I’m happy to announce that “Pope Michael” is now available to view online for free. You can find it on our website here:
The video is hosted with Vimeo, which means that it can be viewed from almost any internet-enabled device from an iPhone to an internet-enabled TV.
I decided to release “Pope Michael” online for free because it was never my intention to profit from it, and with the recent proliferation of places to affordably host HD video and devices to view it on, it’s easy to get a full-length documentary out there for anyone who wants to see it.
Thank you very much for your interest in this project, and I hope you enjoy the film.
- Adam Fairholm
Director/Editor, “Pope Michael”
“Pope Michael” to be Released on Vimeo December 6
I’m very happy to announce that “Pope Michael” will be released on Tuesday, December 6th, and will be available to view for free on the video website Vimeo.
I’ll be releasing the full 86 minute version, as well as a shorter 56 minute version. Both will be available for viewing on Vimeo, as well as anywhere you can watch Vimeo videos, such as your iPhone/iPad/mobile device or AppleTV or Boxee Box.
2010 Wrap Up
If you’re reading this now, you are in a small group of people following the documentary right now in its early promotional stages, and I want to take the time to thank you for your interest in and support of “Pope Michael”. Over the past year or so, I’ve had contact from people all over the world about wanting to see the documentary, and it’s been a great experience from shooting to the finished product. It has especially been an eventful 2010.
My last trip to Delia was in October 2009, and the documentary was finished this summer. In late January 2010 me and 3 other people working on “Pope Michael” watched a 2 hour very rough cut in my living room in Delray Beach, Florida.
Over 6 months I lobbed off 40 minutes, and spent a lot of time processing the images and sound.
In March we released a website and a trailer.
In June we had a final cut ready, and in September we started looking at which film festivals were a good fit for “Pope Michael”.
And in late November we got an IMDB entry, which means the documentary is officially cool.
So it has been a long year for a project that was started in early 2008. 2010 saw a lot of exciting things happen to get the documentary finished - I can’t wait to see what 2011 brings.
So what is going on now? We are working on getting “Pope Michael” into a film festival for mid-2011. We’ll know more details soon, but for right now it’s the good old waiting game!
Andy Burd’s “River Jordan” Story
Andy Burd has been a huge help in making “Pope Michael” in a lot of ways. Not only has his experience and advice been critical, he’s also provided the song that opens up the documentary, “It’s Cool Down There by the River Jordan”.
In true Andy Burd fashion, when you ask for a story about how he wrote the song, you get a novel about his musical history with the banjo. With pictures.
So, for your reading pleasure, here is Andy’s story - “How the Stars Aligned Over the River Jordan”. We’ve got the full version and an abridged version, but I highly recommend taking the time to read the full version.
Andy’s Story - Full Version
Andy’s Story - Abridged
You can find Andy’s song on the “Pope Michael” soundtrack along with a reprise and an instrumental version.
“Pope Michael” Soundtrack Released
Music is a crucial part of any film, even a documentary film. “Pope Michael” is no exception, and only being an amateur musician, music was something that I wasn’t able to even start to tackle myself.
Luckily, I have a very talented brother who recently graduated with a BA in music performance and composition from the University of Miami, Florida. He plays piano - more specifically, jazz piano, and he is incredibly talented at what he does. He wanted to participate, and we began a long process of music creation that resulted in the soundtrack that we’ve just released.
I’ll write more in the near future about the music creation process, but what I will say now is that Derek’s music is more than exceeded my goal for the music for the film. Not only are the melodies and arrangements beautiful, they vividly describe the tone of the film in a way that only a great soundtrack can.
The soundtrack also has a few variations on the intro song of the documentary - “Cool Down There by the River Jordan” by Andy Burd. Andy is a great friend and banjo player who sent me this song on a whim. It perfectly fit the tone I wanted to set in the beginning of the film (and I was looking for a song with lyrics for the intro), and it became a part of the soundtrack.
I hope you enjoy the music as much as I have enjoyed it. As a documentary filmmaker, I was unbelievably lucky to have friends and family that are so talented and were able to create something so incredible.
You can buy the soundtrack on iTunes and Amazon MP3. You can see some more info about it on our soundtrack page.
Also, this soundtrack wouldn’t be possible without the talents of a few people. Brian Tate (bass) and Dag Markhus (drums) lended their talents to the trio recordings. Luke Moellman recorded and engineered the trio sessions and was responsible for getting the great sound of the recordings. Brian Gerstle recorded and mastered Derek for the solo piano sessions. Joe Hinman recorded Andy Burd’s track as a demo that eventually became the actual version of the song on the soundtrack.
I hope you enjoy these tracks as much as I have and have enjoyed having them inspire me during the post production process.
During the film festival submission period, we’re posting some videos put together specifically for the web. This first video are some shots from a trip to the Bawden garden on one of the last shooting days last fall.
For this sequence, Doug was still with me, so he is walking around with me with the boom pole.
At this point in shooting, I had gotten to know Tickie, Phil, and Bawden very well, and I think they were very comfortable with my presence with a camera. From spending so much time there, I can say that this is a look at exactly how they are around each other on day to day basis. I really love Tickie showing us the hot peppers, and Phil’s comment about not hitting your gardener with tomatoes.
This clip also includes a mention of Bawden’s gigantic solar array which I had to cut out of the documentary because it disrupted the flow of the first 20 minutes. It’s a strange feature of the backyard, and according to Bawden, wasn’t cheap.
I hope you enjoy the clip, and there is more on the way.
Call for Translations
One of the interesting things about “Pope Michael” is that the documentary seems to have an interest in Europe. In fact, Dutch Catholic television visited Bawden around a decade ago to do a story on him, and Bawden has regular contact with people in the Netherlands among other countries. I’ve gotten emails from several European countries including Spain and Germany, asking about the documentary.
Unfortunately, though, the “Pope Michael” clips available online are in english, and not everyone speaks English who is interested in the film.
So I’m officially putting the word out asking if anyone has the ability and the will if they’d like to translate the dialogue a clip of “Pope Michael” into a language of their choice. It could be the trailer, the wine cellar clip, or even one of the clips we’re releasing next week.
If you’re interested, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll make it easy and painless, and also give you credit wherever is possible!
One of the interesting things about doing a documentary about Bawden is that there is an almost constant stream of video content produced by him and Phil and put out on the internet. It’s like a whole DVD extras section for free on the internet, and a very interesting look into their house in Delia largely unfiltered.
A question I get sometimes is how serious is Phil about what he’s doing. It’s a fair question, since Phil is only in his early 20’s.
That question is implicitly answered in the documentary itself in a section late in the film that contains Phil making a vow of Obedience to Bawden and to the papacy. Phil, like Bawden, appears to be extremely dedicated to what he’s doing, hence the vow, which he took very seriously.
Phil is no stranger to vows. By the time we filmed his vow of obedience, he had already made a vow of chastity on his own. Then I spotted the above video that contains a vow to defend the papacy.
There are plenty of other interesting videos Phil and Bawden have made that are floating around on the internet and I’ll be sure to post some more.
“Pope Michael” on YouTube as Well
Just a little note: as of this week all of our video content is going on YouTube as well, instead of just Vimeo. You can check out the documentary YouTube account here.
Over the summer we’ll be releasing a series of cut sequences from “Pope Michael”, and we’re starting today with one of the earliest sequences to be assembled - Bawden showing us around his home winery.
Here’s the description from Vimeo:
In this sequence, Bawden explains a little bit about his home wine making. He makes two types of wine - table wine for drinking with dinner, and altar wine for use in mass.
This sequence was cut for time and general irrelevancy to the larger plot of the documentary.
This sequence was shot on the second day of the first trip, and was one of the first to be assembled. If you look closely, you can see there is a boom mic next to the wine bottles when Bawden takes them in and out of the shelves. This was an oversight during filming - we were looking for the sounds of the wine bottles without realizing we’d need the b-roll as well.