A giant thanks to everyone who contributed to our Kickstarter campaign! As production of Buzz One Four moves forward, stay tuned for updates and announcements at the official Buzz One Four website. You can also sign up for our mailing list at www.buzzonefour.com our follow us on Facebook.
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Buzz One Four is a documentary film by Matt McCormick that chronicles the ill fated flight of a Cold War Air Force B-52 bomber loaded with two thermonuclear bombs that crashed approximately 100 miles from Washington DC in 1964. The crash has remained classified and details are still suppressed by the Air Force, but it is a story the filmmaker knows well because the pilot of the plane was his grandfather, Major Thomas W. McCormick.
Flight B-1-4 was returning from an Operation Chrome Dome mission when, flying over the eastern seaboard, the massive plane encountered a powerful winter storm that tore the tail-section from the aircraft. As the airmen ejected into the frigid night sky, the bomber and its nuclear payload hurled out of control and slammed into the side of Savage Mountain in western Maryland. Luckily the warheads did not detonate in the fiery crash- combined they were over 1000 times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima- but the missing crewmen, and the missing nukes, sent shock waves through the local communities and the US Air Force.
Military officials knew that the B-52 had a structural defect that made its vertical stabilizer prone to snapping off in heavy winds, but decided that an occasional crash- and the resulting casualties- were more acceptable than the cost of grounding the planes and fixing the problem. This was the fourth such incident that year, and twelve airmen lost their lives in those crashes.
The crash of flight Buzz One Four was classified as a Broken Arrow event- the codename for incidents in which a nuclear weapon is lost, accidentally jettisoned, or otherwise out of control. The US Government has acknowledged 32 Broken Arrow incidents, the details of which make it is easy to wonder if the United States was in greater danger of nuking itself than being attacked by the Russians.
But while Pentagon bureaucrats may have stumbled in their efforts to protect the airmen who carried out their missions and the nuclear bombs on board their planes, the citizens who lived near the crash site went above and beyond the call of duty. Five men were on board flight Buzz One Four, and it was assumed they bailed out before impact. Hundreds of locals braved the dangerously cold temperatures- and the possibility of radioactive contamination- and volunteered to search the remote hills for survivors or help in any way they could.
Buzz One Four is a complex story of survival, tragedy, heroism and betrayal, and yet is just a small part of a much larger narrative. This film hopes to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice while reminding ourselves of the grievous mistakes our country has made in the name of national security.
Production on Buzz One Four started in 2013 and roughly 60% of the footage has been shot. In the coming months we will be shooting more interviews, transferring archival film footage to HD digital files, and creating graphics and animated sequences. Editing and post-production work will commence in the summer of 2015, with a projected completion date of late 2015 or early 2016.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
I have been directing films and music videos for nearly 20 years. My work has screened in venues ranging from the Sundance Film Festival to the Museum of Modern Art and has aired on PBS, MTV, and IFC. I have received strong reviews from the likes of The New York Times and Art Forum Magazine. To read more about my work or to see clips, please visit my website at www.rodeofilmco.com.
WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT
The budget of Buzz One Four is significantly higher than what we are hoping to raise here, and we are in the process of applying for several grants and seeking other funding opportunities. But the grant process takes time- time we are afraid we don't have. The crash occurred over 50 years ago, and several individuals we still need to interview are well into their 80s. We simply don’t have time to waste.
To date, production of the film has been financed entirely out of pocket, but we can’t go any further before securing additional funding. Looking forward we have significant travel and equipment costs, archival film transfer and licensing costs, and the long slog of post-production. Buzz One Four is a not-for-profit effort, and we promise you that every penny we raise in this Kickstarter campaign will go towards the film. Of course, if we can raise more than our goal that would allow us to take things even further and and invest more resources into the film.
Buzz One Four also has non-profit sponsorship. If you are interested in making a tax-deductable donation please email us: buzz(at)rodeofilmco.com
The success of this campaign hinges on your support, so we have put together a selection of rewards that we hope will get you excited about helping us.
$5 or more: One Month free subscription to Fandor
Fandor.com members can access thousands of handpicked, award-winning independent films, from around the world of all lengths & genres including Matt McCormick's previous films. Support great cinema: half of your membership fee goes back to the films you watch (US & Canada only). PLUS our sincere thanks, a shout-out on our blog, and email updates throughout the production process. Every dollar counts!!!
$16: Fandor plus 'From Tugboats to Polar Bears' DVD
You get a one month free subscription to Fandor.com, PLUS the DVD From Tugboats to Polar Bears, a compilation of short films by Matt McCormick featuring The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal and many more, plus a shout-out on our blog and email updates throughout the production.
$25: Digital Download the Movie!!!
You get a digital download and/or a password to stream the film upon it’s release, email updates about the production, a shout-out on our blog, and a postcard sent to you from the film’s premiere (likely a TBD film festival in 2015 or 2016).
NEW REWARD: $45 or more: Peripheral Produce DVD Fun Pack!
Donate $45 or more and receive 5 DVDs from the Peripheral Produce Catalog. You get the Peripheral Produce All-Time Greatest Hits compilation, which features work by Miranda July, Sam Green, Vanessa Renwick, and many others, Deborah Stratman's Something Like Flying, Naomi Uman's Milking and Scratching, Matt McCormick's From Tugboats to Polar Bears, and the Auto-Cinematic Video Mix-Tap compilation, which features work from Negativland, Miranda July, Animal Charm, and many others. This donation level also comes with the one-month free subscription to Fandor. Visit www.peripheralproduce.com for more information about the DVDs.
$50: Buzz One Four limited-edition mission patch!
To commemorate the final flight of Buzz One Four, we have created a special, limited-edition mission patch modeled after official Air Force squadron patches. At this donation level, you get one of these embroidered patches PLUS everything in the $25 level (digital download, postcard, a shout-out on our blog, etc).
$75: Matt McCormick From Tugboats to Polar Bears DVD and Very Stereo CD (plus digital download, patch, etc)
You get the DVD compilation of Matt’s short films From Tugboats to Polar Bears (includes The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal, American Nutria, and several others), his CD Very Stereo, PLUS everything in the $50 level (patch, digital download, etc)
$100: Buzz One Four Official Supporter!
You get a special ‘funders only’ hand-packaged and signed limited-edition DVD of Buzz One Four once the film has been released AND your name listed in the film’s ‘special thanks’ section of the credits PLUS everything in the $50 level ( digital download, patch, email updates, and postcard)
$150: Official Supporter plus Archival Films!
At this level you get all of the rewards in the $100 Official Supporter level PLUS a DVD compilation of several archival films from the National Archives that are being transferred for use in Buzz One Four. This DVD will include Universal News Reels, US Air Force training films, and much more.
$250: Some Days are Better than Others fun-pack
If you saw Matt's film Some Days are Better than Others then you remember the scene in which Carrie Brownstein’s character finds a stockpile of awkward robotic stuffed panda bears.At this donation level you get one of those bears AND a DVD of Some Days are Better than Others PLUS everything in the $100 reward level (limited edition DVD, digital download, patch, etc).
$400: one-of-a-kind James Mercer / Shins stuff
If you saw the Shins video Australia that Matt directed you’ll remember the great scene in which front-man James Mercer maps out the team’s ‘plan’ to liberate a parking-lot full of balloons.At this level you will get that original, one-of-a-kind drawing James made while the cameras were rolling PLUS a silk-screened poster from a film+music show that Matt and James did together at the Portland Art Museum signed by James Mercer himself.You will also get a hand-packaged DVD of the Australia video as well as everything in the $100 reward level (limited edition DVD, digital download, etc).
$500: Oregon Ghost Town road trip
If you are familiar with Matt’s film Future So Bright than you know that he knows his way around the back roads of central Oregon. Departing from Portland, Matt will take you on a one-day road trip visiting some of his favorite abandoned places in the upper Columbia River Plateau region. Along the way you can talk shop, take lots of beautiful photographs, or simply stare out the window. PLUS you also get everything in the $100 reward level (limited edition DVD, patch, digital download, etc). The scheduling this trip is flexible, but early to mid June is recommended. You are required to supply your own transportation to Portland.
$600: The Great Northwest fun-pack
You get one limited edition photograph from The Great Northwest series as well as a Bluray DVD of the film. Click here to peruse images and get information about sizes and editions. PLUS you also get everything in the $100 reward level (limited edition DVD, digital download, etc).
$1500: Be an Associate Producer!
Really get behind the scenes as an official member of the crew. Your name will appear in the credits of the film and on IMDB as an associate producer, you will be invited to visit shooting locations (if feasible), see rough-cuts of the project, discuss the project with the director, and receive 2 complimentary tickets to the film’s premiere screening (likely at a yet-to-be-determined film festival in 2015. travel and lodging not included) PLUS you also get everything in the ‘Buzz One Four Official Supporter’ reward level (limited edition DVD, digital download, etc).
$4,5000: Be an Executive Producer!
Take your involvement to the next level and really get behind the scenes as an official member of the crew. Your name will appear in the credits of the film and on IMDB as an executive producer, you will be invited to visit shooting locations (if feasible), see rough-cuts of the project, discuss the project with the director, receive 4 complimentary tickets to the film’s premiere screening (likely at a yet-to-be-determined film festival in 2015. travel and lodging not included) and be treated like a VIP at any and all Buzz One Four screenings and events. PLUS you also get everything in the ‘Buzz One Four Official Supporter’ reward level (limited edition DVD, digital download, etc).
Risks and challenges
There are several inherent risks involved with any film production. It is quite possible we will run into challenges and the film will take longer to produce than anticipated. Fulfillment of the rewards could also take longer than anticipated. We will be sending out email updates, and posting progress on our blog, but also invite you to contact us to get updates if you have any questions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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