Papa Grows Funkumentary

The best experiences in life are ones you deeply connect with, ones that move you, moments that make you feel alive. 

For 13 years, Papa Grows Funk gave such experiences to music lovers in New Orleans and around the world. Every single Monday night you could find Papa Grows Funk on stage at the historic Maple Leaf Bar elevating the spirits of those fortunate enough to be dancing on that small floor.  

We were big fans of Papa Grows Funk before ever stepping foot in New Orleans. But seeing the band at The Maple Leaf, their local stomping ground, brought our love and appreciation for the band to new heights. Recent transplants to New Orleans, Sam, I, and our music-loving friends headed to the Maple Leaf almost every Monday night to start the week off right. PGF was our favorite band in a city of elite talent. 

Along with thousands around the country, we too were shocked when we heard the band was going on hiatus. As local filmmakers dedicated to authentically capturing the expressions of New Orleans musicians, we however saw a golden opportunity. We decided to make a documentary on the band. 

That was back in January. With the backing of John Gros and the band, Sam and I have put in countless hours working on capturing the Papa Grows Funk story. 

Up to date, we've filmed five live concerts. We've interviewed everyone in the band multiple times as well as an all-star cast of people in the New Orleans music industry. We've spoken with Quint Davis, George Porter Jr, Allen Toussaint and many others. Everyone agrees how special this band is!

Papa Grows Funk at its final show at The Maple Leaf

Papa Grows Funk at its final show at The Maple Leaf

When we began this project, we told John we'd make a 10-20 minute documentary short commemorating how awesome Papa Grows Funk is. But as we've spent time getting to know everyone in the band and really learning the band's story, we've realized how nuanced and incredible the story really is. Our project has expanded and expanded and we now have the goal to make a feature-length Funkumentary on Papa Grows Funk. 

Looking towards the future, we have a lot of work to do. Making a feature-length film is no joke! 

We have many more people to interview including more with the band and more with other musicians in town. We will be flying to New York City to film the band's final show in NYC at The Cutting Room June 22. And of course we will be filming at Tip's for the band's final show EVER June 29. Then the long editing process will begin.

In the meantime, we are about to attempt to raise $25,000 through an Indiegogo campaign to help us finish the film. We have a lot of exciting ideas about how to make the movie exceptional, and we've spoken with many people who plan on contributing to the effort. This movie is going to sound great, look great, and tell a one-of-a-kind story. 

Updates about our filmmaking progress will be posted here on the blog. You can also stay connected by "liking" ABIS Productions on Facebook or "following" us on Twitter. 

- Josh, ABIS Productions