WHY IS THIS FILM IMPORTANT?
“Kim Stanley was as close to a female Brando as we had in the theater.” --Sydney Pollack
Kim Stanley was a phenomenon. Her work as an actress and teacher has inspired generations of performers, directors and writers. THE NEEDS OF KIM STANLEY chronicles the contributions of this transcendent artist and unmasks her personal contradictions. One of the legendary talents of Broadway’s Golden Era and an iconic member of the Actors Studio, Kim walked away from her life in the theatre midway through her career. Like James Dean, Kim Stanley made only a handful of films, yet she was nominated twice for the Oscar. She was the reigning queen of American theatre when she narrated TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD as the grown-up ‘Scout’, yet she refused credit or money for her part. One of the greatest ironies of her artistic life is her performance as the ambitious and tortured film star in Paddy Chayevsky’s THE GODDESS. This 1958 portrait was loosely based on Marilyn Monroe, the woman who, two years earlier, had usurped Kim’s original stage performance as ‘Cherie’ for the 1956 film of BUS STOP.
Sample our interviews with Ellen Burstyn, Jessica Lange, Robert Loggia, Vivian Nathan, Sydney Pollack, Lauren Hutton, Anna Gunn, Arthur Penn, Horton Foote, Louis Gossett, Jr., Rex Reed, Jack Klugman, Mark Rydell, Eli Wallach and Anthony LaPaglia.
Kim created an acting exercise called "The Needs" that distills human behavior down to the primary colors of intense feeling. The Needs - to celebrate, to charm, to plead, to accuse, to seduce, to destroy, to entice - are a blueprint for Kim Stanley's life, career and legacy; she lived by them, she taught them, and she funneled them into her art. “The Needs” exercise, in a nutshell, is this: two actors tap into strong emotions inspired by one or more of the needs before entering the common space where two large boxes sit near each other. The actors must stay connected to the boxes (no walking around), they may not use language (sounds are okay, but no words - so, no dialogue), and they must interact, each bringing a strong need and apprehending the need of the other. This devilishly simple, endlessly challenging exercise highlights the fundamental paradox that is Kim, who was extremely sensitive and uncannily perceptive: her gifts were also her demons. Through her fearless performances and her passionate teaching, Kim showed us a door into the magnificence of the naked human soul, and we’re making this movie because Kim Stanley shared this view with us, and we are compelled to share it with you.
Learn more about The Needs - Kim's students talk about her teaching: http://www.theneedsofkimstanley.com/p/media-gallery.html
We have more than 60 interviews with peers, students and admirers, including Lord Richard Attenborough, Elaine Stritch, Arthur Laurents, Estelle Parsons, Natasha Richardson, James Cromwell, Sir Peter Hall, Shirley Knight, Ana Alicia, Jenny Gago, Marian Seldes and Robert Wilson. See the compete interview roster on our website - http://www.theneedsofkimstanley.com/p/the-film.html
WHO ARE WE?
The producers of THE NEEDS OF KIM STANLEY, Dani Minnick, Melanie Jones and Randall England, all studied acting with Kim. Dani (producer and co-director) and Alessandro Zezza (editor and co-director) have been collaborating on their style of poetic realism since meeting at the American Film Institute in 1996. We’ve been working on this project since 2004, conducting interviews in LA, NY and London, writing grants, tracking down Kim’s recorded work, transcribing interviews, creating promos, making connections and financing the project ourselves, driven by our profound respect for Kim Stanley and the transforming influence she had on our lives.
And by the way, you can contact us at email@example.com, and please do!
WHY WE NEED YOU TO PARTNER WITH US -
The documentary market is very competitive, and we need a full cut to get in the door. Our editor, Alessandro Zezza, is absolutely wonderful, an invaluable partner who is giving us an insider’s insider rate, but we have exhausted our personal resources; we simply do not have the pockets to get this done without your help. Your contributions will see us to a full cut of THE NEEDS OF KIM STANLEY, and onto a deal with the right distributor. The target amount will also cover a basic contract with our composer, Peter Wetzler (http://www.peterwetzler.com/), to use music he has already recorded. If we make more, we can do more - we can pay for an original score, for one thing - but first things first: a full cut, with great music!
We are deeply grateful to all of you, at all levels of giving, for being an indispensable part of this project, and we’re also asking you to be an ambassador for Kim and let people know about this film and this Kickstarter campaign. Every connection is meaningful. Thank you.
HIGHLIGHTS OF KIM STANLEY’S CAREER -
PICNIC (1953) - Millie Owens
BUS STOP (1955) - Cherie
A TOUCH OF THE POET (1958) - Sara Melody
A FAR COUNTRY (1961) - Elizabeth von Ritter
THE THREE SISTERS (1964) - Masha (Actors Studio Production)
THE GODDESS (1958) - Emily Ann Faulkner
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (1962) - Narrator/ adult Scout
SÉANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (1964) - Myra Savage
FRANCES (1982) - Lillian Farmer
A YOUNG LADY OF PROPERTY (1953/Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse) - Wilma Thompson
CLASH BY NIGHT (1957/Playhouse 90) - Mae D’Amato
THE TRAVELING LADY (1957/Studio One) Georgette Thomas
BEN CASEY/A CARDINAL ACT OF MERCY (1963) - Faith Parsons
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1984) - Big Mama
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS -
To make a pledge to THE NEEDS OF KIM STANLEY, click the green “Back This Project” button, enter your pledge amount and select a reward. You will be directed through checkout on Amazon. Your card will be charged ONLY when THE NEEDS OF KIM STANLEY reaches its funding goal. If we do not reach our funding goal, your card will not be charged. If our pledges exceed our goal, we can do more for the film (like pay for that original soundtrack.) We can keep everything we raise as long as we achieve the goal amount. If we fall short of the funding goal, none of your pledges will be charged, all of this will be as a mirage in the desert, and we will be left very dry indeed. So please join us! Contribute what you can! Spread the word about this project! Put us over the top, and put Kim back in the spotlight where she belongs!
CAN YOU DONATE OUTSIDE OF THE UNITED STATES?
Yes. Kickstarter is international, as Kim was. Just click on the Amazon Payment Button and you will see that you can pay with a credit card from any country, but you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded.
CAN YOU INCREASE YOUR PLEDGE ONCE IT'S BEEN MADE?
Yes! Once you donate to our campaign, you may want to change your incentive reward to a different one, or increase your pledge amount. To do so, go to Kickstarter and sign in. If you go to our campaign page, the green “Back This Project” button has been replaced with a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click it and you can enter a new amount, or choose a new incentive.
Kim was all about connecting. Thank you for connecting with us.
Risks and challenges
We begin this campaign with tremendous confidence in Kim and her appeal, and when we have a full cut of the film, we hope to ally with powers who can help us get this movie out to the world. Our greatest hurdle is securing the rights to Kim's performances. We have been tracking down materials and original sources, but usage contracts are so myriad as to be very confusing, and the fees are steep and steeper. Moreover, original materials are often hiding under years of sold stock and contested ownership. The good news is that many of Kim's performances are extant, and we will be able to share them with the help we hope to garner with our full cut!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)