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A non-traditional documentary exploring Buster Keaton’s enduring legacy in cinema...100 years after his first appearance on film.
A documentary exploring Buster Keaton’s enduring legacy...100 years after his first appearance on film.
A documentary exploring Buster Keaton’s enduring legacy...100 years after his first appearance on film.
121 backers pledged $10,100 to help bring this project to life.

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To Be Funny : 100 Years of Buster Keaton

$10,100

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We put everything into our last campaign, but we’ve certainly learned a lot from our first experience. Here's a few changes we've made for this second time around: 

  • We lowered our goal…by a whole lot! We’ve re-worked our production schedule, and pared down our locations, crew, and equipment needs to make this possible
  • We chose a short period of time to meet our goal.14 Days. Let’s do this.
  • We added more rewards for our backers!

A number of documentaries surrounding Keaton’s legacy have been executed beautifully; they have transported us into the past to tell his story, and propelled us through his career with great care.

We’re approaching our documentary in a different way.

While Buster is the reason for the documentary, his fans are the documentary. We want to give them the chance to showcase the work they've been doing in his honor. We hope to create a present-day tribute, giving audiences a glimpse into what these fans are doing to preserve Keaton's legacy: They are organizing public screenings, composing entire scores for his films, and holding annual events in honor of his work. 

April 2017 marks Buster Keaton's 100 years in film. The efforts being made by these fans are ensuring he is remembered for another 100 years. His contribution to film has influenced modern cinema, his timeless appeal has captivated fans young and old, new and devoted... and for audiences unfamiliar with silent and classic films, Keaton is often the gateway to exploring other gems from the past...many of which are lost and many of which are in dire need of preservation. We hope to bring attention to this!

Silent film accompanist, Jeff Rapsis at The Flying Monkey Theatre in NH
Silent film accompanist, Jeff Rapsis at The Flying Monkey Theatre in NH

For the Musicians chapter of our film, we filmed two approaches to accompanying some of Buster's silents:

In February of 2015, we traveled to Tucson AZ. We read about an eclectic group of musicians looking to compose and perform an entire score for Keaton's film, The General (1926). Chris Black, founder and artistic director of Chamberlab, sat with us to discuss Keaton's enduring legacy. We filmed their performance at Fox Tucson Theatre:

Between March and June of 2015, we filmed several New Hampshire Keaton screenings featuring silent film accompanist, Jeff Rapsis. Jeff sat down with us to discuss Keaton's modern appeal:

With this campaign, we've pared down our locations (from 4 to 2) to focus on the most important Keaton events we need to film, and they're approaching fast!

If we raise the funds we need to get this project going at full speed, we'll be able to meet with more Keaton scholars and fans at the following locations: 

  • Iola, KS: We've been invited to attend and film segments of the Annual Buster Keaton Celebration  (September 2015). 
  • Muskegon, MI: We've been invited by the International Buster Keaton Society to attend and film segments of the 21st Annual Buster Keaton Convention (October 2015).

Here's a breakdown of what our backers are helping us do:

These funds will help us with bare essentials for travel and all that goes with it (transportation, boarding, etc.). It will also take care of equipment rentals, equipment shipping and extra carry-on charges. 

 We are working in conjunction with Merge Creative Media: A 10 year old NYC based production and post house specializing in color grading and motion graphics.

  •  We are happy to say that the post production side of this project is already 80% covered: Editing, motion graphics, and finishing is already sponsored. 
  • 10+ years of film and TV experience- while running a successful production and post house in an extremely competitive city.
  • This doc will be semi-biographical, so fact checking is necessary. We don't have all the answers- but we know the people who do. If we raise the funds, we plan on meeting a few of them at the Keaton celebration in Iola, and the Damfino convention in Muskegon. 
  • A sincere love for the subject of this piece.

Rejoice! With this relaunch, we’ve added a couple more little things for our backers, and shifted around our rewards to better suit this campaign. Depending on what you pledge, we're offering some of these : 

The above rewards will ship approximately December 2015!

Rewards that include credits, digital downloads, blu-rays and dvd's will ship after our film is completed! Approximately: April 2017

Facebook: www.facebook.com/tobefunnynyc

Twitter: www.twitter.com/tobefunnynyc

Risks and challenges

After 10 years of running a successful independent production and post production house in NYC, we are fully aware of Murphy's Law. Licensing issues could always put a halt on things.

We have a 100% transparency rule.
If funded, we will keep backers in the loop with production updates, delays, etc. We don't want to leave anyone in the dark.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Good Karma !

    Thank you for paying it forward! You'll receive a shout-out on our Facebook page.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Snail Mail Love

    -A To Be Funny Postcard from our team
    -A shout-out on our Facebook page

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    We Get It...You Like Trains.

    -A To Be Funny "My Other Car Is A Locomotive" bumper sticker
    -The above rewards

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    The Ice Box Special

    -A To Be Funny Magnet
    -The above rewards

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    The Johnnie Gray Special

    -A To Be Funny "I Do All My Own Stunts" T-shirt
    -A To Be Funny "My Other Car Is A Locomotive" bumper sticker
    -A shout-out on our Facebook page

    The rewards below will ship when film is completed (approx. April 2017):
    -A digital download of the finished film
    -A special thanks in our credits

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Jingles

    -A To Be Funny Keychain
    -Plus rewards from the $25+ bracket, which includes:
    -A To Be Funny "I Do All My Own Stunts" T-shirt
    -A To Be Funny "My other car is a locomotive" bumper sticker
    -A shout-out on our Facebook page

    The rewards listed below will ship when the film is completed (approx. April 2017):
    -A digital download of the finished film
    -A special thanks in our credits

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Well, Bust My Buttons...ALL THE THINGS!

    -A To Be Funny Collector's Pack of 4 1.25" buttons, designed by our team

    -Plus the above rewards, which include:
    -A To Be Funny Postcard from our team
    -A To Be Funny "My Other Car Is A Locomotive" bumper sticker
    -A To Be Funny Magnet
    -A To Be Funny Keychain
    -A To Be Funny "I Do All My Own Stunts" T-Shirt
    -A shout-out on our Facebook Page

    The rewards listed below will ship when the film is completed (approx. April 2017):
    -A digital download of the finished film
    -A special thanks in our credits

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    22 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Gag Bag

    -A To Be Funny tote bag

    -Plus the above rewards, which include:
    -A To Be Funny Collector's Pack of 4 1.25" buttons, designed by our team
    -A To Be Funny Postcard from our team
    -A To Be Funny "My Other Car Is A Locomotive" bumper sticker
    -A To Be Funny Magnet
    -A To Be Funny Keychain
    -A To Be Funny "I Do All My Own Stunts" T-Shirt
    -A shout-out on our Facebook Page

    The rewards listed below will ship when the film is completed (approx. April 2017):
    -A digital download of the finished film
    -A special thanks in our credits
    -Your choice of a signed Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the finished film

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    16 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Swag Collector

    -A limited edition 11x17" To Be Funny poster signed by our team

    -Plus the rewards listed above, which include:
    -A To Be Funny tote bag
    -A To Be Funny Collector's Pack of 4 1.25" buttons, designed by our team
    -A To Be Funny Postcard from our team
    -A To Be Funny "My Other Car Is A Locomotive" bumper sticker
    -A To Be Funny Magnet
    -A To Be Funny Keychain
    -A To Be Funny "I Do All My Own Stunts" T-Shirt
    -A shout-out on our Facebook Page

    The rewards listed below will ship when the film is completed (approx. April 2017):
    -A digital download of the finished film
    -A special thanks in our credits
    -Your choice of a signed Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the finished film

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Awesome by Association

    -An Associate Producer Credit in the film

    Plus all of the above rewards, which include:
    -A limited edition 11x17" To Be Funny poster signed by our team
    -A To Be Funny tote bag
    -A To Be Funny Collector's Pack of 4 1.25" buttons, designed by our team
    -A To Be Funny Postcard from our team
    -A To Be Funny "My Other Car Is A Locomotive" bumper sticker
    -A To Be Funny Magnet
    -A To Be Funny Keychain
    -A To Be Funny "I Do All My Own Stunts" T-Shirt
    -A shout-out on our Facebook Page

    The rewards listed below will ship when the film is completed (approx. April 2017):
    -A digital download of the finished film
    -A special thanks in our credits
    -Your choice of a signed Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the finished film

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    HBIC (Head Backer In Charge)

    -An Executive Producer Credit in the film

    -Plus all of the above rewards, which include:
    -A limited edition 11x17" To Be Funny poster signed by our team
    -A To Be Funny tote bag
    -A To Be Funny Collector's Pack of 4 1.25" buttons, designed by our team
    -A To Be Funny Postcard from our team
    -A To Be Funny "My Other Car Is A Locomotive" bumper sticker
    -A To Be Funny Magnet
    -A To Be Funny Keychain
    -A To Be Funny "I Do All My Own Stunts" T-Shirt
    -A shout-out on our Facebook Page

    The rewards listed below will ship when the film is completed (approx. April 2017):
    -A digital download of the finished film
    -A special thanks in our credits
    -Your choice of a signed Blu-Ray or DVD copy of the finished film

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    4 backers
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Funding period

- (15 days)