Kick Start This Film: Cass Warner’s HOPPER: In His Own Words


It’s been a long time since I’ve done one of these. Not sure why this got dropped from the radar, but we’re back in full swing and since starting this article series, Kickstarter has become a force to be reckoned with. More and more films are being funded this way and I’m happy to see a few of the one’s we features on CriterionCast, such as Motke Dapp’s The Many Monsters Of Sadness and Tom Bean & Luke Poling’s Plimpton! Starring Plimpton as Himself have gone on to be fully funded and have shown at various screenings and festivals. Exciting times indeed. Which leads to this article series coming back and coming back stronger than ever.

Yesterday I happened to be glancing again and funding a Sherlock Holmes themed interactive book series when I stumbled upon this documentary. Once I saw Dennis Hopper’s name, I was in. Hook, line and sinker. A huge fan of the man, the myth, the legend, and anytime he chose to talk in front of a camera was a treat. Especially when he was more candid. But it wasn’t often where he’d sit around and wax poetically about various films and the old studio days of contract players, which he came from. Cass Warner, director of the fine documentary The Brothers Warner (yes, she is related actually), met Hopper while trying to get a soundbyte or two from Hopper. They struck up a friendship and ended up recording him for over an hour where he opened up fully and honestly about various topics.

Which made my head explode a bit. Any film fan, especially Hopper’s filmography, would be all over this, especially since the funding they need isn’t as much as other films/ projects tend to need. The total is $35,000, which will help pay for licensing clips from Hopper’s films, which there are plenty of, so I think any fan of his should chip in. The film is more or less finished, with a rough cut of 77 minutes being ready to be unleashed to everyone. As I said, it just went up and has a month to go to make its goal, which I think it will make.

But as usual, it all begins with us. Even someone as famous as Dennis Hopper and a documentary focusing on his life, needs a bit of cash to help it along. It’s kind of crazy to think about that, but it all makes sense to me. If a company actually said, “Hey Ms. Warner, we’d love to put your film out there. But you need to cut this, and this, and those swear words and he can’t talk about so and so there. Oh, and no mentioning of cocaine.” then the film would have its essence cut from it as well and therefore, what would be the point? They want to put it out independently, and clips to films actually cost money when it’s not with a specific film company.

It’s good to be back and hopefully word of mouth can help this project along. This will be the first of many new entries in this series, spreading the word on great projects that need a push in the right direction.

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