In 1970, legendary director Orson Welles began work on The Other Side of the Wind, a film about a filmmaker attempting to fund an experimental comeback film. Welles never intended The Other Side of the Wind to be autobiographical, but his life mirrored the protagonist’s in eerily similar ways. Over the next six years of production and the remainder of his life, Welles struggled to finish his film as well, stymied by obstacles including an unconventional improvised script, budget embezzlement, and most bizarrely the confiscation of the negatives by Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iranian Revolution.
Over forty years have passed since Welles started filming The Other Side of the Wind, and at long last, it may finally be released. A group of Hollywood producers have arranged to obtain the negatives and, based on extensive notes left by Welles before his death, edit and remaster the film as he intended.
This is an enormous undertaking with the full support of notable film industry figures, but they understandably need some finishing money to complete this. To finish the job, the production team has launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to secure the $2 million necessary to complete the film by early 2016. That seems like a steep price tag, but as the team puts it: “What if Mark Twain lost a manuscript? Or if Mozart lost his sheet music for a final Sonata? Or a lost book of poems by Walt Whitman was discovered hidden away in a dusty attic? Would you want to see that art realized?”
We certainly would. Here’s hoping we can watch Orson Welles’s final film before the next election!