by Jason Wise
Rose Marie, the untold story of fame, love, tragedy & 90 years of American entertainment through the eyes of the woman who did it all.
About this project
We encourage you to watch the video above – we think it will answer most of your questions.
The greatest untold showbiz story
With a career that spans nearly 90 years, Rose Marie has one of the most incredible stories in the history of show business, Las Vegas, the mob, the television sitcom – and it’s never been told.
Fans may know her as Sally Rogers from The Dick Van Dyke Show, but that doesn’t even scratch the surface. Rose Marie’s rise to fame began at the age of four when radio ruled the world. With her own radio show, she quickly became one of the biggest stars in the United States, earning the title ‘The Darling of the Airwaves.’
As she grew, she went from the stages of Vaudeville, to the bright lights of Vegas, to some of the most iconic television shows ever to grace American living rooms. But it’s not just credits likeThe Dick Van Dyke Show, The Doris Day Show, Gunsmoke and Hollywood Squares that make her life so memorable. She called Al Capone ‘Uncle Al’, Bugsy Siegel was her boss, plus Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Rosemary Clooney, and Mickey Rooney all played a part in this woman’s story of fame, love, tragedy and success. Rose Marie didn’t just witness American entertainment change – she was a part of it.
Here’s what we have:
For the first time ever, Rose Marie sat down and gave hours upon hours of interview about her life. During these honest and sometimes raw moments, she opens up about EVERYTHING. From her life as a child star, to what it was really like behind the scenes on The Dick Van Dyke Show, her amazing 50-year connection to the mob, and her tragic yet touching love story with her husband – I mean everything! But it wasn’t just Rose Marie who talked to us. Both Dick Van Dyke and Carl Reiner gave very candid interviews about the creation of the The Dick Van Dyke Show, the kind of person Rose Marie is, how she worked on set, and what her relationship with Mary Tyler Moore was like.
Peter Marshall not only shared his experiences hosting Hollywood Squares, but he corroborates Rose Marie’s unbelievable mob stories. Plus, we have interviews with Tim Conway, her best friend Ruthie, her daughter Georgiana Rodrigues and much more. These interviews are honest, funny, heartfelt, and often surprising. To support all of the incredible stories we’ve gathered, Rose Marie has granted our team UNRESTRICTED ACCESS TO ALL OF HER ARCHIVES.
For a career this long – do you have any idea how large this archive is?!? Trust me, it’s HUGE!! She’s kept scrapbooks from the start. It’s pages full of photos and newspapers dating back to the 1920s. And lucky for us, her husband gave her a super 8-millimeter camera as a present. She took this camera to Las Vegas when it was just a couple buildings in the desert, on the set of Gunsmoke, The Doris Day Show, and it produced the only behind the scenes color footage from The Dick Van Dyke Show and none of it has ever been seen – until now.
All of this needs to be transferred at the best quality possible. I’ve spent weeks in her home discovering thousands of pieces of ephemera, cans of film, reels of tape, and old vinyl recordings that have been stored there for decades – some marked, some without any labels or markings at all. We won’t know exactly what we have until it’s transferred.
Here’s what we need:
In order to make this documentary and tell her complete story, we need your help to have all of this audio and film transferred. Rose Marie was savvy enough to ask for copies of her musical performances and appearances on early television. She even taped phone conversations with her comedy writers and celebrity friends while they tossed ideas around. All of this and a whole lot more comprise her extensive archives. We anticipate there will be shows with Jackie Gleason, Red Skelton, Dinah Shore, game shows, demo recordings, nightclub performances with Morey Amsterdam…… Granted all of this won’t fit in one film, but it will provide a great source of bonus material for a DVD/digital release.
Plus, Rose Marie’s life was filled with Music and so this film will be too. No one could belt out a song or command a stage like her. And her husband was Bobby Guy – an extremely accomplished and well-known trumpet player who played with Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Jerry Lewis, and more. To tell her story the right way, we need the funds to be able to license the music of their life, plus we want to be able to compose our own original music that will hold up against the classics.
We have the artists and tools for an incredible documentary, but we want to push the boundaries of the documentary form by mixing in narrative elements. And to do that, we want our footage to be shot on beautiful Kodak film. This can only happen with your help. We can’t tell her complete story until we have transferred this material and selected the most telling clips. Interviews with Rose Marie, her co-stars, friends, and family only tell part of her story – the performances, behind the scenes clips, and the music of their time tell the rest.
What’s In It For You?
Rose Marie has graciously provided us with a number of unique items from her personal collection to be used as rewards for those supporting this film. Have you ever wanted one of her black bows, or limited edition memorabilia, or an autograph? Maybe a look into the process of making this film? This is your chance to not only own one of those exclusive, one-of-a-kind items, but to make this documentary happen and preserve the legacy of an entertainment icon/legend/treasure.
• If we raise our minimum goal of $75,000, it will give us the minimum amount of money we need to transfer Rose Marie’s audiotapes, film, photos, vinyl pressings and film the remainder of the interviews we need to shoot around the United States. The people telling this story are not young anymore and getting them on camera as soon as possible is incredibly important.
• If we raise $150,000, we have an edited documentary feature film. All of Rose Marie’s materials will be transferred properly, our interviews will be filmed and we can put together the film with her footage and mostly an original score.
• If we raise $300,000 or more, we can properly edit this film and put together something that really pushes the documentary format. We have enormous costs in the form of post production and editing, but also in scoring. This dollar amount finishes the film and it will be great.
• If we raise $500,000 or more, we can make the film we truly want you to see. This amount allows us to license music, Rose Marie worked with some of the greatest musicians ever and their work is not cheap (a huge part of our entire budget is just getting permission to use things). We can also use a full big band in much of the score and put them in period dress for filming as well. We have some incredible, complex reenactments planned for this movie we will shoot on actual film that take place in Los Angeles, New York City, and Las Vegas. This is our dream amount and though it may seem high, it is still very low for what we are attempting.
The more we raise, the bigger and better this film will be and every penny goes into the budget and making the film as quickly as possible. Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you for your support.
Risks and challenges
The filmmakers have been developing this movie for years and we wouldn’t come to you if we thought there was any chance it couldn’t be completed. We have used the profits from our first movies to film as much as we could and the film has an amazing head start. All of our previous films have been commercially distributed on a wide scale and we are aiming for the same with this one. That being said, films always have risk and with this one the greatest risk is that we will stumble upon something incredible that could push the production from early to late 2017. We are aiming to have this available in 2017 and with all of our knowledge and experience we have, we see no reason that won’t happen. Please keep in mind our minimum amount of 75k is only enough for us to finish production, we need a lot more to finish the movie and license music. With a film as large in scope as this is, the biggest obstacle for us is not having the funds to do it right.