The decision to produce a documentary movie about Jacob Perl follows the wish to remember and to bring to a broader attention a great person and a great Buddhist teacher. This project is far from being commercial, and unfortunately producing a movie with high standards of contents and aesthetics needs a lot of time and has significant financial costs. To somebody our estimated costs may appear quite high: some of these we can’t influence (travelling, technical stuff or processes, etc), others, like our honorary, we kept from the very beginning as low as possible. The money is meant to cover the musician’s composing and playing the soundtrack and the work of two people full time for research, dramaturgy, shooting, recording, raw cutting, fine cutting, marketing – which makes about six months work just for the smallest version: taking away all unavoidable costs for audio and colour correction, hard disks and other facilities, our honorary should simply allow us to cover the very basic needs of our lives in order to work intensively, fast, without distractions on the project.
Furthermore we decided to work out different versions of the movie, each in a different price range, including traveling and further shooting. We wanted to harmonize our choice with the actual interest in the movie expressed by others, and align it to the money we raised through our fundraising campaign.
With 11,000 € we will concentrate mostly on the existing material and produce a 45 minutes format using Zen Master Wu Bong’s words, images from the city and the Berlin Sangha, possibly a dramaturgic counterpart (perhaps a voice-over or music, that has to be experimented, in the process of doing).
With up to 69,000 €, passing through intermediate versions and different countries, we could extend our research, start to travel to the places that have been relevant in Zen Master Wu Bong’s life and collect memories from people who knew him. This would allow us to go deeper in his biography, which is extremely interesting itself: a man of Jewish origin born in Poland, emigrated in Soviet times to the USA and fascinated by oriental philosophies, finally finding himself as the 79th Patriarch of a Korean Buddhist lineage. This more expensive movie would be at the same the story of Zen Master Seung Sahn, the Kwan Um School of Zen and the spreading of Buddhism in the Western hemisphere.
Obviously, the more we get, the more we can offer. In any case, any solution will be realized with our greatest efforts. At the moment we have over 40 supporters and have collected almost 10.000 € – greatest thanks for our supporters! Our campaign is running on Indiegogo until December 14th. It would be nice if you could also believe in this ambitious project and help us realizing it. We think it’s worthy and we think it’s important.