Posted by: lesterlives | August 14, 2017

Crowd Funding for ANIMATION in President of Beauty

I collect flotsam and jetsam. I’m attracted by shape and the way light moves over surfaces. This sculpture of Lester Young has been growing in the garden, one way or another since I started working on my documentary President of Beauty. I found Lester’s head in the Atlantic ocean, his hat in Jack Kerouac’s hometown, on the banks of the Merrimack River and the horn was resurrected from a flea market.  Today, Lester watches over the flowers and weeds of my progress – my visual reminder that Lester Lives.

On February 6, 1959 François Postif interviewed Lester Young. This interview is the flash point for my film. The interview creates the narrative arc to Lester’s laughing, to keep from crying, life. This recording is the man in his own words. Listening to it I saw Prez slow walking the streets of Paris, in bed smoking, his green eyes below his Porkpie, sipping top & bottom, remembering Mississippi, New Orleans and his days with the “Holy Man”* I want to bring this interview ALIVE using animation.

I’m looking to create 15 minutes from the interview and I’m asking you, dear reader, to help.Last year I received an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. This allowed me to travel to Paris, Los Angeles, Albuquerque and New Orleans. Shooting in these places was a milestone for the film. The next milestone is to develop the animated sequence. With the animation blocked out and inserted into the rough-cut, I can begin to create the flow of the film. Then I will be ready to show potential broadcasters and additional funders at PBS, American Experience or ARTE the content and form. The sketch above is one of hundreds to be developed, then storyboards of the sequences and bringing together a team to execute the work. For this crowd funding campaign my goal is $30,000

I began this journey on August 27, 2009 at the corner of 52nd Street and Sixth Avenue. American composer and conductor David Amram came down to play and talk about Lester on his 100th birthday. Now, eight years later on Count Basie’s 113th birthday (August 21) I’m kicking off an Animation Crowd Funding Campaign. With your help I am ready to begin a most exciting part of President of Beauty.

Give a present to Prez.  Hit donate at the top of the page and check out the perks, several are one of a kind.  Or go back to the home page and watch the pitch video. Please share this with people who recognize that Lester’s story is long overdue and thanks for your time and consideration.





*Lester called Count Basie Holy Man, Holy Main or just Holy because he was the man who delivered the pay check.


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