Daniel James Baldwin’s documentary on the self-publishing scene both needs and deserves your support!
Today’s ‘Small Pressganged’ isn’t the usual review or in-depth interview piece. Instead I want to belatedly bring to your attention a marvellous project that will be of interest to anyone who is a regular reader of this column. Daniel James Baldwin’s documentary ‘Comics Are My Rock and Roll’ is a celebration of the world of self-publishing and the small press, focusing on two great stalwarts of that realm in the shape of creators Jimi Gherkin and Peter Lally.
With just four days to go on Kickstarter the film has achieved over two thirds of its backing target but still needs that extra push to get it over the finishing line. Crowdfunding shout-outs are not something I’ve made a habit of doing in the past here simply because of the sheer volume of requests we get on a daily basis at Broken Frontier (trust me, you only think you know how many we receive). However, this one is really rather special and it represents the perfect evocation of the ‘Small Pressganged’ philosophy.
Take a look at the video explaining the doc above and the trailer further down, read Daniel’s pitch below, check out the Kickstarter page here, and then, if you’re able, please do consider making a pledge. The Kickstarter ends on Tuesday 12th November.
Comics are the contributors’ rock and roll, they’re my rock and roll, and if you visit BF on a regular basis to read this column then self-publishing is your rock and roll too.
Let’s help make this film become a reality.
Over to Daniel…
‘Comics Are My Rock and Roll’ Documentary
About something that’s popular the world over (self-publishing) and not popular enough (doing things for love, not money).
The self publishing movement is an under-exposed, vibrant art form popular the world over. People spend years at a time creating stories/books/comics/poems that they print themselves then sell or swap. Some of them have been doing it for over 50 years!
My film is a story about two members of UK’s Alternative Press; a collective of self-publishing artists. The film follows them as they take on their most ambitious project – organising and hosting a festival allowing artists like themselves from the UK and across Europe to get together in London and sell, swap and share the stories they have created under one roof.
At its heart, it is a tale of passion and commitment in a world where many people find it hard to be motivated to do things that don’t turn a profit: something I think is worth celebrating and the reason why I wanted to make the film.
A symptom of modern living is that we can easily get suckered into creating meaning in our lives by buying things that we feel define us. Not something that can be said of the self-publishing community nor Jimi and Peter. The two of them are driven by a need to be creative, in whatever way they can, in order to contribute to the world and feel connected to as many people as possible.
The film is a funny, warm journey into Jimi’s and Peter’s contagious enthusiasm for self-publishing and the risks that they take in stretching themselves further than they ever have before in its name. I think it is enlightening to dip into the lives of people who do what they love come rain or shine, regardless of what other people think of them for doing it.
I have been working on it since August 2011 and have funded it all so far, doing everything I can to do the story justice by working with a very talented group of people who believed in the project so much they worked on it for a fraction of what they would make on a commercially funded film: cameramen who have worked on award winning documentaries, editors and motion graphics animators, sound recordists and even a music composer who has written 6 brilliant tracks (two of them are featured in the video above) for next to nothing (something that would normally cost £00,000s).
We have a trailer:
We also have a rough cut.
There is one last push needed to finish the film, which will probably have a final run time of c. 30 mins.
The money pledged to me here will be used for the final processes the film needs to go through that will transform the look and feel of it, making it broadcast quality:
Grading the colour (c. £1000) mixing the sound (c. £1000), creating a website for the film (c. £500) and finally, paying for the submission of the film to as many festivals as possible in a bid to try and get it shown alongside other great documentaries on cinema screens (no matter how small or parochial!) around the world. This costs around £20 per submission.
I invite you to join the effort that got it made by supporting the team that gets it finished!
Risks and challenges
Making films on your own is tough but I have almost got there. My final challenge is getting the film through vital post-production processes and then in front of people. The cost of doing this is simply too high for me to bear alone. That’s why I am here…