When we first decided to make this film about the I.S. 318 Chess Team it wasn’t really a decision. We didn’t really have a choice. Okay not literally, but we had found this story which we loved and it was happening RIGHT NOW and so it was either keep shooting or walk away. There wasn’t time to raise money, hire a staff and start pitching. We just kept showing up at I.S 318 because everyday it seemed something was happening and not being there meant we would miss it. So in the interest of shooting, the whole fund-raising portion of this process fell through the cracks.
So for the last 10 months we have been making the film on our own, with our own money. It’s not easy but it’s just the way things happened. Then finally this past December, Nelson got a chunk of time off of work and buried himself in over 300 hours of footage. And then somehow, 6 weeks later, out of the darkness that is our basement studio, emerged a brand new fundraising teaser. One that we hope does some justice to the last 10 months but also makes you giddy with anticipation over what might happen in the next 9 months of production. All in under 6 minutes?! No problem. We wish. Cutting a teaser for a work-in-progress documentary is hard work. There’s so much you need to say (and not say) to strike this perfect balance of giving a taste of the story without giving it all away. So we did our best and we hope you like it.
Tomorrow our new teaser will go live on our fund-raising site at Kickstarter.com. We hope you visit Kickstarter often, our friend Yancey Strickler is one of the sites founders and we remember back in the summer of ‘07 on the deck in Montauk when he was telling us all about his new idea. So cool that he made it a reality.
Also we were going through some old files recently and found the Polaroids we took the first time we met the the I.S. 318 chess team. The one attached here is of Rochelle. She was only in 6th grade at the time. Now she’s a freshman in High School. She still loves chess. Check out what she wrote. Pretty smart stuff for an 11 year old.
I started playing chess in the 2nd grade when my grandmother first taught me. My first coach started teaching me openings and I started playing in tournaments and winning trophies and medals. I like chess because it’s a thinking game that not only helps me in school but let’s me see things in a new way. I also love chess because I love the feeling of winning even though I can’t always win.