For this Good News Fridays post, I wanted to talk about a special Kickstarter project about a special dog here in Alabama who was abused by his owners. Filmmaker Gorman Bechard wants to talk about Gucci and his impact to the State of Alabama. But he needs the help from people like you to make the documentary film! Here is the Kickstarter video!
A Dog Named Gucci is the story of a puppy set on fire and the man who rescued him. Together they changed Alabama’s abuse laws. At ten weeks old, Gucci was hung by his neck, punched repeatedly, doused with lighter fluid, and set afire. That should have been the last thing a ten-week old puppy named Gucci would ever experience. His last contact with humans. His final moments of life.
But Doug James, standing on his porch nearby, heard the puppy’s cries and ran to help. He scared away the cowardly thugs who had perpetrated this heinous crime, and at the request of Gucci’s 15-year-old runaway owner, took the dog in for the night. Thus began a 16-year odyssey of devotion and perseverance.
When Gucci was rescued by Doug, it seemed impossible that the badly burned pup would make it through the night. But Gucci, a Chow-Husky-mix, would live for sixteen years as Doug’s companion. As Gucci recovered, Doug did everything in his power to see that the dog’s three assailants were punished. However, the laws in Alabama were not on Gucci’s side. At worst the guilty would receive slaps on the wrists. That was not enough in the eyes of Doug James.
Together with local legislators, and with Gucci always faithfully by his side, Doug would see the “Gucci Bill” passed, changing the laws in Alabama and making domestic animal abuse a felony. He would witness Gucci go from being a survivor . . . to a rock star. Gucci’s story captivated the state of Alabama in the mid-90s. And now, when every other day a new tale of outrageous animal abuse pops up on the news or on Facebook, they are going to make it a story that captivates the world. They are going to show that one person can make a difference. Especially when they have a tail-chasing pup by their side.
A Dog Named Gucci is a feature-length documentary that is bringing the amazing story of Gucci and Doug James to life: from that horrible night of abuse, to the numerous operations to repair Gucci’s severely burned eyelids, to the legislation passed in his name to help prevent such a thing from ever happening again.
Gorman Bechard has already interviewed Doug, Gucci’s human companion for all of those sixteen post-trauma years. They have also interviewed almost everyone else involved with the case: from John Crowder who paid all of Gucci’s vet bills, to the veterinarians who helped Gucci recover, to the investigators who worked the case, to the legislators who helped Doug and Gucci change the virtually non-existent abuse laws in Alabama.
But beyond Gucci, the film will also examine the bigger picture of domestic animal abuse in America, and the laws in every state. (Think of it as a “Waiting For Superman” about animal abuse.) They are also choosing six other abuse cases to help them illustrate the problems. Thus far the stories of Susie from North Carolina, Queenie from Long Island, and Desmond from Connecticut will also be included in the film.
Director Gorman Bechard, co-owner of What Were We Thinking Films, is a lifelong dog lover (if you have any doubt read his eulogy to his dog Kilgore Trout here) who has three feature-length documentaries to his credit. These include Color Me Obsessed, a film about The Replacements, which Rolling Stone called one of “The Seven Best New Music Documentaries of the Year.” He has also directed the Archers of Loaf concert film, What Did You Expect? The Archers of Loaf Live At Cat’s Cradle plus films Broken Side of Time, and the documentary Every Everything, the Music, Life & Times of Grant Hart.
The money you donate to A Dog Named Gucci will go towards paying for (among other things): transportation and lodging expenses so they can travel to other parts of the country to film the other subjects they will be including in the film, as well as a few additional Gucci interviews with people who were no longer in Alabama. Beyond that they will need a sound mix, color correction, and those pesky film festival submission fees. They are asking for $5000 which is the minimum they need to shoot the additional interviews. They are finding stories that are leading them to other dogs, rescue groups, hero judges and prosecutors, and human companions across the country. So the more they raise the more they can broaden the scope of the film.
As of September 20th, this Kickstarter project has raised $2,300 of their $5,000 goal. And as you know in Kickstarter, a project is not funded unless the fundraising goal is reached. This project has 9 days left to raise the $5,000 goal or they will not be funded! For a pledge of $10, you will get an official A Dog Named Gucci vinyl bumper sticker plus updates! For a pledge of $30, you will get a signed DVD screener of A Dog Named Gucci months before it’s available commercially, plus updates! There are also many other great pledge levels you can choose from!
To learn more about A Dog Named Gucci and to pledge money, go to: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gormanbechard/a-dog-named-gucci-a-film-about-ending-animal-abuse-1
Learn more about A Dog Named Gucci at: https://www.facebook.com/ADogNamedGucci
Read a article from Gorman Bechard about the A Dog Named Gucci film at: http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/a-dog-named-gucci-gorman-bechard