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This film unravels the discovery of 100,000 negatives from a mysterious photographer that shocked the world of photography.
This film unravels the discovery of 100,000 negatives from a mysterious photographer that shocked the world of photography.
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1,495 backers pledged $105,042 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. Missing avatar

      adam wakeling on

      I am in full agreement with all of the comments below, the movie is amazing but the lack of attention and respect paid to the original funders is unacceptable. I'll say it once once again, a piece of shit burnable DVD in a paper sleeve 3 and a half years later, after everyone else in the world has seen the movie is a joke. Very disappointed in the outcome of my first ever Kickstarter I contributed too. I am not looking for special treatment or recognition just a proper copy of the movie promised in the original funding request.

    2. Missing avatar

      Rob LaRosa on

      More excuses for poor treatment. If I would have known in 2011 the backers would be the last to see the movie and get a crappy product in crappy packaging, I would have waited to get the movie for $15 from Amazon that came in a proper box with proper labeling and quality. Spin it any way you want, but you're a cheap, lying cocksucker

    3. Chris Marquardt on

      You offered Colby a link for a digital download. Are you willing to do the same for the rest of the backers?

    4. Chris Marquardt on

      Wow, quite the let-down. After pledging $125, four years (!) later all I get is a burned DVD in a plain paper sleeve? No, I wasn't expecting a jewel-studded wooden box, but I thought you'd be putting a tiny little bit more care into what you would send out to those people who made your project possible in the first place. This is no way to treat the enthusiastic crowd who gave you over $100k. And I'm not even speaking of the fact that this is a standard definition DVD, no HD anywhere in sight. Very early in the hype around Vivian Maier, I asked John Maloof to come on my show for an interview. He brushed me off which left me with a shallow aftertaste. I should've trusted my gut feeling back then.

    5. Toneloof Creator on

      We owe our KS donors our deepest thanks and a note of explanation. You are the reason we were able to make this film. You made such generous donations to a project that as we all know could have amounted to nothing. Instead with your help we made a film that is critically acclaimed and has been seen around the world. We put all of the resources we had -- through KS and our own -- into making a great film. It took years to do it and cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars. We put that Kickstarter money "on the screen" -- meaning we used it to pay our crew and pay genealogists and pay for travel to Maier's childhood home in France. When it came time to send out DVDs as part of our thank you to donors, we found frugal means to accomplish this, rather than spend a great deal of money -- your money -- on expensive plastic packaging and printing. We apologize if some of you felt this did not measure up to your expectations. We hope the film itself exceeded them. What we are delivering to you is the resulting film, not the DVD packaging. We believe you can see your donations reflected in the care and artistry of the film itself. Thank you for making this film an our ambitions for it possible. We are forever in your debt.

      John & Charlie

    6. Toneloof Creator on

      Colby, feel free to email me for a link. The digital download wasn't part of that reward but we'll work it out with you. What you're referring to is a bonus screening we did through IFC for 24 hours. It was an online screening, not a download, and it was just as an additional "thank you" which was an additional bonus to any reward that we gave all backers. Thanks -John

    7. Missing avatar

      Rob LaRosa on

      I finally got my DVD. What a disappointment. Plain white paper DVD sleeve and a cheap purple-dye DVD that you can buy at Office Depot and already is scratched up due to being shipped in a crappy cardboard envelope. What a disappointment this entire experience has been. Here's hoping you lose your lawsuit to the other VM heir.

    8. Chris Hoyer on

      Now that i finally have my DVD in hand, and there's no worry that it will never arrive, i can go ahead and voice my displeasure at how this whole operation was run.

      3 and a half years it took to get this DVD. After non-backers got to attend screenings, after it was available for rent elsewhere, after pretty much everyone else got to see it. I know, something about the distribution contract with IFC is the go-to line. But frankly, you should have renegotiated your contract terms to make good with the folks that kicked you a hundred thousand dollars sight unseen to help spread access to Vivian Maier's work.

      On top of that, i actually feel pretty mislead as to the intent of this kickstarter. What i thought was a genuine appeal to crowdfunding in order to help catalog and document all of Maier's work from this discovery turned into what i can only assume is a weird cash grab when you sold distribution rights to IFC and started having big screenings. I can't help but think the wrong person found her film. Or maybe it started out with good intentions, but money twisted things the wrong way.

      But hey, i've got my DVD now, 3 years after the fact. Nevermind that it got sent to me Media Mail, in a crappy cardboard sleeve with no DVD case or anything.

      I sincerely hope whatever lawyer is suing you wins. You might not be a bad person, but you handled this all wrong.

    9. Missing avatar

      Chris Honeysett on

      Well, my DVD arrived the same day as my Netflix rented one in the mail. It came in a brown CD mailer. No DVD cover, no letter, nothing-just a DVD. And why no jacket? Is our $125 donation worth less then the copies on the rental store shelves?

      After screening the movie, I will give them credit for a well researched, well edited film. I only wish they had taken the time to research common courtesy regarding their original backers.

      My final hope is that Kickstarter starts monitoring situations like this one, and intervenes at some point on behalf of the funding source-us.

    10. Colby Gutierrez-Kraybill on

      I just got the DVD today. And now see that I apparently missed out on the 24-hour digital download window version of this by a year (my bad?). I'm happy you got the DVD produced. Given the nature of the subject matter a high-def video is what I'd like to keep though (and had expected given I pledged $125).

    11. Juitun Chan on

      Eager to see it. Thanks.

    12. Toneloof Creator on


      The DVDs have been shipped out. They are arriving to backers now. You should receive it shortly.

    13. Missing avatar

      randy estudillo on

      It's a shame...

      No DVD in hand after giving my support, but my local DVD rental store has it on their shelf. Very disappointed.

    14. Missing avatar

      Michael Delman on

      You're a real piece of work. You deliver two years late and then send the DVD out by media mail, which is the cheapest possible way to ship something and takes up to 9 days. For my $125, you couldn't manage an extra dollar or so to ship it in a way that takes less than a week? What a joke.

    15. Toneloof Creator on

      Hi everyone,

      The rewards are being shipped out currently. Again, this is just a long delay that we are very sorry about. It is complicated, as distributions deals often are, so we are extremely sorry for this. But, please, rest assured that the DVDs are going out.


    16. Missing avatar

      Rob LaRosa on

      At this rate, the backers are going to be the last people to see this film. This experience has completely turned me off from Kickstarter.

    17. Missing avatar

      Chris Honeysett on

      At what point does one just give up believing? I feel like I'm ranting to the wind, hoping for a response that will never come. And what will I do once I receive the DVD? I'll probably destroy it as a symbol of my dissatisfaction with this process.

    18. Missing avatar

      Chris Honeysett on

      Nearly another month has passed since the last time I checked on the status of the DVD shipment. No surprise-still not shipped. I'll just have to rent it on Netflix and pay for a DVD I should have received ages ago.
      As for future Kickstarter campaigns, I certainly will never back another Toneloof project. And I will spread the word to others.

    19. Chris Marquardt on

      One thing's for sure: this is by far the longest time I've ever waited for a Kickstarter reward (over 3 years?) and my level of frustration is pretty high. It doesn't help that over the last years the DVD with its SD resolution has really come to feel ancient and can't compete with HD anymore. Are there any plans to ever make an HD version available to us early backers?

    20. Missing avatar

      David van Unen on

      Is there still no new news on the information survey update and dvd shipments? I do need to change my address info as I have moved since receiving my copy of the book, and want to be sure my dvd is delivered when/if it becomes available to us patient backers...

    21. Toneloof Creator on

      Sean, IFC bought the rights for distribution and they won't allow us to put it on platforms like vimeo for download due to ease of piracy. That's just something we have to respect and work with. But, nonetheless, we are getting the rewards out now. This hasn't been a smooth experience on our part, and I'm not happy about it. Once we learned that the rewards need to come out after theatrical, we did let backers know and asked for understanding in the matter. What else can I say? I'm so thankful for all of your support and I'm happy we sold to a large distributor and the film has been successful but, in turn, the rewards have to work within the limits of what we're allowed to do at this point with our distributor.

      Btw, thank you for seeing the film at TIFF.


    22. Sean Galbraith on

      What does IFC have to do with it?

      Fears about piracy are misplaced. It is going to be pirated. You're sending out DVDs... someone is going to upload a digital copy probably within an hour of receiving it. TVO in Ontario is airing it (for free!) on August 9th. Someone will record it and pirate it. While I appreciate the desire to prevent piracy to protect the investment... it just isn't going to work, and will only succeed in alienating your small backers.

      (for the record, I've already paid the see the movie twice already in the theatre, including at the world premiere at TIFF)

    23. Toneloof Creator on

      Hi Sean, Chris,
      To address your concern Sean, we are working out the download details right now. We are weighing our options. One option is to buy everyone an iTunes gift for $15 each and manually emailing it to 350 backers, and we get no discounts on that. We checked. That would essentially mean that after the fees from that reward we'd maybe pay as much as the reward itself. Our other options for the download are more complicated and we may be able to have that figured out by Tuesday. And, yes, piracy is a concern for IFC so we can't use platforms like vimeo, etc. and are limited in scope. We'll have it figured out ASAP :)

      Chris, yes this was later than estimated but please understand that this was a documentary with so many variables to account for. It's nearly impossible to know what the real date would be 100%. We estimated short but that's why it's an estimate and not a hard date. I learned a lot and also that these things take way longer than you think. There are so many people involved with different schedules, etc, but the film was made well and that's what's most important to us.

      All rewards are in the process of being delivered right now. The online screening was organized by us through IFC and has nothing to do with your reward. It was a bonus. So if you missed it, we're sorry but we did this as a favor for you and IFC did that as a favor for us.

      But, ALL REWARDS ARE BEING DELIVERED NOW. We are just in the process of making it as seamless as possible.

      All the best,

      John and Charlie

    24. Missing avatar

      Chris Honeysett on

      I suppose we tiny supporters don't even rise to the level of getting a response from the lofty Toneloof. At this point I am wanting a refund of my support money due to pathetic customer service, and a 2 year delay on the reward. Lame lame lame

    25. Sean Galbraith on

      And now I see it is available to buy/rent via iTunes.

    26. Sean Galbraith on

      For the digital download reward people, please clarify what you mean with respect to when the reward will be available. Is it your intent to only make it available to us after it has left every theatre in the USA? Internationally? I presume the purpose of this is to minimize piracy and to increase the likelihood of people paying to see it in the theaters? If so, why are DVDs being shipped?

    27. Missing avatar

      Chris Honeysett on

      I, too, was an original backer for this project. It seems that you have lost sight of those humble folks who, with $10 and $20 pledges, got you on the map. Not only are you over two years late on the release of the film, but we had only 24 hours to see the digital version. This I was unable to see because I missed the deadline for viewing by two hours-when I emailed I was told in no uncertain terms that there was no way to extend the viewing period. Great customer service.
      My friends have already seen the movie in theaters, but I have yet to see it. Call me old fashioned but I thought backers would get to see the movie first, not last.
      I understand the need for IFC and large backers to come on board, but to sign a contract excluding the release of the DVD to the very people who got you to the place where you could negotiate with IFC seems short sighted and selfish.
      I encourage you to heed the comments left by backers should you consider another Kickstarter campaign.

    28. Chris Marquardt on

      I received the update asking to fill out the address survey, but I never received any link to the survey. I went into my original pledge from 2011 and change my address there, as I had moved since. Is that enough? Do I need to fill out anything else?

    29. Toneloof Creator on


      We are working on that now and will keep everyone updated as to when they're ready.


    30. Missing avatar

      Hillerstrom on

      I was a little surprised to see a little ad on my local news page announcing that the film was debuting in theaters as of Friday, March 28th. That must mean that the hard copy of the DVD's for backers are ready. Should we expect them to arrive very very soon?

    31. Toneloof Creator on

      Michael, this one-time online screening has absolutely nothing to do with your reward. It was just a nice gesture (an additional thank you) to our backers. It was extremely difficult to organize through IFC as we had 1400 emails to coordinate this through the system. It was only a one-time thing.

      You are still receiving your reward. As stated in the email, this was for all backers. It does not replace your reward. I'm sorry that you logged in too late and it was expired but we'll be in touch when your reward is being fulfilled soon!

      Thanks again!
      John and Charlie

    32. MICHAEL on

      Hi Team, so I've received a link to download the movie. Once logging into the system yesterday it appeared "expired". I requested a new link from the IFC Support team and am told "this was a one-time opportunity. It worked well for the most part...We hope you will enjoy the film when it comes out." Really??
      So I've now waited three years to have had a 24hrs window to download my reward (which I missed due to travel) and that is it? Seriously?!?

      You selected
      Pledge $25 or more
      350 backers
      You'll receive a digital download of the completed film (film expected release in 2012).
      Survey sent: 3/17/2011 • Your response

    33. Missing avatar

      am_klaafe on

      I've just watched the movie. Thank you for making it available to us, even if it was only for 24 hrs. It was riveting to see/hear Vivian's backstory and the film looks like a good promotion tool to get more galleries/museums interested in Vivian's work. So: good job on that front. In the end, that's all that matters: her work. I was feeling a bit let down by the book because I didn't think you chose her best work for it (probably saving it for some more prestigious people?), or maybe I was just disappointed I didn't get to see most of my faves. I don't know. But the film made up for that. Regarding the treatment or rather non-treatment of the backers, this project could've gone better, but seeing the amount of work you had with Vivian's stuff and the time you invested extra (like flying to France, etc.), I feel a bit a bit more forgiving towards you. I'm still glad I supported you because I keep seeing Vivian's work pop up in unexpected places and people trying to tell me about her and I get to feel a bit smug and think "Hey, you don't have to tell me about Vivian Maier!" It's good to know you got professional help with the scanning and printing, it makes me feel like her legacy is in good hands with you. And I feel it's the right thing to do, to campaign for her work. She may not have been an angel in real life (especially towards the end of her life as a nanny), but her photography work is outstanding and touching and should be celebrated. So thank you. You're doing tremedous work.

    34. Missing avatar

      carolyn on

      I have just watched the movie thanks to the 24 hour link for backers. It was absolutely fantastic and of excellent quality in every aspect. Vivian Maier's story is fascinating, surprising and moving and you told it in the best possible way. I think one of the highlights was hearing the contents of the letter she wrote in French about her photography, which makes us realise that there had been a time when she wanted to make photography her profession and that she knew she was good. Thank you John Maloof for your tenacity, talent and sensitivity in bringing Vivian Maier out of her boxes and locked rooms in to the open for all the world to see.

    35. Missing avatar

      Jennifer Hellum on

      I just watched the film. Wonderful, wonderful. Beautiful work. And may I say how very very glad I am that you, John Maloof, found her work. It has, in you, the perfect curator. Thank you.

    36. Toneloof Creator on

      Charles, we understand your point. That is why we are currently working with IFC to get a live online screening so all of our backers can see the film before it hits theaters. I hope we can do this shortly and the details will come in a new update on KS. Thanks again for your support!

    37. Charles Kolyvas on

      You've done great work, but kick start or not, it kills the whole vibe when you can't look after the very community that helped put your project on the map. That should've been a condition in your distribution contract. Big or small, we are investors in your venture.

    38. Missing avatar

      carolyn on

      Re: Update #20
      Delighted things are going so well. I know you are busy but please don't make the it's versus its mistake -
      "................. until it's official release in theaters in March." Should be ..... until its official release in theaters in March. Sorry to be picky but it drives me crazy!!
      Best wishes from one of your earliest supporters.

    39. Toneloof Creator on


      I'm sorry you are disappointed. But I want you to know that in order for us to have been able to finance the film's full production we needed to bring in a big distributor such as IFC. Since we were fortunate enough to have them on board we now have to work in lock-step with them on the release. We would love to send out the DVDs early but it would destroy our agreement with our distributors. I hope you can understand that. It's a good thing for the film but it just means that the DVD or download rewards get sent out after the theaters, that it all.

      Best and thanks,

    40. Missing avatar

      Dawn Styers on

      Much like Adam, I am very disappointed. I thought as a backer I would get to see the movie first - not LAST. It's been almost 3 years and I guess I'll have to go to the theater in March in order to see the movie since the DVD will be sent after that. It just doesn't seem right!!!!

    41. Toneloof Creator on

      Adam, kickstarter was a fraction of our production budget. It was to "kickstart" the project. We have many other obligations to pay that we owe. We definitely need distribution and broadcasters to give us the finances to pay those obligations or this film is underwater as are we. We really appreciate kickstarter support and would hope can understand.

      I'm sorry you're disappointed but hope this makes sense.

      Thanks again,

    42. Toneloof Creator on

      Adam, kickstarter was a fraction of our production budget. It was to "kickstart" the project. We have many other obligations to pay that we owe. We definitely need distribution and broadcasters to give us the finances to pay those obligations or this film is underwater as are we. We really appreciate kickstarter support and would hope can understand.

      I'm sorry you're disappointed but hope this makes sense.

      Thanks again,

    43. Toneloof Creator on

      Adam, kickstarter was a fraction of our production budget. It was to "kickstart" the project. We have many other obligations to pay that we owe. We definitely need distribution and broadcasters to give us the finances to pay those obligations or this film is underwater as are we. We really appreciate kickstarter support and would hope can understand.

      I'm sorry you're disappointed but hope this makes sense.

      Thanks again,

    44. Missing avatar

      adam wakeling on

      "The deals we make with distribution doesn't allow us to send out DVDs in advance of the film unfortunately"

      It's a bummer that the people who almost 3 years ago funded this project to get it off the ground don't get to see the film first so distro can make money. Doesn't quite seem fair. Capitalism and the arts, like oil and water. That said I'm excited that its getting closer to the time that we will be able to enjoy the Vivian Maier documentary. I am being very respectful and considerate, just a little disappointed.

    45. Missing avatar

      WT21 on

      Still waiting for the digital download...

    46. Missing avatar

      Dawn Styers on

      Thanks Nigel, I was just about to ask the question!!

    47. Toneloof Creator on

      Well since the film is not out yet we aren't sending DVDs. The deals we make with distribution doesn't allow us to send out DVDs in advance of the film unfortunately. We will update KS when the film is released, and then after that we will announce when it's available for DVDs. Thanks for your support. Hope you understand.



    48. Nigel Maister on

      I'm curious to know when we might expect the DVD. Could you please post an update on that. It would be nice if backers might get the DVD in advance of the film being released to the general public.

    49. Missing avatar

      WT21 on

      Toneloof: thanks for the reply. Looking forward the video. I've been telling everyone about it.

    50. Missing avatar

      Gretchen Wasper on

      I am very excited to see the progress being made on the film. I remember when I discovered an obscure article about the Vivian Maier discovery and was hooked into her work immediately. I started following everything I could find, and eventually ran into this Kickstarter project just as it was getting off the ground. I was unemployed at the time but managed to scrape enough to become a sponsor. I knew it was going to be a long process, but was excited to feel like I had made a contribution, even if a small one. Now as things get closer to completion, my anticipation has hit a new level. I am amazed by her work and can't wait to learn more about her. It also leaves hope that there are more undiscovered artists out there that are just waiting to be found.

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