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The story of a puppy set on fire & the man who rescued him. Together they changed Alabama's abuse laws. Can the rest of the US be next?

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.  

The Story

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.

Geoff Tischman Photography
Geoff Tischman Photography

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:

"Home" by David Scott Meier
"Home" by David Scott Meier

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

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.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    FEEL GOOD PACKAGE: You'll feel good and generate some amazing indie film karma by backing a very special film project, and will receive a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates.

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    THE ROMANTIC COMEDY PACKAGE: ok, you love dogs, but are not into documentaries, and still want to help. You will get a DVD screener of our feature comedy FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS) which features tons of deleted scenes and other cool extras, as well as a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates.

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    THE COLOR ME OBSESSED SWAG PACKAGE: (for those who've been asking) You will receive an 11" x 17" Color Me Obsessed poster, along with a 10" x 3 1/2" "Kinda Brilliant, Kinda Dumb, Kinda The Replacements" bumpersticker, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates. (If you want poster signed, just ask.)

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    DVD PACKAGE: You will receive a signed DVD screener of A DOG NAMED GUCCI months before it's available commercially, along with a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing in the end credits, and regular backer updates.

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    POSTER PACKAGE: You will receive a limited edition 11” x 17” A DOG NAMED GUCCI poster, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates.

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    SIGNED DVD & POSTER PACKAGE: You will receive a limited edition 11” x 17” poster, along with a DVD screener both signed by filmmaker Gorman Bechard, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates.

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    DVD & SUPER POSTER PACKAGE: You will 11" x 17" posters for COLOR ME OBSESSED, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), YOU ARE ALONE, as well as a limited edition 11” x 17” poster for A DOG NAMED GUCCI, along with a DVD screener, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates. (Note: the posters to the older films will ship within 60 days of this project being funded.)

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    THE FOR REPLACEMENTS FANATICS ONLY PACKAGE: Choose ANY interview from Color Me Obsessed, and we'll send you a digital download of that ENTIRE interview uncut. (You can get as many of these as you'd like, just double up on your pledge, i.e. $200 gets you two, $300 gets you three...we'll send you an email after the campaign ends to find out your choice(s).) You will also receive a DVD screener of A DOG NAMED GUCCI, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates. (NOTE: the interview links will be emailed by the end of January 2013.)

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    THE COMPLETE DVD COLLECTION PACKAGE...receive DVD copies of SEVEN of Gorman Bechard's feature films: COLOR ME OBSESSED, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?, YOU ARE ALONE, PSYCHOS IN LOVE, FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), and EVERY EVERYTHING. Each DVD is loaded with extras and will be signed by the director...PLUS get a DVD screener of A DOG NAMED GUCCI, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates. (Note: You will receive the first 5 listed within 60 days of this project being funded, and Every Everything approximately in June, and A Dog Named Gucci approximately in October.)

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    THE "HOME" PACKAGE: A print of David Scott Meier's "Home" (see image to the left). The framed print measures 12 x 15 inches and will be signed on the back to you by the artist. It will be delivered to you within 60 of the end of this KickStarter campaign. You will also receive a DVD screener of the film, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates. PLEASE NOTE: if you would like to receive the "Home" print along with either an Associate Producer credit or an Executive Producer credit (see packages below), please chose this reward and add $500 to the reward total, making it $875 for the Associate Producer title, or add $2000 to the total making it $2375 for the Executive Producer title.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER PACKAGE: You will receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit during the film’s main title sequence and on IMDB. You will also receive a POSTER, DVD screener, and regular email updates.

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    THE SCRIPT NOTES PACKAGE: Writer/director Gorman Bechard will give you detailed notes on your original screenplay. These will include ways to improve both your story and characters, as well detailed comments on what works and what doesn't. (NOTE: the work must be in script format and be a maximum of 100 pages). You will also receive a POSTER, DVD screener, and regular email updates. (The script notes can happen any time after funding closes.)

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    GEOFF TISCHMAN PHOTO SHOOT PACKAGE: renowned photographer Geoff Tischmann will photograph you and your pets (or just your pets) at a location of your choice- (must be in the tri-state area - NY/NJ/CT). You will receive a set of low-res image files from the shoot – 35-50 images (perfect for email/social media/printing up to 4x6 prints). You will also receive one 16x20 canvas print or photo print matted and signed (from the image of your choice). All that plus a DVD screener of A DOG NAMED GUCCI, a SPECIAL THANKS TO listing, and regular backer updates. (NOTE: the photo shoot can happen any time after the campaign ends. If you are not located in, or cannot get to the tri-state area, you can gift the reward to the person and pet of your choice.) ALSO...if you would like to add an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER title to this package, please add $500 to your reward, making it $1700 total.

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    THE PRODUCTION ASSISTANT PACKAGE: Spend a day working as a Production Assistant on A DOG NAMED GUCCI and get recognized in the final credits. You will be able to work alongside director Gorman Bechard, eat meals with the crew and Dr. James, and help out in the making of an important film. This is a great gift for the future filmmaker in your life, or if you've always wanted to be part of a film crew. (NOTE: You will need to get yourself to Mobile, Alabama in January, but we will provide meals.) PLUS...You will also receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit during Broken Side of Time's main title sequence and on IMDB, as well as a POSTER, DVD screener, and regular email updates. (You'll also get a DVD screener of the film you worked on as well!)

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER PACKAGE:You can really let the world know how you feel about animals. You will receive an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT ON THE FILM'S POSTER, during the film’s main title sequence, and on IMDB, along with an invite to the Film’s official World Premiere, POSTER, DVD screener, and regular email updates.

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    FILMMAKER FOR A DAY: You get to interview director Gorman Bechard for the behind-the-scenes video that will be used online and as a DVD extra. (NOTE: You will need to get yourself to New Haven, CT, where the film is being edited, but we will provide a room at the cool Hotel Duncan, where YOU ARE ALONE was filmed, and pizza from one of the three world-famous pizza palaces showcased in our upcoming PIZZA, A LOVE STORY doc. This day will happen sometime in the summer'fall of 2013.) PLUS...You will also receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit during the film’s main title sequence, and on IMDB, an invite (for you and a guest) to the Film’s official World Premiere, as well as a POSTER, DVD screener, and regular email updates.

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    THE PERSONAL SCREENING PACKAGE: A personal screening of A DOG NAMED GUCCI for you and your friends at your home, along with a Q&A with director Gorman Bechard. (You must be located in the continental U.S.) PLUS...You will also receive an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit during the film’s main title sequence, ON the poster, and on IMDB, an invite (for you and a guest) to the Film’s official World Premiere, as well as a POSTER, DVD screener, and regular email updates.

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    THE "I LOVE ANIMALS" PACKAGE: you love the idea of this film and REALLY want to help the cause and help change abuse laws all over the country. You will receive an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT ON THE FILM'S POSTER, during the film’s main title sequence, and on IMDB, along with an invite to the Film’s official World Premiere, POSTER, DVD screener, all SIX of Gorman's other DVDs (listed above), signed copies of all six of Gorman's novels, and regular email updates. (Note: as mentioned above, you will receive the other DVDs, as well as the books, within 60 days of this project being funded.)

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    THE MOST YOU CAN BACK PACKAGE: You will receive everything in the "I Love Animals" package above...except that your name as EXECUTIVE PRODUCER will be listed first on the list of executive producers on the poster, AND you will have your OWN SEPARATE TITLE CARD in the films credits!

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Funding period

- (32 days)