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Get Involved, Internet: Help a Vonnegut documentary become unstuck from time

Filmmaker and writer Bob Weide has been working on his Kurt Vonnegut documentary for over three decades (and on his own dime). Now Weide has a Kickstarter campaign to help turn that footage into a finished film, Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck In Time.

As Weide explains in his pitch, he first reached out to Vonnegut in 1982, expressing interest in making a documentary about the celebrated author. The goal was to complete the project within a year, but financing fell through and filming didn’t even begin for six years. The two became close friends in the process of filming; over subsequent years Weide periodically captured moments of the author visiting his childhood home, landmark locations from his career, and various public appearances.

Weide has worked on many well-known projects since then, including documentaries of Lenny Bruce, W.C. Fields, and Woody Allen. He also directed and produced HBO’s original Curb Your Enthusiasm special, and wrote the screenplay for Vonnegut’s Mother Night.

The two eventually became so close that Weide began to worry that his objectivity as a filmmaker had been compromised, and that his documentary has become as much about Weide’s admiration of Vonnegut as it was about the writer’s life. To that end, Weide recruited fellow documentarian Don Argott (Rock School, As The Palaces Burn) to capture what he calls the “meta” angle of Weide’s personal relationship with Vonnegut, which will be folded into Weide’s documentary “in the same way that Vonnegut often interacts with characters in his own fictional narratives.”

Weide and Argott are attempting to raise $250,000, which they’ll put toward completing filming of more interviews and Vonnegut-related locations on the road toward getting Unstuck In Time to its final cut. Donors will be rewarded with everything from lunch with Vonnegut fan Judd Apatow (which someone appears to have snapped up already) to signed Curb Your Enthusiasm memorabilia to screen-used props from Mother Night. As of now, the project has reached just over $54,000 of its goal. For more details or to make a pledge, visit the Kickstarter campaign here.

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