We are writing with the latest news about The American Revolution, the documentary film in production that tells the incredible, true story of the early days of WBCN-FM, and the dramatic social, cultural and political changes in Boston and nationally that 'BCN helped reflect and fuel in the late-1960s and early-1970s.
We want to update you on our progress and plans for the completion and release of the documentary as well as about the exciting permanent collection of archival material gathered for the film that will be available on-line through our collaboration with UMass Amherst's Special Collections and University Archives.
The American Revolution is featured in the just-released PBS/public television pipeline of shows and films for broadcast in 2016 (see: http://tiny.cc/2015pipeline) to follow a national festival and theatrical release that will initially target approximately 40 theaters across the country.
In order to complete the documentary, an additional four-to-five days of sit-down interviews need to be filmed. This is in addition to the 25 sit-down interviews that have already been shot and have resulted in more than 80 hours of video material. We are looking to begin the 10-month editing and post-production phase, during which the film will be completed, in April 2015. We currently have sufficient audio and visual archival material in house to complete the production thanks to everyone who has shared their collections for the film, and additional material continues to come in. Among the archival items that, to date, have been shared, restored, digitized and cataloged are:
* Two hundred hours of WBCN broadcasts from 1968 to 1974, including air checks that go back to the station's earliest days, news and public affairs programs, and numerous live musical broadcasts. The tapes, some going back, yes, almost 50 years, have been carefully and professionally restored and digitized at a studio that we helped equip for this project.
* Tens of thousands of photographs, including from the collections of leading photographers of the era working in Boston, have been licensed and are being restored, digitized and cataloged. This includes the entire works of Jeff Albertson, and extensive photos from the era by Peter Simon, Spencer Grant, and others.
* Nearly 100 hours of film and video, both from broadcasters and from personal collections have been obtained, depicting the station and important musical, political and social moments from the era.
* Posters, graphics, memorabilia and other materials that tell the previously untold story of how a radio station, politics and rock and roll helped change everything, as set against one of the most turbulent and dramatic periods in the nation's history.
To complete the film, we are in the process of raising the finishing funds necessary for the remaining shooting, editing and other post-production.
To date, we've raised a total of $140,000 since we began work on this non-profit production in 2006 from nearly 1,000 donors including several generous major supporters. These donations have covered all work to date, including: research; the collection, restoration, digitizing and cataloging of tens of thousands of archival items; the 25 interviews filmed to-date, many of them at the historic Endicott Estate in Dedham; the film trailer and other editing and post-production work completed thus far; and the outreach, publicity and fundraising efforts, including for the film's Kickstarter campaign, which raised $114,419, and netted approximately $90,000 for the film after fees and related costs.
Approximately $280,000 in funding is needed to finish the project, which includes the cost of editor, sound mix, color correction, rights remaining to be sought, and insurance. Our goal is to raise at least one-third of that, $90,000, by April 2015, to allow us to begin working full-time with an editor on the completion of the film. The total budget for the film of approximately $420,000 is well below the normal cost for a feature-length documentary for national release.
The funds to complete the film are being raised through ongoing requests to major foundations and corporate giving programs, government funding agencies, as well as through an on-line auction of items and experiences being planned for March 2015 and being organized with the Center for Independent Documentary (CID), the film's 501(c)(3) non-profit fiscal sponsor, and Charity Buzz (CharityBuzz.com), which runs major auctions for non-profits including the RFK Center for Justice and Human Rights, Tribeca Film Institute, and The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. Donations to the non-profit production are tax-deductible and can be made on CID's secure website (by clicking here).
Finally, let me again thank you, along with everyone who has offered their generous support, guidance and shared their stories and archives. This project from the beginning, in the most 'BCN of ways, required the involvement of all in order for it to happen, and it's been that incredible help and support throughout that have gotten us to this point. There's no question what a remarkable era and remarkable radio station WBCN was. The joy and excitement of that time, and the impact the station and everyone involved with it, from staff to volunteers to extended family and listeners, had on Boston, and the world, will soon be told. We'll be in touch regularly with exciting updates as we complete the film and look for our new, updated web site coming shortly!
Please feel free to reach out for any reason, or with any questions, including about the film, our progress, sharing your personal archives, donor rewards, or anything else, to LCM@LCMedia.com
Thank you again for your continuing interest and support for this landmark documentary production.
Bill Lichtenstein and The American Revolution team.