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We're losing important indie films forever. Help us save them now!
We're losing important indie films forever. Help us save them now!
467 backers pledged $42,112 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Important American independent films are stuck on the shelf because they haven’t made the leap into the digital age. That's the reason we're launching this Kickstarter campaign.

Our goal is to make a slate of extraordinary, early-career films produced by Christine Vachon & Todd Haynes (CAROL, FAR FROM HEAVEN, I'M NOT THERE, BOYS DON'T CRY, SUPERSTAR) available in a gorgeous 4k digital format for the first time.

SAVE THE DATE

I’m very excited to announce that Jake Perlin, Artistic Director of the Metrograph cinema in New York City, has agreed to host the world premiere of our 4K restorations of the Apparatus film collection. The series will unfurl in early December with Christine Vachon, Todd Haynes and Barry Ellsworth in attendance, along with other directors and special guests.

We hope you can join us for the exciting reunion of these pioneering filmmakers by choosing the SPECIAL THEATER SCREENING reward. (Please note that travel and accommodations are not included.)

SANDRA SCHULBERG ON STARTING INDIECOLLECT

I’ve heard hundreds of stories about lost negatives and films that can no longer be seen. We filmmakers never had a plan for protecting our work. That’s why I started IndieCollect.

Sandra Schulberg (Photo by Barbara Katz)
Sandra Schulberg (Photo by Barbara Katz)

Already — as reported in the New York Times — IndieCollect has taken custody of thousands of film negatives, most presumed lost by the filmmakers. Since then, we’ve also gone into filmmakers’ homes, garages and storage units to help them inventory and archive their work.

IndieCollect has placed the film & sound elements for 1,500 titles in archives with optimal cold storage conditions at no cost to the filmmakers. That’s three large truckloads!

Omchand Gee (left), Steve Blakely (right)
Omchand Gee (left), Steve Blakely (right)

 

BUT SAVED DOES NOT MEAN SEEN!

IF THESE FILMS ARE NOT SCANNED, THEY MAY NEVER BE SEEN AGAIN.

We are scanning films with our amazing, brand-new Kinetta film scanner to make long-lost indie treasures available in a 4k digital format for the first time.

First up on our scanning slate is a collection of daring, inventive & witty, early-career films, produced by Christine Vachon & Todd Haynes, the makers of the extraordinary, award-winning movies CAROL, FAR FROM HEAVEN, I'M NOT THERE, BOYS DON'T CRY, SUPERSTAR, and many others.

Christine & Todd were astounded and delighted when we told them we found the master picture & sound elements for eight of the shorts they produced in the 80s & 90s with Barry Ellsworth under their Apparatus banner. Apparatus was a non-profit production company they used to produce & direct their own films, and to support innovative work by their colleagues.

Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes, NYC, 3/19/91
Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes, NYC, 3/19/91

Used by permission. See Robin Holland/robinholland.com

With your support we will digitize and make this unique collection available to our Kickstarter backers in a beautiful Blu-ray edition and 4K digital copies to be streamed at your convenience.

After each film has been scanned, the original film & sound elements will be placed at one of our collaborating archives for safekeeping.

GEMS UNSEEN: Early Films from Christine Vachon & Todd Haynes

Here’s a quick glimpse of the films in the collection.

ANEMONE ME (1990) The story of a blind man who falls in love with a merman, directed by Pulitzer Prize-winner & MacArthur “Genius” Suzan-Lori Parks and Bruce Hainley.

Anemone Me (1990, 30 min)
Anemone Me (1990, 30 min)

LA DIVINA (1989) Brooke Dammkoehler’s meditation on the rise to stardom of a glamorous movie idol (modeled after Greta Garbo), draped in gorgeous black & white photography and a tone of delirious grandeur.

La Divina (1989, 45 min)
La Divina (1989, 45 min)

OREOS WITH ATTITUDE (1991) A wickedly witty satire by Larry Carty that turns racial stereotyping inside out Screened at New Directors/New Films in 1991.

Oreos With Attitude (1991, 30 min)
Oreos With Attitude (1991, 30 min)

HE WAS ONCE (1989) One of the most original films ever made, this “pseudo-animation” by Mary Hestand features a cameo appearance by Todd Haynes. (This is the only film in the collection available on DVD, but it has never been scanned in high-resolution.)

He Was Once (1989, 16min)
He Was Once (1989, 16min)

CAUSE AND EFFECT (1988) Susan Delson’s offbeat exploration of the obvious and the unexpected links in people's lives.

Cause and Effect (1988, 11 min)
Cause and Effect (1988, 11 min)

DAYS ARE NUMBERED (1986, 18 min), Christine Vachon’s story of a man haunted by the grotesque memory of having stepped on a dead animal's carcass. Starring Michael Sean Edwards (the voice of Richard Carpenter in Todd Haynes’ SUPERSTAR) and featuring a young Steve Buscemi.

Days Are Numbered (1986, 18 min)
Days Are Numbered (1986, 18 min)

NATURAL HISTORY (1986), Barry Ellsworth’s story of an adult infant named "Child” whose parents — in a desperate quest to expel him from home — resort to a magic spell they’ve seen in a TV doc about Malaysian baptismal rites.

Natural History (1986, 18 min)
Natural History (1986, 18 min)

THE WAY OF THE WICKED (1989, 15 min), Christine Vachon’s fantastic parody of the Catholic Church, an odyssey about two women trying to stop a young girl from biting the Host at her First Communion.

The Way of the Wicked (1989, 15 min)
The Way of the Wicked (1989, 15 min)

LOST FILM FOUND!

Inspired by our efforts and your enthusiasm, Killer Films scoured its deep archive and – lo and behold! – discovered the prints of three films directed by Christine Vachon: DAYS ARE NUMBERED, THE WAY OF THE WICKED, and A MAN IN YOUR ROOM, that we all thought was lost.

A MAN IN YOUR ROOM (1984, 6 min), Christine Vachon’s story of a priest haunted by his desire for an impish young man.

A Man in Your Room (1984, 6 min)
A Man in Your Room (1984, 6 min)

While corresponding with Barry Ellsworth — who founded Apparatus Productions with Christine Vachon and Todd Haynes — he let us know about more films produced during the Apparatus years, including his 1985 short, TOMMY’S, which stars a young Steve Buscemi.

TOMMY'S (1985, 15 min)

Tommy's (1985, 15 min)
Tommy's (1985, 15 min)

A LOST FILM

In the process of researching this collection, we've been able to document more Apparatus productions, but we haven't found the elements. We need your help to determine their whereabouts.

  • ASSASSINS: A FILM CONCERNING RIMBAUD (1985, 43 min), Todd Haynes’ first film, in which he depicts the poet as homosexual outlaw.

Thanks for helping us locate the original film elements for Todd Haynes’ first film, ASSASSINS (1985, 43 min). We've received some really helpful responses — but, as yet, no negative.

Meanwhile, our friends at the Film Society for Lincoln Center sent the print they screened last fall. It's fairly worn, with scratches and weak splices. Based on our initial assessment, it’s clear that using this print as the basis for a 4K restoration would be a huge challenge. We will continue our search for the original negative and/or a much better print. If you have any leads, email us at lostandfound@indiecollect.org, or tweet us @indie_collect with the hashtag #lostandfound.

WE'VE GOT THE SCANNER! HELP US ACTIVATE IT!

As cinephiles, creators, and connoisseurs, we hope you recognize these films need to be SAVED and SEEN AGAIN. Your support will kick start our film scanning & access program, starting with the direct costs associated with scanning the Apparatus collection.

HOW KICKSTARTER FUNDS WILL BE USED

  • To offset the labor costs of cleaning & scanning the film and sound elements for each title;
  • For color correction;
  • To output to new digital formats — the digital master, mezzanine copy, access copies;
  • To make LTO (Linear-Tape Open) backups for the Library of Congress;
  • To amortize cost of acquiring and maintaining the necessary equipment (e.g., image/sound capture, workstations, LTO decks, digital storage, etc.)

These steps allow us to properly capture and preserve the original film materials and provide the filmmaker with high-resolution files.

IndieCollect is not acquiring the rights to the films we scan. We are doing this as a non-profit service to our fellow filmmakers and to take active steps to preserve the legacy of American independent cinema. We hope that new 4K digital versions will encourage commercial and non-profit distributors to put the films back on the market, or give filmmakers the tools to do that for themselves.

EVERY BACKER COUNTS! PLEASE JOIN FORCES WITH US NOW.

We only have until July 27 to meet our goal, so the pressure is enormous.

Please back us now. Every backer counts.

Please also spread the news about this project. We'll provide updates that you can share on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

With so many thrilling films that need to be scanned and archived, we really need your support.

THANK YOU SO MUCH!

Sandra Schulberg and the IndieCollect Team

Israel Ehrisman, Steve Blakely, Kirsten Larvick, Ina Archer, Omchand Gee, David Leitner, Colin Stanfield

WHAT ARE STRETCH GOALS?

If we raise more funds than needed to scan the Apparatus collection, we will reach into our vault to offer you many more films.

Peep inside our vault and discover some of the other treasures we hope to scan and revive next.

  • Scott B & Beth B's "punk" film masterpieces
  • Smorgasbord of "Sundance Shorts" made by filmmakers at the start of their illustrious careers, including Gus Van Sant's "Thanksgiving Prayer;"
  • Best of Barbara Hammer, the iconoclast who gave us "Nitrate Kisses;"
  • Works by African-American artists Zeinabu irene Davis & Yvonne Welbon;
  • Social issue docs by Mirra Bank, Joyce Chopra, DeeDee Halleck, Judith Helfand, Barbara Margolis, Julia Reichert, and others;
  • Masters of the Avant-Garde from the Film-Makers' Cooperative archive;
  • Cult favorite "Liquid Sky" by Slava Tsukerman;
  • Nancy Kelly’s “Thousand Pieces of Gold,” and many more.

THE BIG PICTURE: What the Future Holds

No one knows what films will be deemed worthy — artistically, culturally, historically — 100 years from now. All we do know is that independent filmmakers do not, as a rule, have the resources to properly protect their own films.

So we've got to save as many as we can, as best we can, as soon as we can. Or else indie films will suffer the same fate as silent films: 85% of them lost before anyone realizes what a gigantic mistake it was to let that happen.

IF YOU LOVE FILM, ESPECIALLY INDIE FILM, DON'T LET THAT HAPPEN. NEGLECT IS OUR ENEMY. ASSUMING THAT SOMEONE ELSE IS SOLVING THE PROBLEM IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER.

Thanks again,

Sandra

 

Risks and challenges

Scanning archival film elements (whether 8mm, 16mm, or 35mm) can be challenging, especially if there has been damage to the celluloid. The physical condition of the works that we are planning to scan has been assessed, and we are optimistic about our success. Moreover, our new Kinetta archival film scanner was designed specifically to gently handle older film material. It does not use sprockets to advance each frame of the film, so it can accommodate torn sprocket holes and other weaknesses. Steve Blakely, our head of Collection Assessment, has more than 30 years experience in the film laboratory business. Once the film scanning is done, a separate team takes on the "finishing" of the work (sound synchronization, color correction, etc.) This part of the process involves artistic decisions — ideally made in collaboration with the original filmmakers — so that the new digital version of the film looks as good as, or even better than, the original. Fortunately, most of the films on our scanning slate were made by filmmakers who are alive and well and very excited about the opportunity to consult on the finishing process.

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    THANK YOU

    Thank you! Get updates and get signed up to the IndieCollect mailing list.

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    STREAM A SHORT

    Stream your favorite Apparatus short anytime in glorious 4K.

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    CHRISTINE VACHON MINI-COLLECTION

    Stream 3 shorts directed by Christine Vachon, including the nearly discovered A MAN IN YOUR ROOM, in glorious 4K.

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    JULY 4 DISCOUNT! STREAM THE COLLECTION

    Stream the entire Apparatus shorts collection (at least 9 films) anytime in glorious 4K.

    *Limited time only!

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    STREAM THE COLLECTION

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    JULY 4 DISCOUNT! BLU-RAY

    A Blu-ray with the entire Apparatus shorts collection (at least 9 films).

    *Also includes digital copy. Limited time only!

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    BLU-RAY

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    SHOOTING TO KILL -- AUTOGRAPHED!

    An autographed copy of SHOOTING TO KILL: How an Independent Producer Blasts Through the Barriers to Make Movies that Matter.

    By Christine Vachon

    Complete with behind-the-scenes diary entries from the set of Vachon's best-known films, SHOOTING TO KILL offers all the satisfaction of an intimate memoir from the frontlines of independent filmmaking, from one of its most successful agent provocateurs -- and survivors.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    HOPE FOR FILM -- AUTOGRAPHED!

    An autographed copy of HOPE FOR FILM.

    By Ted Hope

    Top indie producer Ted Hope was an early supporter of the IndieCollect campaign and serves as our VP.

    An inspiring, tell-all look at the indie film business from one of the industry’s most passionate producers, Hope for Film captures the rebellious punk spirit of the indie film boom in 1990s New York City, its collapse two decades later and its current moment of technology-fueled regeneration. Ted Hope, whose films have garnered 12 Oscar nominations, draws from his own personal experiences working on the early films of Ang Lee, Eddie Burns, Hal Hartley, Michel Gondry, Nicole Holofcener, Todd Solondz and other indie mavericks, relating those decisions that brought him success as well as the occasional failure.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    LIFE ITSELF BOOK & DVD -- AUTOGRAPHED!

    An autographed copy of LIFE ITSELF.

    Get the Book by Roger Ebert AND the DVD about Roger’s life, directed by acclaimed documentarian Steve James (Hoop Dreams)

    LIFE ITSELF, a documentary film that recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful, and transcendent. Directed by acclaimed documentarian Steve James (HOOP DREAMS) and executive produced by Martin Scorsese. Includes the book, LIFE ITSELF, by Roger Ebert, and autographed by Roger’s amazing wife and partner, Chaz Ebert, now CEO of Roger.Ebert.com, who is featured in the movie.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    AUTOGRAPHED BLU-RAY

    Blu-ray with the entire Apparatus shorts collection -- Autographed by Christine Vachon!

    *Also includes digital copy.

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    SHOOTING TO KILL -- AUTOGRAPHED!

    Back by popular demand!!

    Great news! Christine Vachon has agreed to autograph 10 more copies of her book SHOOTING TO KILL. If you missed your chance to get a copy, get one while you can.

    An autographed copy of SHOOTING TO KILL: How an Independent Producer Blasts Through the Barriers to Make Movies that Matter.

    By Christine Vachon

    Complete with behind-the-scenes diary entries from the set of Vachon's best-known films, SHOOTING TO KILL offers all the satisfaction of an intimate memoir from the frontlines of independent filmmaking, from one of its most successful agent provocateurs -- and survivors.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    HOPE FOR FILM -- AUTOGRAPHED!

    Back by popular demand!!

    Great news! Ted Hope has agreed to autograph 10 more copies of her book HOPE FOR FILM. If you missed your chance to get a copy, get one while you can.

    An autographed copy of HOPE FOR FILM.

    By Ted Hope

    Top indie producer Ted Hope was an early supporter of the IndieCollect campaign and serves as our VP.

    An inspiring, tell-all look at the indie film business from one of the industry’s most passionate producers, Hope for Film captures the rebellious punk spirit of the indie film boom in 1990s New York City, its collapse two decades later and its current moment of technology-fueled regeneration. Ted Hope, whose films have garnered 12 Oscar nominations, draws from his own personal experiences working on the early films of Ang Lee, Eddie Burns, Hal Hartley, Michel Gondry, Nicole Holofcener, Todd Solondz and other indie mavericks, relating those decisions that brought him success as well as the occasional failure.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    VAULT TOUR

    You and a guest will get a guided tour of the IndieCollect vault.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    SPECIAL THEATRE SCREENING

    Two tickets to theatrical screening of the newly restored collection. With surprise guest speaker.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    AUTOGRAPHED POSTER

    A specially designed poster, signed by Christine Vachon, to mark the release of the newly-restored Apparatus Collection, the early works produced by Christine, Todd and their colleagues.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    NUREMBERG BOX SET

    Box set of NUREMBERG: ITS LESSON FOR TODAY, restored by IndieCollect President Sandra Schulberg.

    For more information visit http://nurembergfilm.org/store/

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy. Box set DVD is NTSC.

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    PRIVATE CONSULTATION

    One consultation with Brian Newman of Sub-Genre Media.

    Brian is co-creator of the Transparency Project, an initiative to obtain actual sales data tracking our indie films perform on internet platforms.

    Brian will share his experience working with brands on docs, and/or documentary distribution and marketing.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    BETH B ORIGINAL ARTWORK

    An original piece of art from the legendary Beth B, whose films are in the IndieCollect vault.

    B&W photograph by Beth B from the PORTRAITS series shown at Deitch Projects in 1997.

    Dimensions: 8 x 10; http://www.bethbproductions.com/

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    HOME MOVIES SCANNED

    Send us a hard drive and up to six 8mm or Super 8mm home movies and we'll scan them for you!

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    FILM SET VISIT AND DRINKS

    You and a friend will visit the set of a Killer Films movie and have drinks with Producer Christine Vachon.

    *Also includes Apparatus films Blu-ray and digital copy. Travel and accommodations not included.

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    ON-SCREEN SPECIAL THANKS

    On-screen "Special Thanks" credit.

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    ON-SCREEN SUPPORT CREDIT

    "Made possible with the generous support of" you!

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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    ON-SCREEN RESTORATION CREDIT

    This "Restoration Produced in Association with" You!

    *Also includes Blu-ray and digital copy.

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Funding period

- (37 days)