Steve Lukather and son Trevor appear in the Turn It Up film
When the Indie Gogo crowdfunding project for Turn It Up went live, guitarists all around the world rallied behind the film, and news of its quest for funding went viral.
The film is a celebration of the electric guitar, any model, and manufacturer, any era, it's all about love for the guitar. It features some of the biggest names in the music industry, such as Slash, Les Paul and B.B. King, and the trailer footage of the film looks exciting to say the least.
But the bottom line is that this film won't get made if the necessary funds aren't raised, and we can all agree that would be a crying shame. Five years of blood, sweat and tears have gone into the making of the film, and the funding will pay for the final pieces of the jigsaw needed to get this film finished.
With the odds so high, film maker Doug Forbes says that there are a number of obstacles standing in the way of completion, but he vows to leap each one:
"Getting the film out will be an incredible validation of our belief in this project. We've really been through the wringer, especially when the global economy tanked in 2008, and all the film markets came to a screeching halt.
"But throughout, we have believed that there is an audience for this film, and we will overcome every obstacle to share this with them."
The journey that has led to this point saw Doug meet some legends of the guitar world, but getting in touch with the right people required a few helping hands.
"We were completely stoked as we began to get major artists to commit their time to this project. We used every connection and 'degree of separation' angle we could," says Doug. "My partner [fellow producer], Bob Radler, is the nephew of the legendary New York police detective, Sonny Grosso.
"When we had difficulty getting through to Les Paul, it was 'Uncle Sonny' who made the call. Bill Siddons, former manager of the Doors, helped us with Robbie Krieger and Slash. One of my personal best moments, was spending an hour with the ever-gracious B.B. King. I'm not usually star-struck, but I truly felt I was in the presence of royalty. "
He describes the 'magical' moment when he met the late Les Paul:
"Meeting Les Paul was magical. We were setting up in the Iridium Club in New York, and (I swear this is true)... I suddenly felt the temperature in the room warm up.
"I turned around and there was Les, carrying two LP cases and strolling into the gig like any working musician. He couldn't have been more courteous and professional.
"We ended up with almost eight hours of interview material with him. Oh, and the guitars in those cases?... Only the two first prototypes Gibson made of his recording model with the low-impedance pickups."
Other than meeting the man who was responsible for the solidbody electric guitar, Doug also went in hunt of some of the world's rarest guitars:
"I totally geeked out on playing a real '59 Les Paul (the owner insists on anonymity), and also one of Stevie Ray Vaughan's beauties.
"I had met Stevie a few times in Austin, when he was our local blues guy, before Bowie and the rest of the world discovered him.
"Definitely felt his mojo through the strings and channeled some licks that I'd never played before... no kidding, I felt his presence and the songs in that wood."
The documentary is not just something we can relate to as guitarists, but the clips posted so far seem to go a long way in explaining to non-guitarists what it is to be a lover of the electric guitar. Forbes says this is something that was intended all along:
"We definitely started out to make a film that appeals to a general audience, not just guitar nuts. At every test screening we've done, people from age eight to seventy-eight have had the same experience: 'NOW, I get it...!'
"And a lot of long-suffering wives and spouses, are now more understanding of their partner's G.A.S [guitar acquisition syndrome], and everyone leaves with a big smile on their face!"
The deadline for funding on the project is Friday December 21, and the $75,000 required for completion will go towards licensing clips and music for use in the move, and also for the final audio mix and color correction.
Quite simply, the project is now in the hands of the people for whom it represents; all of the people around the world who love the electric guitar.
Doug is optimistic that the target will be reached, and speaks highly of crowdfunding as a way of connection with fans:
"We definitely see crowdfunding as the wave of the future. Some experts are predicting a $100 Billion market in the next five years.
"Traditional funding sources for documentary and special-interest films have dried up, and crowdfunding allows us to take the project directly to our audience for support.
"We like the connectivity of the online community, which allows our audience to be more closely involved with the film."
If you haven't yet seen clips of the film, you can find them on the Indie Gogo page.
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