Though he’s hailed today as a genius, an innovator, a misunderstood master of cinema, Orson Welles had a very hard time getting his films made during his life. His masterwork Citizen Kane was the only film in which he had complete creative control, and even that was met with huge controversy by William Randolph Hearst who believed it to be a slanderous smear campaign against him. Hearst refused to allow his papers to advertise the film, and Welles was shut out of the Oscars that year. And that was the good time in his career.
Following Kane, Welles would either have to be subjected to all manner of studio tampering with his vision (almost always for the worse) or he’d have to go make his movies on the cheapest of cheap in Europe, where he’d often have to redub every male actor himself since few of them spoke English. He didn’t get to make nearly as many films as he’d wanted to, and his final film, The Other Side of the Wind, which starred directors John Huston and Peter Bogdanovich and was shot over a period of five years between 1970 and 1976, was never even finished. That is, it hasn’t been up until now, but a new Indiegogo campaign hopes to change that.
In honor of Welles’ 100th birthyear (he died in 1985), Filip Jan Rymsza, mananging partner of Red Road Entertainment, wants to raise $2 million by June 14th in order to take the existing pieces and chunks of the unfinished and unseen final film and restore it and finish it so that we can finally see what Welles spent so much time and energy on. Editor Affonso Goncalves (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Bogdanovich will work together with Rymsza to get the movie as close to the director’s intended version as possible.
The film was finished being shot, but was nowhere near finished being edited; a 40-minute workprint was all Welles had put together at that point. This campaign, if funded, will complete the editing of the movie and add a musical score. Perks for donating including posters and Blu-ray copies of the film when completed, all the way up to tickets to the premieres in New York, LA, and the WORLD upon completion and even your own 35mm print of the film.
It’s a long way to $2 million, but every little bit will help, and if you ask me, the world deserves to see one more Orson Welles movie, if not a million more. You can find more information and donate at the The Other Side of the Wind Indiegogo page. Cinemaaaaaaaaa!