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$622
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13
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Dec 7 2018
Last updated December 7, 2018

Don't Stop the Rock (Canceled)

The history of rock and roll censorship from Elvis Presley to Frank Zappa

Don't Stop the Rock (Canceled)

The history of rock and roll censorship from Elvis Presley to Frank Zappa

$622
pledged of 9 500 $pledged of 9 500 $ goal
13
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Dec 7 2018
Last updated December 7, 2018

About

Chronicling the Most Controversial Moments of Rock and Roll History

In 1985, Frank Zappa was in the middle of the fight of his career, pushing against the powerful forces in Washington DC that wanted to impose national censorship standards to rock music. In the middle of this battle he sat down for a filmed interview, discussing his belief in the importance of the US Constitution's First Amendment and its protection of free speech.

DON'T STOP THE ROCK is the story of the fight for free speech at the cutting edge, how music has often been the first to challenge and be challenged due to its use to protest of societal problems. Censorship related to race, politics and sex  often came  out first due to musicians who challenged societal norms, and this is the story of the key battles over four decades and how they were fought.  It features a who's who of legendary rockers, including ELVIS, THE BEATLES, THE STONES, HENDRIX, ICE T, MICHAEL JACKSON & KANYE WEST.

It is this interview that becomes the heart of the documentary, Don’t Stop the Rock.

This one hour special focuses on the excitement, the danger and the power of rock and roll. The power to ignite change. Not just individual, personal change – but cultural, political and social change. It’s the story of the most outrageous events in rock and the backlash which followed. It’s the story of coming of age. In our own lives as a society.

From Elvis’ pelvis and Chuck Berry’s duck walk to the Beatles’ claim of being more famous than Jesus; to Jim Morrison being arrested for indecency; to Janis Ian’s poignant lament about interracial love to Ceelo Green’s Fuck You and Ice Cube’s Cop Killer. The story has been the same.

A popular artist breaks a rule, taking the music or message to a new level. The audience responds with excitement. The establishment responds with outraged indignation. And thus is born some kind of change—in perspective in fashion, in social mores, etc, etc.

The format for Don’t Stop the Rock is simple. Legendary artist Frank Zappa serves as the centerpiece voice, taken from our 1985 interview. He is joined by a variety of other artists who talk about their battles with censorship. We will also hear from the opposing faction, those that led the fight against the music, explaining their point of view that rock music is evil and dangerous.

The story of these events are told using popular, as well as rarely seen, archival material. We’ll watch the event and then in edited montages, explore the reactions surrounding the performance—news coverage of protesting parents, concerned politicians, and outraged clergy set against teenage boys sporting their Elvis, Beatles, David Bowie or a Rapper ‘look.’ Interspersed with the cultural reactions of the time, will be unusual period interviews with the artists, managers and fans impacted by the music.

This is not just a show about past history. We look at the present day battles over music and free speech, both in the US and abroad, and examine what effects are still being felt as a result of the controversial artist, event or movement.

Unlike many other shows about rock n’ roll, the focus of these interviews will be quite specific, exploring the cutting edge, the controversial, the paradoxes and the messages behind the music.

We move from story to story with a technique of animated montages which shuttles us through whole chunks of musical and social history. Picking us up at one place and depositing us at another.

In a breathless visual rush, we see our lives and times hurtle past from one momentous event to another. At every turn conjuring up memories and emotions, all set to the driving beat of the relevant music.

Don't Stop the Rock explores the story Zappa told, of rock censorship, from its historically racial beginning to the battles Zappa fought against censorship in the 1980’s. Zappa was a purist in his belief that censorship was absurd. While the interview was done years back, his opinions on censorship are just as appropriate today as they were when we sat down with him.

“There is no word or sound that you can make with your mouth that is so powerful that  it will cause the listener to languish forever in the lake of fire.”

                                                       Frank Zappa, Don’t Stop the Rock.

KEY THEMES IN DON’T STOP THE ROCK 

The documentary covers the topics discussed with Zappa, including his historical overview of censorship and music.  Zappa also explored the battle for free speech that he fought for against the Parent Resource Music Center and others calling for rock censorship.  

Frank Zappa died in 1993. Since then, the issues revolving around censorship and media have only grown more complex. Don’t Stop the Rock examines these very tough questions raised by the various contemporary censorship battles between those fighting  for and against it. They range from Zappa’s belief in total freedom of expression to the other extreme in which private companies and government bodies are playing censor on a global level.  

GAMEPLAN

We are asking for enough funds to shoot several contemporary interviews and edit together a first cut for distributors. We have spent years collecting numerous performances, interviews and background research materials. We just need to finalize the story structure and cut the show.

ABOUT THE PRODUCER, JAMES FORSHER

I began producing documentaries back in the late 1970s, focusing on our entertainment industry and its effects on society. I have had a particular interest in censorship and media. My first film was about how Adolph Zukor created Paramount Studios, and part of his story dealt with the 1922 Paramount Scandals and Zukor and the other moguls having to hire a ‘self-censor’ in Will Hays to keep Washington DC out of the film industry.  Please visit www.forsherproductions.com for a greater overview of my past shows.

In 1986 I released Hollywood Uncensored, a feature length look at 50 years of film censorship under the production code. In 1993, I produced The Hollywood Censorship Wars for A and E, which examined the same topic focusing also on the build up to censorship and the calls for government censorship in the early 1990’s.

Over the past 3 decades, I have been collecting films and music elements that faced censorship battles. These include features, short, newsreels, cartoons television and a variety of banned musical performances. The great majority of films meant to appear in this documentary come from this collection.

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge is telling the battle over free speech rights. This is a complicated story with a long and contentious history and strong emotions on all sides.

We hope to use Frank Zappa's clear and passionate description over the fight for free expression by musicians and writers to bring a real focus to what can happen when free expression is limited or forbidden.

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    Thank You Postcard

    Miniature version of the show's poster, with a special thank you from the show's producer.

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    Download of 'Don't Stop the Rock'

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    Don't Stop the Rock Tee Shirt

    In addition to the postcard and download, get this top quality 100% cotton T Shirt in black The tee shirt will be offered in 3 sizes.

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    Invitation to the Studio Premiere

    In addition to the postcard and download, get a personal invitation to the premiere of the film Don't Stop the Rock, taking place on a studio lot in Hollywood, California. Anticipated screening will be August, 2019.

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    Crew Member for a Day

    In addition to the postcard, download and T Shirt, we are looking for crew members who will join and help us out as we shoot interviews, B roll and our host. We anticipate interviews taking place on both coasts in the US as well as in Europe. Times dependent on availability of interviewees so you need to be flexible.

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Funding period

- (60 days)