Those of you who have been following The Beatles Rarity over the last couple of years likely remember the effort the website has supported for filming and releasing Good Ol’ Freda, a documentary on Freda Kelly who was the Beatles Fan Club Secretary from 1963 until after they broke up in 1970. The film will tell the story of The Beatles through Freda’s eyes, not only as a secretary, but as a personal friend to The Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein. Freda was not just answering fan mail but traveling with The Beatles to various events such as their appearance on television’s Juke Box Jury, their recognition at the Liverpool Civic Reception or her trip on the bus (sitting just behind Paul McCartney) in the Magical Mystery Tour film. Freda was in Beatles manager Brian Epstein’s inner circle of confidants and was along for many such Beatles happenings and even visited their homes.
The film is being put together by Tripod Media who consists of Director Ryan White, Producer Kathy McCabe and Peggy White. Initial funding came from a drive kicked off in 2011 through Kickstarter.com which successfully raised a $50,000 goal. There was also a grant of $5000 from Women in Film. With this money Tripod Media has successfully paid for two film shoots in Liverpool, a cinematographer, writer and full time editor for the project. The film is very near completion now has been selected as one of the headliners for the South x Southwest Film Festival in Austin TX where it’s to make it’s world premier on March 9, 2013. With only a few weeks to go the film is nearly complete but with the amount of funding they’ve had to work with so far, Tripod Media would never have gotten as far as they have without refusing to take a penny of their funding as salary. None of this would have been possible without the dedication of such a great group of people who are determined to see this through.
Fundraising for the project has continued through the Southern Documentary Fund for the sake of covering the additional costs of licensing music, video, and photography as well as the tweaks and touch ups you don’t think about that tend to add to the final production costs (such as color and sound correction). Kathy McCabe has shared with me that these costs add up to somewhere in the neighborhood of $75,000. While this sounds like a lot of cash for most of us, there are enough people excited about this film that any amount given will not be too small. Donations are fully tax deductible and can be made here.
Listen to George Harrison give an honorable mention to Freda on the very first Christmas disc sent to members of The Beatles Fan Club during the holiday season of 1963 (The other Beatles respond in the background by shouting “Good Ol’ Freda!:”Xmas 1963 Beatles message (excerpt) - George Harrison
For more about the film: