(Please begin by watching our first trailer by clicking PLAY above...)
A DOG NAMED GUCCI is a feature-length documentary that looks at animal abuse laws in the United States, told through the compelling story of one determined man and one lovable dog who made it their mission to change the laws in their state.
Most of the interviews for the film have been shot. We have collected an amazing number of original artifacts, clippings and video from Gucci's life. We have also added four recent animal abuse cases to the film, those of Nitro, Susie, Queenie, and Desmond. Editing on the film has begun. But we want to include even more information in A DOG NAMED GUCCI.
We've now been to Alabama twice. The first time to interview everyone involved with Gucci. The second time we interviewed those repsonsible for strengthening the animal abuse laws, and also to meet the family of Louis Vuitton, the dog who was the first real test of the Gucci law, with this abuser receiving a jail sentence of NINE AND A HALF YEARS! (Louis is doing well now, and is quite an ambassador for tougher animal abuse laws. And yes, he was named after another famous designer in honor of Gucci.)
Our FOURTH KickStarter?
Yes. Now we need to raise additional funds to we can film interviews in Los Angeles and Kentucky, plus we need to buy a few more large pro hard drives to hold everything we've shot.
But remember, the more we raise, the more we can include, and it means we don't have to keep coming back with KickStarter campaigns.
A DOG NAMED GUCCI is the story of a puppy set on fire & the man who rescued him. Together they changed Alabama's abuse laws.
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 is bringing 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.
As you can see in our trailer, we have already interviewed Doug, Gucci’s human companion for all of those sixteen post-trauma years. We have also interviewed almost everyone else involved with the case: from John Crowder who paid all of Gucci's vet bills, to the veterinarians who helped Gucci recover, to the investigators who worked the case, to the legislators who helped Doug and Gucci change the virtually non-existent abuse laws in Alabama.
But beyond Gucci, the film will also examine the bigger picture of domestic animal abuse in America, and the laws in every state. (Think of it as a "Waiting For Superman" about animal abuse.) We are also choosing six other abuse cases to help us illustrate the problems. Thus far the stories of Susie from North Carolina, Queenie from Long Island, and Desmond from Connecticut will also be included in the film.
Why We Are Making This Film
After three rock documentaries, I felt the need to do something slightly different. I wanted to make a difference in the world. But when you spend so long on a single film it needed to be about a subject I was as passionate about as rock 'n' roll. 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, co-owner of What Were We Thinking Films, 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. These include Color Me Obsessed, a film about The Replacements, which Rolling Stone called one of "The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year." Spinner went one step further and named the KickStarter-funded film "one of the best music docs of all time," calling 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 said it was "a rock version of Rashomon."
He directed 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 was released worldwide on DVD on November 20th, 2012. But films are also playing via Video-On-Demand on over 250 cable systems across the U.S.
Bechard is also the filmmaker behind the narrative feature Broken Side of Time, which just had its World Premiere in NYC on June 28th, 2013, and the documentary Every Everything, the Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart, which will have its world premiere in London in late September, and its US premiere in NYC in mid-October. (Both have planned DVD releases for May 2014.) Previously he directed 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
The money you donate to A Dog Named Gucci will go towards paying for (among other things): transportation and lodging expenses so we can travel to other parts of the country to film the other subjects we will be including in the film, as well as a few additional Gucci interviews with people who were no longer in Alabama. Beyond that we will need a sound mix, color correction, and those pesky film festival submission fees. We we are asking for $5000 which is the minimum we need to shoot the additional interviews. We are finding stories that are leading us to other dogs, rescue groups, hero judges and prosecutors, and human companions across the country. So the more we raise the more we can broaden the scope of the film.
Now you might ask yourself: "why not just wait and get the dvd when it's for sale at Best Buy or Amazon?" Well, for one thing, backers of Color Me Obsessed received their DVD copies 15 months before it became available in stores! But remember, if you pre-order the DVD (or any of the other rewards) now, you are helping to get the film made. Your name will be in the credits. And the rewards you receive will be coming right from our hands.
We have five A DOG NAMED GUCCI dog tags left as rewards. These are hand-crafted by John Hatfield. Don't miss out.
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. More than 16,000 others are following us. (Which is pretty amazing considering the film is not out yet.) Feel free to share photos of your dogs. Or share your feelings on this timely subject. Or share any of our links...
Risks and challenges
Combine the fact that 90% of the movie is filmed, and editing has already begun with our track records, and the risks are inherently low. We have completed every film project we've started. All of the rewards for our last project BROKEN SIDE OF TIME have been delivered. 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. Depending on the availability of interviewees, the delivery of rewards could slip a couple of months later than promised. But right now DVDs are expected to go out in February 2014, a month after the U.S. premiere. That could change by a few months if the editing takes a little longer than expected, and the premiere is pushed to March or April. And those of you ordering rewards containing items other than the Gucci DVD or poster packages will get your rewards within a month of this campaign closing. 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
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