King of the Roadies: The Ben Dorcy Documentary (Unfinished)
King of the Roadies: The Ben Dorcy Documentary (Unfinished)
Make history by funding KING OF THE ROADIES, a documentary about of the world's first roadie who is still working at age 90.
Make history by funding KING OF THE ROADIES, a documentary about of the world's first roadie who is still working at age 90. Read more
“Ben has become a living legend. Countless stars would not have shined without him." - Willie Nelson
"The way you can tell if a musician is any good is if he's worked with Ben Dorcy." - Kinky Friedman
"Big Ben’s a living legend and he will outlive us all.” - Waylon Jennings
***Waylon's quote is from "Ode To Ben" - a song he wrote for Ben Dorcy.
KING OF THE ROADIES will be a feature length documentary about Benjamin Holladay Dorcy lll aka "Lovey", the world's oldest and by most accounts, first roadie ever. Willie Nelson will narrate this counter-culture tale of Dorcy's life on the road and the brotherhood that sustains him. The film has been in production for the past ten years and is now part of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign that aims to raise funds necessary to complete the film. The Kickstarter campaign launched May 19, 2015 to coincide with Ben’s 90th birthday.
Directors Trevor Doyle Nelson and Amy Nelson, Willie's grand nephew, and youngest daughter, respectively, offer an inside perspective to Ben; the man, the legend, and the eldest of the tribe. Amy explains “He has no living relatives, yet he is the patriarch of a family of artists, and fellow roadies who love him dearly. They call him ‘Lovey’ And he calls them ‘Lovey’. Despite all odds, he shows up to work on tour after tour after tour."
The film explores Ben's perseverance through rejection of societal limitations and revisits the six decades of show business that he helped to shape; including his time spent working with John Wayne, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline and many more.
Willie, along with Johnny Bush, Kinky Friedman, Jack Ingram and Jamey Johnson are some of the artists who will be in the film sharing anecdotes and insights on this living legend whose story has never been told.
KING OF THE ROADIES is nearing the post production phase. The funds allocated through the Kickstarter platform will be used to expedite completion of the film. A portion of the Kickstarter fund and proceeds from the completed film will go to Ben's retirement fund. For more information about the film, visit www.kingoftheroadies.com
ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE:
THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE:
KSAT NEWS SAN ANTONIO:
STATEMENT FROM FILMMAKERS:
TREVOR DOYLE NELSON -
I’ve known Ben Dorcy since I was a little kid. I grew up in a music family in Austin, TX and Ben is a legend in our community, most notably for being the world’s first and oldest roadie. I always thought Ben was interesting and was impressed with the unbelievable stories but I didn’t fully appreciate him until much later in life.
I was sixteen years old when Ben called me and asked me to make this film. He said, "I've seen you running around filming with your camera and I think you should use it to make a movie about me and my life." Being an eager young filmmaker, I said yes. I had no clue what was in store for the next decade of my life.
Shortly after committing to Ben that I would make this film, I asked my cousin, Amy, to get involved. She shares a mutual love and respect for Ben and agreed to help me pull it off. She tours with Willie Nelson & Family and was able to immediately begin filming archive footage from the road. We have some great footage. It offers a unique perspective from the inside that only she could have captured.
Considering that Ben just celebrated his 90th birthday, we feel we must complete the film this year. With the content we already have, we’re off to a good start. With proper funding, we can complete a world-class documentary this year.
The only way we can complete this film by the end of the year is if we have a budget that will allow full scale post-production to occur simultaneous to the rest of filming. This project has the potential to be something great. We are asking for help from the Kickstarter community to help us realize that potential and preserve Ben’s legend.
Ben's resilience, adaptability, dependability, and record-breaking longevity mystify me to no end. Trevor, who shares the sentiment, invited me to make this this documentary with him ten years ago. Since then, we’ve been doing our best to capture Ben on film as much as possible. Most of the footage is from life on the road. We’ve enjoyed the process but it is time for us to finish this film so that Ben can enjoy it while he's still young.
The world doesn't know it yet but the world wants to know about Ben Dorcy. He is part of music and film history. He is the originator of an entire profession. He's working full time at age 90. He is the epitome of the phrase "a body in motion stays in motion." This man's life should not only be documented, but documented well and by professionals, with music that drives the story. That's where we need your help, Kickstarter community. Please consider helping us to preserve Ben's legend forever by contributing to King of the Roadies project.
This documentary has been in production for over ten years, and with 2015 marking Ben's 90th birthday, we feel the film must be completed this year to ensure that Ben experiences his film's premier and see's it's distribution. People have asked me "Can't Willie just pay for finishing the film?". The Nelson family has already been very generous to this project and were the sole financiers of the decade of filming that's already been done. Additionally, Willie has offered to narrate the film and has provided us with a number of items to offer as incentives. The Nelsons have gone above and beyond to help this project get done and all that we are lacking at this point is the funding for post-prodcution and what's left of filming.
Thanks to Kickstarter we have the opportunity to raise the funds to expedite completion of this historical film. Despite it's relevance and potential mass appeal, it can be difficult to get traditional investors to support a project like this. It usually comes down to money and documentaries aren't known for making a lot of it.
As it is now, we have the trailer but there is much work to do before it can be a great film. We've taken this as far as we can and we're asking you, the Kickstarter community, to help us raise the funds to finish the film and see it through to distribution in 2016.
DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS:
It's difficult to give a solid outline of our budget, given that we still don't know what we will raise. The more we raise, the more we can spend on discretionary items like music licensing, additional filming and contributing to Ben's retirement fund. The less we raise the more we have to keep it to necessities. I've included a brief outline of what the distribution of funds might look like if we were to raise $100,000. A $100K budget would be enough for a bare bones completion that would procure a final edit by the end of 2015. If we were to raise more, the numbers would adjust accordingly.
$100K BUDGET LEVEL -
$25K - Post-production: This includes all editing through final output
$25K - Remaining production: All interviews, B-roll, etc...
$25K - Music: Licensing and recording of original music
$25K - Executive salary: This includes paying Ben Dorcy 10% of the budget as a 'talent fee'. The remaining $15K would be reserved to split between the directors and all producers.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO COMPLETE THE FILM?
To properly complete the film, we need the following:
1. At least 20 more interviews, plus B-roll & establishing footage.
2. Historical stock footage licensing.
3. Original music recordings, i.e. score and original music for soundtrack.
4. A biographical research team, including an investigative journalist.
5. Post production team: editor, assistant editors, audio editor, colorist, music supervisor, etc.
6. Music licensing services (synchronization rights will likely be our greatest expense).
Upon successful completion of this campaign, we will place a full team that will help us execute our schedule. Our target timeline is to complete principal photography by the fall, to have a solid rough cut by October, and a final cut by years end. We intend to have Ben front and center at the 2016 premiere.
We are currently in negotiations with potential team members: editors, producers, music supervisors, etc. When the campaign is successful, we will confirm our new team members so that they can hit the ground running. When we make our Kickstarter fundraising goal we will be on track to distribute this film in 2016.
Our fundraising goal is set at $100K because that is the absolute minimum to finish the film and adhere to anything close to our target schedule. A $100K budget will afford us a light post-production, a minimal amount of additional filming, and some music licensing.
If we raise $150K, we will be able to shoot a great deal more interviews, license stock footage, hire a researcher, and license more music. At that point, the more money we raise, the more music we will be able to use to drive this story which revolves around music.
Regardless of amount raised, we will pay Ben a considerable portion as talent for the time he has put in to this project. Contribute to the campaign, help us spread the word, or better yet, both.
Thanks to the project's first two contributors, Willie Nelson and John Paul DeJoria, for making this presentation possible. May the Dorcy be with you!
Risks and challenges
The greatest challenge that this project faces is the need to move quickly. With 2015 marking Ben's 90th birthday, we feel the film must be completed this year.
To our advantage, we've been gathering content for over a decade and are well-positioned to achieve our timeline if we secure our fundraising goal. The funds will be used to accelerate completion by bringing in a top notch post-production team that will immediately put us on the fast track. They will have over 100 hours to work with as soon as they start.
In addition to our post-production team, we will immediately place a team to expedite completion of filming. We intend to wrap principal photography in early fall, have our rough cut by early winter, and our final cut will be locked by the end of the year in time for a premier in 2016, at which Ben Dorcy will be front and center.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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