Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 16, 2012.

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Killer B3 is a passionate music documentary about the Hammond Organ, a bulky 78-year old fluke invention that changed music forever.

About Killer B3

The Hammond B3 is the signature model of all Hammond Organs.  With its foot pedals attached, the B3 weighs 425 lbs.
The Hammond B3 is the signature model of all Hammond Organs. With its foot pedals attached, the B3 weighs 425 lbs.

Seven years ago, I wandered into a musty blues bar on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida to hear a friend play a gig on his Hammond Organ. While I was familiar with the Hammond sound, I really hadn't paid much attention to it. There was my buddy Shawn Brown at the helm of this bulky two-layered keyboard, but he had morphed into this OCTOPUS -- pouring every once of his energy into his music. He was gliding over the keys, sliding levers, stepping on pedals, flipping switches with both hands. If this wasn't enough, he was singing too. Wow! I was simply floored.

Riverview, FL - KB3 was born at the Smoking Dog in the summer of 2005 during a Shawn Brown/Willie Lomax Blues Revue performance.
Riverview, FL - KB3 was born at the Smoking Dog in the summer of 2005 during a Shawn Brown/Willie Lomax Blues Revue performance.
Riverview, FL - This is a snapshot of one of the first times we heard Shawn Brown play a Hammond Organ.
Riverview, FL - This is a snapshot of one of the first times we heard Shawn Brown play a Hammond Organ.

During his break, I couldn't stop asking Shawn questions about this massive instrument he had paired with a beautiful matching wood cabinet. Inside was a spinning speaker called a Leslie Speaker

(Leslie Speaker) Intially, the inventor of the Hammond Organ did not want his organs paired with Leslie Speakers. Today the two are a match made in heaven.
(Leslie Speaker) Intially, the inventor of the Hammond Organ did not want his organs paired with Leslie Speakers. Today the two are a match made in heaven.
Tampa, FL - We created a "footcam" to watch Organists work the Hammond's 25 foot pedals and expression pedal.
Tampa, FL - We created a "footcam" to watch Organists work the Hammond's 25 foot pedals and expression pedal.

That night, I learned the Hammond Organ creates one of the most widespread sounds in music. You hear it in Gospel, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Country, Reggae, Television Commercials and Ballparks. It was once the popular sound at Roller Skating Rinks and in Soap Operas before there were soundtracks. Although common in usage, the Hammond Organ is also one of the hardest instruments to conquer. Those that do devote their lifetime to it.

Shawn told me each year more and more of these "Old School" players are dying. That was the trigger. The journalist in me took over. I immediately knew the Hammond Organ would make for one hell of a story. 

Riverview, FL - Organist Shawn Brown plays a sweet lick during gig at the Smoking Dog.
Riverview, FL - Organist Shawn Brown plays a sweet lick during gig at the Smoking Dog.

I shot some video of Shawn playing with my outdated still camera. The next day I showed it to my best friend, co-worker and cameraman, Joe Bamford.  Yes, the clip was grainy and low-resolution, but Joe began to feel something too.

Murv Seymour's "Ole School" 4 megapixal Canon A-80 that was used to shoot the first video of Shawn Brown.
Murv Seymour's "Ole School" 4 megapixal Canon A-80 that was used to shoot the first video of Shawn Brown.

After a little research, it was clear that no one had ever done a long-form story on this wild instrument sometimes called the Beast. Joe and I looked at each other and agreed. We wanted to be first to tame an in-depth documentary about the Hammond Organ sound. 

Scottsdale, AZ - Joey DeFrancesco plays a rare Blonde B3 at his home.
Scottsdale, AZ - Joey DeFrancesco plays a rare Blonde B3 at his home.
Scottsdale, AZ - Murv Seymour (L) and Joe Bamford (R) in the desert after two day shoot with organist Joey DeFrancesco.
Scottsdale, AZ - Murv Seymour (L) and Joe Bamford (R) in the desert after two day shoot with organist Joey DeFrancesco.

We're Almost Done!

In the summer of 2005, we started on Killer B3 (KB3) with a blank piece of paper and zero knowledge about Hammond Organs. Since then, we have traveled to almost a dozen cities, shot more than 80 hours of footage and interviewed some of the top organists in the world. This includes, Jimmy McGriff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Tony Monaco, Reuben Wilson, Trudy Pitts, Michael Toresone, Shawn Brown and many others. 

In preparation of producing KB3, we purchased a new camera, two editing systems and a bunch of other production gear. We had no idea writing, producing and editing a 90-minute Feature Documentary would take almost a decade and cost so much money. KB3 has already been invited to show at several Film Festivals. Unfortunately, we have had to decline all invites, because we can't afford the hefty costs of video and music clearance fees. 

Philadelphia, PA - Chicago organist Chris Foreman plays at a musical tribute in Philadephia, PA.
Philadelphia, PA - Chicago organist Chris Foreman plays at a musical tribute in Philadephia, PA.

Immediate Needs

Our film includes several Video Clips from movies and DVDs. These clips are expensive and crucial to the storyline of KB3. KB3 will use about a dozen Historical Still Photos. Each photo costs anywhere from $300 to $500. Without these pictures, we just can't tell the story of the Hammond Organ effectively. We need funds to pay for Entrance Fees to Film Festivals. While there are hundreds of Festivals, we plan to enter only the ones that are a good fit for our unique music documentary. We also need Marketing Materials. This includes, Posters, Flyers, Press Releases and other Merchandise. We also need funds to help offset Travel Expenses to various Festivals and Educational Venues.

Columbus, OH - Murv and Joe disuss a shot during shoot of Tony Monaco Band at Park Street Tavern. (L) Murv Seymour.  Joe Bamford (R)
Columbus, OH - Murv and Joe disuss a shot during shoot of Tony Monaco Band at Park Street Tavern. (L) Murv Seymour. Joe Bamford (R)
The Hammond Organ was designed for Churches as an affordable alternative to a pipe organ.  Organist Jimmy Smith took the Hammond from the church and into the night clubs, which helped make it famous.
The Hammond Organ was designed for Churches as an affordable alternative to a pipe organ. Organist Jimmy Smith took the Hammond from the church and into the night clubs, which helped make it famous.
Columbus, OH - Joe gets up close with Tony Monaco at Park Street Tavern.  (Photo by Michael Ivey)
Columbus, OH - Joe gets up close with Tony Monaco at Park Street Tavern. (Photo by Michael Ivey)

Putting KB3 together has been an emotional journey for us too. Several of the organists who took part in this documentary are no longer alive to see its outcome (you will learn more about that in the documentary). We owe it to those organists and others to get KB3 released.

New Port Richey, FL - Organist Shawn Brown sings and plays at Blues Festival.
New Port Richey, FL - Organist Shawn Brown sings and plays at Blues Festival.
Columbus, OH - Joe shoots guitarist Robert Kraut with Tony Monaco Band at Park Street Tavern.  (Photo by Michael Ivey)
Columbus, OH - Joe shoots guitarist Robert Kraut with Tony Monaco Band at Park Street Tavern. (Photo by Michael Ivey)

Our Goal

We need to raise at least $10,000 in 30 days to help get KB3 released in 2013. Yeah, yeah. We know it reads like a hostage note, but it's true.  We really need your support, and we need you to spread the word about our Kickstarter Campaign to music fans and your friends .

Maricopa, AZ - Joe shoots Pappa John DeFrancesco at home.  Pappa John is the father of organist Joey DeFrancesco.
Maricopa, AZ - Joe shoots Pappa John DeFrancesco at home. Pappa John is the father of organist Joey DeFrancesco.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith plays at his home.  The good Dr. Smith owns almost a dozen Hammond Organs.
Ft. Lauderdale, FL - Organist Dr. Lonnie Smith plays at his home. The good Dr. Smith owns almost a dozen Hammond Organs.

Your Donations

None of the money raised goes in our pockets. We knew going inwe might never get back what we put into producing this project. Every dime raised will be spent on needs associated with promoting and advancing opportunities for KB3.

Berkeley, CA - Organist Atsuko Hashimoto plays at UC-Berkeley during concert for the Jazz Organ Fellowship.
Berkeley, CA - Organist Atsuko Hashimoto plays at UC-Berkeley during concert for the Jazz Organ Fellowship.

Our Thanks to You

As journalists, we decided to tackle this project because we strongly believe life isn't about ourselves. Instead, it's about our impact on others. We want KB3 to impact people while we are here and long after we are gone. We have put together some cool Rewards to encourage support regardless of the amount. Until we discovered Kickstarter, we had no idea how to raise the thousands of dollars needed to launch our project. Help us get KB3 shown at Film Festivals and beyond starting in 2013. Thank you for believing in us and supporting in our mission.

Harlem, NY - Harlem Organist Seleno Clarke talks about great organists who have played at the Apollo Theater during a tour of the once thriving Hammond Organ music scene in Harlem.
Harlem, NY - Harlem Organist Seleno Clarke talks about great organists who have played at the Apollo Theater during a tour of the once thriving Hammond Organ music scene in Harlem.

Title Sponsorship Opportunities

If you would like to donate more than our rewards amount, please contact us. We are eager to partner with a Title Sponsor who shares our passion for the preservation of music and the arts associated with the Hammond Organ.  Please contact us @ info@killerb3.com

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Fortunately, our documentary is 99% complete. During this post-production stage, all that remains is to obtain the rights to use many of the historical films and still images that are imperative to the telling of this story. One of the advantages of recently finding out about Kickstarter is we already had most of the pieces in place to complete our film before approaching Kickstarter. This means we have had a seven-year head start on our project.

The big challenge moving forward is taking advantage of our personal business and social networks. We must get them involved and responding. We currently have over 2,000 people in our social network and this fan base is growing daily.

In conjunction with our Kickstarter effort, we are also presenting a series of live concerts to showcase our project. We will have at least three of these kinds of events leading up to and during our Kickstarter Campaign.

As media professionals, we know the importance of mass marketing through media. Currently, we are getting exposure in newspapers, radio and online publications.

Our 50 years of combined professional experience qualifies us to take on any challenge associated with getting this project released. We have already put in thousands of dollars and hours into Killer B3 and we are ready for release. As we approach the finish line, we just need your help!

FAQ

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    (Gus N Ed) - Sincere thank you from us on a limited edition KB3 postcard.

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    (Doodler) - Bonus Clips 30-minute download card (video) featuring a mix of clips and performances from KB3 cutting room floor. 1 KB3 bumper sticker (color). (International donors add $7.99 for shipping)

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    (C Minor) - KB3 Documentary DVD and the Bonus Clips download card. KB3 T-shirt (Special Kickstarter Donors only design). 3 KB3 bumper stickers (color). (International donors add $7.99 for shipping)

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    (C Note) - KB3 Documentary DVD and the Bonus Clips download card. KB3 T-shirt (Special Kickstarter Donors only design). Special Edition - Audio Download of a Killer B3 Concert Fundraiser. KB3 movie poster (autographed by us). 5 KB3 bumper stickers (color).

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    (C Major) - KB3 DVD/with Directors Cut. KB3 the Music DVD (over 2 hours). Special Edition - Audio Download of a Killer B3 Concert Fundraiser. Your choice, KB3 Coffee Mug or KB3 Hat. KB3 T-shirt (Special Kickstarter Donors only design). Bonus Clips download card. 1 color photo from production of KB3. KB3 movie poster (autographed by us). 5 KB3 bumper stickers (color).

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    (Clef Note) - You and a friend will be our special guest at a KB3 Screening (location to TBD. Travel not included). KB3 DVD/with Directors Cut. KB3 the Music DVD (over 2 hours). Bonus Clips download card. Special Edition - Audio Download of a Killer B3 Concert Fundraiser. KB3 movie poster (autographed by us). 10 KB3 bumper stickers (color). 2 KB3 T-shirts (Special Kickstarter Donors only design). 1 autographed color photo of an organist featured in KB3. KB3 Coffee Mug & KB3 Hat.

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    (Hammondator) - Welcome to VIP! You get VIP access to a KB3 Screening & concert (travel not included). Autographed Hammond B3 Keys (one octave) on a hand crafted solid Fruitwood Mount, signed by us. You also get a one on one 1 hour conversation with one or both producers of KB3. You'll have lots of extra goodies to give to your friends. 2 Special Edition - Audio Download of a Killer B3 Concert Fundraiser. 4 KB3 T-shirts (Special Kickstarter Donors only design). Limited edition KB3 Photo Book (20 color photos from the production of KB3, autographed by us). 1 autographed color photo of an organist featured in KB3. 4 KB3 official movie posters (autographed by us). 4 copies of KB3 DVD/with Directors Cut. 2 copies of KB3 the Music DVD's (over 2 hours). KB3 Coffee Mugs. Official KB3 hat. Four Bonus Clips download cards. 10 KB3 bumper stickers (color).

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    (The Beast) - Congratulations. Your name will be featured as an Associated Producer in our closing credits. But wait there's more! You and a friend are invited to a KB3 Concert featuring the KB3 Band (travel not included). We will take care of your hotel and VIP access to the show. We will even take you and a friend out for dinner (Concert date and location TBA). VIP access to a KB3 Movie Screening (travel not included). We also have some goodies for your friends. 6 Special Edition - Audio Download of a Killer B3 Concert Fundraiser. Autographed Hammond B3 Keys (one Octave) on a hand crafted solid Fruitwood Mount, signed by us or an artist. 8 KB3 DVD's/Directors Cut. 6 copies of KB3 the Music DVD's (over 2 hours). 20 Bonus Clips download cards. 8 KB3 T-shirts (Special Kickstarter Donors only design). 4 copies limited edition KB3 Photo Book (20 color photos from the production of Killer B3, autographed by us). 8 KB3 official movie posters (autographed by us). 4 Killer B3 Coffee Mugs. 4 Official KB3 hats. 10 KB3 stickers (color).

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    (Organ Donor) - Wow! You're getting your own private Hammond B3 Concert featuring the KB3 Band! Your name will be featured in the beginning of KB3 Documentary. You will branded in KB3 marketing materials. We will include your on camera interview in bonus features of Killer B3 DVD with Directors Cut. You will share dinner with us and the band after the show. You'll also get VIP access to a KB3 Movie Screening (travel not included). We've also got more goodies for you and your friends. 10 Special Edition - Audio Download of a Killer B3 Concert Fundraiser. 10 KB3 DVD's with Directors Cut. 10 copies KB3 the Music DVD's. Twenty-five Bonus Clips download cards. 10 KB3 T-shirts (Special Kickstarter Donors only design). 6 Killer B3 Coffee Mugs. 6 Official KB3 hats. 4 copies limited edition KB3 Photo Book (20 color photos from the production of Killer B3, autographed by us). Autographed Hammond B3 Keys (one octave) on a hand crafted solid Fruitwood Mount, signed by us or an artist. 10 KB3 official movie posters (autographed by us). 10 KB3 stickers (color). (Additional fees for travel outside the U.S.)

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