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‘Raisin’ Cain: The History of Cain’s Ballroom’ Profiles a Beloved Oklahoma Music Venue

"A cinematic journey told through the music and artists that have made this Tulsa music venue legendary."

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Raisin’ Cain: The History of Cain’s Ballroom

Logline: “Raisin’ Cain” will be a cinematic journey told through the music and artists that have made this Tulsa music venue legendary. It will celebrate its 92 years, exploring the ties between Cain’s, the Tulsa Sound, and a myriad of musical genres.

Elevator Pitch:

We hope to preserve the storied history of the legendary Honky-Tonk, Cain’s Ballroom. “The Home of Bob Wills” has hosted 3 generations of Hank Williams, Merle Haggard, Wanda Jackson to the Sex Pistols, The Police, U2 and many others. The film will tell the definitive history of Cain’s from its beginnings as Tulsa founder Tate Brady’s car garage, the taxi-dance era of The Louvre onto Madison “Big Daddy” Cain’s, Academy Of Dance and as it’s known today, Cain’s Ballroom. The story is told by artists who have all graced the stage as well as music historians, owners, managers/workers, locals, etc.

Production Team:

Tate Wittenberg – Producer/Director – Raisin’ Cain Productions

The force behind the idea for “Raisin’ Cain,” Tate grew up in Tulsa and nearby Claremore where Cain’s Ballroom was the source of his early musical education. It was the mystique and extraordinary musical history of ‘Tulsa’s Timeless Honky-Tonk’ that inspired the idea for filming a documentary to record for posterity the amazing legacy and worldwide influence of his hometown treasure. Starting out studying broadcast journalism in Tulsa, Tate moved to Los Angeles and studied film at UCLA and AFI. He has worked for the last 16 years on feature films, commercials and music videos. He’s worked with directors such as Wim Wenders, Alexander Rockwell and Toby Hooper and shot interviews for Variety and The Los Angeles Times of Emmy and Academy Award winning directors, actors and musicians. Because of the power of his idea, his excitement and his deep knowledge of the subject matter, Tate has inspired and attracted a highly skilled and experienced crew to the project.

Phil Parmet – Producer/Cinematographer – Raisin’ Cain Productions

Phil is a widely respected 30-year veteran of the film business and a director of photography with more than 42 theatrical and documentary features to his credit. Beginning his career in documentaries in the 70’s, his work includes Academy Award winning American Dream and Harlan County USA. His music films are seminal including Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains the Same” and Frank Zappa’s “Baby Snakes” as well as concert films with Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bruce Springsteen, and Roseanne Cash. His most recent film credits include theatrical films for Sony, Screen Gems, Miramax, and Lionsgate including Halloween, Grindhouse and The Roommate. His films have earned hundreds of millions of dollar in wide theatrical releases. Recently he produced the theatrical film “Mercy” with Scott and James Caan and worked on the ABC Disney series “Switched at Birth.”

Anne O’Shea – Producer – Minerva Productions

Anne is a native Tulsan and long-time Cain’s Ballroom fan. She was the previous owner of Harry’s American Bar, a popular Tulsa music club. In 1996, Anne founded Minerva Productions, a theatrical production company in Wilmington, NC whose primary intention was to give women more opportunities both in front of and behind the footlights. It expanded to include film with Brian Quattrini in 2009 and immediately achieved success with the critically acclaimed, Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated film, “The Kids Are All Right.” The mission now includes children, the LGBTQ community and all other underserved and often ignored factions of modern society that need a voice both locally and globally. Minerva’s past films include “The Hunting Ground,” “Indian Point,” “Speed Sisters,” “Sins of A Father,” “Life Partners,” “What Maisie Knew,” “Girl Most Likely,” “Any Day Now,” “Goats,” and “Another Happy Day.” Minerva’s past theater productions include “Dames at Sea,” “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” “An American in Paris,” “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical,” and “ANN.”

Brian Quattrini – Executive Producer – Minerva Productions

For the past seven years Brian has been a Tulsan local and can’t seem to get enough. When Minerva Productions, LLC was formed in 2009 they garnered immediate success with the Golden Globe winning and Oscar nominated film, “The Kids Are All Right.” More recently they have returned to theater and had wonderful Broadway successes with now Tony Award winners “An American in Paris” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical.” Minerva’s other theatrical productions include “Dames at Sea,” “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” and “ANN.” Minerva’s past films include “The Hunting Ground,” “Indian Point,” “Speed Sisters,” “Sins of A Father,” “Life Partners,” “What Maisie Knew,” “Girl Most Likely,” “Any Day Now,” “Goats,” and “Another Happy Day.”

Kyle Schember – Producer

Kyle has been involved in all facets of production working with notables such as Robert Downey Sr., Robert Downey Jr. and Steven Spielberg. He co-founded Subractive Inc, a multi-media production company that creates content for broadcast, retail and live events with clients including the Grammy Museum, MTV, Capitol Records, Disney, TNT, Universal, CMT, Showtime and LucasFilm. Kyle has also worked on numerous documentaries such as “Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel,” “Surfwise,” “Kurt Cobain About a Son,” “Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights – Hollywood to the Heartland,” “Punk Like Me,” “Coachella” and many others.

TJ Morehouse – Producer

TJ is a native Oklahoman who grew up with the tradition of Cain’s Ballroom. A third generation Cain’s attendee, his grandparents attended Bob Wills dances and his parents frequented the Johnny Lee Wills dances at Cain’s. TJ was a coordinating producer on “New Year’s Eve Live from Times Square with Ryan Seacrest.” He has been Production Manager for many projects including “Janet Jackson: Live in Hawaii” and “Tim McGraw: Here and Now” and VH1’s “Behind the Music.” TJ’s numerous clients include Flaming Lips, Taylor Swift, Nora Jones, Ryan Seacrest and Little Steven.

Larry White – Artist Relations

Larry recently relocated from southern California to Tulsa where he is managing emerging recording artists Desi and Cody. He has served in executive positions at KHJ Radio, MCA Records and Warner Bros. Records. He managed Davy Jones of The Monkees and directed the T.V. Special The Great Golden Hits of The Monkees. He also managed Public Image Ltd., directed their music videos and the long-form special PiL Live in Japan. Larry wrote and produced radio specials for Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton John, WAR, Shaun Cassidy, K.D. Lang and produced and directed the MTV special “Punks and Poseurs.” Larry has toured and worked with artists as diverse as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Neil Young, Erasure, Pete Townshend, The Who, The Monkees, The Cult, Paul Simon, Van Halen, REM and Debbie Harry. He now serves on the board of the Woody Guthrie Center.

Tamara Logsdon Hawkinson – Writer/Research

Tamara is steeped in the stories and music of Cain’s Ballroom and western swing since her father Guy W. Logsdon is the iconic historian on Bob and Johnnie Lee Wills. She grew up with numerous notable house guests from folksinger Pete Seeger to Arlo Guthrie since Guy is also an authority on Oklahoma’s Woody Guthrie. David Carradine even spent part of a summer with them as he honed his role of Woody in the movie Bound for Glory. She is a 3rd generation writer/researcher with access to research her dad’s extensive Bob and Johnny Lee Wills papers and collection. Tamara has written two books including “The Desert Home” and her dozens of articles have appeared in magazines as diverse as National Geographic Traveler and Antiques Roadshow Insider. She has also taught an on-line screenwriting course for six years for the Los Angeles based Writers Boot Camp. She now serves on the board of the Woody Guthrie Center.

About the Film:

I grew up in Tulsa and nearby Claremore where Cain’s Ballroom was the source of my early musical education. It was the mystique and extraordinary musical history of ‘Tulsa’s Timeless Honky-Tonk’ that inspired the idea for filming a documentary to record for posterity, the amazing legacy and worldwide influence of my hometown treasure.

Current Status: Fundraising to conduct another 20 interviews before post-production (transcribe interviews, edit, color correct, motion graphics, film & video transfers, archiving of photos & posters).

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