Know Your Icons: Rick Griffin film sprouts wings
Rick Griffin Documentary Kickstarter Campaign Launches This Week
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 9 October, 2012 : - - The Film: 'Griffin' is a feature-length documentary that explores the art, life and eccentric spark of one of the world’s least known and most influential 20th Century surrealists. Over the time-warped span of the 1960's, one-time teen cartoonist Rick Griffin created defining icons for three pillars of west coast counterculture: surfing, psychedelic rock and underground comix.
In each of these Ground Zero movements Griffin was considered a visionary savant who masterfully infiltrated his passions and relentless spiritual quest through commercial art…often subverting banal 50s advertising trademarks into mindbending psychedelic mandalas. Griffin cultivated a charismatic, rock-star persona and during his heyday was celebrated in Life Magazine as one of the “Big Five” of psychedelic poster art. Later, a born-again Christian, he would illustrate the Gospel Of John in the vernacular he knew and loved best…the comic-book. But by 35 he was all but forgotten. At 47 he was gone, killed while roaring his Harley down a Northern California back road. But Griffin's art lives on, his messages and cosmic signposts firmly encoded in our post-modern DNA.
Veteran surfing journalist and award-winning filmmaker Steve Barilotti is excited to announce the official launch of his Kickstarter campaign to fund phase-one production of Griffin, a feature-length documentary celebrating the life and times of Rick Griffin. The Griffin, The Film Kickstarter project has proven a fast break out the gate, with over $13,000 pledged by Day Eleven, putting the innovative “fan-funding” project two-thirds to success in record time. With Kickstarter’s “all or nothing” rule Barilotti is hoping to hit the $20,000 target by week’s end and then far exceed it over the remaining time.
“I’ve been absolutely stunned by the response thus far,” says Barilotti, a one-time senior editor for Surfer Magazine. “Not only in dollars, but in the incredible outpouring of memories and affection for Rick. I’ve been getting offers of support-- for the film from around the world.”
It’s among the surf culture that Griffin is most fondly remembered for creating “Murphy”, an eternally sunny, if terminally misunderstood young surf kid you gave the fledgling surf culture its first and perhaps best face. “In many ways Griffin was the Jules Verne of surfing,” says Barilotti. “He imagined surfers doing incredible aerials and ripping massive waves on shortboards in ways that weren’t even on the radar in the late 60s. He drew the future.”
The Griffin, The Film Kickstarter project will fund Phase-One production over the next 6-12 months to collect quality interviews and key archival assets to be used in making Griffin. Phase Two consists of editing and post-production and Phase Three, distribution. Griffin’s release is scheduled for early 2014. As added incentive Griffin fans can receive various tiered rewards ranging from downloadable production art to producer roll credits to high-quality custom oversized prints of Griffin’s art, signed and authenticated by the Griffin Estate.
Animation: In a related but separate project Barilotti is collaborating with Professor Dana Lamb and team of top student animators from Cal State Fullerton to bring Griffin’s “Tales From The Tube” to life in traditional hand-drawn 2D and fully rendered computer 3D. This is a first for Griffin’s work. The animation will be featured in the film but will also be shown as a short in film festival and animation showcases.
Source: Steve Barilotti
Tags: Rick Griffin, Surf Art, Documentary, Kickstarter