Nixon on Super 8
By James Grahame
Penny and Brian have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their upcoming found footage documentary, Our Nixon. It's composed entirely of shots from 204 reels of Super 8 home movies confiscated during the Watergate investigation. The confiscated films were home movies made by Chief of Staff H.R. "Bob" Haldeman, Chief Domestic Advisor John Ehrlichman, Special Assistant to the President Dwight Chapin and Deputy Assistant Larry Higby.
"They filmed big events: White House performances by Bob Hope, Dionne Warwick, Johnny Cash and Raquel Welch; hordes of anti-war protesters on the National Mall; legions of adoring fans on the campaign trail; visits from heads of state like Haile Selassie, Nicolae Ceausescu and Indira Gandhi; their historic trip to China; and Tricia Nixon’s Rose Garden wedding.
But they also filmed each other: Chapin goofing around with his camera; Ehrlichman clowning with Kissinger on the beach; and Haldeman filming Higby filming Haldeman at the Great Wall of China. Ehrlichman filmed birds. He was especially fond of hummingbirds. The home movies record every aspect of their experience of the Nixon White House, from the prosaic to the profound. These four men carefully documented their time with Nixon because they believed that Nixon would transform America. And in a way, they were right.
Today, when we think of Nixon, we think first of Watergate. But Our Nixon isn’t a film about Watergate. It’s a film about four of Nixon's men and the story they thought they were a part of – before Watergate changed everything."
The campaign has already reached over 15% of their $10,000 target, which will go to pay for sound design, color correction and an original score. Pledge $10 and they'll send you a retro-style campaign button. $25 gets you a DVD copy of the film when it's released, and they'll give you one of the original reels of film if you donate $500 or more.