This post is a little different. This is essentially a thank you to you, the readers, from me and the people involved in "Be Natural," a documentary on Alice Guy-Blaché, the first female director. Without the Upworthy audience, this important woman might have been lost in history forever. More on what you all did below.
Back when I was a newbie at Upworthy this whole helping-people-see-important-and-nifty-stuff thing, I heard talk from the the people who were training me of "the one day you'll see something that will move you so deeply you have to make sure as many people see it as possible." When I first heard about Alice Guy-Blaché, I knew it was the one:
Now, I've been moved by many things (before and after Guy-Blaché), but it was her story that really did something to me. Now I'm in the running for "Steeliest Upworthy Employee," but the first time I watched the video, I honestly cried for a full eight minutes. And then some more. I cried so much that at one point, I was confused as to why I was still crying.
But after thinking about it, it really had to do with an artist's work being forgotten. An artist who wrote, directed or produced over 1,000 films at that. I went to art school and took a French-film class, and there was nary a mention of Alice. The coworker who passionately shared the video with me (Rebecca Eisenberg) majored in film and also had never heard of her. For a full century, no one thought much of her at all. I just really wanted her to be remembered. And thankfully, you, readers of Upworthy, thought the same.
Pamela Green's and Jarik Van Sluijs' original goal was original goal was $200,000 to really get the documentary off the ground and pay for research, travel costs, and filming. They were quite under budget, but after the post went up on Upworthy, you all were incredible. I'll let Pamela describe it for you:
(That's me yapping in the beginning of that.) I totally was watching the Kickstarter like a hawk until the goal was met ... and then some. So, do you know how much they raised?
A whopping $219,263! And after all that, they told us how much you, the Upworthy audience, donated. Drumroll, please:
Yup. $80,000. That's almost half of their goal! Since their rousing Kickstarter success, they've found new films and vintage movie posters and convinced archivists to go into their collections and find more of her work. It's really quite amazing what they've found because of the Kickstarter's success. I can't even tell you about half of it because then that would ruin the movie. :) But here, look at this, a film they found after the Kickstarter was funded:
It's completely possible the above film could have been sitting in an archive somewhere until it disintegrated beyond repair — but it hasn't. So thanks, guys! All of these discoveries from here on out are really thanks to every single person who donated; not just Upworthy folks, though $80,000 from all of you is nothing to sneeze at. Even if you didn't donate and only shared, you helped.
From left: Deputy Editor Rebecca Eisenberg, "Be Natural" director Pamela Green, and yours truly.
I'll let Pamela's words close this victory lap of a story:
Share this by clicking on the Twitter and Facebook buttons below. Oh, and thanks, everyone. :)