About this project
STRETCH GOAL! - thank you so much to everyone who backed the film. Let's now aim for $35,000. The more we raise, the more amazing stories we can include!
SENIORS is a feature-length documentary full of love, hope, and second chances. It focuses on three interwoven stories about senior dogs. There's Chaser, the smartest dog in the world. Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary, a retirement home for dogs in Tennessee. And famed photographer, Jane Sobel Klonsky, who has devoted much of her talents towards capturing the bond between elderly dogs and their owners.
Unlike most animal documentaries, our goal is to highlight the positive. No abuse will be shown in SENIORS. This film will celebrate senior dogs and many of the seniors who love them. It will show how vibrant they are, and how much they can offer to the world. This will be the animal welfare film everyone can watch, leaving viewers grinning from ear-to-ear, and showing how old dogs really can teach us new tricks.
A little more about our subjects:
Chaser is widely considered the smartest dog in the world. From a best-selling book, to numerous scientific papers, to an appearance with Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes, Chaser is a force to be reckoned with. At the age of twelve, she continues to add to her vocabulary of over 1100 words. Understanding nouns, verbs, and sentences, Chaser can even imitate actions performed by her 88-year-old owner, John Pilley.
Leo might be in charge, but he is certainly only one of the many rock stars who have found a home at the Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary. Located just outside of Nashville, Old Friends is a retirement home of sorts dedicated to saving senior dogs from sure death at shelters. Having recently moved into an amazing new facility, Old Friends not only offer their dogs a comfortable home-like environment in which to spend their golden years, they pay all medical expenses for the rest of their foster dogs' lives.
Rounding out the cast will be National Geographic photographer Jane Sobel Klonsky, author of the book Unconditional. Klonsky specializes in the photography of senior dogs and the people who love them. We will talk to Jane about what first attracted her to this subject, and follow as she photographs both Leo and Chaser, as well as a few other Old Friends seniors dogs in their forever homes.
Why We Are Making This Film
We love dogs! We want to show how important and brilliant a dog can be no matter their age. (To us there is no such thing as a "dumb dog.") If we can show how much senior dogs still have to offer, if we can demonstrate the bond people have with their canine friends, if this film can help one dog find a great new forever home, then we've done something wonderful. If we've made you smile, or hug your dog, then we've accomplished even more.
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). He has numerous feature-length documentaries and narrative features to his credit.
Most recently he directed the animal welfare documentary, A DOG NAMED GUCCI, for which he 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 three other rock-docs: WHO IS LYDIA LOVELESS?, WHAT DID YOU EXPECT? the Archers of Loaf live at Cat's Cradle, and EVERY EVERYTHING: the music, life & times of Grant Hart. 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, which is scheduled for a major BluRay reissue this fall.
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.
Where Your Money Goes
The money raised for SENIORS will go towards the completion of filming. The $30,000 is the minimum we need, but we are hoping to raise much more than that so that we do not have to come back for additional KickStarter campaigns. Additional funds raised over $30,000 will go towards post production, insurance, a great sound mix, an amazing score and soundtrack, and film festival fees. (Yes, making a film is expensive.) So, let's aim for $75,000 or more!
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. And PLEASE share this page with other animal lovers!
Follow us on Facebook
Follow our Facebook page where you can learn about what's going on with SENIORS, any updates, future screenings, and other note-worthy animal stories.
Some photos of the rewards being offered:
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 early 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
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