Exactly 15 days ago (May 6th) the producers behind the much-written-about effort to assemble a final, completed version of Orson Welles‘ never-finished The Other Side of The Wind launched an Indiegogo campaign. Their goal, they said, was to raise $2 million by sometime in June. That figure struck some as a bit rich (an experienced restoration guy shared this view about ten days ago, ditto a noted filmmaker during an early morning breakfast yesterday) but no one knows all the particulars as well as principal organizer Filip Jan Rymsza. As of right now the campaign has gotten donations from nearly 2000 people and raised $212,098, or a little more than $100K per week or $100 per person. If this rate is sustained (and I’m not presuming it’ll continue at this pace but rather lose steam as the days and weeks pass) the fund will have raised a little more than $600K as of June 18th, or less than a third of what it needs.
This suggests that a lot of people who could have contributed haven’t so far. I donated $100 on 5.7, and I guess I’m wondering how many others in my realm have done the same. Starting tomorrow I’m going to write colleagues and ask around. Who would turn down Orson Welles? Would they do the same if Welles was still with us at age 100 and holding out a tin cup on a sidewalk? You might be surprised. A situation like this offers an opportunity to access just how serious cinema devotees are about their convictions.
Some Godfather figure has to chip in a chunk and perhaps persuade some of his/her friends to do the same. On 5.7 I suggested that Steven Spielberg, who was sufficiently taken with the Welles legend to buy the original Rosebud sled in 1982 for $60K, might want to contribute $100K or so. How many millionaires or billionaires besides Megan Ellison are hip and knowledgable enough to understand what’s going on here and try to do something to help?