Saturday, 25 May 2013

Being Frank: The 7th Inning Stretch

Today is the 25th May. On 31st, the book closes on the crowdfunding effort to support the production of a definitive film about the genius we know as Frank Sidebottom.

In three weeks, almost £30,000 has been raised towards Steve Sullivan's project, spanning the period when a teenage Chris Sievey camped in the lobby of Apple, then to the legendary Freshies, and on to his best-known and most productive persona, Frank Sidebottom. The support this project has attracted is amazing, but again demonstrates the affection and love Chris retains - a statue (left) is due to be unveiled in fantastic Timperley in the next couple of months, paid for by subscription and fundraising. When the great man passed, his fans paid to give him the send-off he deserved. And now, three years after his desperately sad loss, two major projects are close to being realised.

Steve Sullivan's 'Being Frank' is, to me, the most important. This is no flight of fancy, no Hollywood A-lister with a big head on. This project captures the work of an artist to whom punk gave a voice, but for whom, technology offered an outlet. I've noted before, the records, books, art, the animation, the TV programmes, the music. A renaissance man, despite knowing his mum would go up the wall and across the ceiling if she stumbled upon his secret showbiz career.

If this comes off, you'll see Chris Sievey discuss his computer game programmes on the Old Grey Whistle Test. You'll see Frank hold his own with Alf Garnett in Talking Turkey, a 'spirit of Xmas' thing Channel 4 did when they were edgy and relevant. You'll see The Freshies reunited, Frank's greatest fans talking about him and his work; this project is the once-and-for-all chronicle of a life in art. Some footage is already in the can, and a new trailer is available here...

Frank fans who want this film made have come across with an eye-popping offer as part of the stretch-funding appeal on Kickstarter. Prints of some iconic Frank street art, uber-rare posters from his contribution to a Chelsea Art Space installation in 2010; tee-shirts, music, stuff. All these people want his work documented. All of them are giving way stuff to entice you into supporting this project. Every extra pound helps towards licencing a bit of Frank TV history to share.

And I'm still offering stuff here. Until the appeal shuts down, be first to donate £75 (down from £100 at the beginning of May) and I'll give you a signed CD, and some other rare Frank stuff. Just message Steve Sullivan via Kickstarter and tell him you supported the film after reading my blog, and he'll pass me your details. First person to tell him gets the schwag. Likewise, if you already gave and can double your donation, don't change your funding tier, but message Steve, tell him you're doing it because of this blog, and I'll send you rare Frank stuff. This is all on top of the amazing freebies you'll get anyway for backing the project.

Almost a thousand people have chipped in around £30K to see this film get made. If everybody who already donated can up their support by 25%, chances are that £40K target can be met by Thursday. I'm going for it, and I hope you can too.

You know you can, you really can.

Thank you.

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