Thanks to everyone who's backed us thus far. We've reached our goal. But let's take it way beyond that. The more we raise, the more we can pack into this film. Don't stop now. Please keep sharing the link.
He was hung by his neck, punched repeatedly, doused with lighter fluid, and set afire. That should have been the last thing a ten-week old puppy named Gucci would ever experience. His last contact with humans. His final moments of life.
But Doug James, standing on his porch nearby, heard the puppy’s cries and ran to help. He scared away the cowardly thugs who had perpetrated this heinous crime, and at the request of Gucci’s 15-year-old runaway owner, took the dog in for the night.
Thus began a 16-year odyssey of devotion and perseverance.
When Gucci was rescued by Doug, it seemed impossible that the badly burned pup would make it through the night. But Gucci, a Chow-Husky-mix, would live for sixteen years as Doug's companion. As Gucci recovered, Doug did everything in his power to see that the dog’s three assailants were punished. However, the laws in Alabama were not on Gucci’s side. At worst the guilty would receive slaps on the wrists. That was not enough in the eyes of Doug James.
Together with local legislators, and with Gucci always faithfully by his side, Doug would see the “Gucci Bill” passed, changing the laws in Alabama and making domestic animal abuse a felony. He would witness Gucci go from being a survivor . . . to a rock star.
Gucci’s story captivated the state of Alabama in the mid-90s. And now, when every other day a new tale of outrageous animal abuse pops up on the news or on Facebook, we are going to make it a story that captivates the world. We are going to show that one person can make a difference. Especially when they have a tail-chasing pup by their side.
A DOG NAMED GUCCI is a feature-length documentary that will bring the amazing story of Gucci and Doug James to life: from that horrible night of abuse, to the numerous operations to repair Gucci’s severely burned eyelids, to the legislation passed in his name to help prevent such a thing from ever happening again.
We will speak extensively with Doug, Gucci’s human companion for all of those sixteen post-trauma years, and to everyone else involved with the case: from the doctors and veterinarians who helped Gucci recover, to the police officers and investigators who worked the case, to the legislators who helped Doug and Gucci change the virtually non-existent abuse laws in Alabama.
A DOG NAMED GUCCI will also examine the bigger picture of domestic animal abuse in America, the laws in every state, and what you can do to help change them.
If you love animals, and you wouldn’t have read this far if you didn’t, you will fall in love with Gucci. And you will see how his struggle is only the tip of a very big iceberg of abuse. Horrible torture of our most loyal friends. Crimes that so often go unpunished. Just go to Facebook and search "Justice for" and add the name Desmond, Ike, Mijo, or Jetta, the list is disturbingly endless. Hopefully A DOG NAMED GUCCI will be a step in the right direction towards ending such abuse forever.
Why We Are Making This Film
After three rock documentaries, I felt the need to do something slightly different, about a subject I was as equally passionate about as rock 'n' roll and one that might make a difference in this world. Shortly before leaving for a vacation for our 20th anniversary, my wife Kristine shared with me a story she read online. It was the story of Gucci. After reading about Gucci, and watching the news clips, I knew this had to be my next documentary project. The day before leaving on that vacation I emailed Doug, telling him of my passion. By the time Kris and I arrived at our destination, he had already written back. He too felt it was time Gucci’s story be shared with the world.
Who We Are
Director Gorman Bechard is a lifelong dog lover (if you have any doubt read his eulogy to his dog Kilgore Trout here) who has three feature-length documentaries to his credit, including Color Me Obsessed, a film about The Replacements, which Rolling Stone, called one of "The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year," while Spinner, which in naming it "one of the best music docs of all time," called it "the ultimate testament to music nerd fandom and how important the right band can be to the people who love them," and the Village Voice, which called it "a rock version of Rashomon."
He is also the director of the Archers of Loaf concert film, What Did You Expect? The Archers of Loaf Live At Cat's Cradle, which along with Color Me Obsessed are being released nationally on DVD on November 20th.
Bechard is also the director of the forthcoming Every Everything, the Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart, which is being editing for film festival submission as you read this, as well as the award-winning narrative features Friends (with benefits) and You Are Alone.
Producing the film along with Bechard is Patricia Clark, who served on the production team for a long list of shows at VH1 and received two Daytime Emmy Awards for Best Talk Show while working on the Rosie O'Donnell Show. She is one of the producers of the independent film My Brother Jack and recently produced the music video Byways of the Lifeless for the Dublin, Ireland indie rock band The Autumn Owls. Trish also produces the annual 48 Hour Film Project in New Haven.
We have a proven track record and nearly thirty years of experience making feature films. This film will get made, it will play film festivals, be distributed, and you will receive your backer prize.
Where Your Money Goes
Though we own all our own equipment, from cameras to lighting equipment to editing software, and despite the fact that everyone is working for no pay, we still have plenty of expenses, because even on a micro-budget, making movies isn't cheap. The money you donate to A Dog Named Gucci will go towards paying for (among other things): transportation, food, and lodging expenses so we can travel to Alabama and beyond to interview everyone who had anything to do with Gucci; large hard drives to store all the hours of footage we shoot; the rights to use archival footage in the film; a sound mix, color correction, and those pesky film festival submission fees. We we are asking for $8500 which is what we need to shoot the film. But we would like a whole lot more, so we don’t have to do repeated KickStarter drives.
What Happens If We Don't Reach Our Goal
If we fail to reach our funding goal, we get absolutely nothing. That means you keep any money you've pledged to donate. We only get that money (and your credit card is only charged) if and when we successfully fund our project. So please give what you can, because every little bit helps.
Follow us on Facebook
We've set up a Facebook page. Please pay us a visit and "like" the page. Feel free to share photos of your dogs. Or share your feelings on this timely subject.
We have just added another amazing reward, a shoot for you and your pets(s) with renowned photographer Geoff Tischman. Click below to see his work. Then snatch up the photo shoot before it's gone. There's only one of these packages available.
EXCITING NEWS! Grant Hart (of Husker Du & Nova Mob) will be writing and recording an original song for A DOG NAMED GUCCI.
Very excited to be adding the following reward: For $375 you will get a framed print of David Scott Meier's stunning "Home" along with a "A Dog Named Gucci" DVD. The framed print measures 12 inches X 15 inches. And will be signed on the back to you (and your dogs, if you wish) by the artist. See reward info to the right. An image of "Home" can be seen below:
Risks and challenges
As you can tell from our track records, the risks are low. We have completed every film project we've started. And the passion that we feel for this project is consuming. However, there is always the possibility that getting a needed interview will take longer then expect, or fall through completely. Though we have the full cooperation of Dr. James, we are just now working on setting up the interviews with all involved for our January shoot. Depending on the availability of interviewees, the delivery of rewards could slip a couple of months later than promised. Likewise, if the project ends up being incredibly successful, delivery might also take longer, as we're a very small team. Of course, that's one problem we would welcome. And as we've always done in the past, we will send out rewards in order of when you backed the project. So, if you back first, yours will be the first DVD in the mail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)