Tammy Jo Alexander Documentary
Who am I?
Hi, my name is Giovanni Alfonzetti, and I'm a filmmaker.
I've made dozens of short films, working as stand-ins, extras, actors, editors, producers, ADs, camera operators, DOPs, writers, directors, and many other positions.
While all those films had their acclaim and popularity, I've never felt as passionate about a project as I do this one:
What are we raising money for?
I am raising money for a feature length documentary about a murder case from 1979. The case involves a 16-year old girl who was found shot dead on the side of a rural highway in Western New York with no identification.
She was unusally tanned and dressed to be found in Western New York in November so authorities immediately assumed she was from out of the area. What they didn't know was that they would struggle to find out her identity for over 35 years! Over that time, evidence had proved futile, nearly 10,000 leads led to deadends, and recognition on "America's Most Wanted" and other media led no where. Furthermore, a notorious serial killer had falsely confessed to her murder and other serial killers were suspected before their executions and deaths. Without even a missing persons report from the victims family, authorities were left hopeless to identify Jane Doe.
After nearly 35 years, a series of miraculous events involving disjointed parties all across the United States led to the girl's identification some 35 years later. Her headstone marked "Lest We Forget Unidentified Girl" was flipped around and her name was printed alongside her picture.
This story will be told from many perspectives. From the perspective of former Livingston County Sheriff John York (one of the first officers on the scene in 1979), to the perspectives of those who helped identify her. These accounts will breath a life into this story, depicting how the 35 year-long struggle to identify this girl affected everyone involved. Furthermore, our story will end with all the information neccessary for anyone to help solve the case.
How will the money be used?
Being that this documentary is rather large in scope and requires the cooperation of people across the nation, there are three primary uses for the money we raise:
-Production -Travel -Licensing
What we mean by production is this: equipment and contracting.
For equipment, our motto is: if we're going to do it, we should do it right (especially for a project as important as this). We're not looking to rent big budget cameras (although, hey, if you donate more maybe we could). However we are looking for cinema quality. Cameras such as the Canon C100 and C300 series as well as Canon L-series lenses would satisfy that requirement. As for sound, a proper boom and mic would be required (and generally at very reasonable rental prices). And lastly there would be lighting and grip equipment. Lighting could be rather expensive, but there are plenty of affordable options that we can make due with.
Contracting would include possibly hiring editors, PAs/ADs, or other neccessary personnel that hold a special skillset that we need. We wouldn't hire anyone unless neccessary.
Several persons of interest involved in the project (mainly people we'd like to interview) are located all over the country. And plane tickets are expensive...
Being a documentary, we have tons of news footage and copyrighted media we'd like to include in the finished project. That media needs to be licensed in order for us to fairly use it. What many people don't realize is that it could be fairly expensive.
(ie. I used to program a film series where we would screen (generally) blockbuster films for a crowd with free admission. A singular new release blockbuster would cost roughly $700 for a single screening. This is a slightly different type of licensing, but you get the picture.)
We would need to license music for the film (or a composer- that falls under contracting), news footage, images, and possibly some other forms of copyrighted material.
How soon will we need the funds?
Well... we'd like to start production this summer (Summer 2016). We've been conducting research for the past year and we're nearing the final stages of pre-production. If possible, we'd like to at least finish funding within three months.
Why this means so much to me?
I have been researching this investigation for over a year now. I've prioritized this project over most other things I have going on. Personally, it would be amazing to release a project I have put this amount of work into.
But more importantly, this project will tell the personal stories of dozens of individuals who went above and beyond to ensure that Jane Doe wasn't forgotten and that she was given a name, and they are still working to this day to ensure she is given justice. This story will commemorate those individuals.
But even more importantly, this project has a cause. There was a girl who was left dead on the side of the road, left unidentified for 35 years, and still has not received the justice she deserves. With this project, I intend on telling the complete, unabriged story of the investigation with the hopes of it leading to a lead that solves the case.
How thankful will I be?
Everyone who donates will be listed in the credits as a fundraiser for this film. Furthermore I'll make sure that everyone is given a digital copy of the final product. And anyone who donates is more than welcome to join our team.
In addition, there are other rewards for varying levels of donations.
No donation is too small. All we could really hope for is that this film helps bring justice to a case that should have been solved long ago.
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