There Was Magic
There Was Magic
A touching, witty and glamorous look back at Hollywood and Fashion's most memorable AIDS benefit.
A touching, witty and glamorous look back at Hollywood and Fashion's most memorable AIDS benefit. Read more
About this project
This is a story that needs to be told. Of huge historic importance to the LGBT community.
It was easy in the mid-80’s to forget the fear of AIDS in Hollywood and elsewhere, before it was understood how AIDS was spread. Plus, it was not an attractive disease with cute poster kids. The pictures in the public’s eye were those of young men looking old and sunken and often covered in purple lesions.
By 1986 little, if nothing was being done to help those stricken with the disease, and Fashion and Hollywood were being hit particularly hard. Such little money was coming out of Washington to fund research that the task of helping those already diagnosed with HIV/AIDS fell upon extended families and small groups of volunteers who were on the front lines in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Because fashion and entertainment are so integrally a part of people’s lives, it made sense for the two industries to join forces for one magical night... A night that would continue far beyond anyone’s wildest imagination.
The fundraisers were magic in bringing people together to tell the world that the fight would continue, that many would survive and those needing help would be taken care of. They declared loudly and colorfully that the war against AIDS would be won!
Millions of people have since died and millions more continue to be infected. Although some medications have proven effective in controlling the virus, there is still no vaccine to prevent it. It is humbling and at the same time inspiring to remember and acknowledge how the fashion and entertainment industries pulled together to honor, remember and most importantly help those struggling with the disease.
In the end it was all about love and compassion, and it was all thanks to the volunteers who worked tirelessly to make these events happen.
Why the Kickstarter
If this Kickstarter is successful, all the money will immediately go to completing production of the film. Making a feature film is costly and if you allow us to surpass the goal, even better, since we'll be able to afford a bigger team to work with.
Please remember, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform: you will not get charged unless we reach our goal. Which also means, we will not get a single dime unless that goal is reached.
Who am I?
My name is Afonso Salcedo. I have worked for some of the biggest animation studios in the world, including Pixar Animation Studios and DreamWorks. During my seven years at Pixar, I was part of a team of incredible artists working on Academy-Award winning films such as Ratatouille, Wall-E, Up and Toy Story 3. I also created and co-directed the enormously successful short film "It Gets Better... Love, Pixar" which has around 1.5 million views on YouTube and instantly became a landmark video in the anti-bullying It Gets Better campaign, helping LGBTQ youth be true to themselves.
I own my own film company Sutro Studios, based in San Francisco, CA.
Awesome. But why this film?
I’ve been working on this film for nearly a year. After reading, Heavenly Bodies: Remembering Hollywood and Fashion’s Favorite AIDS Benefit, written by Michael Anketell, who founded the event in 1986, I became enormously interested in the back story of all ten shows—how they came to be and the incredible talent that supported them. When I sat down with Michael for the first time, I began to understand the history and struggles of that era (1986-1996) the staggering toll it was taking in Hollywood, the fashion industry and in almost every corner of the world.
Since then Michael and I have met on numerous occasions to flesh out the most minute details of each event—the famous and not-so famous players (all heroes), the heartaches that were part of those early days and the unforgettable shows that makes this documentary uniquely one of a kind. The stories, interviews, archival footage and photography will leave a lasting impression on the soul and triumphantly lift ones spirit to new heights. I have already filmed multiple interviews with some of the key people involved in these shows, while at the same time devouring hundreds of archival photos, transparencies, footage, tapes and film—which provide a rich and astonishing record of this historic time in our history when AIDS became the worst and most feared epidemic of our time.
In 1987, when the first event was held honoring ‘Adrian’ I was just about to turn 8 years old. Soon after, the bullying at my school began and I would hear from other kids that I would soon be dead from AIDS. The dreadful disease although not affecting me directly had already changed my life forever.
Always fascinated by how in times of crisis people join together for the greater good of things—I immediately connected with what I had read in Michael’s book.
There Was Magic will provide a nostalgic, moving and entertaining look back at some of the most breathtaking and ambitious fashion shows ever mounted—magical moments in time caught on film and not seen since they were live shows. With your help, reaching or even surpassing the goal on Kickstarter is essential in bringing this film across the finish line.
The Current State
As of now I have completed filming and interviewing four people who played an integral part in these ten historically significant events. You can view a part of those interviews in the Kickstarter film trailer above.
There is already tremendous interest from many celebrities and models, personalities and team players who either took part in the shows or attended them—each with a different perspective and reason for why they got involved.
The anecdotes are real, sometimes naughty, often heart-wrenching, yet always inspiring and uplifting. But in order for us to accomplish a final work—we must first raise the necessary funding to help cover the cost of gear, filming, post-production and travel (NY/LA).
Your help and Kickstarter
The success of this campaign will not only cement the fact that the film will be made but it will also help secure the celebrities and personalities scattered from coast to coast—giving me the opportunity to interview and film them.
The ‘financial’ goal of this campaign is pretty much the bare minimum it would take to complete the project. Any additional funding raised would guarantee a faster time in finishing the documentary and assist in creating the strongest film possible.
Please remember, if the goal is not reached, you don't get charged, but we also won't raise any money.
The money from this Kickstarter will be used in many different ways, a few already mentioned above. Since making a documentary film is a pretty complex adventure/process—here are several other ways in which your funding will be used:
1. Covering film costs in LA and NYC to conduct these final interviews with celebrities and personalities. This budgeted item also includes hiring a couple of local film crew assistants to help out with lighting and camera. To date, I have done it all on my own and I feel that the film is off to a powerful start. Travel costs are also budgeted and include equipment rentals, food gas, airfare and lodging when needed.
2. Storage/back-up for all footage and photos for editing and post-production. There are hour and hours of film and tape—full length shows, backstage and behind the scenes footage, arrivals and of course the parties. As you can imagine this takes a lot of hard drive space not only to store everything for editing but in addition to backup all of the footage safely to prevent any losses. This line-item part of the budget also includes expensive transfers from film and tapes to a digital format for editing.
3. Licenses/Legal Fees. We are hoping to use archival footage from news and other media outlets so that we can tell the complete story of how the AIDS epidemic was affecting the fashion industry, Hollywood and the world at large, the same time these shows were happening. The media coverage was worldwide for these events with reporters, news crews and photographers from throughout Europe and Asia—including a variety of networks and cable channels from the USA all descending upon LA to cover this new and interesting way of fundraising.
4. Post-Production. As of now I have been doing all of the post-production (archival, editing, color grading, sound mixing etc.) Hopefully with funding through our Kickstarter campaign, it would be possible to hire an editor to work alongside me, helping to build the film and the storyline throughout production. A documentary usually has a tremendous amount of post-production work and this in turn counts towards the completion of the film in a timelier manner.
Please never hesitate to contact me through email or the usual social media outlets. A simple ‘Like’ or ‘Tweet’ or email to your friends will go a long way in helping us raise the funds for the film.
Yes, the rewards! We have some exciting items for you as you can see from the right side of the page—from access to the exclusive content in a bonus ‘private’ blog on our website, to hanging out with us at one of the shoots or attending a screening and much, much more!
Exclusive Production Blog
Gain access to a private production blog on our film website (http://therewasmagicfilm.com). We will update it with unique behind-the-scenes footage, video, images and much more, only available to our Kickstarter backers!
USB Keychain (8GB) - NEW
We just added this awesome There Was Magic USB keychain to our entry-level rewards. Not only will you able to fit a ton of files on your day-to-day, but it will come to you already packed with a ton of files and information about the making of the film trailer, this Kickstarter campaign and everything we learned throughout the process!
It's an insane amount of information that you can use in your own future work and crowd-funding campaigns!
Before the film is released to the public we will give you an early access link for you to stream the film online and watch it at home! I will also host a live Q&A online for you to ask any questions about the project.
You can actually pledge at this tier to receive a digital copy of the film upon its release.
Receive this amazing set of collector buttons from the film, for free, with some of the pledges.
Collector Cards (Set 1)
The first set of film collector cards can be yours with some of the pledges. These are business-sized cards in super high quality glossy paper. There are TWO sets of five different cards, so make sure you choose the right pledge, or collect them both!
Collector Cards (Set 2)
Another set of amazing collector cards up for grabs for free with some of the pledges. Make sure you select SET 2 if you want these five cards, and check out our SET 1 as well if you want to collect them all! There are all business-card sized, printed in premium glossy paper.
The Rickshaw Tote Bag
We had the amazing team behind the Rickshaw Bags in San Francisco make us a tote bag for There Was Magic! Each one is handcrafted using the highest quality materials. Take it everywhere—this bag is perfect for groceries, books, picnics or anything you can’t leave home without.
The iPad Sleeve
You can't go wrong with these extremely durable, fashionable and fun iPad sleeves made here in San Francisco by the same team behind our Tote bags. The iPad sleeve has a cushioned plush interior that will protect your iPad against all scratches and tears. Plus, it simply looks great!
The Proof Sheet
We designed some limited edition black and white proof sheet prints from the hundreds and hundreds of photographic film negatives taken at each show. These are never-before-seen photographs that can be framed or given as a gift! Each set contains two different contact sheet prints and there are FIVE sets in total—so please make sure you see all of the options below or you can collect them all! Each one is printed US-letter on premium glossy paper—a truly high quality black and white print.
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The Exclusive Photos
We carefully selected ten of our favorite photographs from the hundreds of never-before-seen images from the personal archives of the founder of the event. Receive them ‘FREE’ with some of the donation pledges. There are FIVE different sets, each one with two unique prints ready to frame. All are printed on the highest quality paper and every print was digitally cleaned for dust and scratches. Imagine how great they will look hanging in a group or individually at home or in your office—they make a thoughtful gift as well. Make sure you pick the correct pledge for the set you want—or better yet, collect them all!
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The Signed Book
Own a copy of the book that started it all! Michael Anketell was the creator and founder of these landmark Fashion events and wrote a fascinating and high-spirited account of each show. The book is ‘coffee table’ sized with color and black and white images.
This is a very limited reward, as the book is no longer in print, but you can get your ‘first edition’ personalized as you wish by the author.
An amazing designer in Portugal is creating this incredible high-quality leather weekender bag just for There Was Magic pledges!
The only difference between the bag and the pledge received is the There Was Magic branding. There Was Magic will be used instead of the logo pictured above—with the designer Ramalhoni logo added to the inside of the bag.
The leather used is vegetable tanned (no chemicals). The lining is 100% organic Oxford cotton. It has a pocket with a zipper inside large enough to hold an iPad—topped off with a name tag.
Imagine all the possibilities this handsome bag holds!
Dimensions are: 23.6in (W) x 17.7in (H) x 9.8in (D)
Here we partnered with the incredible team from the premium raw denim brand GUSTIN to create a simple leather wallet for you. Check out the photos and see how sexy these are!
The wallets are made of US steer 4oz, natural vegetable tanned full grain leather. It starts out as a light tan, but will age into a dark brown with use. The edges are burnished with beeswax and GUSTIN uses wax coated thread for stitching—one side is branded with a GUSTIN stamp and the other side with a There Was Magic (TWM) stamp. Each wallet can hold up to 6-8 cards.
This is a special opportunity for you and a guest to attend a private screening of the film at a location to be determined in San Francisco or Los Angeles. Travel and accommodations would be your responsibility, but you could view the film in a private setting with the filmmaker, the creator of the events and a small group of people. The screenings are being planned for 2014, prior to the general release of the film—depending upon the production schedule. Hang out with us before the film and ask any questions you might have in a Q&A following the screening.
Since there are presently two different cities for the screenings, please make sure you select the correct one. As of now, the screenings will take place in San Francisco and Los Angeles—if you are interested in another city please send me a message and I will consider adding a new reward for that location if there is enough interest.
For our backers that donate more than 450 dollars, we will add your name as an official film credit since you are instrumental in helping us complete the feature film.
A really unique opportunity to participate in a private Google Hangout session with the team of at least the filmmaker and writer of the book that inspired the film, who also created the events depicted in the movie. It's your chance to ask anything you want and have a very intimate time with the creative team behind the project, learn more about anything you want about making a documentary film, the amount of work involved, the industry in general and of course their own personal careers and stories.
This is a very rare opportunity, and basically the ultimate film workshop. Even if you're just a newcomer to the industry or a cinema lover, you will love being able to spend a day with the filmmaker and come participate, and maybe even help, with one of the film shoots. Since this is a documentary film, a lot of uncertainty comes into play, and most of the filming will be centered around interviews, scavenging through lots of material, post-production, and lots more. But you will learn so much for just being there and seeing the process of filmmaking, and of course, you'll have a very unique chance of getting to know the creative team behind the project.
Travel and accommodations are your responsibility and most of the film shoots will probably be between Los Angeles and New York, maybe some in San Francisco. We will of course update you with the details as we know them throughout production and coordinate accordingly.
These are some of the most important film credits you can get in a movie. You really are part of the key figure in making this project a reality and we will make sure your name is very visible in all aspects of the film's eventual marketing, distribution and release process.
Risks and challenges
It will take time—but all great projects take time! I have been doing this for more than a decade so I am use to organizing tasks efficiently and I know how to structure and plan a film’s production, making sure that all things that need to get done—get done on time and within budget. The funds from Kickstarter will enable me to put together a small team of professionals to assist in the process—guaranteeing a faster completion date Filmmaking is the biggest form of collaborative art.
By helping us fund this film, you will receive regular updates, access to behind the scenes footage and much more! You can become part of this collaborative effort and by checking our regular updates or doing a Google Hangout with us, you can learn a lot about the filmmaking process.
Reaching the goal will allow me to work full-time on this film. Surpassing the goal will allow me and the team to get there much faster. So please, any money you can donate, any ‘share’ ‘Like’, ‘Tweet’ ‘pin’ or word of mouth will play a key part in the success of this campaign.
And most importantly, we know that you are going to LOVE this story!
THE FINE PRINT
• If you're interested in the TAG ALONG reward, be warned that most of the filming will occur between LA and NYC, possibly some in San Francisco. However, this has the potential to change. I will keep you updated as soon as dates come around so that you have time to plan accordingly.
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the film shoot.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork, like non-disclosure agreements if you get to see a pre-release version of the film or come hang out at one of the film shoots.
• All shooting locations are subject to change for a variety of reasons, including the amount of money I am able to raise and the particular locations allowing me to shoot. Again, I will keep you updated on the final details.
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, movie guild rules and applicable law. If any of this conflicts with potential rewards, I will personally work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
Making a documentary is a hefty undertaking. There are always unknown factors and things that can change at the last minute. It is impossible to guarantee that everything will come together as we hope that it will—but we really believe in this story, the images, the footage the fascinating people who were involved and we are sure that in the end we will have a film that will inspire you and the people who watch it.
Filmmaking is a journey. And I thank YOU for coming along for the ride.
All archival photos and footage is copyrighted by Michael Anketell, 1999.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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