KickStarter: I Am Big Bird

28 07 2012

If ever there were a documentary that deserved to be made, or at very least a man that deserved to be honored with one, this is it. Caroll Spinney has portrayed Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street for over 40 years. This is his story.

– dEV

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I AM BIG BIRD is a documentary about Caroll Spinney, who has been Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969.

About I AM BIG BIRD

I AM BIG BIRD is a feature-length documentary about Caroll Spinney, who has been Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969 and at 78 years old, he has no intention of stopping.

Think you know everything there is to know about Sesame Street?  You don’t.  You might know that Frank Oz turned down an offer to play Big Bird, but you probably don’t know that until a last minute change of heart by NASA, Big Bird was supposed to go to space aboard the Challenger.  Or you may know that Oscar the Grouch got his voice from a cantankerous cabbie, but you’d be surprised to learn that a fire in his trash can almost led to Caroll’s untimely demise.

Caroll’s stories are the stuff of legend.  He has been a constant presence in our lives for over 40 years, his path weaving through American history like that of Forrest Gump.  His time inside the Bird has taught him about the world and about himself.  I AM BIG BIRD will peel away the instances in his life that inspired his creation of characters that have influenced generations of children. And, as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the Muppet, who will steal your heart.

What You’ll See

In addition to compelling interviews with Caroll and his luminary cronies, I AM BIG BIRD will feature fascinating material from Caroll’s personal archives.  Among the treasures in the Spinney vault, we’ve found…

…never-before-seen footage capturing unscripted moments of Caroll with giants like Jim Henson, Frank Oz and Jerry Nelson.

…Caroll’s short films, in which he showcases his skill in animation, a talent which led to a job offer at Disney… which Caroll turned down.

…Thousands of snapshots and hundreds of hours of videos that capture his undying love for his wife.

…Art displaying his hidden passion for illustration.

…Puppets that were lovingly crafted by Caroll’s mother over 70 years ago and that he still uses today.

We’re using these amazing artifacts to create a dynamic portrait of an unknown man whose characters have had unrivaled influence in American pop culture.

Why You’ll Love It

You haven’t outgrown Sesame Street.  Maybe it won’t be the opening strains of the theme song that brings memories rushing in, but at some point during I AM BIG BIRD, a skit, a line or a character will bring you back. I AM BIG BIRD won’t just give you a chance to relive these moments, it will let you see them through Caroll’s eyes.  And when it finally becomes clear that Caroll doesn’t just operate Big Bird and Oscar, he gives him their souls, you’ll realize just how much impact the faceless puppeteer has had on your life.

You know his characters. Isn’t it time to get to know Caroll?

Why We Need the Dough

We made it through pre-production and now we’re facing the two costliest parts of making a film: production and post-production.  The money we are aiming to raise on Kickstarter is targeted for three very specific areas:

-Production Travel—Caroll has spent his career criss-crossing the globe; in order to truly feel his impact, we’ll need to retrace some of those steps—and that doesn’t come cheap!

-Rights/Licensing/Clearances—The costs associated with licensing Big Bird, Oscar or Caroll’s appearances on programs outside of Sesame Street can be astronomical.  Unfortunately, many of these sorts of cameos are integral to the film.

-Production Crew—in order to assure that we give Caroll’s story the treatment it deserves, we need to make sure we have the best people at each position.  We have a solid network of freelancers, but those freelancers need to get paid!

(Original Story)

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/472635228/i-am-big-bird

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