Kick Start This Film: Tom Bean and Luke Poling’s Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself

Over the past several months, we’ve attempted to showcase several older films that deserve the attention of the Criterion Collection with our series, For Criterion Consideration. We’ve noticed how other sites are changing the film business as we know it, by showcasing un-produced films. One of these sites right now has been Kickstarter, started in 2009, and has been on a tear these last 2 years in the world of online fundraising for projects of all kinds. They believe that a good idea can spread fast and that a large group of people can be a great source of funding and encouragement. It’s also ‘╦ťall or nothing’ funding, which means if you don’t hit your goal, no money exchanges hands. Which then in turn makes it that much more vital for both the website themselves and the project starters to get paid.

What we want these series of exclusive articles to be is a place for certain film projects that strike our fancy to get an extra bit of exposure out there. Be it a documentary, a horror short, a web series or anything else you can think of, if it seems like a cool idea, we will feature it here on the site. Let us know of any projects that have caught your eye and send them our way. We’d like to feature them in future installments and what better way to get the word out to the masses.

It’s been awhile, my friends, and I have a project that I was instantly excited about the moment I saw it be announced on the Kickstarter site. George Plimpton is someone I have liked for many years, read a bunch of his books and thought his storytelling was one to envy. The man was the founding editor of The Paris Review and discovered such writers as Jack Kerouac and Jonathan Franzen. He would don the uniforms of various sports teams and write about them in fantastic Sports Illustrated pieces, giving them the every man approach people just loved. He was the friend of U.S. Presidents, such as John F. Kennedy and he even got to pitch against Willie Mays in Yankee Stadium. He acted a bit, alongside John Wayne, Warren Beatty and Matt Damon. He even photographed Playboy models when it was still considered artistic. And that’s just barely scratching the surface of what this man did.

If you go right to their Kickstarter page for Tom Bean and Luke Poling’s Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton as Himself, you can donate to their project in order to acquire the rights to some footage, audio and video, for the finished film to properly tell the story they have sought out to make. If you’re not too familiar with this legend of the journalistic field, I’d say you should either wait for this film to come out or read up on the guy just a bit and I think once you do, it will be as if you jumped down a rabbit hole of amazing stories.

What’s most interesting is that Tom and Luke have culled together tons of unseen footage from both The Paris Review and Plimpton’s own family while interviewing more than 50 people, including Hugh Hefner, James Lipton, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Jim McInerney, discussing Plimpton’s life and their relationship with him through the years. All of this is narrated by George Plimpton himself, from appearances with him telling the stories while vintage photos and news headlines showcase and seem to give it a real weight in the world. It seems like a one of a kind documentary for a one of a kind man, something I would be first in line to see. A man who could do it all and became a friend to anyone who he came into contact with.

You can find out more from their site Plimpton! Movie, especially if you want to contact both Tom Bean and Luke Poling about the project, ask any questions you might have and various other inquiries. You can also add them on Twitter @PlimptonMovie and they have a Facebook page too. I love that they’re going to include a book club as well on the site, to detail the more than 30 books Plimpton wrote throughout his life, and to get people into reading his fantastic and fun filled stories, especially his sports experience with some of the greats in their respective line of work.

This series has brought a ton of fantastic films to my attention, already with two getting full funding and being able to finish their work. This is one that I can’t wait to see and I think even people who don’t know George Plimpton will understand his influence on the generations after him and beyond. And I think that’s important for people, especially other journalists, to see in this day and age of internet reporting. He was famous and got work because he was willing to make the stories interesting and people would read him every month because they knew they would be going on the adventure with him. Now I need to track down a copy of Paper Lion starring Alan Alda.