Joe Amodei Crowdsourcing Clarence Clemons Documentary21 Apr, 2017 By: Kirk Sanderson
Industry veteran Joe Amodei, president of Virgil Films, has launched a funding campaign on Indiegogo to complete production of Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am? The film takes a personal look at the life of the legendary saxophonist with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, who died in 2011.
Clemons’ powerful sax became a vital part of Springsteen's signature sound. But, according to Amodei, there was also a deeply spiritual side to Clemons that took him to China in 2005. Filmmaker and friend Nick Mead documented what became a spiritual quest and search for meaning that began on the Great Wall and continued until Clemons' death six years ago.
"Clarence, who played alongside Springsteen for 40 years, had something beyond music that he wanted to share with the world. And he had planned to do it through this documentary film, which he was working on up until his death," said Amodei, who is also producing the film.
Clemons himself said about his trip to northeast China, "I felt the need to disappear. To lose myself, in hope of finding myself."
His search took him from China to the streets of San Francisco. “The film shows us his soulful mission and how it changed him, while it pays tribute to The Big Man, through recollections with his closest friends and family members,” according to a press release.
Mead, a director and acclaimed photographer, spent six years filming with Clemons. Virgil's Amodei came on board as producer after attending an early screening in New Jersey. It was there that he promised Clarence and Nick to help them finish and release the film.
Clarence Clemons: Who Do I Think I Am? features interviews with President Bill Clinton; current and former E Street Band members Jake Clemons (Clarence's nephew), Nils Lofgren and Vini Lopez; photographer Danny Clinch; rock greats Joe Walsh, Willie Nile, Michael Narada Walden, Norman Selden; and many others, including family and friends.
Contributions will support funding of post-production, additional filming, music clearances and distribution.
Perks for supporters on Indiegogo include early access to see the film prior to its release, currently anticipated for early October 2017. There are various levels of perks, depending on amount pledged, including early film streaming and download; “thank you” credits in the film; two tickets to the film's premiere and after party in or around Asbury Park, N.J., birthplace of the E Street Band; and Triptych posters created by Mead.
The funding campaign can be accessed at