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Feature Length Documentary about late singer-songwriter Rob Morsberger reaches Indiegogo fundraising stage - 'A Gesture and a Word' includes Marshall Crenshaw, Brad Roberts, Suzzy Roche, Jon Herrington
(Published: May 05, 2015)

A feature length documentary about the life of late singer-songwriter Rob Morsberger has reached the fundraising stage for its hopeful release. An Indiegogo campaign is active as of yesterday and includes many unique opportunities for music fans, including a private concert with Marshall Crenshaw, a yoga session with Brad Roberts, guitar lesson with Jon Herrington and much more - all info is here:

Help us finish a feature length documentary on the late Singer/Songwriter Rob Morsberger

Watch a video promo, here: https://vimeo.com/126803402

‘A Gesture and a Word' was directed by Dave Davidson. Additional details are below.

USA Today's Elysa Gardner was a noteworthy advocate for Rob's music, both prior to and following his terminal diagnosis. Here is one of her many thoughtful articles about Rob:
Singer/songwriter documenting battle with brain cancer


A Gesture and a Word- Rob Morsberger Documentary

Help us finish a feature length documentary on the late Singer/Songwriter Rob Morsberger


We seek your help to complete a feature length documentary on the greatest songwriter you never heard of, Rob Morsberger.

At age 50, musician and poet, Rob Morsberger was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer - and it came at the high point in his career. After 25 years in the music business, critics were starting to compare his songwriting to Randy Newman, Tom Waits and even Stephen Foster. Finally, it was all starting to come together.

Rob could easily have succumbed to this shockingly grim news, but instead he used it as fuel to launch into the most prolific period of his songwriting career - determined to utilize whatever remained of his physical and spiritual resources to explore through words and music the nature of life, the inevitability of death and the infinite magic in the detail of a single moment. This musical legacy was for all to hear but it was especially for his 8 year old son so he could know and remember his father.

Filmmaker Dave Davidson had already been collaborating with Rob on a number of projects. When the diagnosis came, Rob and Dave agreed to "just keep filming" and the result is the feature documentary A Gesture and a Word. The film bears witness to this brief, but incredibly productive time, during which Rob recorded four new albums, toured with his band, collaborated on a song cycle with Brad Roberts of Crash Test Dummies and continued to enrich the work of his better-known peers with his extraordinary orchestral arrangements. The film features appearances by Roberts; Boardwalk Empire Music Producer, Stewart Lerman; Jon Herington, guitarist for Steely Dan and singer/songwriters Suzzy Roche, Loudon Wainwright III, Willie Nile and Marshall Crenshaw.

Rob passed away peacefully in June of 2013, his head filled with the sound of Gregorian chants. Since then Dave and his team have done everything they can with limited resources to edit down hundreds of hours of performances, recording sessions, medical footage and interviews down to a rough cut of A Gesture and a Word.

We are deeply grateful to the many technicians, artists and musicians who have donated time, equipment and energy to the project out of a love for Rob and respect for his musical genius. Please join them in helping us introduce the world to Rob's moving, funny, insightful music that he created during his life journey right down to its very end. Life is short. Art is long.

Our goal is to raise to raise $65,000 to bring the film to a fine cut. We will use this funding to complete off line editing of the program so that the complete screen story is told in a viewable form. At that point we will be in a position show potential broadcasters, distributors, and festival directors a piece that will motivate them to fund the final, but expensive steps of on-line editing, sound mixing and promotion.

We are thrilled and grateful that so many of Rob's musical colleagues and friends have stepped forward to provide perks for this campaign at a variety of funding levels. These perks include everything from signed CD's to personal yoga classes conducted by a Rock legend to a private concert by a Pop music icon in your home for a select group of friends.

You also get a tax deduction for your contribution, Hudson West Productions is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. What's more if your employer provides matching funds for charitable giving your contribution can be submitted to their program providing additional sources of revenue for the project.

A Gesture and A Word is a tribute to the dignity and irrepressible creative spirit of Rob Morsberger during his final months. His story will be an inspiration to all viewers as they experience first hand that art can be at the core of a life well-lived, no matter how short. But for those who suffer from physical, emotional or mental disabilities as well as individuals who have been diagnosed with a terminal illnesses Rob's story will have special meaning. His ability to find happiness and creative reward in a time of shrinking possibilities shows another path. The film is also intended to benefit families who may be dealing with the terminal illness of a friend or relative in showing a dignified pathway to the end of life. After watching Rob's story our hope is that viewers might pause to consider things of value to savor and nurture in their own lives and recognize that grace and acceptance in the face of the inevitable need not equate to acquiescence.

Fifty percent of the net profits from the film will be placed in a trust for Rob's youngest son, Elan, who suffers from a severe medical condition and faces major surgery in the future.

Emmy Award winning Director Dave Davidson is the President of Hudson West Productions, a not-for-profit independent media group that creates documentaries about history, culture, music, art, and education. Founded in 1985, Hudson West's mission is to fill in gaps in the "cultural dial" left by commercial media by preserving, interpreting, and presenting unique but overlooked narratives to a wide audience. Hudson West's documentaries have been broadcast nationally on PBS and on other television outlets both nationally and internationally and have received awards at major festivals such as Chicago, San Francisco and Sydney. In 2010, Dave directed A Place Out of Time the Christopher Award winning PBS Documentary on an all Black boarding school that was an incubator for African American intellect in the Jim Crow era. Dave's most recent film Hans Richter: Everything Turns Everything Revolves , on the iconic Dadaist and experimental filmmaker, had its West and East Coast premieres at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and The National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, respectively. The film was a featured installation in exhibitions at The Centre Pompidou-Metz, The Gropius-Bau in Berlin and Museo d'Arte in Lugano, Switzerland. Dave was Co-Producer and Director of Photography on the nine part PBS series Michael Feinstein's American Songbook, which was Produced and Directed by his Hudson West partner, Amber Edwards.

To learn more about Hudson West Productions and our work, visit www.hudsonwest.org

Many of Rob's friends and collaborators appear in the film and are instrumental in telling Rob's story and continue to participate in the project. They are:

Marshall Crenshaw - One of the great pop songwriter / performers of his generation. Since his first hit, Someday, Someway in 1982, Marshall has been at the forefront of well-crafted, tuneful pop music. Marshall and Rob often contributed to each others work.
Jon Herington - Guitarist extraordinaire, was Rob's main collaborator and lead guitarist. Full disclosure ; Jon is also the lead guitarist for legendary rock band Steely Dan.
Brad Roberts - Owner of one of the signature voices in rock music, Brad was the lead singer for 3-time Grammy nominees, Crash Test Dummies. Before stepping away from music (temporarily, we hope) Brad recorded the song cycle Midnight Garden with Rob.
Stewart Lerman - Grammy-winning music producer who has worked with Elvis Costello, David Byrne, Black 47 and Patti Smith. He produced music for 36 episodes of Boardwalk Empire and for feature films The Aviator, Grey Gardens, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zizou, Mildred Pierce and others.
Suzzy Roche - one third of the revered sister act, The Roches, Suzzy is now an active member of the Wooster Group and has appeared in several productions as well as composing original music for performances. Rob arranged and produced her most recent album, Fairytale and Myth, recorded with her daughter, Lucy Wainwright
Willie Nile - Singer/songwriter best known for his self titled debut album critically acclaimed when released in 1980. His One Guitar is considered a rock standard. Willie and Rob performed together and Rob was Willie's string arranger.

Even if you can't help us out with a contribution you can help us by getting the word out to your friends and family. Please forward the information about A Gesture and A Word by using the Indiegogo share tools.
And again, thank you for your help!

More Information: http://https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/a-gesture-and-a-word-rob-morsberger-documentary/x/10717165

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