Do you love pizza?
Let's face it...we all do. It's the most loved food in American. And we want to tell you a story about three pizza places in the town of New Haven, Connecticut that you may or may not have heard of. They're named: Sally’s Apizza, Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, and Modern Apizza, and they are generally considered to be three of the finest pizza restaurants on the planet.
Anyone who’s ever sampled a pie from one of these New Haven brick oven pizza palaces, knows that they’ve just tasted the finest pizza known to mankind. One bite and there is no going back.
Just look at the Daily Meal's list of the 100 best pizzas in the United States. We rank #1, #3, and #8...that's in a town with approximately 1% of New York City's population.
But how did this happen? How does this one little town in one of the smallest states just happen to have three of the greatest pizza places in the world...all within a few blocks of each other? We're 90 miles from New York City and yet what makes New Yorkers drive the two-plus hours to New Haven just for pizza? What made Frank Sinatra send his driver from Hoboken, New Jersey, to New Haven just to pick up pizzas? What makes rock stars visiting the tri-state (NY, NJ, CT) area include in their riders that New Haven pizza must be served in the green room? What made director Steven Spielberg send a private jet to the local New Haven airport to pick up 50 pies for his son's wedding? What is in the proverbial water? Why is this pizza so good, so different? What makes people wait in line for hours for New Haven pizza?
Our film PIZZA, A LOVE STORY will explain it all. You'll learn about the history, the families, the love, and craft that goes into each and every pie. And you'll discover a whole new appreciation for pizza as true culinary art.
This feature-length documentary has been in the works for ten years, and we are finally close to completing this labor of love. And by "we," I mean three of the most passionate pizza lovers on the planet: director Gorman Bechard, musician/producer Dean Falcone, and New Haven historian/operator of Taste of New Haven Colin Caplan. We love pizza with all of our heart and soul. We truly do.
We have assembled interviews, an amazing collection of historic photos and memorabilia (anyone remember the Pepe's television commercial from the 60s?), and anecdotes that will leave you laughing and hungry at the same time. (No joke, it is impossible to work on editing this film without going for a pizza within the first hour.)
A feature-length documentary about American's favorite food.
PIZZA, A LOVE STORY will take us on a journey which began in 1925 with the pies that would change the world. We have talked to the families, the employees, and especially the fans (both the famous and unknown) who’ll wait in line for hours for a taste. We’ll present a history of what IS the greatest pizza in the world.
We're about a 90% of the way through shooting. We even have the last interview with Flora Consiglio, wife of Salvatore, the man who opened Sally's in 1938. It's funny and touching and explains a number of Sally's myths including the legendary "magic phone number."
We have also interviewed Bill from Modern, Francis and Gary from Pepe's, as well as the former New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, historian Doug Rae, author Anthony Riccio, and food critic Ed Levine.
But we still need a few celebrities to make things interesting. And there are people on our list SURE to blow your mind! (Think "well-known Yalies!")
We are going to feature both famous and not-so-famous fans "discussing" who makes the best pie, as well as a detailed history of how New Haven pizza evolved. We will answer the question: what makes the pizzas from Sally's, Pepe's, and Modern, the best on the planet?
A Little About the Crew, the "WE" Involved in Making this Film
Director Gorman Bechard, co-owner of What Were We Thinking Films, is a lifelong pizza snob. He has numerous feature-length documentaries and narrative features to his credit.
Most recently he directed the animal welfare documentary, A DOG NAMED GUCCI, and was awarded the ASPCA Media Excellence Award 2015 for his work on that film.
Gorman is also the director of COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS, which Rolling Stone called one of "The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year." As well as five other rock-docs: WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS?, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? the Archers of Loaf live at Cat's Cradle, EVERY EVERYTHING: the music, life & times of Grant Hart, the soon-to-be-released WHAT IT TAKES: FILM EN DOUZE TABLEAUX, and the in-production WHERE ARE YOU, JAY BENNETT?
His narrative features include the award-winning FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), YOU ARE ALONE and BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, and the horror cult classic PSYCHOS IN LOVE.
Our company, the micro-studio What Were We Thinking Films, founded in 2004, has a proven track record, with over thirty years of experience making feature films.
Producer Dean Falcone is a fleet-fingered guitarist and eclectic pop/rock composer who’s been playing in bands since his pre-teens. He’s worked with filmmaker Gorman Bechard on several different projects, scoring FRIENDS (WITH BENEFITS), BROKEN SIDE OF TIME, A DOG NAMED GUCCI and WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS. He is also the co-producer of the documentary COLOR ME OBSESSED, A FILM ABOUT THE REPLACEMENTS and the forthcoming PIZZA, A LOVE STORY. He’s helmed acts such as The Excerpts (w/Jon Brion), 100 Faces, Dean & the Dragsters, The Shellye Valauskas Experience, Tipsy in Chelsea and The Zambonis, among others. He has shared the stage and/or produced/recorded with: Aimee Mann, Eddie Vedder, Norah Jones, Brian May, Susanna Hoffs and many others. Dean is also the anything-goes impresario of the legendary “Vomitorium” extravaganza every Thanksgiving at Café Nine in New Haven, Connecticut.
Producer Colin M. Caplan was born and raised in New Haven and graduated with a masters in Architecture from Tulane University in New Orleans and had has his own deign and historic research firm, Magrisso Forte. Besides being the author of six books on New Haven’s history, Colin is also the founder and owner of Taste of New Haven, culinary tours and events, as well as the Elm City Party Bike, New England's only pedal powered pub on wheels!
Colin has been featured and helped produce content on television and the web about New Haven's pizza scene, including Food Paradise, Munchies' The Pizza Show, thedailymeal.com and eater.com. He is writing his 7th and 8th books to be published all about the history of pizza in America. His books can be found here.
Click HERE to read more in this amazing article from Tom Breen in the New Haven Independent.
And HERE to read Randy Beach's great story on the film from the New Haven Register.
Where the Money Goes
There are so many varied expenses that go into making a feature film. The funds raised through this Kickstarter campaign will allow us to travel out of the New Haven area for some of those elusive interviews, pay for the musical score, and for editing the film.
While we are asking for $15,000, we are actually hoping for double that so that we can also cover E&O Insuance, legal fees, color correction, and film festival fees. The more we raise, the more we can fine-tune the film.
But it's always one step at a time with filmmaking. We don't want to ask for too much and not get funded (see what happens then below). We know this is a film that will speak to millions, as the love of pizza goes beyond state lines. Help us however you can. We appreciate every dollar, it means you want to see this film completed. And if you can push us into the stratosphere...let's go, slice of pizza in hand!
Remember, when you back a film (or any project) through Kickstarter, you are not just pre-ordering a DVD or a cool poster, you are helping to get the film made. Your name is on the film. The world will know you wanted to make sure PIZZA, A LOVE STORY became a reality. You are a part of the film. We could not have made it without you. And for that we thank you.
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. We only get the 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. And PLEASE share this page with other pizza lovers! (We know there are a lot of you out there.)
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Follow our Facebook page where you can learn about what's going on with PIZZA, A LOVE STORY, any updates, future screenings, and other note-worthy animal stories.
Risks and challenges
We always finish our films. They always get distribution. That is never an issue. The biggest challenge for us is finishing everything on time. Documentaries take on lives of their own. In a perfect world, the film will be done and playing festivals in late 2018. But this isn't always a perfect world. So worst case, it takes a little longer than we expected to deliver the DVDs and other rewards. But you will get them, and the film will only be better for it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (57 days)