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A documentary to tell the story of today's greatest smash players, and legends lost to time.
A documentary to tell the story of today's greatest smash players, and legends lost to time.
A documentary to tell the story of today's greatest smash players, and legends lost to time.
337 backers pledged $9,290 to help bring this project to life.

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"Smash 3" - Super Smash Bros. Brawl + Wii U Documentary

$9,290

337

*stretch goals listed at the bottom!*

There are stories waiting to be told. This Super Smash Bros. documentary aims to tell the history of some of the greatest minds to have touched a controller. Stories of international rivalries, passion, and divides are all at the end of the third addition to the franchise's lifetime. The main chronology follows the happenings between Apex World Championship events and profiles each year's grand champion, among other influential figures.

These are the projected chapters/episodes of the documentary:

"The First King" (2008) - release of Brawl, reign of Mew2King, rise of Meta Knight. Mew2King on a consistent rampage, winning everything  

"The Northern Assassin" (2009) - Ally's revenge, a new champion, birth of Apex. Ally overthrows Mew2King at multiple majors. The rise of many start here.

"The Farmer in the East and the Boxer of the West" (2010) - international invasion (Japan), glimpse of eSports (MLG). Japan redefines the game's limits, DEHF (Larry Lurr) redefines the game.

"Blips" (2011) - vicegrip of Meta Knight, first major period of attendance drops, vague confirmation of Smash 4 at E3. Brawl tournament entries begin losing steam

"Clear" (2012) - Japan's revenge, appearance of Europe, fire lit under everyone's asses, MK preserved, splits in community. Japanese and European players show the complacent US what's up.

"New Hope" (2013) - Salem rocks everyone's world, brief revival, attendance shrinks down to its most dedicated players. Smash 4 at E3, remotivation. Melee at EVO/#oneunit. A dark horse takes Apex by storm, Smash is thrust into a new, greater spotlight. 2014 - Brawl not present at MLG comeback or EVO, #freessbb, forsaking of #oneunit, attempts to revive game in last days, E3 invitational, game shown to be like Brawl, community split continues, Smash 4 release/gradual transfer.

Funds Allocation

I will be using most of the Kickstarter to purchase the necessary equipment for filming the documentary. I also plan to have a smaller portion go to traveling funds. I will manage housing myself. Kickstarter takes an approximate 8-10% of the donations, so I will be adding the grand sum in the end by .10 of the total cost. 

A7S II (Camera body): $2998.00 on BHPhotoVideo: ~($3000.00)

Ronin-M (Camera stabilizer): $1385.87 on BHPhotoVideo: ~($1400.00)

Rokinon 35 mm f/1.4 UMC lens (Camera lens): $479.00 on BHPhotoVideo ~($490.00)

A7S II batteries (x3): $13.99 (x3) = $41.97 on Amazon: ~($50.00)

Sony 64 GB Class 10 SD cards (x2): $27.40 (x2) = $54.80 on Amazon: ~($60.00)

Vortex Lightweight Compact Tripod: $79.99 on Cabelas: ~(80.00)

California flight expenses: ~($300.00) (I will pay the difference)

Canada flight expenses: ~($200.00) (I will pay the difference)

Florida flight expenses: ~($150.00) (I will pay the difference)

=

$5730.00 + (0.1 * 5730.00) =

$6303.00

Justification

For those not very familiar with film equipment, the camera body and camera lens I plan on purchasing does wonders with low lighting. This means that I will not have to worry about lighting at all, and this will allow me to focus more on the capture process of the documentary. Here is an example of what kind of quality I can produce right now with my current equipment, and here is an example of what I can produce with the projected equipment. Please keep in mind that the first video was shot WITH lighting equipment, and the second one was shot between the times of 6 pm - 9 pm with no lighting equipment at all. Furthermore, although it seems needless to say if you've watched the two videos, you can see that the image quality in the second video is drastically better. 

The second video was shot with a camera stabilizer, the Ronin M, which stabilizes the video itself without having to worry about counter weights. The first video, was shot with no stabilzation. The affordances and efficiency that a camera/stabilizer provides is incomparable to my current set up right now. Being able to shoot anywhere on the go, and still having near flawless quality is an absolute must (especially for a documentary, where precious moments can be lost instantly); you can see how much effort I put into having top quality content if you watch some of my best works.

Extra batteries are needed, especially for a documentary. The A7S II battery's average lifespan is about an hour.

I've captured some interviews already, and the storage sizes are already nearing 200-250~ gbs. Needless to say, I will need sufficient storage space to make sure I don't miss anything. That's why I am requesting at least 2 64GB SD cards.

I've narrowed down the most important places to fly to in order to obtain interviews and necessary B-roll footage. California has a concentration of Smash talent and community leaders, including Zero/Larry Lurr/Tyrant. Canada is one of the few scenes that still actively play Brawl. There I will be able to obtain organic B-roll footage that will prove to be essential to the documentary process. Florida is the next important region to go to, because of the concentrated smash talent there as well. Because I live in NJ, and a majority of players I have to interview are from the tristate region, players such as ESAM/MVD/Nick Riddle/Seibrik were all prominent brawl players that are on the farther side of east coast that I could have difficulty reaching. 

MD/VA is a region that I can travel to via car, as I've went there for Smash 4 Xanadus plenty of times. I would love to have an excuse to go to Japan, but it simply is not feasible to ask for $2000 more to travel there. Instead, I will be conducting interviews as Japanese players come to the states, and plan to contact Otori via online communications.

The budget for the Smash Bros. documentary that Travis Beauchamp directed was about $12,000, according to their wiki article. I believe asking for half that amount, combined with being a prominent smash content producer and having a film degree is justified.

FAQ:

If you can produce that kind of quality already for your YouTube channel, why can't you do it for the documentary?

The skits you see on our YouTube channel were shot with Keitaro's brothers camera, who owns a film company called Moonculture Films. Although we were able to lend his help, the documentary demands probably twenty fold the work you saw put into these videos. It is not reasonable to ask for that much time with the camera, especially since he runs his own film company.

What's your equipment set up right now?

I have a Canon Rebel T5i, with the stock lens. I also have one pair of lavalier microphones.

You mentioned that you started the documentary already. Why are you asking for funds now?

It has been a painstaking experience to capture the several interviews I have right now. Some clips are so poor in quality that I cannot bring myself to use them. A multiple of reasons contributed to this, such as a damaged crop sensor in my camera body, poor lighting, and storage problems. After seeing the wonders of Keitaro's brother's equipment, I realized how much easier and better everything would be if I had proper, professional equipment for filmmaking. With the current equipment I have now, I cannot say that I will be satisfied with the final product. 

STRETCH GOAL: $8000.00

Japan: ($1600 + $6303 = $8000) - The projected date to go to Tokyo, Japan is on May 16th to May 22nd, where I will be able to interview players such as Rain, Nietono, and Brood. The Japanese played a big role in shaping Brawl's history; they came to the US and have secured nationals and top placings.  

STRETCH GOAL: $8900.00

Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2 Lens: $1,299 on BHPhotoVideo. ($8000 + ($1400 - $500) = $8900): Allow me to explain the $500 reduction from the total cost. This is the same kind of lens (35mm) that was part of the original list of equipment below. However, the Zeiss lens compared to the Rokinon is sturdier, provides better quality, and weighs less. The lens is about .75 lbs, compared to the Rokinon's 1.6. This piece of equipment would be extremely convenient because then I would not have to get the Ronin M stabilizer, which is a pretty clunky gimbal weighing in at 5 lbs. I would be able to settle for a cheaper, lighter gimbal, weighing in at 2.6 lbs. That would ultimately be better for recording a documentary. Additionally, The Came-single gimbal is $300 (with taxes/shipping costs) cheaper than the Ronin M, but can only support 2.6 lbs on its stabilizer. Because the Rokinon lens are 1.6 lbs, (double the weight of the Zeiss lens) I have no choice but to use the Ronin M stabilizer which supports up to 8 lbs. Therefore, with the Zeiss lens (.75 lbs) + the a7s ii camera body (1.3 lbs) I would be able to have a superior quality lens while also recording on a lighter, more compact stabilizer. Because I would opt for the lighter gimbal and take out the Rokinon lens, it would subtract from the cost of the Zeiss lens by about $500. This would mean that the cost of the lens would come out to be about $900. ($1400-500)

Risks and challenges

I want to be able to film the most encapsulating footage, and with the scarcity of brawl tournaments it will certainly be hard. With equipment and traveling made possible through this budget, I will be able to maximize my reach and chances of presenting a film that is engaging both visually and story-wise.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Access to previews and certain footage during the editing process of the documentary.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Free Director's Cut

    Every donor whose contribution exceeds $25 will receive a free digital, 4K copy of the director's cut of the documentary once it's finished, and all of our behind the scenes work. Bloopers, creative process, production/extended interviews, travel film, and more.

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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Director's cut + your name included in the special thanks of the credits of the documentary!

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Documentary Poster + Shirt

    Our largest donors will be thanked with a large wall poster and a T-shirt with the cover artwork for the documentary!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 900 or more About US$ 900

    Get your own segment in the behind the scenes episode that will release on all platforms + be filmed for b-roll footage. Yes, you can talk about whatever you so please. We hope you keep it pertaining to Smash. (For the b-roll footage, you must meet me at a national tournament or be close to certain venues. I'm always travelling, so this will be more than easy.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)