Hollywood is famous for optioning things they'll never make into movies. They buy rights to stories to keep them away from competing studios, and once they don't get greenlit, the concepts are scuttled, their creators kept quiet with the paycheck they optimistically cashed.
Sadly, a similar thing happened with auto manufacturers, a real tragedy during what filmmaker Robert Edwards calls "Detroit's golden age of automotive design," from 1946 to 1973. Designers slaved over renderings that not only never saw the light of day, but were actually shredded.
[Some design concepts] were beyond the imagination of the top executives. Wary of competitors stealing concepts, companies prohibited the art from leaving the studios. …The artwork was destroyed to keep it out of the hands of the competition.
But luckily, a handful of plucky designers snuck their renderings out of the studio:
Some designers saved their artwork from the shredders with a rarely issued permission via a "package pass," others devised ingenious ways to secret them out. Only a small fraction of the concept drawings survive, but this body of work constitutes an unheralded chapter in American art history.
Edwards managed to locate some of these designers and intended to create a documentary, "American Dreaming," showcasing their work and recording their stories:
Sadly, we heard about this one too late. Just two days ago the doc came woefully short of its crowdfunding target, amassing just $8,335 though all it needed was a lousy $20,000 to get the ball rolling. (The producers had hoped to eventually reach the full projected $100,000 budget.)
We hope that the lack of funding was simply a failure of awareness rather than interest. If you would have pledged to see this documentary, please say so in the comments below; should we amass enough support, we can try to forward it to Edwards as a kind of petition to try again.
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Would support it on second chance. Revive it, thanks!
Would definitely back this, shame we found out too late.
While our effort on Indiegogo raised just 42% of our goal, we have raised enough funds to continue production on this documentary. We had hoped to travel outside the Detroit area (many designers retired and moved to southern California, Arizona and Florida). we have gathered 60+ hours of film and will begin editing by mid summer 21015. The completed film will be in the film festival circuit by late spring 2016. With extra help financially from all interested individuals, and a few corporate sponsors we can capture so much more of this overlooked aspect of American art & design history before it forever vanishes. Please visit our website americandreamingfilm.com and consider making a gift toward production costs. Thanks!
I'd support this. Many schools would too. Put it on Reddit and it's probably funded within a week.
I would back this!
I'd back it. It would be great to immortalize an invaluable part of American design history.
I would back this project in a heartbeat.
I'd fund it. Some of the greatest designers this country has seen worked for the auto companies in the 50s and 60s. I'd love to see more of their work. Hear their stories.
I'd be a backer.
Sign me up!
I'd Back this for sure
i would back this.
When I went to San Jose State University Design School, class of 1977 - several of the instructors had been Detroit automotive designers in the 1960s and 70s. They would show us some of the drawings they had saved for their portfolios and told stories about working in that field. It was interesting, but I decided not to apply for any job in Detroit, went into more generalized product design.
I would back this. They should submit to product hunt before they re-try I bet that community would get behind this
I had the pleasure of seeing these renderings up close and personal. Some of these designers live here in Louisville and a local curator convinced Detroit to grant permission for an exhibition. Gauche and colored pencil on canson paper. I can only imagine the incomparable skill and effort required for these incredible works of art.
Bonus idea- an art book of the designers' work (even an e-book) would be a tantalizing funding reward....
I think we all need this film in our collection. There's so much to be learned from a generation of designers that worked in such a seminal period of product development in the US, and I worry this knowledge will be lost in a short number of years if projects like this aren't produced. Please open this up for funding!
I would love an opportunity to support this project.