The Jim Varney documentary The Importance of Being Ernest is quickly moving closer towards production after launching the crowdfunding campaign for its budget. Previously a teaser trailer was released for the movie, which delves into the life and career of Varney and his legendary run as Ernest P. Worrell. It will show fans a new side of the comedic actor by including never-before-seen footage of Varney along with new stories about the late legend from some of the people who knew him best.
Now, the filmmakers are moving full steam ahead on the project with the new crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. Currently halfway past its goal of $60,000, there are just under two weeks left to go to back the project as of this writing. Regardless of how much money is raised, the filmmakers say the team has “enough experience, heart, and know-how to make a fully-realized narrative worthy of Jim and Ernest’s legacy.”
The movie is made with the participation of the families of Jim Varney and Ernest director John Cherry. In addition to tracking down unseen footage of Varney, The Importance of Being Ernest will also include interviews and new stories about the actor from colleagues and loved ones. Per the documentary team, Paganomation, the concept of the movie came about after it was realized that there really is “no definitive behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Ernest ads, films, TV shows and specials, or of Jim Varney’s life and work.” Someone needed to step up and do it now before these memories are lost forever.
“Through nine feature films, an Emmy-award-winning TV show, and thousands of television commercials, Ernest P. Worrell became a beloved comedy icon,” reads the Kickstarter description. “Originally created as an advertising character, Ernest transcended these humble beginnings to become an unexpected hit-given life through the creativity of an indispensable team of artists, as well as through the unparalleled talent of actor Jim Varney.”
The director adds: “Today, two decades after Varney’s death, both Ernest and Jim seem to endure largely as pop culture footnotes; or worse, as easy punchlines. But there’s more to Ernest than that, and this documentary film will guide viewers through the entire Ernest epoch to examine the shelf life of a phenomenon. Using archival footage, cast and crew interviews, and never-before-seen material, we will seek to answer the questions: ‘Who was Ernest, who was Jim Varney, how did they relate, and why do they both mean so much to people?'”
David Pagano directs The Importance of Being Ernest. Justin Lloyd is a producer and researcher, Daniel Butler is executive producing, and Valerie Champagne is co-producing. There’s no release date of any kind currently attached to the movie, as the team’s plans for the movie’s post-production and launch will depend on how much money is raised for the budget.
There are various perks being offered for those willing to contribute, with the lowest option being a $1 pledge. To find out more about the project or to contribute to the budget and get in on the perks, you can visit the campaign on Kickstarter.