Alex Winter, a director and writer of movies and TV, launched a Kickstarter campaign to create the definitive documentary about Frank Zappa, and save the musician’s never-before-explored private vault.
The Kickstarter campain, which ends April 9, achieved its primary goal but there is still more to do to save the Vault, a treasure of thousands of hours of unreleased material from Frank Zappa’s private archives.
More than 3900 backers pledged over $600,000 of the $500,000 goal and there are still 10 days to go, but Alex Winter would like to go further and get enough money to digitize and preserve the content of the Vault, before it’s too late. Alex Winter says that “Frank Zappa was one of the most prolific artists of our time, and rows upon rows of floor-to-ceiling stacks of tape, video clips, film footage, and more, have been locked away under the historic Zappa house in the Hollywood Hills since Frank’s death in 1993.”
Now the Zappa Family Trust gave Alex Winter unrestricted access to his never-before-explored, private archives, and permission to create the definitive documentary about Frank Zappa. Winter says that “waiting inside the Vault, there’s more material than we could ever fit in a single film” and the video for the Kickstarter campaign shows what he is talking about. No one has ever heard or seen the vast majority of this material, much less cataloged it, and it is literally crumbling against time in the Zappa’s private archive: a massive underground storage chamber known as “The Vault.”
Alex Winter, director of documentaries as Downloaded (about Napster) and Deep Web (about the hidden Internet), is also a big fan of Frank Zappa’s music so when Zappa’s widow, Gail, gave him permission to use the archives and create a documentary about the musician, we did not think twice. The Kickstarter campaign was the logical next step, through which it will be possible, Alex Winter hopes, to “digitize and preserve (!) these archives for use in this documentary — not to mention for limited, gradual release and distribution, and the enjoyment of Zappa fans for generations to come. The more we raise, the more of Frank’s unexplored archives we can save.”
The documentary “Who the F*@% is Frank Zappa?” is, according to Alex Winter, the tip of the iceberg. ”We’re at the brink of unlocking thousands of hours of unreleased footage, and hundreds of boxes of tape, and unnameable other stuff that has been literally locked away under the Zappa family home like a time capsule since Frank’s death in 1993. It’s time to tell Frank’s DEFINITIVE STORY, like it’s never been told, and to bring some of this unseen material into the world.”