Once again, I think we need to be careful when discussing the financing of this whole thing. As you can see from the interview below, at least some of the shows have already been transferred. We, outside of the project, really don't have enough information to fully know what's going on, i.e. the transfer arrangements, any silent partners that may be involved, etc. Full interview is at: http://www.huffingto..._b_1010201.html
MR: You're now cleaning up and getting the old episodes ready for release with a bunch that are already done
. What's the cleanup process like...and you're using the Kickstarter paradigm, right?
SN: That's exactly right. To back up a little bit, I'm co-trustee of the Ozzie and Harriet trust. I was with my Uncle David who just passed away and after he passed, I was given access to family vaults, and was able to go in and look at the vast generations of Nelson family material. It spanned radio, film, and television--an unbelievable amount of material. In that, I found the original episodes for the entire seasons--435 episodes and the finest quality, never before seen footage, behind the scenes footage, and interviews, all of that stuff that was just sitting there for years. Digging deeper, I noticed the materials were starting to deteriorate, so I tried to put my head together and figure out a way to start restoring and reviving. I did some research and talked to some friends, and they recommended a website called Kickstarter. Kickstarter is basically defined as the number one indie funding platform in the world for independent projects mainly based in arts and entertainment. Usually, they will take a new artist and newer project and try to acquire funding for it. There's a period, if you have a number in mind and you can get to that number or surpass it, you get to keep it at the end of the period. If you don't, you don't get anything, it's an all or nothing funding process...it's pretty incredible. (Note: Ozzie & Harriet Kickstarter Page)
MR: Now, UCLA has come into the mix in the past when old movies, recordings, etc., have needed restoration and storage. Have they been involved with this project at all?
SN: Yes, they're amazing. They aren't necessarily involved particularly in the restoration because of the amount of materials, but with regard to housing and preserving, they have been seminal and incredible. We're also dealing with The Library Of Congress in Washington D.C. to deal with the other portion of the materials. The issue too is that my grandfather was incredibly meticulous, and at the time, had multiple copies of the episodes. So, he would have three different copies of 35 millimeter fine grains just to have them. He would have three copies of 16 millimeter of the same episode, and he would have formats that don't even exist anymore like 35-32s. It was daunting to go into storage and figure out where to even start with it. Everybody has been incredibly helpful--UCLA, The Library Of Congress, and other resources in terms of housing and preserving and cleaning up. It's definitely been a full team effort. This Kickstarter thing is great because you can give the rest of the team--which is the people, the fans and the friends who love the show and haven't been able to help in any way--give them the opportunity to dive in and be a part of the process.
MR: Now, with all of these being cleaned up, and because it's been out of circulation for so long, can Ozzie & Harriet be reintroduced to places like TV Land or even PBS stations because of the historic nature of that show?
SN: Absolutely. To have this as a family asset is incredible. From a branding/marketing point of view, most companies spend their lives taking something that they built from nothing and try to have people recognize the name. With Ozzie & Harriet, you can go up to anybody in the street and ask, "Hey, do you know Ozzie & Harriet," and they go, "Yeah, I've heard of it." You ask, "Do you know what it is," and they have no idea, and you look at that and think that's incredible because it has such a weight to it. It's such a part of the American lexicon, it's such a part of Americana. It deserves the building of that foundation, and that's what my goal is...to build that foundation. People are aware of Ozzie & Harriet, and now it's about why it's important and let them be a part of that process.