Western music meets karaoke on the streets of Mumbai in a video of dancing, rabbits in rickshaw sidecars, and flying sanskrit.
What happens when a kid in glasses falls for a young but totally inaccessible beauty? If you’re in Bollywood, that kid grabs a karaoke machine, finds his 80 year old Sikh buddy, steals a rickshaw, and blows up that woman’s spot big time.
I’ve been fascinated by Bollywood—its enthusiasm, unique aesthetics, storytelling conventions, color palate—since I traveled to India for the first time some years ago. I’ve found much of the work to be joyful, absurdist, remarkably free of cynicism, all of the things that western work isn’t. Through this project, which weds western music with Indian performance, I’m seeking that sense of optimism, possibility, sheer imagination that is the beating heart of Bollywood in a kind of filmic cultural juxtaposition.
I’ll be making a short narrative musical film in the Bollywood tradition that follows a young Indian boy’s journey across Mumbai to win over a pretty, if remote, Indian girl. What transpires in between, from a rickshaw battle to a hostile takeover of an ashram, from a blizzard of flying Sanskrit to an exploding rabbit in a motorcycle sidecar, is where the fun and whimsy lies.
I’ll be traveling to Mumbai, India in April and will work with a wonderfully talented group of Indian filmmakers, many of whom I studied with in grad school, to pull this project together. A lot of work has already been done and we’re well on our way to making this project happen.
Unfortunately, filmmaking is a very expensive process and this is why I’m asking for your help. Though I’m contributing large sums of my own cash and huge quantities of know-how, (yes, really!) without financial assistance, I simply won’t be able to see this through. Your donation will go directly into production: film permits, camera rentals, wardrobe, set design, etc—all of the things necessary to fully realizing a film.
With you on board, we’ll be able to finish the shoot in mid-April, edit, and launch an on-line screening through youtube, vimeo, and my website, www.charmschoolfilms.com. I’ll also make the project available in mp4 format for those folks who like to watch on their ipods or similar mobile devices. We may also have a “live” screening or two in the presence of assorted food and drink…In the meantime, I’ll be busy putting the last touches on preproduction and keeping the wheels in motion. Thanks so much for your help. I know we can make this happen!
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Every donor at $25 and above shall receive a thank you credit on the Bollywood Karaoke page of my website, which will be posted in advance of the first screening.
Pledge $60 or moreYou selected
You shall receive an 8x10 print of your choosing from The Neighbors series (viewable on my website.) This portrait collection was produced in consort with Curt Goodwin (www.curtgoodwin.com) and captures some of the aesthetic we're aiming for in Bollywood Karaoke. It's work I'm very proud of.
Pledge $150 or moreYou selected
I'll be assembling a collection of photographs, anecdotes, and journal entries into a bi-fold production book that will catalogue my and my fellow filmmakers' experiences in India. It'll be printed and shipped out shortly after production and will allow you to take a peek into all that went into making the film and the wonderful (and occasionally stressful) moments along the way.
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
For those wildly generous enough to donate $1000 or more, I'll make my way to your home, local tavern, local movie theater, wherever (within reasonable travelling distance of New York) and will screen the film just for you/your family. We'll discuss the filmmaking experience, the odd anecdote, sports, the weather, pretty much whatever you want. You'll also receive the bi-fold production book, a Neighbors print of your choosing, and a "Producer" credit, along with my undying gratitude.
- (26 days)