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Donn's Depot (working title)

$10,775 of $185,000 goal

Raised by 94 people in 10 months
Created March 9, 2018


I am Jay Curlee, the sundrenched, camera toting geezer depicted above.

I have been a filmmaker for more than 40 years.  I have made thousands of commercials, hundreds of programs, a PBS series, and an independent music documentary feature.  I live in Austin and am semi-retired (which means the phone doesn't ring like it used to).   There are still stories to be told, though.



If I were to tell you that these old rail cars and depot make up one of the most important and beloved music venues in Austin, TX,  that would be a story.


Welcome to Donn's Depot.

Austin is known as the live music capitol of the world.  Hundreds of thousands of people  flood here for SXSW, The Austin City Limits Festival, and many other festivals.  Many of those people stay.   The [once] hundreds of small venues that were the bread and butter to the local artists and musicians-the very people and venues that gave this town its "Capitol" status-are going away fast.  And as people rush in and the rents and taxes get higher,  musicians and  Clubs struggle to make it.  This world is hanging by a thread.

The Depot has been here for 46 years.  It has been Donn's for 40. It is a community.  A cross between a club and a dance hall.  Some of Austin's greatest musicians have played here for decades.  It is a family.

Places like Donn's are almost gone.  Hell.., I am almost gone!   That's what this gofundme is about.  It is saving the story and keeping the dream and memory of Donn's alive.  That can happen with your help.

The money donated will go into production and post production costs to make a 75-minute (or so) documentary feature.  I will figure out some premiums later and you'll have to trust me on that.  If we stay on budget and make more than our goal, the balance will be donated to the Health Alliance for Austin Musicians (HAAM).   

We are targeting Mid-May to complete principal photography.  We have a dedicated and very talented skeleton crew.

Stay tuned for updates.
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Update 32
Posted by Jay Curlee
2 months ago
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We continue to edit and push forward. Here is draft open to the film which will do double duty as a promo piece to find us sponsors for the big ticket items like music releases at the end.
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Update 31
Posted by Jay Curlee
2 months ago
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Hi everybody. Once again thanks for all the help to get this film done. We are 95% done with principal photography and about 10% into the post production process. Every nickel raised has been spent on the production and we have more than 130 hours of interviews, music performances, and b-roll in the can. Here is a draft of the first 11 minutes. Please consider sharing this with friends and know that one way or another we will complete this film. The only question now is whether anybody but donors will SEE it.
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Update 30
Posted by Jay Curlee
4 months ago
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We are close to being done with principal photography, but documentaries are fluid. Here is a background piece about the kind of people who love Donn's.
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Update 29
Posted by Jay Curlee
4 months ago
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Hey everyone. I am very sorry for so little news. We have been busting our tail to complete shooting and we are very close.
Last week we completed three, 3-camera shoots at Donn's with an enhanced audio approach. Frank Cavitt brought in a new audio board and volunteered to engineer the recording of those shows. (Chris Gage will mix the movie at the end of post production.) Here is a rough edit of one of the songs from the first of those shoots. The sound is simply the ambient sound of the room from camera mics. We are basically out of money to do more shooting. We will now shift our focus to fundraising. I share this to show that the money raised has been well spent. We have more than 50 interviews in the can. We need a few more shooting days. The Donn's story is rich with outstanding music, stories, and love from and for a place like no other. Thanks everyone for your support. Please bring your friends into this effort. This is a much bigger and deeper story than we started out telling.
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$10,775 of $185,000 goal

Raised by 94 people in 10 months
Created March 9, 2018
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