March 30 - Kickstart Christmas


Byron Raphael, son of Trude Forsher, secretary of Elvis Presley and The Colonel, started a fundraiser through kickstarted for a new documentary entitled "Give Elvis For Christmas". 

From the site:
In August, 1956, Elvis Presley started shooting his first feature film, Love Me Tender. At his side was his manager, Colonel Tom Parker and his just-hired secretary, Trude Forsher. Give Elvis for Christmas is Trude’s account of how Elvis’ career went from a Southern United States singing sensation to a global legend. Over the five years that Trude worked with Elvis and the Colonel, she observed first hand the legendary moment’s in the King’s life.

The link to the Kickstarter page is: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1102859466/give-elvis-for-christmas-wwwgiveelviscom

Give Elvis for Christmas is also told through the eyes of Byron Raphael, personal assistant to both Trude, Elvis and the Colonel. The film includes music and images that have rarely -if ever-been seen. It is not only the story of Elvis’ rise to fame, but of one of his most personal confidants, who escaped the ravages of WW2 to get the job a million girls dreamed of – Elvis’ private secretary. Byron is on the right in this shot from the Paramount lot during the shooting of King Creole.

During the 1980′s and 1990′s, I interviewed my mom on several occasions. Each time she shared different stories about Elvis, the Colonel, the songs and the films during her years with the Presley organization. A few years back, I began to assemble the material into a documentary.

The title comes from the stamp that Colonel Parker used on all mailings leaving the office during Christmas time. It also reflects a special period in our family life in December 1958, when Elvis and the Colonel personally helped our family during a time of crisis.

About the Producer:
Besides being the son of Trude Forsher, I have been a filmmaker since the mid 1970′s. Over the years I have had the good fortune to be able to make about 100 nationally aired programs that have been shown on the Discovery Channel, A & E, PBS, Movie Channel and Cinemax. These include feature length documentaries like Hollywood Ghost Stories and Hollywood Uncensored, hosted by Peter Fonda as well as series programs like Hollywood Chronicles, hosted by Jackie Cooper and shown on the Discovery Channel. I also was a college professor. After 18 years in the classroom teaching media production, I recently retired from teaching and am focusing on completing the projects I have my heart in. “Give Elvis for Christmas” is on top of my list.

(Source: FECC / Give Elvis For Christmas)

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