Sustainable furniture designer Robin Wade from Florence constructed a table from a Phil Campbell tree that was downed by the April 27, 2011 tornado and donated it to the “I’m with Phil” campaign to help raise money for the campaign.
Sustainable furniture designer Robin Wade from Florence constructed a table from a Phil Campbell tree that was downed by the April 27, 2011 tornado and donated it to the “I’m with Phil” campaign to help raise money for the campaign.

Archived Story

‘I’m with Phil’ meets base goal

Published 2:43pm Tuesday, March 25, 2014

In less than a month of fundraising, organizers behind the “I’m with Phil” Kickstarter campaign have reached their minimum goal of $20,000 that will allow the touching documentary about a unique group helping the town of Phil Campbell to move forward in the process of having the film released.

Filmmaker and director Andrew Reed said the pledge that helped put them over the top was from an anonymous supporter from the town of Phil Campbell who generously pledged $5,000.

“The way the campaign worked, we had certain rewards that were tied in to the different pledge amounts so the people who made pledges to help us meet our goal weren’t pledging their money for nothing,” Reed said.

“Each level of giving came with a reward, from copies of the DVD to T-shirts to bumper stickers and on up. Some of the bigger levels of giving offered rewards like being listed as an associate producer or getting to be in the movie.”

But the biggest reward offered was for one generous person who would pledge $5,000 toward the campaign – a custom table made by sustainable furniture designer Robin Wade from Florence, who constructed the table from a Phil Campbell tree that was downed by the April 27, 2011 tornado and generously donated to the “I’m with Phil” campaign to be used as a reward.

“This was an absolutely amazing thing that Robin Wade did for us by giving us this beautiful, custom table to help us raise the funds we need for the film,” Reed said.

“This table has special significance because it was made from a downed tree that came from the town, but it also took Robin a couple of years of work to create this table. A lot of hard work, effort, dedication and heart went into this project, and it’s just overwhelming that he would allow us to use it to help this film and to ultimately help the town.

“In the end, it was his table that helped put us over the top of our base fundraising goals, and we can’t thank him enough for all that he has done to support us and to support this film.”

While reaching the $20,000 base fundraising goal was a major milestone – and a necessary requirement in order to receive the pledges through the Kickstarter campaign – Reed said they aren’t calling off the campaign just yet.

“We have been working hard for a month now trying to raise the minimum amount of $20,000, which is what we absolutely had to have in order to legally release the film due to the cost of media licensing fees and insurance costs,” Reed said.

“We were ecstatic to meet that base goal of $20,000, but we also want our supporters to understand that we still have 11 days to continue fundraising and there are several more things that we need to do in order to achieve our ultimate goal of having the film distributed commercially.”

Reed said they needed to raise closer to $35,000 to take care of all the extra funding they would need to get the film to the very final stages, but they knew that realistically, that may not be possible.

“Since Kickstarter is an ‘all or nothing’ model and we knew we wouldn’t receive any of the pledges if we didn’t meet our fundraising goal, we thought $20,000 might be more realistic,” Reed said.

“That was the amount we absolutely had to have – the base amount, but the extra funding would help us enter the film in more festivals, pay for a film advisory service, and do things like get the film on Amazon and iTunes if we end up releasing it on our own.”

Reed said the fundraising campaign on Kickstarter would be open until April 6 and they have added new reward packages for those who still wish to pledge, including a custom nightstand that Robin Wade made from the same downed tree as the table.

“We are so thankful to each person who has supported this campaign and who continues to support us,” Reed said.

“Every single person, no matter how much they have pledged, has played a part in helping us reach this first crucial goal and we are so appreciative.

“And we hope there are even more people who will be kind enough to support us in the coming days.”

Anyone interested in being a supporter of the “I’m with Phil” documentary and contributing to the Kickstarter campaign can do so through the imwithphil.com website where there are links to the Kickstarter campaign and the film’s trailer.

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