We’re well into production on this feature-length documentary film about an unsung underdog who transformed a failing nightclub, stunned a jaded music industry and lived a rock n' roll fantasy for the ages.
With your help, we’ll be able to complete production and editing in order to submit our film to prestigious and doc-focused festivals. This milestone gives our film and this incredible story its best chance to reach a wider audience.
Our hero, Michael 'Eppy' Epstein, made a sleepy village in Long Island, New York a very unlikely world capital for original music and comedy, as his club, My Father’s Place, launched and exposed America to countless icons of rock, reggae, new wave, punk, and more. Just a few of the artists Eppy helped include Bruce Springsteen, Peter Tosh, Talking Heads, Tom Waits, Culture, The Police, Andy Kaufman, The Slits, Living Colour, Billy Joel, Linda Ronstadt, Elvis Costello and Jackson Browne.
We’ve been nurturing this project gradually since 2012; when the story took a major turn earlier this year, we recognized our best opportunity to complete and share the film. Here’s what your funds will make possible:
I. Help underwrite the unavoidable costs associated with gathering and creating assets that help bring the story to life, namely:
- vintage photography, film and video from the heyday of the nightclub
- archival elements (e.g. newspaper clippings, showbills and other promotional and operational items and ephemera used by the club)
- the amazing animation of the above that our teaser has only begun to preview
- music research and supervision
- the narrative-style re-enactments (shot on super 8 and 16mm film) that capture the time, place and humor of our main subject and his travails
II. Help cover the work of our lean, expert editorial team to pull the above together
III. Legal consultation over rights, clearances, etc.
We have cool perks at all levels of support. Exclusive to this Kickstarter, we're creating a limited run of My Father's Place apparel inspired by the club's vintage t-shirts, worn proudly by the likes of Ronnie Wood and Burning Spear.
We are an experienced, versatile and driven unit that understands how to excel on tight budgets and with small crews. Individually, our narrative and documentary work has screened internationally at renowned film festivals, commercially in theaters and on television.
- Meshakai Wolf, director & producer
- Zac Nicholson, cinematographer & co-director
- Eric Weil, producer
- Raymond Schillinger, producer
- Sam Reiss, editor
- Whitney Theis, animator
MESHAKAI WOLF is an artist and filmmaker based in New York City. His most recent feature length documentary film, Flames of God, on acclaimed Macedonian Roma poet and musician, Muzafer Bislim, won best film at the Rolling Film Festival in Kosovo and was the closing night selection at the 2011 Margaret Mead Film Festival at the Museum of Natural History in New York City. His first film, Gussie, is an intimate portrait of his great-grandmother who lived to be 105 years old. The 50-minute film documents the last 5 years of her life as she transitions from independence in her Coney Island apartment to a full-time care facility on Long Island. Gussie premiered at the Provincetown International Film Festival, was an official selection at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and won best documentary at the Magnolia Film Festival.
Shows he wishes he saw at My Father's Place: The Slits, Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers, Augustus Pablo, Muddy Waters
ZAC NICHOLSON is an American filmmaker born in New York and living in Brooklyn. His work as a director and cinematographer spans the medium from narrative to documentary film, and is regarded for its unique character-driven, cinematic perspective. Most recently, he shot the feature length documentaries, Unseen Enemy, for CNNFilms and Memory Games which is soon to make its festival debut. Zac also just finished his short film, Heard in Havana, about the first group of American composers to travel and present their work in Cuba in over fifty years.
Shows he wishes he saw at My Father's Place: Talking Heads, Lou Reed, Culture, Andy Kaufman, The Band
ERIC WEIL is an Emmy-award winning writer-producer based in New York. His work has featured on PBS, Nickelodeon, internationally via Sesame Street and has screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, Sydney Opera House among other prestigious festivals and venues. Since 2006 he has produced work for clients through his company, Reservoir Films. His multi-year project for New York Road Runners received honors from the Webbys, the Tellys and Parents’ Choice.
Shows he wishes he'd saw at My Father’s Place: Tom Waits, Living Colour, Richie Havens, Randy Newman & Brruuuccce!
RAYMOND SCHILLINGER is a producer, journalist and filmmaker who has worked on digital video teams at Bloomberg, The Atlantic, and PBS. His first documentary film, Dreams for Sale, chronicled the decline of Lehigh Acres, Florida, one of the hardest-hit areas during the 2008 foreclosure crisis.
Dream show at My Father's Place: The snowy winter night that Andy Kaufman took the entire audience out for milk and cookies (true story, apparently!). And hanging out on a Reggae night with Keith and Ronnie, of course.
SAM REISS is a filmmaker and photographer originally from San Diego, California who currently resides in New York. He has worked as a director and editor, focusing predominantly on fashion film, experimental work and music video. He is regarded for his unique use of music. His work has been featured in Vogue Arabia, the Fashionography, Logo & the BBC and last year he edited Madonna's Her Story film for Vogue Germany. Currently he is creating visuals for the Joyce Theater's The Tenant based on the novel by Roland Torpor.
Shows he wishes he saw at My Father's Place: New York Dolls, The Police, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Psychedelic Furs, George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Muddy Waters
WHITNEY THEIS is a freelance animator based in Brooklyn. Her work encompasses many styles of animation, always striving for the right look and feel for each project. She has worked with brands and companies big and small, as well as creating VFX and animations for short and feature films. She is currently expanding her work to include illustration and comics.
Show she wishes she saw at My Father's Place: Hall & Oates
We’re incredibly excited and passionate about telling this great story. Eppy and My Father’s Place have had a truly epic ride, by turns glorious, hilarious, heartbreaking and almost always unpredictable.
With your support, we’ll have the resources to do this story justice, transporting viewers cinematically to a wondrous cultural scene that has no equal in the annals of popular music.
Thanks for reading and considering our project.
Risks and challenges
Sourcing archival assets such as music, photos and video clips; particularly on a tight budget, can require patience, flexibility and a sense of humor. We have some experience in this area and will call upon the guidance of friends and acquaintances who are experts in this area.
We are on track to cast and shoot some cinematic re-enactments this fall; the final scheduling is subject to the availability of our on-screen talent as well as a crew of in-demand professionals who are donating their time, talent and, when possible, their gear. We, the core filmmaking team have navigated these challenges successfully throughout our careers. We’ve committed to completing this project — nurtured by us over six years — and are confident we will get it done.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)