Monday, 02 April 2012 18:02

What will it take to put A Fierce Green Fire out in the world?

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A Fierce Green Fire is done but not quite done. A few tasks and costs remain:

1. Mastering & Licensing of Archival Material
Most of the archival film, photos and graphics have been mastered and up-converted to HD. A few sources remain to be mastered. The bigger and more expensive task is licensing all that archival material. We are pursuing fair use, which gives us the right to use small amounts of other films. There are also many sources where rights are being given free, or are public domain. Major sources like Greenpeace are giving us a good deal. Only a few network archives are charging commercial rates, which can be very expensive. Based on a detailed review, we believe it will cost about $40,000 to license archival material. There will be mastering/up-converting costs too, estimated at $5,000. Legal expenses associated with fair use will add $5,000 more. So the budget for archival mastering and licensing is $50,000.

2. Music Licensing
Original music for the film has already been paid for. Much existing music we have arranged permission to use. In some cases licenses will be free or a few hundred dollars. Joni Mitchell’s Big Yellow Taxi is the most expensive. They granted a festival license for $2,000; we’re afraid that amount might more than double for full rights. Music yet to be cleared includes: Philip Glass; Tom Lehrer’s Pollution; Garden of Eden; and Pride of Man. These license should be reasonable and we’re prepared to pull music if need be. A hopeful budget for music is $10,000.

3. Recording Narration
Plans are to have five narrators. Robert Redford has agreed to narrate the first act. We are asking others to do the remaining four acts. We do not plan to pay fees to the narrators. But expenses associated with travel and recording may run to $8,000.

4. Final Editing
We need to spend three weeks laying in newly mastered material and final narration, as well as doing a final round of editing – trims, additions, changes, another pass at the ending... $8,000 is budgeted for an editor and assistant. $6,000 more is budgeted for fixes and patches to the masters and export to tape and drives. So $14,000 is the total for final editing.

5. Other
$6,000 is allotted for production staff and overhead. Mark Kitchell has worked unpaid for the better part of four years, but needs to be paid to devote full time to completing the film. $2,000 is a contingency for additional filming. And $10,000 is still owing from the Sundance finish.

So the total completion budget is $100,000. That’s all that stands in the way of releasing the film. We expect advances from distribution. But it will take contributions and grants as well. Help us get A Fierce Green Fire out in the world!

Tax-deductible donations may be made to the San Francisco Film Society. Here’s the link: There’s also a button on the home page of our website: Or you can send a check payable to SFFS to our office at 1016 Lincoln Blvd #10, San Francisco CA 94129. Phone (415) 515-0785. Thanks!

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