Tradition is a Temple — a music documentary — asks for your help to show what never left New Orleans. Its filmmakers call for pledges to “crowd-fund” post-production on this musician owned-documentary on New Orleans music culture.
Tradition is a Temple highlights the dynamic resilience of New Orleans musicians, acclimated to hard times and dedicated to their city, the way of life, and the music. The artists discuss how, as children, they were inspired to pursue music, the trials of jazz today, and how the traditional sounds of the streets will survive.
The non-fiction film aims to show that Katrina, the economic downturn, and the BP oil spill can’t quiet this small, buoyant, and totally unique American sub-culture. After all, children still dance along with brass bands on Sunday afternoon Second Line parades as they have for generations.
Filming began in 2006, when director Darren Hoffman was a film-school-graduate-turned-music-student attempting to capture the nuts and bolts of New Orleans music by video taping his drum lessons with prominent local musicians. After several years and hundreds of DV tapes, Hoffman’s “video project” had slowly grown to include intimate interviews with his teachers, multi-camera studio recordings, and live concert footage. That wasn’t all, Hoffman’s passion for the music had evolved into a commitment to his teachers; he gave all of the featured musicians a majority share in the film.
“I don’t know if any of the artists actually believe that there will be any profits coming back to them.” Darren admitted, “Unfortunately, a lot of guys are used to getting the short end of the stick when they sign contracts… Either that or they don’t think anyone wants to watch a movie about jazz.”
The filmmakers are raising money in order to complete the costly post-production process through online “crowd funding”. On sites like Kickstarter.com and IndieGoGo.com artists, filmmakers, musicians and designers can raise significant amounts of money from hundreds of donors, each pledging small amounts of money. Tradition is a Temple offers pre-orders for the DVD and Soundtrack as just a few of the many rewards in exchange for pledging toward their campaign, which continues until Feb. 3, 2011.
“With a little luck,” Hoffman added, “we’ll be able to prove to [the artists in the film] that we’re legit, and to the world that jazz music still has resonance in American culture.”
Featuring: Shannon Powell, Jason Marsalis, Lucien Barbarin, Roland Guerin, Steve Masakowski, Ed Petersen, Topsy Chapman, The Treme Brass Band, The Baby Boyz Brass Band, and spoken word performer Chuck Perkins.
Writer/Director: Darren Hoffman
Producers: Darren Hoffman, Patrick Stafford, and Kristen McEntyre.
Executive Producer: Darren Hoffman
Director of Photography: James Laxton
Sound: Steve Reynolds and Kevin Schneider
Editor: Darren Hoffman