Filmmakers Are Crowdfunding the Music Licensing for 'The Sax Man' To Bring It To Theaters, Netflix

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When the 2014 CIFF debut of The Sax Man sold out faster than small-town gossip, everyone without tix collectively mourned. We sated ourselves with the amazing trailer and frequent trips down to Euclid for more of Maurice Reedus Jr.'s fine, fine tones. 

Well, the filmmakers are trying to ameliorate that pain by bringing the documentary to public theaters and, blessedly for so many of us, Netflix, iTunes, et. al. 

The Indiegogo funding page cites music licensing as the last remaining hurdle for that goal. Director Joe Siebert and Co. are looking to raise $50,000, because of all the wonderful music Maurice plays. Even "Happy Birthday" requires payment to some big, faceless company.

"How can you own 'Happy Birthday'?" Maurice asks in the Indiegogo pitch video. Indeed, Maurice. Indeed.
Because Maurice plays so many famous songs in the film, we have to pay for each and every one...which costs a lot of money. But until we can pay for these licenses, we will not be able to complete our deal with the distributor to get the film out there.
The film itself, showcasing a community staple, was built on community fundraising via a Kickstarter page a few years ago. "We knew that we were going to need more than what we were going to be able to raise on Kickstarter — because it’s set up in a way that if you don’t hit a certain goal, you don’t get the pledges — so we had to find what we thought would be a magic number that would be both high enough to get us at least down the road a little further and reasonable enough to be possible. The goal was $35,000 and by the end of it cleared $38,000," Siebert told Scene last year.

The fundraising page has garnered $480 as of publishing this quick little piece (raising at least $40 in like the five minutes it took to write alone). Deadline for donations is Nov. 18.

Here's more from our interview with Siebert (emphasizing a passage that relates to the goal at hand):
For the Cleveland audience, people should come see it because what this film does is put Cleveland in a framework that really highlights the importance of community and togetherness in our particular city; he’s kind of the symbol of that in this film, for not giving up when you’re down and keeping up with your passion. For a city like Cleveland that has seen its share of hard times, I think he’s a good metaphor for how the city keeps moving forward despite the circumstances. Beyond Cleveland, it has a universal human message that true success isn’t necessarily making the millions of dollars and having your name known, it’s about finding a way to really take your deepest passions and meet the world around you to make the difference you can.

About The Author

Eric Sandy

Eric Sandy is an award-winning Cleveland-based journalist. For a while, he was the managing editor of Scene. He now contributes jam band features every now and then.
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