“The Winding Stream
– The Carters, the Cashes and the Course of Country Music” KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN
Producer/Director: Beth Harrington
Producers: Tara Johnson-Medinger, Kelley Roy
Photography: Andrea Leoncavallo, Kelly Kendziorksi, Chrissy Roes, Dawn Smallman
Kickstarter site >
System: FCP 7
This one really felt like more than just a fundraising campaign to me, it felt like a… movement. The number of people willing to share their time, efforts and hard-earned cash to see this film get to the big screen has been really astounding to me. Having seen it, I get it. The story is not only of the First Family of country music, or even about the Big Bang of country music, or how this legacy has woven through most everything we hear today. It also deals with a woman being at the very center of a very male-dominated business, and the role of black musicians in a genre largely portrayed as “white”. It deals with a lot of things that our culture as a whole would do well to talk about.
Of course, when Beth called me to see if I’d be interested, I didn’t know any of that. She told me she had one of the last ever interviews with Johnny Cash, and I said I wanted in.
Beth and her editor Greg Snider were ten years into the project. Since Beth’s last film, the 2001 Welcome to the Club – The Women of Rockabilly, the business of funding filmmaking had changed dramatically. Sure, the technology has gotten cheaper and there are more avenues to get your work seen, but none of that helps when your subject require massive amounts of archival materials which are costly both in the time it takes to research, the price of licensing, and the process of conforming the material to today’s standards. (Making a film really costs as much as a house. Depending on the film. And on the house.)
So this was to be the big push to afford post production. $50,000. What not everyone realizes about a Kickstarter campaign is that there’s more to it than just making your pitch and sitting back watching the money roll in. Beth did realize this, and with the help of Tara Johnson-Medinger and Kelley Roy, ran a well-structured and dynamic campaign. There was the first video, the trailer, then updates that were snippets from the film and pleas from the musicians who were featured. And all of a sudden, there was a flash mob. And that’s the video here.
I think that the momentum Beth built around this project has allowed people to feel that they’re co-creators, which, really, they are.