Projects in the News

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Every week, we round up some of the stories about projects that made it into the press. We're happy to see them out there in the real world, and excited to share their progress with you! Read on.

Nate Chinen of the New York Times explored the documentary Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Project, which aims to chronicle the famed alto sax player's life and struggle with addiction: "Stark shadows. Empty streets. A lone figure clutching a horn. The conventions for depicting a hard-boiled jazz hero have been firmly established for decades, in fiction and in film. The implicit toll of the music, according to this code — a clutch of obsession, leading to one or another form of ruination — would register as hollow cliché were it not for the exception that proves the rule. Somebody like Frank Morgan. Mr. Morgan, who died in 2007 at 73, was an alto saxophonist with a quiet but penetrating sound, limpid and centered and beautifully personal. As a shining up-and-comer in Los Angeles, he followed in the footsteps of bebop’s paragon, Charlie Parker, right down to a narcotics addiction that had him in and out of prison (but mostly in) for 30 years."

Elly the elephant from Kinetic Creatures.
Elly the elephant from Kinetic Creatures.

Jondi Gumz of Santa Cruz Sentinel wrote about the Kinetic Creatures project to create a set of three walking cardboard animal sculptures: "The creatures, an elephant, a rhinoceros and a giraffe inspired by lifelike sculptures built by Dutch artist Theo Jansen, are made out of cardboard pieces. Kids build the animals themselves, then make them move with either a turn handle or a battery-operated gear kit. 'The assembly is part of the enjoyment,' said Ainsworth, who sees the toys as appropriate for ages 9 and up."

Lauren Davis of io9 looked at the documentary project, Antarctica: A Year on Ice: "Anthony Powell, a photographer and filmmaker who has shot footage for the New York Museum of Natural History, the National Geographic Channel, the Discovery Channel, and the BBC's Frozen Planet, has spent the last 10 years filming his Antarctic documentary. The nature segments that we usually see depicting Antarctica are filmed during the summer, giving us only a partial view of the continent. Powell's film documents what life is like for the workers who keep the stations up and running - even through the dark and incredibly windy winters - so that scientists and documentarians can study the coldest continent on Earth."

Anastasia Tsioulcas of NPR's "Deceptive Cadence" posted about classical music projects on Kickstarter, including Poul Ruders: New Symphonic Music, Song from the Uproar: recording a new opera by Missy Mazzoli, and Kronos: Under 30 Project / #5: "Dress shirts inspired by NASA technology, gourmet pepper mixes and ... a new recording and study guide for Messiaen'sQuartet for the End of Time? That's just a tiny sample of Kickstarter's current array of "creative projects" seeking funding. Forget writing endless grant applications and long dinners with angel investors, the thinking goes — just tap into your social networks to raise money instead."

FIREFLIES - a stop motion children's film made in PDX, OR project video thumbnail
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Jonathan Liu of Wired featured several great animation projects currently funding on the site, including Flewn, A Cautionary Tale, Fireflies, and Mad God: "I’ve always loved stop-motion animation. I remember watching the Will Vinton’s Christmas Celebration as a kid and attempting to make my own stop-motion movies with my enormous VHS camcorder (which couldn’t shoot anything shorter than half-second clips, making for some veeery sloooow animation). In high school I experimented with some animation software on my art teacher’s Amiga. In college I discovered Wallace & Gromit. Eventually, my senior year, I took a year long animation class, where we did hand-drawn, cut-paper, and stop-motion animation. We even did some sand-on-a-lightbox animation because it was a favorite of my instructor, Caroline Leaf. Just recently I’ve been checking out some animation projects on Kickstarter, and there are a few projects there that I thought were worth highlighting."