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So, Any Jay Bennett Fans Here?

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I hope the film still gets made, and I don't know the team behind it at all, but there's a reason I never contributed to the Kickstarter despite my love of Jay B.......can't pinpoint what it was....just a feeling.


I hate to do a repeat of the Wilcopedia topic, but....

I backed the initial Kickstarter, coming on three years ago now, and I have to be honest, I've been pretty disappointed with the lack of updates. Especially since some of the few updates we have received have been promoting the filmmaker's other movies. For instance, in March 2018 he posted two updates, one saying they found new interviews of Jay and the other promoting a Kickstarter for an unrelated move. Then eight months later, we were told they were in the process of shooting a few more interviews and cutting the film. No updates to Kickstarter backers till March 2019 when he posted about a movie called Pizza A Love Story, and didn't even mention the Jay doc. No further updates till July 2019 when he posted that animation was taking a long time. So from March 2018 to now, we've had exactly one (vague) update about the film. This goes right through June 2019 which on the original Kickstarter was suppose to be when backers would receive their signed DVD. The release date came and went, eight months ago(!!!!!) with zero explanation. Looks like a trailer is posted on the new Kickstarter to help raise funds, but no footage, trailer or otherwise, has been sent to the original backers.

Now he's asking for MORE money, but has yet to post to the first Kickstarter about it and explain to the original backers why he needs more money. The new money is supposedly for animation but he was clearly working on animation last summer... so what changed?? According to the new Kickstarter this is for interviews discovered last year that were from "One while Wilco was recording Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, another from shortly after he was fired from the band, and the last from a few years later". Which sounds exactly like the update from almost two years ago in March 2018 where he said "Hours of never-before-heard interviews with Jay Bennett (during Wilco, right after the split, and a few years later)." So what was it, a year ago, or two years ago? Why is this taking so long? Why wasn't the original $28000 raised enough for animation since the movie, according to the creator, was already mostly shot and in the process of being edited before the original Kickstarter even happened? Where did that money go? 

The new Kickstater has a section called "What Happens If We Don't Reach Our Goal" but it only talks about your credit card not getting charged, it doesn't mention if this film will even happen or not. The new Kickstarter also threatens "So, let’s aim for $22,500 and there won't be a need for a third Kickstarter!", I should mention that $22500 is currently seven times what the Kickstarter is at with just over a week to go.

The whole thing has left a sour taste in my mouth.

But I am relieved to hear that kidsmoke liked what she saw. Was there Jay-era Wilco music? Were Jeff/John/Glenn interviewed? 

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I hope the film still gets made, and I don't know the team behind it at all, but there's a reason I never contributed to the Kickstarter despite my love of Jay B.......can't pinpoint what it was....just a feeling.


Kickstarter is fine is you look at who's making the film.  We've run 40 successful campaigns, and have financed 11 features completely through the site.  Eight of them are available on DVD and all streaming platforms.  The 9th has been playing festivals since last year.  The tenth is premiering on March 5th.  And both of those are being released on DVD/streaming in Sept.  We have a standing distribution deal and have NEVER not finished a film.  This campaign is past 100 funded and we still have a week to go.  That's all there for anyone to read.  Don't go by someone who only reads what he wants to read in the Kickstarter description.  And just ask kidsmoke, she's seen the rough cut. 

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We made our stretch goal with 7 days to go, so we've added a second stretch: $22,500.  If we reach this there will no need for a final Kickstarter.  We will have everything we need to finsh all post-production on the film.  Now help us get there, so we can pay for all those fun finishing expenses like legal, insurance, mixing, color correction!  We can do it in the name of rock and roll!
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Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this one of our best Kickstarter campaigns ever. 247%...wow!

You guys rock, and we promise you this film will as well!
I just received a new piece of animation yesterday. It's coming along beautifully.
We'll start submitting to film festivals in the next couple of months. Can't wait to show it to the world.
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  • 4 months later...



We locked picture on Where are you, Jay Bennett? last night, and immediately submitted to our first two film festivals. The animation is complete. The next big steps are finishing end credits, a sound mix, color correction, legal, and insurance. But the film is pretty damn amazing if I do say so myself. It's running 1 hour and 45 minutes long.
The plan now is to submit to film festivals. Play the festival circuit through to at least Spring 2021...then the DVD/streaming release. More details as we know them.
So, just wanted to give everyone that exciting update. We will be doing one last small kickstarter for the legal/insurance. Probably launch that in July.
Gorman & Fred
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  • 3 months later...
Wanted to give you guys a massive update on the documentary...
When we last spoke I told you the film was complete and that the next big steps were finishing end credits, a sound mix, color correction, legal, and insurance.
Well, color correction is complete, and the end credits are almost done. We will however be launching a Kickstarter before the end of the year to help with legal and insurance, which are more costly than I even want to think about.
I also told you we began submitting to film festivals. And there's good news/bad news. Good news: We got into a great festival. A perfect fest for which Where are you, Jay Bennett? to premiere. Bad news. I turned them down. They were online only, which I understand right now, but they offered no geo-blocking (limiting the availability to the state), no limit on number of tickets sold, and the film was playing for an entire week. As someone who has been making features since 1983, I know a rip-off when I see one. (For example, the New York Film Festival, playing right now, would ask filmmakers how many tickets they wanted sold, and the film would only be available for a 4 hour window – sort of like actually seeing it at a film festival. Remember at a festival you see the film when it's screening, period. You don't get to choose day and time.) So basically it was like a giant pay-per-view event for the festival, which ultimately would only hurt the distribution opportunities for the film.
And while I know this is disappointing, the film has to come first. My job is to find the best distribution avenues, so it can find the widest audience. As I said before, I've been doing this for so long, I follow my gut.
Also, this is a film that is begging for a live audience. Which I know is hardly possibly right now. I'm hoping it will be, possibly as we move into 2021. If not, we will hold our own massive pay-per-view World Premiere event in late Spring. I promise I'm not going to wait forever.
Thinking now that a DVD release (perhaps something special with vinyl, as I've done with Grant Hart, Lydia Loveless, and the Archer of Loaf!!!) in Fall of 2021 will be the plan.
I know that's a long ways, but it will help me find the biggest audience possible for Jay Bennett's amazing tale.
Please continue being patient. If you have any question as to the quality of the film, ask Donna Murphy, who's very visible on this board. She's seen the last cut. She will attest to what we've created.
In the meantime, if you're looking for something new to watch, two other films that I directed were just released on DVD and pay-per-view last week.
Both DVDs can be purchased at our online store: www.BuyOurFilms.com
One will make you smile, the other will make you hungry while you're laughing out loud.
Thank you.
And in the meantime, stay safe...play it loud...speak soon...
Gorman Bechard


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I will happily vouch for this beautiful film! Gorman, I'm sorry the pandemic has tossed such a monkey wrench into your plans, and just about everyone else's (Thanks, trump!) But we'll all just roll with it and somehow you'll get through.


VCers, if you are fans of Wilco, you will want to see this. Jay was such an important part of that incarnation of Wilco, and this time his story is told with honesty, compassion, and a lack of vindictiveness. It's the story of an artist and his life. You will go away deeply moved.

Keep us advised, Gorman. :thumbup

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  • 1 year later...
If you missed the world premiere in Chicago, get a ticket to a very limited one-time-only pay-per-view event screening of Where are you, Jay Bennett?
Saturday, January 8th at 9pm eastern (8pm central). There will be a live Q&A with me and co-director Fred Uhter following the screening, and yes, you can ask questions.
We are limiting this to only 250 tickets. Get yours now.

Where Are You Jay Bennett poster PPV copy.jpg

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