blonde, Justin Vivian Bond, Leee Black Childers, Judy Collins, Alice Cooper, Mike Diana, Myk Fisher, Danny Goldberg, Bob Gruen, Duncan Hannah, Steve Harris, Fayette Hauser, Kristian Hoffman, Jac Holzman, Billy James, Louis Edward Jordan, Larry Kaplan, Lenny Kaye, Wilson Kidde, Howie Klein, Wayne Kramer, Jon Landau, Richard Lloyd, John Lomax III, Pat Loud, Gary Lucas, Steve Mackay, Dick & Zoe Manitoba, Jim Marshall, Gillian McCain, Monte Melnick, John Cameron Mitchell, Paul Morrissey, Billy Name, David Neuman, David Peel, Dennis Peron, Iggy Pop, Tommy Ramone, Randi Reisfeld, Jonathan Richman, Yvonne Ruskin, Natalie Schlossman, John Sinclair, Seymour Stein, Arturo Vega, Loudon Wainwright, Rufus Wainwright, Jann Wenner, James Williamson, & Mary Woronov.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT NOW
Since 2009, writer Justin Skrakowski and I have amassed over 250 hours of interviews with Danny and his friends. We have digitized Danny's revelatory archive of thousands of photos, ephemera, audio cassettes (over 1,200!) and so much more for what will be a truly collagic film.
Your funding will be crucial in getting Danny Says from page to screen; entering post-production with the following priorities in mind:
A. To produce a stunning sample video for grant application to acquire post-production funds.
B. To bring Danny Says from script to a completed rough cut in preparation for a fine cut phase in collaboration with an accomplished documentary editor and assistant editor.
C. To explore archival material to bolster the narrative and visual tableau with award-winning research assistant, Rosemary Rotondi.
D. For animation and motion graphics story-boarding and implementation. Our crew consists of many experienced and boundary-pushing animators (Emily Hubley, Matt Newman) and motion graphic designers.
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS
Kickstarter is all-or-nothing funding so if we don't make it to $20,000 we get absolutely nothing, no one's credit card is charged and no one receives the awesome rewards. Every little bit counts, so please chip in.
Kickstarter success often depends on backer volume. Please share this with friends, family and mere strangers!
DANNY'S STORY (A BRIEF OVERVIEW)
In various associations (not always happy) with the likes of Jim Morrison, Jeff Buckley, Andy Warhol, David Cassidy, John Cameron Mitchell, Nico, the Ramones- designated by Alice Cooper as "the mayor of the backroom at Max's Kansas City,” Danny Fields was the person who bridged the gaps, passed the gossip and kept a roaring fire lit backstage (literally, at the Monterey Pop Festival). “Danny is a connector-- like a fuel injector in a car. He brings all the elements together for an extreme explosion,” so says Iggy Pop.
After dropping out of Harvard Law School (where at 19, he was the youngest person in his entering class) Danny saw his New York loft on West 20th Street become a crash pad for the Harvard Square contingent of the Factory crowd (Edie Sedgwick stayed there on her way to "Girl of the Year"). After brushes at bizarre entities such as Liquor Store and Outdoor Advertiser Magazines, Danny found himself in the teen-fan world of Datebook Magazine. In 1966, as Managing Editor, Danny was responsible for shining a spotlight on John Lennon’s cataclysmic “more popular than Jesus” quote, which sent a shock-wave through the American Bible Belt, where bonfires and death threats contributed to the Beatles decision to stop performing live at the height of their career. At Datebook, Danny befriended the talented, young photographer, Linda Eastman, who became one of Danny’s closest friends (before she became Mrs. Paul McCartney)—Danny and Linda frequently worked as a photographer/reporter team. Many years later, Linda’s husband was amused to hear that his wife's friend mischievously, though of course quite inadvertently, lit the spark that caused much trouble for the biggest band in the universe.
And for years, sparks continued to fly. Danny got a severe dressing-down from Eric Clapton for letting his lead vocalist, Jack Bruce, swallow acid-laced popcorn, "kidnapped" Jim Morrison, was fired from Atlantic Records for leaving the company credit card at the mercy of Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies, and was the first male in America to be censored on public access TV for pretending to stick a light bulb up a TV repairman's anus, in Anton Perich’s historic made-for-cable movie, Mr. Fixit.
But Danny also shook the world of rock 'n' roll as a discoverer and supporter of pioneering talent. In his job as a budding rock journalist, Danny was among the first to publish stories on the Velvet Underground, Jefferson Airplane and the Who. In 1968, Danny got the MC5 and the Stooges a recording contract at Elektra Records with one phone call to Jac Holzman, the company president. As a revered (and feared?) presence at Max’s Kansas City, Danny introduced Iggy Pop to David Bowie and granted Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe an invitation to sit at his backroom table. In a lowly job at Atlantic Records, Danny had been the first person to spot the commercial and artistic potential of the Allman Brothers, and was persuasive in signing Loudon Wainwright III (coincidentally, Fields is a friend of Loudon’s son, Rufus Wainwright). With Chelsea Girls star Brigid Berlin, aka Brigid Polk, he sold to Atlantic Brigid’s cassette tape which became the album The Velvet Underground Live at Max's Kansas City, recording Lou Reed’s last night performing with the band. Danny briefly— as in “two weeks”-- managed Lou Reed. In 1968, Danny signed Nico to Elektra Records for her groundbreaking collaboration (Marble Index) with John Cale. In 1975, Danny became the manager of the Ramones after hearing them at CBGB's. The peculiar list continues with side jaunts as free-form DJ at WFMU, co-editor in chief of 16 Magazine, editor of farsighted country music magazine, Country Rhythms, chauffeur to Steve Paul, interviewer of thousands of stars, columnist, photographer, rock 'n' roll tour guide, movie critic, porn director and many things between.
Danny's taste these days is as offbeat as ever. Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk (now available in 14 languages) by Gillian McCain and Legs McNeil, includes a dedication to Danny Fields as "forever the coolest guy in the room." Danny Fields is currently active, curious, and wary in New York City.
Photoshop rendered; actual designs will vary a bit.
SOME PHOTO PRINT EXAMPLES (8 x 10 & 36 x 24 available) MANY more prints up for grabs, complete list below:
Danny Fields photograph prints available of:
-Aerosmith for 16 Magazine, Alice Cooper, Angels of Light, Bay City Rollers, Brian Eno for 16 Magazine, Bryan Ferry for 16 Magazine, Cyrinda Foxe, David Johansen, David Peel, Everly Brothers for 16 Magazine, Iggy Pop, Johnny Thunders, Lance Loud, Leonard Cohen for 16 Magazine, Linda McCartney, Lindsay Kemp, Lou Reed, Loudon Wainwright, Max's Kansas City Backroom, Mick Ronson for 16 Magazine, Modern Lovers, Nico, NYC Hustlers, The Patti Smith Group, Peter Noone, Peter Wolf for 16 Magazine, Ramones, Rod Stewart for 16 Magazine, Slade for 16 Magazine, Suzi Quatro, Television, The Who, Wayne County. Contact for more details...
btoller at gmail dot com
** We are actively seeking exceptional editors, producers, animators, and motion graphics collaborators **
Risks and challenges
Filming and pre-production are near completion. We are now beginning post-production. Brendan Toller and the "Danny Says" crew have pushed this project as far as possible and now turn to various fundraising initiatives including this Kickstarter campaign to bring the project to fruition. Documentaries can be costly with editing, animation, archival materials, music etc. But beyond Kickstarter we will endeavor to find support from various organizations, companies, NGO's and financiers in collaboration with our fiscal sponsor New York Foundation for the Arts & Artspire.
With these initial Kickstarter funds we will be able to accomplish the following:
A. Produce a stunning sample video for grant application to acquire additional post-production funds.
B. Bring "Danny Says" from script to a completed rough cut in preparation for a fine cut phase in collaboration with an accomplished documentary editor and assistant editor.
C. Explore archival material to bolster the narrative and visual tableau with award-winning research assistant, Rosemary Rotondi.
D. Animation and motion graphics story-boarding and implementation. Our crew consists of many experienced and boundary-pushing animators (Emily Hubley, Matt Newman) and motion graphic designers.
Post-production collaboration is set to move in a timely manner, but as always creative, logistical and technical issues may arise and delay certain aspects. Production delays may delay certain rewards; please check the "Reward Delivery" section below for delivery estimates.
After post-production we will enter the sound mixing, color correction phase in time for an October 2013 film festival premiere and year-long run; followed by a November 2014 DVD release. Brendan Toller's first feature film "I Need That Record!" has over 50,000 views on Netflix instant and has played at over 60 film festivals, events and centers around the world. Danny Says will get finished and will get seen by a wide audience!
We assure you that we will hustle these rewards out to you as soon as we can, however, as you might guess some of the reward releases vary on the progress of the production of Danny Says. Here are some estimates when you can expect some treasure in your mailbox:
-Exclusive Videos (November 2012)
-Postcard (November 2012)
-T-shirts, Flask, Mix CD, Signed Books & Vinyl, Photo prints (December 2012)
-“Experience” rewards ie Danny Fields interviews, emails, dinners (December 2012-March 2013)
-Danny Says Rough Cut Tickets (variable on production, Summer 2013)
-Danny Says Premiere Tickets (variable on production, Fall 2013)
-Danny Says DVD, early screening package, Best of DF Archives CD (November 2014 or when film is finished)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter