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An artistic dive into the ocean in search of creativity, myth, and the reality of dreams.
76 backers pledged $8,515 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$8,515

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How it all began...

It was one of the opening days of the Mermaid Cove at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival. Through the dusty pathways, hot, bright sun, and the long wait in line, swam a mermaid enclosed in a small tank. Her long hair twirled around her and her tail flipped gracefully in the water, reflecting the sunlight. 

A small girl approached the tank with wonder and awe on her face as the mermaid gazed at her, a smile on her lips while she sang an enchanting tune. The girl turned to her father, her pig tails wiggling defiantly. She placed her hands on her hips and gleefully cried "See, Dad? I told you mermaids were real!"

A Finfolk Productions mermaid. Photo credit John Jonas Photography
A Finfolk Productions mermaid. Photo credit John Jonas Photography

Where we are now...

Since that day we, Abby and Bryn Roberts, have become enthralled with the art form of creating mermaids. If mermaids were real, what would they look like? How would they differ from one another? Would they resemble more a culture of people or a species of wild animal?

This project seeks to delve deeper into those ideas by creating four, entirely unique and individual mermaids to be filmed and photographed in the ocean waters off of Hawaii with underwater photographer, Alicia Franco. This requires not only research of ancient myth, oceanic legends, study of real life aquatic species and pure, intense imagination, but also a heavy skill set necessary to work with the materials used to create a mermaid, including tails, tops and prosthetics.

These materials include but are not limited too…

A high end, platinum cure silicone called “Dragon Skin silicone”, liquid plastics, oil based clays, silicone based pigments and paints, special casting powders and resins, lycra fabrics/netting, sewing accoutrements, monofins, and plastic casts and molds.

Shots from around the Finfolk studio
Shots from around the Finfolk studio

We have the knowledge and skill required to work with these materials. However, they are very expensive. This is where you come in. The money raised in this project will go towards the materials necessary to create these tails and payment for our underwater photographer.


Why this is so important for us as a business...

Each of the plastic molds produced from these tails will become permanent installments in our tail making business- Finfolk Productions. These beautifully sculpted molds will then be available to create new mermaid tails for companies, entertainers, performers, films, or enthusiasts. So not only is this project expanding our portfolio with new creations and beautiful photography, it is substantially adding to our permanent stock of materials that can be reused again and again.

Photos courtesy of John Jonas Photography
Photos courtesy of John Jonas Photography

Our team and purpose...

We have assembled a unique team composed of ourselves and two competitive swimmers, Alyssa Adair and Maddie Wikstrom, to bring to the ocean waters of Hawaii during August of 2013. We have dubbed our group Team Moana, "moana" being the Hawaiian word for "ocean". The tropical settings of Hawaii make for the perfect display of our artwork- a vision of real life mermaids among the most beautiful corals and creatures Oahu has to offer.

The purpose of this project is to raise money for the supplies, photographer and intricate details needed to make these mermaids and bring them to Hawaii. Money raised in this kickstarter will not be going towards hotel and lodging expenses, air fare, food, sightseeing, or other excursions during our time in Hawaii.

By donating to this Kickstarter, you are becoming a part of this vision- to make myth a reality through hard work, imagination, and art.

Photo courtesy of John Jonas Photography
Photo courtesy of John Jonas Photography

“You must be imaginative, strong-hearted. You must try things that may not work, and you must not let anyone define you limits because of where you come from. Your only limit is your soul… only the fearless can be great.” –Ratatouille

Risks and challenges

Our biggest challenge is, most obviously, creating the tails. There will be countless hours poured into designing, sculpting, molding, and painting each tail to make sure it is the absolute best piece of work we can create. Not only do the tails need to be individually designed and painted, but there must be thorough thought put into the functionality of each tail- how it will move and flow in the water and achieving the correct amount of propulsion for the swimmer to swim with ease.

On top of all of our studio work to make the tails, our team will spend the weeks leading up to the Hawaii Experience in a pool training and conditioning for the physical demands of swimming in the ocean.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Every dollar counts. You have won the heartfelt gratitude of our mermaids.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Net a facebook and twitter shout-out: “Thank you + your name for kickstarting our dreams!" + link to kickstarter campaign.

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    6 backers
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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Net a signed mermaid post card thanking you for your contribution.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Net a necklace containing a small vile of ocean sand, blessed by the mermaids.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Net a mermaid-made shell bracelet, blessed by the mermaids.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Net an 8"x10” gorgeously printed mermaid poster featuring one of our photographs from the Hawaii experience. Plus a signed mermaid post card thanking you for your contribution.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Net a unique, one-of-a-kind mermaid wall calendar. This 12 month calendar will be composed of photography from the Hawaii experience. This special calendar will also contain fun marine life facts and information on ocean conservation.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Net a Producer credit in your name on our website and calendar.

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    7 backers
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Net the ocean sand pendant and shell bracelet as a set. Plus a signed mermaid post card thanking you for your contribution.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Net four 11”x17” limited edition mermaid posters, featuring photographs from the Hawaii experience.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    Net a VERY special offer- the Finfolk Productions mermaid calendar along with an autographed and personalized copy of Twig the Fairy's mermaid book "Twig the Fairy and the Mermaid Misadventure."

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Net a signed 8”x10” picture of a mermaid holding a sign reading “This mermaid loves + your name” photo taken on location in Hawaii.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Net a producer credit in your name on our website, PLUS our mermaid wall calendar, an 8"x10" poster, and a signed mermaid postcard thanking you for your contribution.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Net a framed and signed 8”x8” completely unique, original drawing by Bryn, mermaid or ocean related (Artist’s choice)

    For examples of artwork please go to this link...

    http://on.fb.me/119HUfP

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Net a personal invite for you + one guest to the private premiere viewing party showcasing photos and videos from the trip, a chance to talk to the mermaids about their Hawaii experience, and to see the tails up close. (Located in Minnesota.)

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    Pledge US$ 175 or more About US$ 175

    Net a personal invite for you + one guest to our private premiere viewing party PLUS a V.I.P. invitation to the pool party after the viewing, where you can have a chance to swim with our mermaids and have your picture taken. (Located in Minnesota.)

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Net a special mermaid video dedicated to any person of your choice to be available for viewing on the Finfolk YouTube channel. A handmade sign with this person’s name will appear in the video, along with any other message you may desire from our mermaids. Plus one $150 level. Plus one $100 level.

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    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Net a special private pool party appearance by two mermaids. You’re guaranteed a minimum of two hours with our mermaids to swim, play and take photos. Location/venue not provided by mermaids. Not responsible for travel expenses if distance exceeds 50 miles. Plus producer credit in your name on our website and calendar. Plus one $150 level.

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Net an Executive Producer credit in your name on our website, plus an invitation to our private premiere viewing party.

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  20. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Net a framed and signed 11”x20” completely unique original artwork drawing by Bryn of you or someone you love as a mermaid. See Bryn create a visual dream come true. This very special gift is limited to only 3.

    For examples of artwork please go to this link...

    http://on.fb.me/119HUfP

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Net a Finfolk Productions original fabric mermaid tail. Fit precisely to your measurements and created in the color of your choice, this tail will contain a built in monofin for swimming ease. Let your dreams come true as you glide through the water in your very own tail.

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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Finfolk Productions will make you (or someone you love) a mermaid for a day (in Minnesota). Finfolk will build you your own custom, fabric mermaid tail and beautiful shell top bra. On your mermaid day you will be fitted with make-up, fin prosthetics and mermaid jewelry. With the help of an underwater photographer, Finfolk will create a short video and have an above water and underwater photo session with you as a mermaid. The shell top, fabric tail, pictures and videos will be yours to take home.

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Finfolk Productions will make a custom silicone mermaid tail for you or someone you love in the colors and fluke shape of your choice.

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    Pledge US$ 3,000 or more About US$ 3,000

    Finfolk Productions will make a custom silicone mermaid tail for you or someone you love PLUS a mermaid shell top. In addition, we will hold a special underwater and above water photoshoot for you as a mermaid. (On location in Minnesota, you are responsible for your travel expenses.)

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Funding period

- (31 days)