About this project
THANKS!!! THANKS!!! THANKS!!!
I am beyond shocked! And humbled! We hit our goal of $17,500 in just 11 days. Team Traficant can't thank everyone enough. We will be able to finish the film!! This truly is a dream come true.
Because Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" endeavor we set our $17,500 goal to be lofty yet hopefully attainable. Now, with this great out pouring of support, we want to set a new STRETCH GOAL of $25,000.
Making the film has been an extremely long and difficult process, and I can promise you every single additional dollar will be pumped directly back into the project.
Thank you! And please help us spread the word! -- Eric
Jim Traficant was a legendary quarterback turned mob busting Walking Tall Sheriff who rose to power on a platform of “honesty in politics”. He quickly ascended to the hallowed halls of Congress, becoming its most outspoken member. "Jimbo" as his die-hard supporters called him, was known for his polyester thrift store suits, shock top wigs, vulgar humor and profanity laced rhetoric against the FBI, IRS, and every president since Reagan. His one minute speeches made C-SPAN must see programming, as he signed off with his patented “Beam Me Up!”
In his post-industrial hometown of Youngstown, Ohio -- dubbed Crimetown, USA for being the most mobbed up city in America -- "Jimbo" was a living legend, once garnering more than 90% of the vote. However, the eccentric maverick also had a dark side, becoming only the second Member of Congress expelled since the Civil War, eventually spending over seven years in federal prison on bribery and tax evasion charges.
After serving seven years in federal prison, Traficant re-emerged in the public eye trumpeting his innocence – like a king returning from exile. In 2010, he ran against Congressman Tim Ryan and finished last, but did garner 30,000 votes!
From the Rust Belt to the Tech Belt -- Youngstown is enjoying a comeback that’s earned worldwide media recognition and global investment. In fact, President Obama stated “A once-shuttered warehouse is now a state-of-the art lab where new workers are mastering 3D printing that has the potential to revolutionize everything.”
R.I.P. James A. Traficant, Jr. (1941-2014)
First of all, we extend our deepest sympathies to the entire Traficant family. The recent news of his passing was shocking and sad.
Traficant was larger-than-life -- with equal parts Congressional jester and working-class hero . No matter your side of the issue, he was an incredibly polarizing figure. Now, with his passing, the debate is re-ignited:
- Was Traficant the #1 target of a vengeful government or a mobbed-up pariah that violated his people’s trust?
"The flamboyant former Youngstown sheriff-turned-congressman-turned convict died Sept. 27 after being crushed by an old tractor on his farm, which is no small irony since the farm was the center of the corruption trial that sent him to prison. Traficant was one of a kind in American politics." -- USA TODAY
"Traficant was something Mark Twain or Dickens would have dreamt up if they were writing fiction today..." -- Cleveland.com
" In Washington, Mr. Traficant was an anti-establishment eccentric in the buttoned-up capital..." -- New York Times
Driving for the winning touchdown...
9/23/14 - After working relentlessly since filming began in 2009, I made a DVD of my feature documentary, Traficant: The Congressman of Crimetown, for submission to the upcoming Sundance Film Festival. In Youngstown and LA, respectively, my producer Jeff Alberini and I celebrated this benchmark.
Later that same evening, around 8pm, Jim Traficant flipped his vintage tractor in an accident that would eventually cost him his life. In that moment, we inherited a deeper responsibility and mission.
Truth be told, we had been prepping this Kickstarter campaign the week before Traficant's passing and decided to hit the pause button.
Now, we feel the time is appropriate to ask for your support. We need your help to finish up this decade long endeavor. We're currently crafting a new ending given the circumstances and buttoning up remaining details. It's go time!
Together, with your generous support, we'll be able to release this captivating portrait of one of the most original political stories in American history.
Set against the current backdrop of perpetual gridlock with a historically unpopular Congress, Traficant's "junkyard dog in the face of a hurricane" populism rings loudly today. Perhaps the last cowboy in Congress, his passing represents the end of a bygone era.
Did absolute power, corrupt Traficant absolutely?
Or, was he simply a product of his environment -- Crimetown, USA.
This is our 2nd Kickstarter campaign, a re-election campaign, if you will. Our successful first effort has been the foundation of this project. Admittedly, the process has taken more time than we originally anticipated. In fact, constructing the documentary has been an all-consuming, extremely labor intensive, and expensive process. Unearthing all of the archives has been a tedious and difficult task-- very much needle in the haystack type work. That being said, the entire process has been extremely rewarding, and editing this historical mosaic truly has become a once-in-a-time privilege.
We at Team Traficant are thrilled to share the film with you very soon.
Help us spread the grassroots campaign:
Facebook & Twitter: #Traficant #BeamMeUp #VoteJimbo
We're asking our legacy backers from Campaign #1 to "Vote Jimbo" to re-elect us. You'll notice we've added some really cool rewards including t-shirts, great books, artwork, and incentives from Mr. O'Neill himself. We'd love to hear from all of you.
The goal of $17,500 will provide:
- Sound Design / Mix
- Archival Licensing Fees
- Color Grading, On-line, and Mastering
- Errors and Omissions Insurance (mandatory for films seeking distribution)
- Legal Fees
- Promotion, Marketing, Distribution Fees
** All Kickstarter fundraising is "all or nothing" -- That means if we do not reach our goal, we get ZERO! Literally every dollar counts!
I understand that everyone's time and money is very limited. I appreciate you making time to watch the trailer and read a little bit about my project. This passion project has consumed me over the past 10 years. Most importantly, I remain humbled by everyone's support, we absolutely would not be here without you. I'm deeply thankful for this opportunity. Thank you!
- BONUS MATERIAL:
"BEAM ME UP!"
Risks and challenges
Independent documentary film is often unpredictable and inherently risky. However, we've persevered to this point and are poised to deliver our feature documentary. We anticipate the distribution phase to be another battle -- but we will continue "Walking Tall" as we bring this film to life.
Our post-production team is ready to execute our finishing plan. Lastly, the budget reflects the total costs required to complete and deliver this documentary for a professional presentation.
**Any flex funding above and beyond $17,500 will facilitate wider distribution. As well as, off-set any additional licensing fees.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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