Well, after the acclaim of her last documentary, which still seems pretty fresh, it looks like documentarian Jeanie Finlay has done it yet again. With a passion for music and an eyeful interest for the stories that are not anticipated, Finlay’s next project is Orion: The Man Who Would Be King, which she was effectively working on whilst on tour with The Great Hip Hop Hoax. Now that’s what’s deemed multi-tasking! Her focus in on this myth that has lurked around Elvis, the King, that the legendary and influential Graceland hero is still alive.
Her fifth documentary, Orion, focuses on Orion, the mysterious masked singer Sun Records launched months after the great king of pop and rock and roll had passed away. It was this very man’s appearance that launched the news that “The King is Not Dead,” and this is the inspiration behind the new music documentary from award-winning Finlay (The Great Hip Hop Hoax and SOUND IT OUT). Having already filmed vast amounts of the footage and sourced the archive material it is exciting to await the release of Finlay’s new work.
Finlay first came across the man whilst making the most of a card boot sale ten years previous, hearing Orion’s voice on vinyl, with questions poised to ask about the man in the mask. This inspiration motivated her to produce this documentary, giving the rest of us an insight into this lesser known King. Her work opened the door to the realisation that this man was Nashville’s cause for excitement at the prospect that Elvis was not indeed dead, as his lungs could compete, and the mask was indicative.
Jimmy Ellis, otherwise known as Orion, was manipulated into the spotlight to throw Elvis’ (not Ellis’) fans. An outlandish fictional identity torn from the pages of a pulp novel fused with vocals that seemed to be the twin of Presley, the scheme, concocted in the months after Presley’s death exploded into a cult success, and the “Elvis is alive” myth began; a fascinating yarn
Having previously directed one documentary which has been described as ‘High Fidelity with a Northern accent’ focusing on a surviving record store in Teeside, and another which surrounds two Scots that immerse themselves into the notion of the American dream that they take themselves to California, in pursuit of fame for their hip hop talent, clearly Finlay opts for the more oblique music documentary angle.
Now this clearly fits with her style opting to focus on not Elvis but the underdog, and perhaps due to such, is still sourcing her funding at present, which you too can aid her with. Although having already sourced funds, having the backing from Film Agency Wales, the final push needs to come from you to nail the final shoot and the technical post production. As Finlay is a documentarian with a compelling passion for producing humorous portrait stories, I would urge you to give her that final financial shove to make real this account.
As she had crowdfunded the acclaimed documentary SOUND IT OUT, and that, coinciding with the appropriate Record Store Day, is available to stream for free this weekend, between Friday 18th April until Monday 21st April (see http://www.jeaniefinlay.com/ ), it is not surprise that she is once again thanking her fans and investors with limited edition prints, and customised Orion masks are even one of the incentives, along with your name in lights.
With a keen interest to mingle with her audience before the film even gets off the ground, she is using her underground means of social media to unearth the interest, and angle that she is choosing to focus her music documentaries on. This fantastically aligns her independent and oblique style to some degree with her manner of distribution and marketing, a parallel and sublime tactic.
Approximately $9,000 short of its goal, do support Orion financially as an investor and check out this Indiegogo link: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/orion-the-man-who-would-be-king
The crowdfunding campaign runs until April 27th, find it here: www.orionthemovie.com
ORION can also be found on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/orionthemovie and on Twitter via @orionmovie.