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A short film about growing up in small town New Hampshire and a tribute to the science fiction and fantasy adventure films of the 80's.
A short film about growing up in small town New Hampshire and a tribute to the science fiction and fantasy adventure films of the 80's.
732 backers pledged $39,686 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Okkervil River’s "Down Down The Deep River," the centerpiece of their 2013 album The Silver Gymnasium, recounts frontman Will Sheff's childhood growing up in a very small town in New Hampshire during the 1980s. 

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 NEW "Down Down the Deep River" exclusive trailer.

I wanted to make a short film to dramatize the song and pay homage to children's science fiction and fantasy adventure films like “The Goonies,” and “E.T.” that influenced me as a child. "Down Down The Deep River" takes place in various locations around my hometown in Meriden, New Hampshire, including my former elementary school, the woods near my childhood home, and the hills that overlook the town. These specific locales anchor the depiction of a small New Hampshire town that has seen little change since the 1980s.

The film is being shot over the course of Summer, Fall, and Winter in New Hampshire. Nature, the town, and the seasons play a huge role in what happens on screen. The specific locations of the film are just as important as the era in which it’s set, and most of the team helping create “Down Down The Deep River” are centered around the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire and Vermont area. This is an improvised group of brilliant, passionate people – actors, crew, producers, costume designers, all doing something that’s unlike anything we’ve done before.

 The period setting has been a special challenge for this feature; it’s rare that something with this low of a budget requires such an immersive setting. Luckily our crew has been very resourceful in pulling together vintage toys, games, furniture and costumes from friends and families all around the New Hampshire and Vermont area. It’s been a fun and even profound experience trying resurrect the past like this, and their sets and costumes have done an incredible job of making a viewer feel like they’re really there.

*Not final artwork
*Not final artwork
*Not final artwork
*Not final artwork
*Not final artwork
*Not final artwork

Risks and challenges

This ambitious project is a labor of love, and we will need your help to get over the finish line. At the same time, I view this Kickstarter campaign as an occasion to be creative with the prizes and experiences we can create for fans and make artworks that are beautiful and fun in their own right. To that end, I’m designing vintage-style collectors’ cards based on the spin-off trading cards tied-in to 1980s films, as well as a large film poster, an original “Read-Along” book with all-new narration, audio and artwork (done in the style of classic 80s Read Along books), and a copy of the original soundtrack and score enclosed in a vintage Nintendo game cartridge. The Kickstarter is also an opportunity to develop a closer connection with fans, and on the experiential level we’re offering everything from credits in the film to private screenings in your town, from props from the film to on-set Polaroids updating you on the shoot. I want people involved with this Kickstarter to feel charmed and enthusiastic about the process, because we’re so grateful for any help you can give us. With that help I think we’ll be able to make something really beautiful, special, and singular.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    FILM CREDIT & DOWNLOAD: We will add your name as a special thanks on screen in the end titles of “Down Down The Deep River" and you will receive a digital download of the film.

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    335 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    PHYSICAL DVD + FILM CHARACTER TRADING CARDS: You will receive a pack of trading cards depicting characters, items, and settings from the film, in traditional wax baseball card packaging. You will also receive a physical copy of the film DVD in a hand-stamped sleeve, plus all previous rewards.

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    Ships to Only United States
    171 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PHYSICAL DVD + READ ALONG BOOKLET: We will send you a physical DVD of the film housed in a full-color booklet in the classic 1980s "Read Along" style. The Read Along book will be written and sound-designed by Will Sheff and housed on a separate CD, plus all previous rewards.

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    58 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PHYSICAL DVD + READ ALONG BOOKLET: We will send you a physical DVD of the film housed in a full-color booklet in the classic 1980s "Read Along" style. The Read Along book will be written and sound-designed by Will Sheff and housed on a separate CD, plus all previous rewards.

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    17 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    FILM SOUNDTRACK HOUSED ON A NINTENDO CARTRIDGE USB: We will send you Will Sheff / Okkervil River's original full-length soundtrack and score to “Down Down The Deep River” on a custom Nintendo USB cartridge, plus all previous rewards.

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    42 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    MOVIE POSTER FROM THE FILM + 2 TICKETS TO THE FILM SCREENING IN NEW YORK CITY, LOS ANGELES, OR AUSTIN: You will receive a 27” x 40” glossy “Down Down The Deep River” movie poster and 2 tickets to a film screening in New York City, Los Angeles, or Austin (you will be responsible for travel to any of these three screenings). We will send you a physical DVD, the full-color read-along booklet and CD, a pack of trading cards, a digital download of “Down Down The Deep River” + film credit.

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    Ships to Only United States
    70 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SIGNED FILM SCRIPT: You will receive a copy of the script to “Down Down The Deep River” signed by Will Sheff + a movie poster and 2 tickets to a film screening + physical DVD in a full-color read-along booklet + trading cards. You will also receive a digital download of “Down Down The Deep River” + film credit.

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    10 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    FRAMED PRODUCTION STILL FROM THE FILM AND HANDWRITTEN LYRIC SHEET OF “DOWN DOWN THE DEEP RIVER”
    For the collector: we will send you a framed production still from the film shoot and handwritten lyric sheet for the song “Down Down The Deep River." You will receive a signed copy of the film script + a movie poster and 2 tickets to a film screening + physical DVD in a full-color read-along booklet + trading cards, plus a physical copy of the DVD. You will also receive a digital download of “Down Down The Deep River” + film credit.

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    5 backers
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  9. Select this reward

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

    SKYPE Q&A WITH WILL SHEFF ABOUT THE FILM PROCESS: You will receive a personal 30 minutes Skype Question & Answer with Will Sheff. We will also send you a framed production still and handwritten lyric sheet + a signed copy of the film script + movie poster and 2 tickets to a film screening + the soundtrack on a custom Nintendo USB cartridge + physical DVD in a full-color read-along booklet + trading cards. You will also receive a digital download of “Down Down The Deep River” + film credit.

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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

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

    SKYPE Q&A WITH WILL SHEFF ABOUT THE FILM PROCESS: You will receive a personal 30 minutes Skype Question & Answer with Will Sheff. We will also send you a framed production still and handwritten lyric sheet + a signed copy of the film script + movie poster and 2 tickets to a film screening + the soundtrack on a custom Nintendo USB cartridge + physical DVD in a full-color read-along booklet + trading cards. You will also receive a digital download of “Down Down The Deep River” + film credit.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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  11. Select this reward

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

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT + PERSONAL SCREENING WITH WILL SHEFF: You will receive an “Executive Producer” credit on screen in the end titles of “Down Down The Deep River," plus Will Sheff will travel (within the Continental US only) and personally screen “Down Down The Deep River” with you. You will also receive a personal 30 minutes Skype question & answer with Will Sheff. In addition, we will send you a framed production still and handwritten lyric sheet + a signed copy of the film script + movie poster and 2 tickets to a film screening + the soundtrack on a custom Nintendo USB cartridge + physical DVD in a full-color read-along booklet + trading cards. You will also receive a digital download of the film.

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    Limited 4 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)