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A documentary exploring the existential, artistic and family life of musician David Bazan.
A documentary exploring the existential, artistic and family life of musician David Bazan.
1,578 backers pledged $86,163 to help bring this project to life.

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$86,163

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                 Stay up to date with the film at www.bazanfilm.com 

photo credit: Ryan Russell
photo credit: Ryan Russell

   

 

DAVE BAZAN rose to fame in the late 90s with his band, PEDRO THE LION. They were popular on the indie rock circuit and paved the way for artists like Sufjan Stevens and Mumford & Sons, making well-respected music that didn't shy away from themes of faith. The band’s sales and notoriety increased steadily throughout the early 2000s. But in 2006 Dave entered a time of deep personal introspection and began peeling back the layers of his beliefs. Initially he thought the process would lead him closer to the Christian God he believed in. Instead, HIS FAITH BEGAN TO COMPLETELY UNRAVEL, leading to the breakup of his band, a massive bout of writer’s block, and a drinking problem. The onset of this dark season was publicly punctuated with a Washington Post article titled “Hallelujah Palooza” where Dave was described as having “already blown through a gallon jug of water mixed with Vodka” at the strictly dry Cornerstone Christian Music Festival. 

The mixture of NEWFOUND MEANINGLESSNESS AND ALCOHOL was a dangerous combination as he torched relationships, alienated his audience, and found himself unable to write new music. In losing his band. Dave lost his sole means of providing for his family of four. To maintain their bottom line, he was forced to strip down his touring method. Without a stage or even amplification, he began playing secondary and tertiary markets, performing literally in people’s living rooms. He toured the country, driving alone for weeks at a time. In that solitude he WRESTLED WITH ALL HIS IDEAS ABOUT GOD, and finally left the Christian faith.

In the years since, Dave has been reconstructing his worldview from the ground up. Trying to figure out WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED? And what does it mean for his work, his family, and society as a whole. And since we believe these are some of the most important questions one can ask, WE DECIDED TO MAKE A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT IT.

 

THE FILM

We’ve been following Dave for two years. Riding in the van across the country, shooting in living rooms and rock clubs and having deep talks with Dave and the people who cross his path. And it has been a beautiful and fascinating journey. From the release of his 2016 album BLANCO through the creation and release of CARE (launching simultaneously with the Kickstarter.) we've been there for the ups and downs of Dave's life on the road as a working class musician. What we have is a stunning film about ART, FAITH, AND THE COURAGE TO BREAK RANKS IN SEARCH OF TRUTH. The footage we've captured, along with Dave’s 20 year body of work give the audience a front row seat to the heartbreakingly intimate process of a man losing his faith, his worldview, and slogging eyes open through the stages of grief.

THIS IS A FILM FOR OUR TIMES. While the subject is a musician, this is not a tour documentary, a fan film, or a music doc in the traditional sense. It is instead an exploration of modern American spirituality viewed through the lens of an EXTRAORDINARY ARTIST GRAPPLING WITH HIS PERSONAL FAITH. And now is the perfect time for a film dealing with these questions. When we as a nation are struggling with our very identity, defining what is real, and what matters to us going forward. CHRISTIANITY IS AT THE CRUX OF THE DIVIDE IN AMERICA and Dave is one of the rare voices who is able to speak to both sides. His critically acclaimed record “Curse Your Branches”, was called his “break up record with God” by the biggest music journalists, but also somehow found its way onto the list of the Top Ten albums of the year by the massively influential, Christianity Today. Dave's living room shows, featuring no holds barred Q&A sessions, give us an incredibly rare look into the earnest discussions about faith and politics happening in small cities across the country. 

We are making this film without an agenda beyond exploring the fascinating story of one man's wrestling with his beliefs. IT'S NOT A TAKEDOWN PIECE meant to insult people of faith, NOR A FLUFF PIECE meant to prop up easy orthodoxies. The tone will match Dave's humble, thoughtful, yet challenging style as it explores the journey from faithfulness to unbelief. We'll dig into all the doubt in-between without an axe to grind. We're interested in the COMPLICATED BEAUTY OF ALL THE GRAYS OF LIFE at a time when black and white answers feel fleeting.

 

Thus far we've worked on a shoestring, with the generous support of Fork Films, Barsuk Records and few key individuals who know this film is something really special. But now it’s time for us to lock ourselves in a room and turn all this incredible footage into a film.  

WE ARE LOOKING TO RAISE 75K (at least!). This is the bare minimum amount necessary to get us to a festival cut of the film with editing, composing, mixing, color correcting, and any additional photography we discover we need in the process. If we exceed our goal we will have more freedom and time to achieve the best version of this film. We will also be able to invest in the crucial marketing and PR necessary to get the word out.

We've partnered with Palaceworks, & Scraplabs to create some amazing exclusive perks for you. We're incredibly grateful for their involvement. We think you'll be excited about what they've come up with. Thanks also to Ryan Russell for the use of some of his images.

Lastly, YOU are essential to this process. As fans of Dave Bazan you know all the ways he and his music have impacted your life. We’re looking to amplify his message exponentially, and we can’t do that without your support. Please SPREAD THE WORD far and wide and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. You can also sign up for our official mailing list at bazanfilm.com

Please don't hesitate to reach out to us with any questions. We are very excited to be on this journey with you!

WE ARE:

BRANDON VEDDER: DIRECTOR

 Brandon Vedder is an award winning documentary filmmaker. His career began touring with and making films about musicians. His first release was the concert film PEARL JAM: LIVE AT THE GARDEN. In 2013 Brandon produced, edited and shot the acclaimed documentary LA SOURCE, narrated by Academy Award nominated actor, Don Cheadle. The award winning film had its world premiere at AFI Docs and went on to play theatrically in NYC & LA. In 2015 Brandon directed, shot & edited A CERTAIN KIND OF LIGHT, a documentary short that received six best short documentary awards and airs on PBS in early 2017. Brandon’s most recent release IN PURSUIT OF SILENCE, premiered at SXSW in 2016, and also played at CPH:DOX, Full Frame, Sheffield Doc Fest, Rooftop Films & Ashland Film Festivals. The film had an international theatrical release in late 2016 through The Cinema Guild and RO*CO films. Brandon is currently a fellow with the San Francisco Film Society where he has a year long filmmakers residency for STRANGE NEGOTIATIONS.

PRODUCER: ALISON MO MASSEY

Alison Mo Massey is a Creative Executive at Exhibit A Film, the minds behind KING OF KONG, UNDEFEATED and GLEASON. She co-produced FINDERS KEEPERS which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015 and sold to The Orchard, who released it in select theaters and on VOD. She is currently developing a range of projects in TV and features and documentary.

REWARDS:

 

Jordan Lee Exclusive Kickstarter Poster ($55):
Designed by Jordan Lee
Designed by Jordan Lee

 

Limited Edition Silk Screened Poster 
 
Luke Hillestad Bazan Portrait Print: 
original painting by Luke Hillestad
original painting by Luke Hillestad

 Joan LeMay Bazan Portrait Painting & Prints:

Original Painting by Joan LeMay
Original Painting by Joan LeMay

 

ADD ONS:

For backers who have pledged at the $25 level or higher the following items are available as add ons:

Director mixtape: $15 

Live Living room EP CD : $20 

Totebag: $25 

Jordan Lee Exclusive Kickstarter Poster: $30

T-shirt: $35

Official Film Poster $45

INSTRUCTIONS: To add-on an item to your pledge please follow the below steps:

1- Press the MANAGE PLEDGE button above - If you have not pledged yet it will say "Back this Project"

2 - Increase your pledge -  Adjust the total in the "pledge amount" box by the amount that corresponds with your add-ons

3 - Send us a message via Kickstarter indicating which add on items you would like.

4 - When the campaign is over you will receive a survey - At that time you will be able to indicate again which add-on items you would like, just to be sure we've noted it correctly.

Risks and challenges

Documentary Film is an art and not an exact science, and we may encounter setbacks along the way. It may take us longer to complete than anticipated, but given our experience making docs and our team of support including Fork Films, The San Francisco Film Society and The Film Collaborative we're confident that we will complete an amazing film.

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    Join the Team!

    Become a part of team with exclusive updates, clips and behind the scenes footage.

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    Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download

    We made and exclusive Live EP from our 2+ years of shooing with Dave all across the country. Get the digital download of performances recorded in various cities and venues that's not available anywhere else! Mixed by Chris Keene at Cutters Cathedral recording studio.

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    Exclusive CARE Video

    We were there filming with Dave during the recording of his latest record CARE. Get this exclusive behind the scenes video shot at Richard Swift's studio, National Freedom, USA

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    Exclusive Live Video from Living room EP

    Over the last 2 years our crew has shot over 35 live shows in 4k and of course not all of those will end up in the film. Choose from a selection of songs/cities to get a special live performance as a digital download.

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    Exclusive Live Living Room EP CD

    Still like music you can hold in your hand? Get the Live Living Room on CD in a specially designed slipcover by Palaceworks Inc

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    Director Mixtape Download

    Take a musical journey of Bazan with director Brandon Vedder. Hear the seminal tracks that inspired the creation of the film with this 12 song digital download spanning Dave's career.

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    Exclusive Tote Bag

    Hit the Trader Joe's in style with this exclusive tote bag designed by Palaceworks Inc.

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    Jordan Lee Exclusive Kickstarter Poster

    This poster is 11"x17" and designed by the Fantastic Jordan Lee. He made this image for the Los Angeles Bazan show on 4/6/17 and we loved it so much we asked him to adapt it for us.

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    Exclusive T-Shirt

    Strange Negotiations t-shirt in light grey with dark red lettering. Mens and Women's sizes.

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    Official Film Poster

    It hasn't been designed yet, but check out Palaceworks Inc's other posters and you can rest assured it will be awesome. And it will be signed by the film team

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    Live Show Video & Special Thanks

    A 45min video of never before released live concert footage spanning Dave’s career. Including archival (from back in the 90s!) as well as recent footage from some of our favorite performances.
    This reward also includes a Special Thanks in the credits of the film. Start your IMDB credit list!

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    Blanco Vinyl Test Pressings

    Limited edition vinyl test pressings of Dave's 2016 album Blanco. Only 13 of these exist!

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    Limited Edition Silk Screened Poster

    Designed exclusively for Kickstarter in a limited quantity by Palaceworks Inc and Scraplabs, the poster is: 18" x 24" hand silk screened on heavy weight paper and individually numbered. 

    Includes:
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    • Live Show Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
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    Professional Art Print from the film

    The footage of this film is gorgeous, shot in 4k with beautiful old prime lenses. Get an 11x14 professional print of a still from the film. You'll have the choice of a portrait of Dave, or one of the stunning landscapes from our journey with him. We will send you options to choose from.

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    • Live Show Video
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    Joan LeMay Original Print

    Theses prints are 14"x14" unframed, with a 1" border for framing. They're printed on acid free paper with archival ink so they won't fade over time. We've only got five of them available

    Includes:
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    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Show Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
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    Bazan Portrait Print

    This gorgeous print by painter Luke Hillestad is 15.875" x 16". They're unframed with a 1" border to accommodate framing. They're printed on acid free paper with archival ink so they won't fade over time. We only have five available!

    Includes:
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Show Video
    • Director Mixtape
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    Physical Perk Pack

    We get it, you like stuff you can hold in your hand, wear on your body and look at with your eyes. Get all our physical perks (and most of the digital ones too!). Excludes any perks with limited quantities. There's no precise time estimate for this reward as all the items will be available at different times. You can expect them on a rolling basis as ready.

    Includes:
    • Art Print
    • Jordan Lee Original Poster
    • T-Shirt
    • Tote bag
    • Live Living Room CD
    • Official Film Poster (yet to be designed)
    • Director Mixtape
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Show Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
    • Exclusive updates, clips, and behind the scenes footage
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    Joan LeMay Original Bazan Painting

    Own the original unframed painting of this gorgeous image by Joan LeMay. It is gouache on heavyweight watercolor paper, and it's 11 x 10.5 inches.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Director Mixtape
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Show Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
    • Exclusive updates, clips, and behind the scenes footage
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    Script Notes from our Producer

    Are you an aspiring screenwriter? Want to know if your idea's any good? Get valuable notes on your project from our producer Alison Mo Massey.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Living Room CD
    • Director Mixtape
    • Tote bag
    • T-Shirt
    • Poster
    • Live Show Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
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    • Art Print
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    Film Chat with Director via Skype

    Dig in deep with award winning Director Brandon Vedder about the process of making this film, consultation on making your own film or anything else you’d like.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive updates, clips, and behind the scenes footage
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Living Room CD
    • Director Mixtape
    • Tote bag
    • Poster
    • T-Shirt
    • Live Show Video
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    Tickets To Film Premiere

    Two Tickets to the LA or NY premiere of the film, (or the first non-festival showing in the closest market to you). If you're in LA or NY come celebrate the release of the film with us! If you're in another part of the country we'll make sure you get into the "premiere screening" closest to you. We'll keep you in the loop about which events Dave and Film team will be attending. You’re a part of this team and we want to meet you and make sure you get the first shot to see this film.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive updates, clips, and behind the scenes footage
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Living Room CD
    • Director Mixtape
    • Tote bag
    • Poster
    • T-Shirt
    • Live Show Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
    • Art Print
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    Lifetime Pass to any Bazan Show.

    You'll get a golden ticket to ANY Bazan show from now on. Whether it's living rooms or rock clubs as long as David is headlining and controls the guest list, you can get in. Unlimited shows, does not expire. Does not include Festivals.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive updates, clips, and behind the scenes footage
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Living Room CD
    • Director Mixtape
    • Tote bag
    • Poster
    • T-Shirt
    • Live Show Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
    • Art Print
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    Private Screening with Skype Q&A

    Host an advance private screening for you and your friends before the release of the film and have a Skype Q&A with the film team afterwards to answer all of your questions & get the behind the scenes scoop.
    20 person max screening
    30 minute Q&A

    Includes:
    • Exclusive updates, clips, and behind the scenes footage
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Live Show Video
    • Live Living Room CD
    • Director Mixtape
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    • Poster
    • T-Shirt
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Special Thanks in Film Credits
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    Associate Producer Credit

    Become a producer on the film with your name in the credits, a pre-release link to screen the film with follow up chat to discuss your thoughts. You'll also receive a DVD of the film and two tickets to any premieres and film festivals you're able to attend.

    Includes:
    • Exclusive updates, clips, and behind the scenes footage
    • Exclusive Live Living Room EP Download
    • Exclusive Care Video
    • Live Living Room Video
    • Live Living Room CD
    • Director Mixtape
    • Tote bag
    • T-Shirt
    • Poster
    • Live Show Video
    • Art Print
    • Tickets to Film Premiere
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Funding period

- (30 days)