Michele Scott
Jena Moreno

Stitched: Documented

A special look into the production of the upcoming quilt documentary Stitched, from Executive Producer Jena Moreno.
Part 2 - Making it Happen

Jena Moreno - QCN


Like any artist, at the start of my project I was excited and focused on making a great piece of work…

…then the bills started trickling in. Cameras, lights and travel are expensive. I soon realized I had to find a way to help pay for our documentary if we were ever going to get it to the big screen.

The project we’re producing is titled Stitched. Stitched is an hour-long film, following three art quilters as they prepare to compete for the Best of Show award at the November 2010 International Quilt Festival in Houston, TX. Our crew has spent most holidays, weekends and evenings working on the film.

During the week of the quilt show, we’ll need to hire a crew of camera operators and producers to get us all the coverage we need. Finding the crew, along with the equipment and fees themselves, is a surprisingly costly effort. So, I’ve gotten to work searching for grants and funding (when I’m not arranging interviews, promoting the movie via Facebook and helping with the editing process).

The grant applications are long and tedious. I filled out the same application more than two dozen times when I kept finding mistakes. On top of the mistakes, my handwriting is hard to read (which doesn’t make things in this process any easier). We’ve written and rewritten film treatments, calculating and recalculating budgets over and over again.
Our first application was to the Southern Documentary Fund, http://southerndocumentaryfund.org/projects/stitched/, a Durham, NC organization that provides nonprofit status to media projects made in the South. We were ecstatic when we received fiscal sponsorship after submitting our first application. It felt great that were on the right track.

Now our next challenge is convincing corporations and other groups to donate money to the Southern Documentary Fund. I’m still not sure how to do that, but we’ll figure it out just like everything else.

We’ve applied for three grants so far. Recently, we heard the disappointing news that we weren’t awarded one of the national grants. However, we're still waiting to hear back from two Texas grant groups, and we think we have a good shot.

In the meantime, we’re making a great effort to take donations with some of the great low-cost/free tools that are available online. We’ve set up a PayPal account on our official Stitched website, www.stitchedfilm.com, and we’ve posted our project on funding platforms IndieGoGo and Kickstarter. We just received our first $50 donation from my father-in-law! With his donation, he offered an encouraging bit of advice, “You just need to convince 200 more people to pledge $50, and you will reach your fundraising goal.”

In June, a short version of our film played at Houston’s Aurora Picture Show www.aurorapictureshow.org. We also entered a three-minute version of Stitched in Aurora's Extremely Shorts Film Festival to find out if audiences found it as entertaining as we do. The nonprofit cinema group showed the movie four times, and at the funniest scenes, the audience laughed so hard that they almost missed what came next. We were thrilled when we won second place in the festival.

Since then, we've made more film contacts, continued building up our Facebook fanbase, and have gained the confidence we need to see this project through to the finish line.

Here are a few highlights from along the way:

Click any image for a closer look
Tom and Caryl working from Caryl's studio
Cameraman Tom Gandy and Caryl Bryer Fallert at her studio in Paducah, Ky.
Tom and Jena in Paducah
Tom Gandy and Jena Moreno preparing to interview Rosemarie Steele of the Paducah Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Interviewing Ricky Tims
The Stitched crew interviewing Ricky Tims in Paducah.
Interviewing Randall Cook
Stitched crew interviewing quilter Randall Cook during the International Quilt Festival in Houston in 2009.
Jena and Tom working
Jena Moreno and Tom Gandy working on Stitched while visiting Jena's mom.
Stitched Aurora Viewing
Jena Moreno (on the far right) and Tom Gandy (fourth from left) answer audience questions during Aurora Picture Show's Extremely Shorts Festival
Jena working
Moreno logging Stitched footage.
Couple at opening
People enjoying Hollis Chatelain's quilt, Displaced, at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Ky.

sue beevers headshot
Jena Moreno is an award-winning print journalist whose interviewed everyone from presidents to street merchants. Jena's travels to Argentina, Guatemala, Cuba and other
Latin American nations resulted in touching articles about immigration, impoverished workers and international diplomacy. Jena spends her free time making documentaries and travel shows.

You can contact Jena at: jena@frame1media.com

The Quilters of Stitched

The three art quilters in focus have each sparked some controversy in the past, mentored one another, and developed bonding lifelong friendships that have weathered the sometimes head to head competition necessary for top awards.

Caryl Bryer FallertCaryl Bryer Fallert

A petite and fiery redhead, Caryl Bryer Fallert is the only three-time winner of the coveted American Quilters Society Best of Show, Purchase Award.

Hollis ChatelainHollis Chatelain

Hollis Chatelain won the top prize in Houston in 2004 with her painted quilt Precious Water, and is now determined to change the world with her Imagine Hope traveling exhibition.

Randall CookRandall Cook

A yoga and pilates instructor, Randall Cook’s quilts focus on the many lines and forms of the human body. Randall is one of a growing cadre of male quilters in the industry.

Click Here to visit the official website for the Stitched documentary.

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