About this project
*** LAST DAY LEFT TO DONATE!!! You know the drill - you know the stakes - you know the consequences... But we'll remind you, in case you'd forgotten: Look through the site, watch the video(s) and discover what an incredible person Joe Meek was and the astonishing world he lived in - then DONATE as much as you possibly can (trust us, does the heart good) - then pick an incentive level that accommodates the amount you pledged -- then go and TWEET and/or share the link to this Kickstarter project (available on the lower right hand corner of the video on the home page) on FB or email for all of this last day to raise awareness of our cause and urgency of a donation. THIS CAMPAIGN ENDS ON TUESDAY, OCTOBER 16th at 11:58pm Eastern time.
*** New PERK items and new incentive levels have been added for our LAST DAY:
a) The $25 "BEEN INVITED TO A PARTY" level - A limited edition, mind-bending 23" x 35" VELVET BLACKLIGHT POSTER of our 'classic' Iker Spozio design!!!
b) The $40 "WHATCHA GONNA DO BABY?" level - IPad/IPod/IPhone format digital download of the film when it is completed. PLUS A special rare music video DVD curated by Spike Priggen of Bedazzled.tv and Scopitones.com that includes rare clips & Scopitones by The Honeycombs, The Cryin' Shames, The Tornados & many more --a thank you on our website, in the credits and IMDB, and a personally signed official movie postcard.
c) The EXTEMELY LIMITED "I CAN'T STOP" level - limited to one (1) Stewy Stencils "Holloway Joe" print made EXCLUSIVELY for the "Welcome To Meeksville" 50th anniversary of Telstar UK event!!! PLUS DVD of the film when completed with loads of EXTRA features PLUS thank you on our website, and a personally signed official movie postcard. (see image below)
THIS IS IT, FRIENDS!!! It's been remarkable meeting all of you! Just know that we'll be here all night tonight and all day tomorrow! If you want to drop us good thoughts, UPGRADES to your existing pledges or introducing yourself to us with a NEW DONATION - we'll be here the whole way to the very end. IT COULDN'T HAPPEN WITHOUT YOU!!! NO SLEEP TIL SUCCESS!!!
***10/8/12 - Proud to unveil our "new" Style B poster by Trailers From Hell (www.trailersfromhell.com) artist/designer CHARLIE LARGENT!!! (see above image) This is available in 11" x 17" in our $20 LOVE & FURY incentive level as a choice between it or our "classic" Style A poster by European artist Iker Spozio!!!
What a choice to have to make!!!
***Also - NEW PERKS at the $20 (LOVE & FURY - see above), and LIMITED NUMBER $150 (IT'S JUST A MATTER OF TIME - a pristine, BRAND NEW soft-cover, 1st edition copy of Barry Cleveland's essential OUT OF PRINT book: JOE MEEK'S BOLD TECHNIQUES complete with a restored CD of Meek's experimental classic I HEAR A NEW WORLD!!! Of course its bundled with the DVD of our film when finished alongside a 2nd DVD with bonus extras!!!)
and $200 levels (THAT'S THE WAY - our 27" x 42" "classic" style A poster SIGNED only by KEITH STRICKLAND of The B-52s!!!) also bundled with the DVD and digital download of the film when it is completed plus a SECOND DVD of EVEN MORE super special BONUS material!. Check 'em out in the sidebar on the right-hand side of this page!!!
*** NEW UPDATE - #10!!! Please take a few minutes to see what's up for our LAST WEEK of the campaign!!! Comments and good thoughts welcome!!!
10/2/12 - THANKS to all our friends, family and followers (our amazing backers included first and foremost) for voting and spreading the word about our project and our competition for Indiewire's "Project Of The Week" -- it's now official - we won!!! http://bit.ly/SAmuA0 We are extremely humbled and honored to hold this title and we really couldn't have done it without your support for us and A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK.
This means we are now eligible to win the next competition: "Project Of The Month". We will certainly let you know when that competition is to begin - but, stands to reason it will be after this Kickstarter has ended.
Everyone should consider this experience a dry-run for what we are in for on a much grander scale these next 2 weeks. Now we need everyone who has considered donating to do so. If you have already backed us and haven't yet urged others to donate - this is the time to do so. If you are anyone who has any list of friends or followers, be it on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace or email -- if you are on Kickstarter and are only following us at the moment - please donate. We need you to donate as much as you can as soon as you can -- this will enable us to meet our stated goal faster so that we would have more time to SURPASS that goal. The more we can succeed, the more we will be able to put towards the project - and post-production and distribution preparation and publicity is not cheap.
Here's links to some of the great press our Kickstarter 'cam-pain-in-the-ass' has gotten so far:
Indiewire Project of the Week
The GLAAD Wrap
Light in the Attic Records
The Wonderful World of TamTam Books
Plug In Music
Rock 'n' Roll Snob
Rock Music Report
***NOTE: BIG JIM SULLIVAN - one of the greatest and most prolific guitarists of all time has died today after a long period of poor health. Big Jim is a major presence in our documentary and someone who we considered a true friend. His talent and accomplishments (like playing on over 1000 chart hits and 55 no.1 singles) are not just legendary, the work itself is transcendent. We will post an UPDATE on our memories of Big Jim shortly. R.I.P. Jim. We miss you already.
Also NEW UPDATES and a reminder that this is AN INTERNATIONAL FUNDRAISER. You can pledge a donation from ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD and be part of helping us give birth to this documentary after 9 years of intensive labor!!!
Please continue spreading the word any way you can -- remember, $40K keeps us in the game, but doesn't guarantee we'll be able to obtain all the crucial Joe Meek recordings we need. And the more Meek music featured, the better the movie will be. We can do it with your help. Infinite thanks for all your support, comments, donations and shares!!!
- Howard & Susan
Who is Joe Meek?
Born in 1929 and raised in rural Newent, England, Joe Meek spent his youth working on his family's farm while dreaming of recording sound, creating music and making records. Realizing that he didn't fit in, either socially (he was a closeted homosexual) or professionally, Joe eventually made the necessary move to London to explore his true, driven ambition.
By the mid-1950's, Joe Meek was one of the UK's most requested recording engineers (working for producers like George Martin) – an upstart talent who refused to play by anyone else’s rules in an industry that was ALL rules.
By the end of the decade he had broken away from the major studios and did the unthinkable: he became England’s first independent pop record producer. By the early 1960’s, he was recording #1 chart hits from a converted home studio in a then-dodgy area of London – including his masterpiece, TELSTAR; to this date the most successful pop instrumental ever recorded.
Considered a Svengali by some in the industry, Joe nurtured hundreds of teen artists such as Jimmy Page (later of The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin), Steve Howe (of Yes and Asia), Ritchie Blackmore (later of Deep Purple and Rainbow), session guitarist extraordinaire Big Jim Sullivan and Chas Hodges (of Chas 'n Dave) that helped define new, exciting, commercial sounds and produced pop/rock records that were the first specifically targeted at the post-WWII teen market.
By 1967 he was dead.
This feature documentary chronicles the rise, fall and resurrection of Joe Meek. It shows, due in equal measures to his pioneering DIY recording techniques, hit-making philosophy and a life full of social, psychological and sexual obstacles, how Joe managed to leave an indelible stamp, not just on the recording industry, but on modern pop culture as well. Over 40 years after his tragic and mysterious death, Meek has been reborn as an inspirational icon for anyone in search of the Independent Spirit.
We've decided to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the release of TELSTAR (August 17th, 1962) by launching our KICKSTARTER fundraiser on that very same date.
What we've done so far...The project has been our labor of love since the fall of 2003. We've had no outside production help -- no crew, no interns, no corporate sponsors, no distributor set. Aside from frequent flyer miles donated from loving family members, its been 100% self-financed. This is as independent as you can get. A documentary produced with the same DIY spirit in which Meek produced his music.
Our project covers a history of a time that is quickly being forgotten and is often, sadly, misrepresented. We feel an obligation to make sure many sides and perspectives have been given voice in order to create an intimate and balanced portrait, that, to be honest, hasn't really been done before.
We've already traveled across the UK and the US to speak with over 70 friends, family members, colleagues, employees, enthusiasts, critics and biographers of Meek -- including rock luminaries Jimmy Page, Steve Howe, Big Jim Sullivan, Edwyn Collins, Alex Kapranos (of Franz Ferdinand), Keith Strickland (of The B-52's) and Huw Bunford (of Super Furry Animals) in addition to members of Meek's vast stable of artists such as Chas Hodges (of Chas 'n Dave), Mike Berry, John Leyton, members of The Tornados, The Outlaws and The Honeycombs, as well as Joe's colleagues: Jimmy Lock (engineer, producer, former General Manager of Decca Classical Records), Allen Stagg (former General Manager of Abbey Road Studios, then Head of Sound at MGM and Director of Recording for the PolyGram Group), Adrian Kerridge (engineer, producer, former General Manager of Lansdowne Studios) and Keith Grant (engineer, former General Manager/owner of Olympic Studios).
Everyone has generously laid their memories, speculations and opinions on the table to form a fresh, frank perspective on this important and enigmatic innovator.
We're about 95% done with our rough edit. Over the years we've had several work-in-progress screenings across Canada and the UK to gauge how the film plays, not just to fans, but also to people who've never heard nor cared about Meek before - and the response was helpful, heartening and incredibly enthusiastic. Most importantly, we've also met some really talented people who've kindly offered their skills out of appreciation for what we've managed to accomplish with so little and a shared vision of what our film represents.
And we believe that since our work-in-progress has screened, a positive shift in how the world looks at Meek has begun. The MPG (Music Producer's Guild) in the UK, since 2009, has an annual Joe Meek Award for Innovation in Production. And (not without controversy), on April 18th 2012, the esteemed music publication, NME (New Musical Express) named Joe Meek the Number One record producer of all time.
Believe me, there is nothing more rewarding than to have members of our audience (of an incomplete project, mind you) come up to us and say how inspired they were by the film. It's worth every sacrifice, every road-bump, every setback -- because inspiration is what it's all about. Well, after 9 years, we'd like to finally share that inspiration with everybody…but the sacrifice isn't over just yet…
What we still need to do (and what we need the funding for)...
Okay, with roughly 5% of the edit remaining here's what else we're looking at in order to get this baby ready for its adult life:
- try to obtain several more interviews with some of the harder-to-snag personalities connected to the Meek story, such as Ritchie Blackmore, David Bowie and Rod Stewart
- finish the fine cut and assemble the DVD extras
- license all photos and music tracks for global release (additional tracks may have to be cleared for the DVD extras and for a potential soundtrack CD)
- color and contrast correction
- sound mix
- international language subtitling
- festival entry fees/deliverables
- event coordination
- theatrical booking agent
- distribution consultant
- theatrical/DVD/online digital deliverables
- all legal fees and insurances
- etc., etc., etc...
Whew! Right? See what we're in for? Well, the difference is that we've gone the first long leg of this adventure alone… We've maxxed out our credit cards, sold our own cars and other personal possessions to finance this film… But we can't go it alone any longer.
We also have a specific vision of how we'd like our project to get around. We dream of keeping distribution intimate and as grass roots as possible. We love establishing a dialog with fans of Joe's work and the film itself. We've seen this film play great with a live audience in 4 different countries and love the energy afterwards when we get to talk with them. We've also made great friends with many of the people we've met at previous work-in-progress events. Long story short: we desperately don't want A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK to disappear into a cold, dispassionate catalog of thousands of other titles of purely commercial product. We've strived to put heart and soul into this production and we don't want to see it compromised just to have it see the light of day.
This is where you and Kickstarter can step in and lend a helping hand. In a big, big way!
If you don't already know, Kickstarter is a funding platform where passionate, personal projects can be funded by people who believe these projects can make a difference - individuals who share the same hopes and dreams as the creators. But there is a couple of caveats: 1) if we don't reach our goal by the allotted date, then WE KEEP NOTHING and all the money is refunded and 2) we can only spread the word so far -- we also need our backers to spread the word as far as humanly possible. Like we said in our video, we realize that asking family and friends to donate money can seem obnoxious and irritating…we call this our "Cam-pain in the Ass" - but it's only for 2 months… Really, that's not so bad… we've been making this project for 9 years and until now we haven't asked for a thing! So PLEASE spread the word frequently and to as many people as possible.
What are we asking for?
To be honest, like we mentioned earlier, we are asking for $40,000 but, frustratingly, that amount might just barely cover only one aspect of the completion process... We'd actually need more to see this all the way through a professional and thorough conclusion and into distribution. We REALLY don't want to have to do more than one fundraiser... and, trust us, you don't want us to either!!! So let's knock our heads together to think of every possible way and every possible person who can help make this a totally successful campaign!
And the satisfaction of seeing A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK completed and distributed properly won't be the only reward. We have some great perk items and credit incentives lined up as well. And we'll try to add more as the fundraiser continues and as the opportunity arises.
So if you care about music, the '60's, DIY, human rights, history and seeing Joe Meek's story finally told without judgement or sensationalism, then give what you can and ask others to do the same. We really can't verbalize just how appreciative we would be -- although, of course we'll certainly try! ;)
Some words about our perks.
We are very grateful to have so many great people generously enabling us to provide exciting perks right at the outset of this fundraiser:
- The wonderful folks at PMI Audio have graciously provided us with three rack mount compressors from their outstanding joemeek line: the sixQ, the oneQ and the twinQ!!!
- Photographer Clive Bubley was in the right place at the right time in the 1960's. Clive photographed hundreds of pop bands in and out of the recording and TV studios and was frequently hired by Joe Meek to do the same for his vast roster of artists. Clive was forward-thinking enough to convince Joe to allow a series of intimate shots to be taken at his 304 Holloway Road recording studio and they have since become the iconic representations of Joe as we know him.
Clive has very generously offered to allow us to present a limited selection from these gorgeous portraits (direct from original negative) in select incentive levels. These photos are NOT in the public domain -- rather, they are ONLY available for license from Clive himself. We can't thank Clive enough for this gesture and are so excited to be able to offer these extremely rare prints as part of our appreciation for your donations.
- Iker Spozio is a European artist, illustrator and printmaker. When we saw a series of postcards that he had created for some Glaswegian club events around 2004, we knew that he would be the right person to approach with the task of creating a poster for our project.
Over the years, we've been asked to make the poster available for sale, but we wanted to wait until the project was closer to completion. Well, no time better than the present to include both 11"x 17" and 27"x 42" prints as part of select incentive levels.
Iker's art is created by hand with no computer assistance and the prints are of an extremely high quality poster stock. We wanted to show our appreciation to our funders by treating this item as exactly what it is: fine art.
Okay -- hear is the best news: The brilliant guitarist STEVE HOWE from Yes, Asia and the Joe Meek produced Syndicats and KEITH STRICKLAND of The B-52s have very courteously offered to take time out from their extremely busy tour schedules to SIGN a small number of the 27"x 42" one-sheets!!! These will only be available at the $300 and $2500 incentive levels and, again, are of extremely limited number.
Okay - here's even more best news: For certain incentive levels, we will be offering... drum-roll please... a 23"x 35" VELVET BLACK-LIGHT limited-edition of our poster!!! Now you can blow your minds by listening to Joe's extraordinary music in the dark while staring intently into your very own velvet black-light A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK-scape!!!
- We are also very excited to make available our special Kickstarter "A LIFE IN THE DEATH OF JOE MEEK Cam-pain In The Ass 2012" fundraiser artwork (designed by our great friend Daisy Chainlinx) on MEN'S and WOMEN'S T-Shirts!!! 2 different styles and 2 different shades to choose from!
We'll hopefully be making additional incentives available throughout the fundraiser. We'll most likely post about them on our Kickstarter "Updates" tab as well as our Facebook fan page, Twitter, MySpace page and official webpage. And - YES if you've already donated and want to upgrade to a higher incentive level, Kickstarter makes it easy! (see questions)
Other ways to help?
Aside from donating there ARE other ways to help:
- Spread the word about our campaign through Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube or whatever your social network(s) of preference are.
- If you are or know a radio/college, radio/satellite, radio/internet or club DJ, podcaster or vidcaster who'd be interested in featuring a spot or entire show on Joe Meek and our film and campaign - let them know and let us know. We'd be happy to provide the tunes and some great sound bites and stories!
- If you are or know any music, film and/or pop culture bloggers, local or college newspaper, city newspaper or magazine writers -- please let them know about our project and our fundraiser and put them in touch with us.
- If you are or know a film programmer or work at a cinema that shows documentaries -- put them in touch with us. If they would be willing to show our Kickstarter video before their films and/or let us put postcards out in the lobby, that would reach a lot of people who might not ordinarily attend the internet social media. So hook us up and we can send them a DVD of our vid and some cards!!!
- If you know someone who works at or if you, yourself work at a record or book store that would put our postcards prominently near your registers and you think that the clientele would be interested, then get them in touch with us!
- And also - we'd LOVE LOVE LOVE to get either a SMARTPHONE VIDEO ENDORSEMENT or a WRITTEN ENDORSEMENT of our campaign from you or someone you know!!! If you've seen the film in its rough cut stage at one of the rare work-in-progress screenings over the years or even if you haven't seen it and are pledging, then PLEASE send one in to us so we can post it on our page, our dedicated website and our Facebook page!!!
- Are you from a non-English language country? Show your support and help get others from all over the world to help us finish our film! Our fundraiser IS INTERNATIONAL and all of the above applies. (You'll just have to adjust for current currency exchange rates and perks shipping will also have to reflect that…)
Questions... I CAN answer
Can contributors increase pledges once they have been made?
Heck yeah! For those who are already contributors, sign in to your account, then click the blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Then, you'll be able to enter a new amount or choose a new perk!
How can I contact you?
You can always contact us by messaging us directly through our Kickstarter page. Or email us with any questions, ideas or good vibes at palmdoorfilms[at]gmail.com
Thanks for doing all you can to make this project a reality. We promise to continue to do the best we can and we'll update you as frequently as good news makes itself visible!
In closing, all we can add is, simply: Thank YOU...!!!
Support this project
- (60 days)