Yay! The Cadillac Tramps Doc Got Funded. Now What Happens?

A few weeks ago, we reminded you that time was running out to help fund the making of a documentary on the Cadillac Tramps, one of the most important, underrated bands to come out of OC in the last 30 years. With the Tramps' reunion and the serious health battles of frontman Gabby Gaborno, a film dedicated to telling the band's story could not have come at a better time. But when they were in need of the last financial push for the movie to be made, time was definitely of the essence.

Director Jamie Sims Coakley and husband Brian Coakley (the Tramp's rhythm guitarist) scrambled to launch a Kickstarter to crowdfund the $54,900 in 30 days. By some miracle, (actually, many miracles) they were able to pull it off by Oct. 7 to fully fund the production of The Cadillac Tramps: Life on the Edge. Not only that, they raised an extra $3,801 over their original goal.


For Sims Coakley, a first time filmmaker, receiving funding for the film was more than a dream come true. It was an affirmation that the powerful, punk perverseness of the Tramps hasn't been forgotten.

“I can't even explain it, probably like winning an Oscar or something,” Sims Coakley says. “If nothing else happens with the movie except we put it out and these 568 people that cared enough to help us get to see it, I've totally succeeded.”

As far as the donations are concerned, the goal was made thanks to a few very generous backers, tons of $30 dollar donations and some very helpful retweets about the project from bands like Pearl Jam and Adrian Young of No Doubt.

“Once we got close to $50,000, I got a $1,200 donation that put us over $50 k. The floodgates just opened at that point,” Sims Coakley says.

Statistically speaking, average funding from each of the 568 backers of the film far surpassed the normal amounts given for a project like this. Average Kickstarter donations are typically around $50 perperson, for the CT doc, the average was about $104.

“I puts the pressure on us more now,” the director says. “We're not just beholden to ourselves for the story anymore. Now we have 568 investors and we need to make sure we give them a good story.”

Yay! The money's been raised and this thing is really happening. So what now?

Well, now Sims Coakley says the money is going to help pay for a number of music licenses, editing and compensation for staff who have dedicated their time to editing, transcribing interviews, and getting a final cut ready to send to the 2016 South by Southwest Film Festival by Nov. 3 The director says they're also preparing for a big OC premiere as well. In addition to the film, the band is also putting out three newly recorded albums of classic Tramps songs. And of course, all the prizes earned by backers (including a live show from the Coakley's former band Waxapples) are getting prepped to be delivered as well. More info on all this will be available at the Tramp's Facebook page.

As of last week when we interviewed them, the Coakleys and their crew were still squeezing every last moment of the day to film B-roll, edit sound and cut the documentary together after a brief celebration. Now in the home stretch, that extra funding has really made all the difference.

“There were so many people I never met before that were sending me encouraging Direct Messages and Facebooking me and saying thank you for telling this story, this is such an important thing to me and I'm so glad you guys are doing this,” Sims Coakley says. “No matter how much the workload is how can you not feel inspired by that? People just have so much love for this band.”

See also:
The 50 Best Things About the OC Music Scene
The 50 Worst Things About the OC Music Scene
The 25 Greatest OC Bands of All Time: The Complete List

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