About this project
You may have noticed that we hit our goal. The response so far has been tremendous, we're extremely grateful, and it's true that $38,000 will pay for the songs we absolutely need to clear! However, to clear all the songs we'd like to clear, pay our music supervisor, and deliver a finished, legal film to a distributor like the great ones we're in talks with, we need significantly more money. While it's possible to self-distribute a cleared film for less money, we want to pursue the opportunity to work with a distributor who can get it to as WIDE an audience as possible. A few theaters across the country are already itching to play it! Any contribution beyond our goal brings us closer to getting Tchoupitoulas to be seen far and wide.
The film has received some great press since its premiere at SXSW -- check some of it out: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, the Indiewire review, a full spread in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and a Filmmaker Magazine article about the connection between "Beasts of the Southern Wild" & "Tchoupitoulas"
THE LONG AND THE SHORT OF IT: Our new film is about 3 kids, New Orleans at night, and MUSIC -- but we need to raise money to clear the music in order to release the film! Besides some other work by us, we've chosen rewards that commemorate New Orleans, music, and our personal commitment to you if you help us out (e.g., we'll make a movie for you!). If we don't raise at least $38,000, the music in Tchoupitoulas will remain uncleared, the film unreleaseable, and we'll never be able to show it to everyone. The bottom line: WE WANT TO BE ABLE TO SHOW YOU THIS MOVIE!
WHO WE ARE: BILL and TURNER ROSS (directors/editors) - We made a documentary called 45365 about our hometown of Sidney, Ohio, that had a successful festival run in 2009 -- it won the Best Documentary Prize at South by Southwest, was one of Metacritic's best reviewed documentaries of 2010, and got shown on PBS' "Independent Lens." Roger Ebert said a lot of nice things about us. Three years later, we premiered again at South by Southwest with a film about our second hometown: New Orleans.
MICHAEL GOTTWALD, DAN JANVEY, JOSH PENN (producers) - Founding fathers of the New Orleans based Court 13 film collective, our film Beasts of the Southern Wild just won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in January and will be released by Fox Searchlight this summer.
JOE RUDGE is our music supervisor. Some films he's worked on: Margin Call, Blue Valentine, Brick, and more.
WHAT'S THIS FILM ABOUT: Tchoupitoulas (pronounced "chop-ih-TOOL-us") follows three young brothers from the West Bank of New Orleans as they cross the river on the ferry and spend one night in the shining, peculiar pleasure island that is the French Quarter. Music propels them down the streets as we witness the bewildering sights through their eyes, spending time with everyone from burlesque dancers to oyster shuckers to street musicians. Our hero, 11 year-old William, a budding novice at the flute, is particularly drawn to the sounds that emanate from the bars, the clubs, and the sidewalks -- all places we roam in Tchoupitoulas. In short, it's a movie about the feel and sound of New Orleans at night -- all night -- through the eyes and ears of a kid.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Although our film is finished, we can't release it or show it beyond festivals, because the music rights must be cleared. Being able to pay for the songs in our film is crucial to Tchoupitoulas -- it simply would not be the movie that we envision without the music in it, just as life in New Orleans would not be the same without the music we hear here. We've determined that we could pay for the songs that are absolutely necessary to clear with $38,000. Though our last film 45365 received much praise at festivals and great press, ultimately it was very hard for people to see it -- largely because some of the music rights were never cleared. If we don't raise enough money to make it release-able, Tchoupitoulas will go the way of 45365: it will be near impossible to see. So, we have learned from our mistakes. Your generosity will enable us to show you and a wider audience our story in the way that it needs to be told. We'll be able to share accurately the musical culture of New Orleans as seen through the eyes of our young heroes, a perspective that we believe is important and that makes our film what it is.
GIFTS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!: We've come up with some prizes that reflect the focus on music and New Orleans in our film, some that involve the other stuff we've made over the years, and some that are just plain goofy, but we hope you like them.
That's all. We've spent the last 2 and a half years completing this film. Please help us bring finally bring it to the world! We don't want to keep it for ourselves -- we want as many people to see it as possible. And this is the only way to make that happen!
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