Hi! We are a group of post-graduates of Film & Television Production at the University of York. We recently had the pleasure of meeting someone with a fascinating story to tell and we need your help to make it come to life on screen.
Our Vision - The Documentary
Through one of those golden nuggets of life coincidences (one of us was working for a music company when they received a call from a customer who had a problem with their drum kit) we have had the chance to develop a relationship with a certain Mr David Donovan.
Dave Donovan is the central character of the documentary. Through his voice we will retrace his compelling life as a professional musician in the most explosive era of British rock music. Born and bred in Stourbridge, David will recount his experience as a young child and his first forays into music. Notably, his formative years were spent honing his craft alongside crazy characters such as Ozzy Osbourne , Robert Plant and John Bonham . From then on, he toured American GI camps in Germany, stopping to jam with James Brown’s band, all the way to his recording and touring stints with rock gods Roy Wood (The Move, ELO and Wizzard), Eric Bell (Thin Lizzy) and Noel Redding (The Jimi Hendrix Experience).
In the 1980s, Dave opened Donovan’s Music Store, which he ran until closing it down in 2016. A family man, Dave has also been teaching in local secondary schools. Still at it to this day, he has taught hundreds of young aspiring drummers the tools of the trade.
What Is The Documentary Going To Look and Feel Like?
This investigative, performative and observational documentary will follow a traditional three-act structure:
1. Introduction to Dave Donovan. His childhood and relationship to music, all within the backdrop of the post-war British Pop Invasion which fed into the regional Brum Beat movement of the 1960s.
2. Dave’s rise and fall as a professional drummer in the music industry. This section will be heavily chronological and built around Dave’s anecdotes, archival material and animation. The main thematic approach will concern itself with the commodification of rock music, rockstar egos, flying close to fame, and Dave’s sensational stories of life on the road.
3. This section will be more reflective, focusing on Dave’s later life. Settling in as a music shopkeeper in Stourbridge and as a drum teacher since the 1980’s, we will explore both his present life and distil his world view as an aged and wise musician. One who was there at a turning point in British music history.
We will include a set-piece performance of David bashing on his drums. This will be interspersed at key emotive moments.
Another visual treat we will include is a series of animated scenes depicting certain anecdotes from Dave Donovan that will be plopped in throughout the documentary and give it a unique creative style.
We Aim To Be Culturally and Historically Significant
Our goal for this is to be of regional relevance to West Midlands history . This is why we will present a contextual backdrop via archival sources and interviews from experts and academics on the world that Dave was inhabiting. So far we have recruited the help of Laurie Hornsby, author of Brum Rocked On!, who will appear as in the documentary to provide expert insight. We are also scouring local Facebook groups and archives to gather as many original photographs, videos and any other documents such as gig posters as we would like to include them in a stylised and exciting way on screen. We have already made contact with multiple individuals who have offered us access to their unique never-before-seen personal archives from the 1960's.
Overall, we are huge fans of that period of music and therefore want to intersperse our main story with this equally fascinating wider context of the world of British Rock 'n' Roll music. This documentary will be as accurate as possible and offer a unique access into this slice of sweet solos and banging bass-lines.
Documentaries are highly expensive to make. We so far have been able to put £700 towards the project with our own money, and we are certain that we will need more at a later date. This £2000 figure is a bare minimum and we hope to raise even over that benchmark! There are hidden costs at every step of the way which is why we have created this fundraiser in the hope of boosting our production value.
The £2000 we hope to raise will pay for:
· £445 - Travel Expenses
o Due to most of our cast and crew living in all corners of the UK, a big chunk of the budget will be dedicated to travel including fuel costs, train tickets and even ferries (looking at you Harry the Manx!)
· £400- Accommodation
o Following on from that previous point, some of us will have to find accommodation for the planned weekend shoot of the documentary in and/or around Birmingham. And no, we are not going to The Ritz!
· £335 - Venue Hire & Production Design
o The visual pièce de résistance of the documentary will be a dramatic drum performance from David which will intersperse the film. For this, we have booked a large stage within Birmingham as well as hiring an audio engineer to record high quality beats. We will also strive to decorate the setting with a unique perspective from our production designer Poppy including a mise en scene for our performance as well as our interviews.
· £80 - Catering
o Unfortunately, we cannot afford a "proper" catering service, so poor Thibs will be buying a bunch of ice boxes and making sandwiches, snacks and getting all the necessary elements to feed 8 people for 3 days. This totals 48 hearty meals and many more snacks to keep everyone fed and happy!
· £600 - Renting and acquisition of professional equipment
o This includes Insurance for our equipment and crew as well as unforeseen expenses which always tend to crop up during production! We will also be looking to acquire extra sound equipment as well as a digital scanner to collect all the photos and documents from our sources. £410 of this will go towards the renting of two lenses for our Sony A7SII cameras specifically geared towards capturing musical performance and interviews.
· £150 - Post-Production
o Often overlooked in low-budget filmmaking, we will need to keep some money in the bank for some nitty gritty services we might require. This includes freelance outsourcing, music and film & tv licencing (important if we want to show archival resources), as well as the buying of any extra equipment we might need for the process such as a new drawing pad for our animator Millie!
· And with anything else left over...
o For a low-budget film to be worth every penny, we will use any left-over funds to pursue a festival campaign. Due to the regional relevance of the documentary and its historical angle, we aim to submit it to British and International film festivals that concern themselves with:
- The West Midlands culture.
- Music and more preferably drumming.
- Any other documentary film festivals that we might like the look of!
Festival submissions tend to come with a price tag generally ranging from £20 to £100 depending on its scale. We want to push this documentary as far as it can go because we believe in this project with all our hearts!
*Each tier automatically includes all rewards from the previous tier*
£0 - "Cheer Us On!"
We understand times are hard. If you can't donate at the moment then it's absolutely fine. But if you can spare a quick slide on that share button, it powers on our message and we will be so eternally Grateful (Dead).
£10 - "Nice Lick!"
A personal thank you email from us. You will receive regular updates and exclusive pictures of the production.
£25 - "Most Excellently Tubular!"
Your name will appear in the film credits and you will receive behind-the-scene updates of our extensive post-production work including animation, editing and sound design.
£50 - "Trash The Hotel Room!"
Film poster created by our design team shipped to your door.
£120 - "Turn That Up To 11!"
Signed film poster + a HQ DVD shipped to your door. Complete with a customised sleeve with your name on it.
£200 - "The Trooper!"
We will create a personalised jingle for you (with a lyrical/musical theme of your choice)!
£400 - "Rocket In Our Pockets!"
A homemade ♬musical♬ mystery gift....
£500 - "Bat-Eating Time!"
You will be officially credited as Executive Producer. This means you will be able to list yourself on IMDB and will result in an invitation to join us on the red carpet of any festival that we might be invited to.
£800 - "We Will Rock You(r world)!"
A personalised photoshoot or videoshoot by the Grumpy Goose team anywhere in the UK.
About Us and Our Partners
Grumpy Goose Media is a business partnership formed in 2021 by Thibs Lacombe , Shannon Kirrane , Poppy Townson and Harry Henthorn . We will be in full operation in the coming months providing audiovisual services to businesses and independent creatives in the Greater Manchester area.
We are also working as a joint-production with:
· Shoot The Messenger Films, a Birmigham/London-based filmmaking collective who will be providing technical assistance. Edward Whyte , editor extraordinaire , is on board as a Digital Imaging Technician and will be assisting us in terms of image processing/ingesting as well as post-production workflow.
Max Tobin , debauched genius, will serve as musical director for our performance piece as well as providing audio-visual equipment.
· Millicent Sharratt is an extremely gifted illustrator and animator who has graciously agreed to produce a series of animated pictoramas which will serve as a very cool stylistic technique for us to represent parts of Dave's story that may lack any photographic/archival source.
· Stefan Ivica Douglas-Caric will accompany us through the murky legal world of insurance and other strange sides of the law. A solicitor in training, he will make sure our production is superbly legal from top to bottom.
The shoot will happen in in August 2021 with release planned for 2022.
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