Support for the Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project
Dear OBRL Friends and Supporters,
Yesterday, for the first time I reviewed the new video trailer for Kevin Hinchey's forthcoming Wilhelm Reich Documentary film, and it is much improved over the first original trailer of several years back, in my view. It puts the emphasis upon Reich's science, and keeps close to the subject of his work, following Reich's own American-period motto of Work, not Politics!
Below is one of Kevin's fund-raising letters, which highlights the struggles that lay ahead in any such endeavor.
I've previously given my support to this film documentary, and will do so again, and encourage others to do likewise. There are so very few good, worthwhile projects in our chaotic and suffering world. This is one of them. We are rooting for Kevin, to make a good, serious, factual and hard-hitting film, for the memory of Wilhelm Reich, and for the rest of us who have devoted our lives to clarity and honesty in orgonomy and science in general, something that will withstand the test of time. For the Children of the Future.
I've just returned from lecturing in Greece, where a few old hands in orgonomy, plus many new young faces, are showing serious interests in Reich's work, in the scientific and therapeutic work. Later this year I've again been asked to lecture on my spectrographic work at a mainstream scientific conference, discussing the profound changes observed within orgone-charged water. I'll also soon be making additional announcements about my own Summer Seminars at OBRL in Ashland, Oregon, in mid-August. That event is still on track with a lot of new research material and discovery you won't want to miss.
Orgonomy needs the active support of people who know about it, for serious film projects, to purchase new books that required years to write and perfect, to support seminars and conferences which aren't easy or cheap to organize. Like a new tree in the garden, nurturing and care is required, keeping it clear and clean of the many troubling distortions that aim to tear it down. Your interest and support is solicited on many fronts.
James DeMeo, PhD
Director, Orgone Biophysical Research Lab (OBRL)
Ashland, Oregon, USA
Posted by Kevin Hinchey
And thank you again for supporting this project during one or both of our crowdfunders (Kickstarter in 2014 & Indiegogo in 2016) and for the inquiries and good wishes that many of you have sent us during the past seven months.
Throughout the editing phase, our Documentary Film Storyline-a nearly 200-page text that was researched and written from 2010 to 2014-has been our guide for painstakingly assembling the film's narrative structure, with an attention to precise chronology, factual accuracy and compelling drama.
The narrative structure utilizes a dynamic approach: Verbally the film story is being told with a mix of scripted narration, comments from 24 on-camera interviews, and excerpts from Reich's voice recordings. And the visual elements supporting this narrative include Reich's photographs, his personal and scientific films, and excerpts from his diaries, journals, laboratory notebooks, correspondence, legal documents and unpublished manuscripts.
We're also using visuals from numerous American and European resources and archives, including all U.S. government files on Reich: State Department, FBI, Immigration & Naturalization Service, and FDA.
Since the Indiegogo campaign ended in June 2016, editing has continued on a weekly basis. We've completed well over one hour of what will be a 110-minute film, which means we're over 60% of the way through our storyline. We're now finishing Reich's years in Oslo and, next, will move on to his life and work in America.
And since June 2016 we've also been mindful of our obligation to raise additional monies for this project. As you might remember, our Indiegogo campaign raised $115,780. Successful as it was, this fell short of our goal of $180,000. To close that gap we immediately began looking at grant applications for "finishing funds" from various organizations, including Sundance Institute, Tribeca Films, Fork Films and the American Film Institute.
In August, in addition to editing the film, we spent considerable time filling out an application to Sundance Institute's "Documentary Fund Program".
The application was long and detailed and very specific. But projects chosen by Sundance receive up to $50,000, so we always considered this a priority effort well worth making. However, we had no illusions about what we felt were our two major obstacles to being selected:
The competition is fierce. Every year, Sundance receives dozens, if not hundreds of grant applications from films-in-progress, of which it chooses only a few.
Most documentaries that Sundance has funded are contemporary stories. The Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project, by contrast, is a deeply historical biography of a man who was born 120 years ago and died 60 years ago.
On September 8th we completed the Sundance application and submitted it online, as required.
And 11 weeks later, on November 28th, we received an e-mail from Sundance, informing us that we had not been chosen: "Thank you for submitting the Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project to the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund. We know how challenging it is to raise funds for independent films, and we appreciate and acknowledge your effort. Unfortunately, after careful review and deliberation, we regret to inform you that the film was not selected for funding"
Disappointing, yes. But not entirely surprising.
Meanwhile we were also evaluating over 100 other applications for finishing funds, a process which elucidates a key question for any grant applicant: "Does the film's subject matter match the grant providers' preferences for the types of films they're looking to support?"
All of these applications provide guidance about the types of films that grant providers are looking for. And the main criterion for many funders is a film story dealing with contemporary issues. So, as you can imagine, a project about Wilhelm Reich is a "tough sell".
Undaunted, we winnowed down that long list to a handful of grant applications specifically interested in biographies and historical subjects. We're hopeful that our efforts will be rewarded and we're continuing to edit the film, but without making up the shortfall (c. $60,000) it's unlikely we can finish the film by our goal of September 2017.
Specifically these additional funds are needed to: (1) Purchase the rights and clearances to historic photographs and film footage. (2) Hire and record a narrator and other contributing voices. (3) Produce a music score and sound design. (4) Create graphic treatments and titles. (5) Complete the final editing, color correction and audio mixing of this full-length documentary.
We welcome any
ideas regarding other
possible sources of funding that you might know about: perhaps an organization, foundation, educational entity, distributor or other funding opportunity anywhere that we're unaware of. (Contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
And we know you've already been very generous with your support, but we hope you might consider making another contribution. Checks can be made out to Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project and mailed to:
Wilhelm Reich Documentary Film Project
c/o Kevin Hinchey
22 Southgate Drive
South Glastonbury, CT. (USA) 06073
We're making every effort, personally and financially, to see this film through to completion. And creatively and intellectually, we're making every effort to get this story right. We know you'll be pleased with the finished film and we look forward to premiering it in September 2017.
Thank you for all of your interest and support.