Digging for Weldon Irvine A Project of Documentaries
I don't remember what I was doing April 9, 2002. I couldn't even tell you what I was doing April 9, 2017. People who will never forget that day were the employees of the many businesses housed in Uniondale, New York's EAB Plaza - across the street from the legendary Nassau Colliseum. For them it was the day , they heard the explosion of a 22. rifle at the tail end of lunch time. The word quickly spread that a man with no name was reported to have taken his own life. It took a week for family, friends and the entertainment community to realize that this unidentified soul was 58 year old Weldon J. Irvine, Jr. writer, composer and mentor to dozens of Jazz & Hip Hop's greats and one time Music Director of Miss Nina Simone. I am telling his story.
Digging for Weldon Irvine is a tale of a time capsule buried alive. It is one of music and stewardship, with a sensitive analysis of mental wellness - including the undiagnosed depression of artists and generational suicide, as Weldon's mother's own suicide preceded his by nearly 40 years.
In 2015, when my Executive Producer, Joey 'G-Clef' Cavaseno, one of Weldon's last students approached me with the idea of directing the film, he told me "You remind me of my friend Weldon." Through this film, I am not only finding out about Jazz music, as Digging for Weldon Irvine just as much digging for myself. Late this Summer, our team had an exciting fundraising run, raising $21,000 in total with $19,000 coming via online. The last week of my campaign coincided with hurricanes Harvey & Irma and I decided that I could not, in good faith, actively fundraise while relief efforts were ongoing. I decided to suspend the campaign. I am confident that we would have reached our goal of $35,000 as momentum was picking up, raking in $11,000 only a week before disaster struck.
With the bulk of our interviews and travel done, we are are fundraising once more, this time working towards the goal of $20,000. This amount will go towards crew payment, the routine legal expenses associated with documentary and the costly process of post production. This go around, we have a new strategic partnership! I am both humbled and proud to announce that our documentary has earned the confidence of industry veteran, From The Heart Productions, who have joined this mission as our fiscal sponsor! As a fiscal sponsor, From The Heart Productions monitors the progress of Digging for Weldon Irvine and contributes advice and feedback where needed on fundraising initiatives, sales & outreach strategies.
As if this were not enough, with their 501(c)3 certification, your donations towards the completion of the film are now tax deductible! On behalf of the Thrice Great/Teal Octopus team, (G-Clef, Michael, Alyx, Mowie, Tasha Digital, Curly, Tara, Charles, Amanda, Nicole, Max, Angelika) I Thank you for your time, consideration and love.
Victorious De Costa - Director