Hello Friends, Fans and Donors!
As promised, I am writing to keep you all informed of the latest developments with my documentary Jimmy In Saigon
. As you may know we raised $20,000 from over 250 donors this past summer through Indiegogo. Above you will see a video I recorded on October 31, a few weeks back, to update you all on progress.
Here in Chicago, we've been doing a lot of prep work, thanks to my amazing Consulting Associate Producer Stephanie Smith.
Because of all of the generous donations to our fundraising campaign, I am thrilled to announce that I will be traveling to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
(formerly Saigon) on December 1st and will be filming through the 9th.
All arrangements have been made: Plane tickets have been purchased; accommodations are reserved; and our application to the Vietnamese government for official filming status has been submitted! Costs of filming in Vietnam are usually high as I need to pay for flight, hotel, daily fee, and related costs for two people - a private "fixer" and a government "minder" for each day of shooting. So despite careful budgeting and prudent spending, this trip will likely exhaust nearly all remaining funds currently in our account.
Once I arrive I will be working with a Saigon-based American cameraman (Bret Hamilton
- check out some of his work here
) and film crew to retrace my brother Jim's footsteps, visiting places he used to live and travel. We will also make concentrated efforts to locate people he knew who might still be alive.
We've already gotten a head start on our search for Jim's friends. Jason, a friend living in Saigon, has begun to pass around pictures of Jim's friends in the neighborhood where he used to live, and with the help of our cameraman we've been able to film and photograph this part of our search. (Photos by Bret Hamilton)
(Jason asks locals if they recognize Jim or Jim's Vietnamese friends)
(Neighborhood residents examine pictures of Jim's friends)
(New friends try to point us in the right direction)
I want to thank you all for your continued support and interest in this project, and can't wait to bring it all together.
As the year draws to a close, I want to invite those of you who have invested to consider re-investing. While the $20,000 raised this past summer was a beautiful and exciting start, documentary films usually cost between $100,000-$400,000. Once we return from Vietnam, our funds will be depleted and we will once again be in need of funds for editing costs and for further interviews in the US. Please consider giving
- this independent documentary film can really use your support. As an added, anyone who gives $50 or more starting today through December 15th gets a souvenir from Vietnam. A small donation gets a small souvenir - larger gets a bigger one!