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BETTER THINGS: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones

Change is only the beginning. This film is about how an artist etched his humanity on a world of limited expectations.

 

NEW UPDATE!!! DUE TO THE OVERWHELMING RESPONSE FROM ARTISTS WILLING TO DONATE ARTWORK, THE PAGE COUNT HAS NOW BEEN RAISED TO 64 PAGES!!!! HOWEVER, IT WILL STILL HAVE A LIMITED PRINT RUN, SO RESERVE A COPY NOW WHILE YOU STILL CAN! HELP THE FILM BE SHOWN AND GET A GREAT ARTBOOK IN RETURN! HOW AWESOME IS THAT?

FOR NEW PLEDGES, PLS. DON"T FORGET TO ADD $5.00 for U.S. and $10.00 for International Shipping, thanks!

 

 

The JONES ARTBOOK features donated artwork by an amazing group of artists from the comics, role-playing, book publishing and film industry. The cover by Jeffrey Jones is an original watercolor painting donated by Robert Wiener from Donald M. Grant, Publisher. Several artwork and privately owned sketches by Jeff are also included in the book. Help the film meet its campaign goal and receive this generous gift as thanks from your favorite artists!

 

THE FILM'S FAVORITE T-SHIRT IS BACK FOR A VERY LIMITED TIME. DONATING $55.00 (excl. international shipping) GETS YOU THIS ONE-OF-A-KIND PERK! HELP FUND A FILM THAT PROMOTES ARTISTIC FREEDOM AND PERSONAL EXPRESSION. SPECIAL THANKS TO RIAN HUGHES FOR LOGO DESIGNS.

 

 

GIRL AND A GORILLA -- What's not to love, especially if it's artwork by JCJ!

 

 

UNIQUE DESIGNS!!!! -- To help out during the last few days of the campaign, here are some very special thank you perks for those of you who want to support the film. The prices may be a on the high side for T-shirts, but keep in mind it is to help reach the campaign goal. SO PLEASE HURRY, for time is of the essence and the quantities are limited. Don't forget to specify design and size you want (added fees for sizes after XL). Colors shown here work best with the artwork, but if you have other T-shirt colors in mind, just ask.

 

TOP DESIGNS (L-R): 1. Woman Head 2. IM'AGE page 3. Agony

BOTTOM DESIGNS: (L-R) 4. As a child- (Color: Linen) 5. Earth's Core (Color: Dove) 6. Spaceman

 

 A MESSAGE FROM MARIA P. CABARDO

 I specifically embarked on this project to allow change to come into my life. It has been a long and remarkable journey, one that has introduced me to dozens of extraordinary people and revealed life-changing knowledge and wisdom.

Begun in July 2009 and finished in October 2012, the documentary feature BETTER THINGS: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones was initially funded by donations and loans from friends and family. Much of the work for the film was done either on a volunteer basis or for deferred payments.

This Indiegogo campaign represents the next step in my film’s journey — bringing the final product to audiences everywhere. If I meet my goal, I will be able to pay my outstanding production debts and also complete a companion DVD of supplementary material to accompany the feature. With the recent passing of both the subject of the film and the internationally famed artist Moebius, who was interviewed extensively for the project, it is more important than ever to communicate their thoughts and ideas as well as those of all the artists appearing in the film.

Members of the artistic community and their friends have been incredibly generous with their support, and without them this film could never have been made. However, the donations I received during filming were quickly consumed in the production process, leaving post-production expenses of distribution, marketing and packaging still to be addressed.

Although the chances for a theatrical release are low, I am actively pursuing that channel through the festival circuit as well as proceeding with a more standard DVD release. Much of the artwork featured in the film has never been showcased on a large screen before, and the effect of seeing it in a full-sized theater is transporting for both newcomers to the work and established fans.

In the end, I believe that people need to hear stories about art — its aspirations, its history, its rewards — to understand how it reflects our humanity back to us.

 Jones and Cabardo discussing a scene at a location shoot.

 

WHERE THE MONEY WILL GO:

1. Payment to the production crews — camera, sound, lighting and editing.

2. Payment to the post-production crews — sound mix, color grading and final dvd conversions.

3. Production legal service fees/License fees.

4. Editing and post-production on the bonus DVD featuring interviews not included in the feature (There are at least 40 hours of interviews available, covering a wide range of topics, including inspiration, techniques, fine arts vs. illustration, artist’s block, depression, substance abuse, etc.). Please check out the video containing some of the cut footages in the Gallery Section.

5. If possible, repayment to friends and family.

6. Marketing and advertising expenses.

 

RISKS AND CHALLENGES

When I first began working on this film, I did a Kickstarter campaign to raise production money. I was unsuccessful in that early effort, which did not surprise me — I was a novice filmmaker with no credits, after all, an unknown quantity to most potential donors.

At this stage, however, there is no longer any risk that the film will not be made. BETTER THINGS is a reality, thanks to everyone who believed in it and were willing to share their time and talent with me. The challenge now is to find the funds to repay these people and bring the film to the widest audience possible and share the story of Jeffrey Catherine Jones and his art.

I would like to thank Julianna Jones Arms for her unwavering commitment and involvement with this project and also for the fans' continuing support in helping me finish the film.

 

Film check prior to a screening of the film.

 

WHAT VIEWERS ARE SAYING

Both celebratory and, at times, melancholy, Better Things examines the brilliance of an influential and conflicted artist. A legendary member of The Studio and a star of the comics and fantasy art fields, the unflinching portrait this film paints of Jeff Jones is at once vivid and compelling.

Honest without being judgmental, Better Things is affectionate while maintaining its objectivity (which is no small accomplishment). Maria Paz Cabardo's thoughtful exploration of "the life and choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones" is revelatory, compassionate, and ultimately unforgettable.
                                                                          

                                                                          Arnie & Cathy Fenner
                                                                              Directors/Spectrum Fantastic Art LLC

 

Howard Carter was asked by Lord Carnarvon "Could he see anything?" when Carter first peered into the gloom of Tutankhamun's burial chamber, "Yes, wonderful things." was his famous reply. In watching Better Things: The Life and Choices of Jeffrey Catherine Jones, with JCJ's own many contributions, we too can see and learn about wonderful things, not least the artist's magnificent paintings and drawings and the fellowship of the talented artists and friends that surrounded the man and then the woman throughout that energy-packed life, which ended in such humble isolation

 

Maria Paz Cabardo's tender, but searching documentary about this fabulous artist will be a wonderful revelation to many who have never heard the name, but, better still, a must watch for the fans." 

 

                                                                                      – Kevin Jackson

                                                                                Belfast Film Festival May 2012

 

Better Things is the perfect inroduction to a fascinating artist, expertly assembled with lingering montages of some extraordinary paintings and drawings, which look like Goya if he'd turned his attention to comic book and fantasy art.

The interviews are great and heartfelt tributes from friends and colleagues and some interesting reflections on the intersection between commercial concerns and personal expression. And not at least some deeply moving testimony from the artist about creative and personal struggles, challenging conventions and gender change in later life.

                                                                                         – Alex King
                                                                               Programme Manager
                                                                               Leeds International Film Festival 2012

 

Better Things is an extremely insightful look into both the life and work of Jeffrey Catherine Jones - one of the foremost fantasy artists of her generation, and sure to be a source of immense inspiration for generations to come.

 
The film is beautifully put together with love and affection by Cabardo, who worked in the comic industry for a decade, and does great justice to both the artist and her body of work, as well as those of her contemporaries.
 

Jones was one of the few artists to pave the way for a more painted abstract feel to comic books in the 70's and 80's, and as such her work deserves much wider recognition, and this film serves as a testament to that need. Her artwork would have been just at home in a classical art gallery as a comic book, with Frazetta describing her as “the world’s greatest living painter”, and seeing the pieces, and their sometimes turbulent inception, brought to life on screen is a delight. 

The film's parallel exploration of Jones' life choices is handled with sensitivity and compassion, charting the development and evolution of her artistic style, as she was similarly changing as a person and exploring the possibilities that life had to offer.
 

The documentary also offers an invaluable look in to the lives and working environment of other similar artists and contemporaries of Jones who were working around that time such as Vaughn Bode, and the group known as 'The Studio', which included greats such as Michael Kaluta, Bernie Wrigtson, and Barry Winsor-Smith, all of whom would in some way drive and inspire the advances in comic art for years to come.

 

One of the best documentaries I have seen, on a much loved artist who will be sorely missed."

 
                                                                             - Lisa Wood, Director
                                                                                  Thought Bubble 2012

 

 

REWARD SAMPLES (Designs are subject to change based on final quantity.)

 

 

Luggage Tags

iPAD and Laptop case

 

Canvas Bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CAROL by Jeffrey Jones- Signed and numbered lithograph from Glimmer Graphics. This art also appears in the ending title credits of the film.

 

 

Transparent Suitcase

 

 

 

 

 

The ARTBOOK, featuring an original watercolor cover by Jeff Jones donated by his good friend Robert Wiener is available for auction (To be announced). The book also includes original art shown here which were donated by artists -- Rick Berry, James Gurney, and Rebecca Guay.

 

 

 

 

Team on This Campaign: