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“In 1972, Ricky put a Super 8 synch-sound camera in my hand and said, ‘If you want to become a filmmaker, you have to shoot,'” writes filmmaker Jane Weiner on the Kickstarter page for her project, Ricky on Leacock. “Turning my lens on him, I was suddenly transported into another universe: What began as a filmic conversation developed into a filmic adventure that traces the roots of Leacock’s cinematic quest and his role in documentary-making over the last century.”

Four decades later, and less than a year after Leacock passed away, Weiner is finishing her documentary on the legendary filmmaker Richard Leacock. As she tells in her Kickstarter video, Leacock agreed to the documentary so many years ago on two conditions: it had to be shot on Super 8 synch sound, and there could be no interviews. More from Weiner:

Mixing my own footage with film clips and never-before-seen images from Ricky’s personal film archives, this film pays homage to my friend and mentor and, most importantly, allows him to tell his story in his own words.

Presented as an intimate, on-going cinematic conversation with me and other filmmakers, Leacock recounts the periods of his career spent with Robert Flaherty, Robert Drew, DA Pennebaker and others, during which he discusses the roots of his lifelong quest to capture “the feeling of being there.”

Ricky Leacock helped lay the foundation not only for today’s filmmakers, but for amateur filmmakers all over the world who use portable equipment and new technologies. His pioneering role in the development of hand-held, observational documentary films can be traced through several important eras in film history to the explosion of the small-format ‘being there’ filmmaking of our YouTube generation.

Weiner has compiled a raft of awards, including many DVDs of docs by her students, and is releasing updates in the form of video clips from the project. There is also a Facebook page with regular news as well.

Check out the video below and consider supporting what I’m sure will be an essential documentary on one of the great pioneers of independent film.

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