The response from fans all over the world has been overwhelming, and it’s been heartwarming for director Steve James and team to see the outpouring of respect and care for Roger and his work. Roger’s life extended far beyond movies, and the numerous tweets and emails from fans relaying stories about his influence go a long way in showing just how great an impact he had on nearly everyone he met -- whether they knew him personally, read his writing, saw him on TV, or interacted with him on social media.
Early on we were honored to have executive producer Martin Scorsese support the campaign in an exclusive Entertainment Weekly video, and it proved to help the project immensely; we were able to get the word out on the campaign in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to without his support. Many of Ebert’s fellow critics like Matt Zoller Seitz, Matt Singer, Michael Mirasol, and Steve Prokopy have been spreading the word about the film, as well as filmmakers like Ava DuVernay, Judd Apatow, Lucy Walker, Lee Hirsch and Gary Hustwit.
However, the heart of the campaign has been Roger’s fans, and without their meaningful contributions we would not be able to call the campaign thus far a success.
Roger was a prolific writer, and every single one of his reviews was written with the same erudite, burning passion for movies. To celebrate Ebert’s life work and say thank you to all of those contributing to the campaign, we have also begun to send out personalized reviews on Twitter. Every contributor has been given one of Ebert’s reviews, starting with the first review he ever wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times (Galia on April 7, 1967)! Look at the #EbertReview hashtag to see them all and compare with the rest of the community. While some of the films may have faded from memory, Ebert’s writing is spot on every time.
Steve James and team are hard at work on finishing the film for early 2014, with each dollar raised enabling that to happen. For an update on the editing process, check out this video in which Steve James provides a few exclusive looks at the LIFE ITSELF footage.
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