*UPDATE!* Goal reached- but don't stop there! Thanks to everyone's generous contributions, production on MR HAPPY MAN will go into production! The $4,000 goal covered my work permit and crew fees for getting the film shot, but does not include film festival submission fees, getting prints made for festivals, dvd production, etc. Any extra contributions will go towards making the film better and reaching a wider audience! THANK YOU
WHAT'S THE PROJECT?
A short documentary about one of the happiest people on earth and most beloved resident of Bermuda, Johnny Barnes.
Johnny Barnes, an 85-year-old resident of Bermuda, has dedicated his life to bringing a smile to people's faces. Bermuda has some of the densest road traffic in the world, leading to some very frustrated commuters. 26 years ago, Johnny was walking to work when he got stuck at a busy intersection. As people drove past, he started to wave to them and say good morning. He enjoyed it so much, he came back the next day and waved to people, blew kisses, and shouted "I love you!" At first, some people thought he was crazy, but pretty soon everyone started to appreciate a little bit of love and happiness to brighten up their dreary commute. Every morning since then, rain or shine, Johnny wakes up at 3am and heads to that intersection, spending hours waving and greeting all those who pass, sometimes stopping to pray with tourists for a safe journey home. Johnny has become the most beloved man in Bermuda, with many people referring to him as "Mr. Happy Man," and there has been a statue of him erected at his famous intersection. Johnny has a lot to share about what it takes to be optimistic and happy in life, and I believe everyone who can't see him in person will benefit from a film about his life.
My previous documentaries, the award-winning PICKIN' & TRIMMIN' and WATERMELON MAN , focused on older gentlemen who have found happiness by doing what they love, which as a result has brought joy to everyone around them. The films have proven to be uplifting crowd-pleasers, and MR. HAPPY MAN will continue in this tradition. In the current recession, I think it's important to expose people to sources of inspiration for how to live a happy and fulfilled life.
WHERE IS THE MONEY GOING?
Normally, with this type of film, it is possible to call in favors and get it made relatively inexpensively. Unfortunately, the red tape involved with filming in Bermuda makes this impossible! Bermuda is beautiful, has no taxes, and the highest GDP per capita in the world. This means a lot of people want to work there (and it is overpopulated as a result), but they want to make sure locals get the best of their economy. It also means that for any non-native, working there is a huge hassle. It will cost a thousand dollars just for me to get a work permit processed! After that, as part of Bermuda law, I *have* to hire on-island crew to shoot the film with me, as well as pay rates that reflect the high cost of living in Bermuda. Fortunately, I've found a great production company with top notch equipment and experienced crew. My travel and stay in Bermuda has already been generously donated. The plan is to shoot for two days (The same length of time I shot PICKIN' & TRIMMIN') with good crew and HD equipment. The result should be great!
WHERE IS THE MONEY *NOT* GOING?
Into my pocket. All funds will go directly towards the production of the film. Johnny Barnes cheers people up at his intersection without being paid, so I will produce, direct, and edit the film without being paid! If the goal is reached- don't stop there! Any additional funds will be used for submission fees for film festivals, creation of tapes, dvds, etc. This, like many projects on Kickstarter, and Johnny's greetings, is a labor of love. I hope you will help me bring Johnny's story to a wider audience!
Kickstarter is a great website that is easy to use. I've used it personally to fund projects I found interesting. All you need is an Amazon.com account. Create a Kickstarter account, decide how much you want to give, and make a donation! It's fast, easy, and secure.
Thanks, Matt Morris
Photo © Sharondipity Photography
- (40 days)