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Our Kickstarter has ended, but you'll still be able to join us to help save the Vault & tell Frank's story. Check back soon for more details!
Our Kickstarter has ended, but you'll still be able to join us to help save the Vault & tell Frank's story. Check back soon for more details!
8,688 backers pledged $1,126,036 to help bring this project to life.

PROTO-MINIMALISM: A New, Simpler Plan to #SaveTheVault. Plus: The $660K Surprise and T-SHIRT DESIGNS!

Posted by Alex Winter (Creator)

Home Stretch, Freaks!

We’re ten days to the finish line, and there's still so much to share and do… but when I sat down to write this update, I realized something:

I've been sending you a lot of updates. 

And in those updates, I've been sharing a lot of goals, explanations and details, and from the letters and questions we're getting, I think maybe this campaign has gotten a little too confusing.

So today, I want to do a little bit of a reset, and go back to basics.

1. We've already done something amazing. It's true. I've been spending so much time setting new goals, and telling you about Frank's life, that I probably haven't said this enough: Thanks to you, we're already going to be able to save all of the material that's in the most immediate danger, so that it'll be around for future Zappa fans and available to use in the doc. That's huge. I'm really proud of what we've done here.

2. Our stretch goals are complex. Some of you have written in, saying that our stretch goal structure is confusing. And you know, I took another look at it, and you're right. It's also too ambitious: Even though I have a ton of faith in us, we're probably not going to get close to $3M in the next 10 days… but there is still a ton that we can accomplish together.

3. This isn't just my Kickstarter; it's our Kickstarter.
A lot of you have also written in to say that your top priority is to help #SaveTheVault, and that you'd rather see more of the funds we raise go to that, instead of being split up to make a movie. And look, being here on Kickstarter means this isn't just my project: In a lot of important ways, it's our project, and I totally get what you're saying.

So, this morning, I want to make everything a little bit simpler, and adjust our goals and plans a little bit, so that you understand what we want to do.

The Newer, Simpler Plan to #SaveTheVault

We've got about 10 days left.

We've raised $640,000 here on Kickstarter, and another $15,000 through Add-On Rewards at, so we're now at $655,000.

Even though we can't get the extra funds to show up on the Kickstarter page, we've updated our graphic with a new progress meter:

The green is what we've raised on Kickstarter, and the pink is what we've raised through Add-On Rewards. So... We're farther than you thought!

After listening to all of your suggestions and feedback, here's what we're going to do:

1. If we can reach $1,000,000, we'll be able to save twice as much of the Vault as we could at our first goal.

2. All of the first million we raise will go toward saving, cataloging and digitizing the Vault, and not to anything else.

Now, I know this wasn't the original plan I outlined, but the truth is, if we can't reach the $2,000,000 stretch goal, I'm still going to need to raise additional funds to make the movie.

So, if I'm going to do that anyway, I want to make sure we're spending the money we raise together on the part of the project that matters the most, to the most of you… and that's saving the Vault! But, the good news is that we needed to do at least $1,000,000 worth of Vault preservation anyway just to get the stuff we'll need for the doc, so instead of breaking that out over multiple stretch goals, we'll just do all of it first, so that the Kickstarter can focus on the Vault.

And here's the funny thing: even though we won't use the Kickstarter funds to shoot or produce the doc, this Kickstarter can still help get the movie funded, just by reaching $1,000,000.

See, if we can reach $1,000,000, it won't just let us save more of the Vault. It'll also make us the biggest crowdfunded doc project ever and aside from that being an awesome tribute to FZ, that will be really helpful when I go out to raise the rest of the funds we need for the movie.

If we can earn that record, it'll send a clear message. It'll help me prove that there are a lot of us out there, waiting to hear (and tell) Zappa's definitive story… and that will help us get funded faster and release the doc sooner. Plus, it'd be awesome to see Frank's face up there at the top of the heap… don't you think?

So, that's the new plan!

Now, about that $660,000 surprise...

It's a little past noon, and while we didn't get all the way to $660K, we got pretty damn close… When you count in the $15,000 we've raised from Add-On Rewards, we're at $655K, which makes yesterday our biggest day in over a week. I think that deserves something special.

That's why I'm excited to tell you that, with just ten days left in the campaign, we've been able to talk the ZFT into something really awesome for our Final Countdown.

See, I want to make sure you understand how much amazing stuff we're fighting to save in the Vault, and there's only one way to do that: I need to start showing you some of this stuff.

For our Final Countdown, we'll share brand new clips of unreleased material from the Vault every single day.

That's right, Freaks. We've got a dozen brand new clips that have never been released, featuring concert performances, interviews, news features, personal videos and more.

This is stuff that Joe Travers has already been working to protect and digitize, but that needs a lot more love (and help) before it'll be good enough to release to the public. But I hope you guys don’t mind, I went ahead and spoke for all of us: We’ll take it!

Honestly, it's totally fucking crazy that we're getting to see this stuff… and since the footage hasn't been fully cleaned up or remastered, I think it might make the ZFT a little nervous. But we all agreed: If you're helping us save the Vault, you should get to see as much as we can show you.

Starting this afternoon, we'll have a brand new clip every single day for the rest of the campaign, which we'll release exclusively to our backers through PRIVATE Kickstarter updates.

If you haven't already joined the campaign, now's the perfect time… because even a couple bucks will get you access to these clips. Look for the first one this afternoon.

And to help us keep rolling toward that $1,000,000 goal, I've got one more update for you.


The official campaign shirt has arrived, along with two additional designs based on some of the awesome stuff we've discovered in Frank's office:

The first (center) is our OFFICIAL CAMPAIGN SHIRT, featuring the original collage of Frank that we created exclusively for this Kickstarter. That's the shirt that we're including with all reward packages at TRACK 50 and up. So, if your rewards don't include a t-shirt yet, and you dig the design, today's the perfect day to upgrade and get one!

But wait, there's more! The ZFT has also given us permission to release two vintage t-shirt designs, based on Frank's ZAPPA FOR PRESIDENT (left) and DOPE: YOU ARE WHAT YOU USE (right) stickers. You can grab those designs as ADD-ON REWARDS starting right now – and as usual, everything you contribute for rewards gets us even closer to our full goal of $1,000,000.

Of course, not everyone has more to contribute, or wants more rewards… so if you just want to help #SaveTheVault, and you've already spread the word on social media, there's still one more huge thing you can do to help.

Take it to the streets!

If you want to help get the word out in good old-fashioned ways like hanging flyers, making phone calls, talking to human beings without using Twitter, our team has put this together:


Have a look, download the flyers, and rock these in your hometown – because there are still a lot of Zappa fans out there who don't use Facebook and Twitter, who have never heard of Kickstarter, and who will still want to help us Save the Vault... but we can't reach most of them without your help.

Okay, I think that's everything for this update... but don't forget: we'll be sending another update later this afternoon, FOR BACKERS ONLY, sharing the first of our FINAL COUNTDOWN clips. 

Keep spreading the word!


Just 10 DAYS LEFT to help @zappamovie #SaveTheVault: join now + get access to new, never released footage EVERY DAY!


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    1. Missing avatar

      Thad Boyd on

      Will the Add-On Rewards store stay open after the campaign ends? I've already pledged, but there are some add-ons I'd like to buy but prefer to wait until after my next paycheck.

    2. Missing avatar

      Clinton Morgan on

      Mind at rest. Thank you Alex and you too Tootsies. Vault preservation is of course, primary. By way of an aside I was lying in bed and realised there is a Zappa connection to the Bill & Ted franchise.

      Click on the link and look at tracks 9-16,_Vol._1

    3. Alex Winter 2-time creator on

      Everyone: SO sorry for any NEW confusion that this update might have created.

      Just to be 100% clear, we WILL STILL BE MAKING THE MOVIE. We'll just be using more of the Kickstarter funds to handle the immediate preservation work (which needs to be done for the movie ANYWAY), and using outside funding to cover the additional production costs.

      And to be even more clear: ALL KICKSTARTER REWARDS WILL STILL BE DELIVERED, and valid. If you've pledged for the movie, or the VIP Premiere, or to be a Producer, all of those rewards will still happen. But, if you have any questions, PLEASE ASK, because I'd rather write 1000 email responses than have people worried. :)

      To start, we've got an FAQ about this right here:

      But I'll also talk about this in the next update, to make sure there's NO confusion about it. And if you hear other backers assuming that the rewards might not be delivered, please let them know about this answer!

    4. Ruby Red Tootsies on

      Clinton - This is the 3rd kickstarter campaign I have contributed to that Alex Winter was connected to in some way. If there is one thing that holds True about him, it is he keeps his promises. IF he renigged on the rewards we've based our pledges on, then the entire project would be jeopardized. It just looks like he's gone with major consensus (and the logical choice) to use the first $1M of kickstarter funds toward preservation of THE VAULT and he will find the funding needed to make the documentary by other means (IF we can't help him raise what they need to accomplish everything). Since we hit the 1st goal, we are set for pledges we've made. Make sense?

    5. Missing avatar

      Clinton Morgan on

      Will the pledge promises regarding the documentary (digital download, premiere and party etc) still be honoured?

    6. Missing avatar

      Vincent & Victoria Cannata on

      And, thanks for the update on your new 'plan'!
      We can only assume how overwhelming 'the vault' must be!

    7. Kevin Sudie on

      How do we see the private video posts? I've already contributed, just wondering if they'll be emailed or posted on this page

    8. Chris Sharrock on

      Hey Alex and team , great t'shirt design .