Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 19, 2012.

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A group of determined American teenagers have Olympic aspirations in the unlikeliest of sports: table tennis.

Young table tennis titans seek Olympic glory in the ultimate underdog sport.

Meet the filmmakers behind TOP SPIN! Don't forget about Top Spinnathon, our 48 Hour Live Webcast Countdown starting Tuesday (7/17) at 3:30pm PT. Tune in here: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/top-spinnathon

And also, check out our awesome SLOW MOTION FOOTAGE and a behind-the-scenes MESSAGE  from two of the film's stars, Lily Zhang and Erica Wu, encouraging you to DONATE to our film!

SYNOPSIS:

Three exceptional American teenagers have Olympic aspirations in the unlikeliest of sports: table tennis. Adolescence can be brutal, but imagine juggling six-hour training sessions and overseas tournaments with high school, SATs, and friendships. TOP SPIN reveals the pressures and heartache that all teens face. Only for these youth, life revolves around a tiny, hollow, plastic ball.

From left to right: Ariel Hsing, Michael Landers, Lily Zhang
From left to right: Ariel Hsing, Michael Landers, Lily Zhang


INTRODUCTION:

For the past year, we've followed our young athletes both at home and to places like China, Mexico, Germany, and soon we'll be in London for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games! We're still amazed and we cannot wait to share it with you all.

As we approach TOP SPIN's final finish line, we need your support now more than ever. Just as our stars, Ariel Hsing, Lily Zhang and Michael Landers, have taken table tennis to the highest level of athletic competition, TOP SPIN needs that push.

WHAT FOR?

Our goal is to release this film in early 2013 and in order to do that, we need roughly $150,000 to finish. We know this is A LOT of money. Which is why we couldn't set that as our goal (it gives us hives just thinking about it!). Since Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, we're aiming for half that amount in hopes of trying to get as close to $150,000 as possible.

Here is a breakdown of what some of the money will go towards:

  • Stylized slow-motion shoot with all of our subjects (DP + crew, RED EPIC + studio rental, etc.)
  • Olympics shoot in London (airfare, Olympic tickets, etc.)
  • Hire co-editors to turn 150 hours of footage into a film 
  • Licensing Olympics-related footage (though negotiable, to give you a sense of how much this might cost: one filmmaker paid roughly $90,000 for 3-minutes of footage from the Olympic Trials and the 2008 Olympics. Yes, you read that correctly.)
  • Hard drives, music, color finishing, sound mix, legal fees
  • New website to market and distribute the completed film

WHY YOU?
We've asked for your help in the past and you've come through amazingly. Our first Kickstarter campaign one year ago exceeded our expectations and we were invigorated by your faith in our project. This year, we want to ask you to help us bring in new fans and new support.

WHY NOW?
We are all only teenagers once. Documenting the growing pains and Olympic dreams of our stars, Ariel, Lily and Michael, has shown us how precious and rare this moment truly is. But for only a few of these young athletes, the perfect nexus of talent and hard work will lead them all the way to to the 2012 London Olympics for a chance to represent their country.

U.S. Men's National Team at the World Table Tennis Championships in Dortmund, Germany
U.S. Men's National Team at the World Table Tennis Championships in Dortmund, Germany


HOW YOU CAN HELP:

We only have 30 days to reach our goal! Donate early and help spread the word to all your friends. Every dollar donated puts us one step closer to finishing this film. It's ALL OR NOTHING on Kickstarter - if we don't reach our goal, we get $0!

BUILD BUZZ.

  • TELL FRIENDS
  • POST ON FACEBOOK
  • TWEET IT
  • BLOG IT
  • FORWARD EMAILS

DONATE. If all our friends donated just ten bucks each - we'd be set!  Crowd-funding is about the accumulative power of small amounts. With your donation of money, time or material resources - we are directly reaching niche communities that are often ignored in mainstream films. We believe that your influence and your voice is valuable.
 
JOIN US.

  • SUBSCRIBE to our mailing list by writing to: topspinmovie@gmail.com
  • LIKE us on Facebook
  • FOLLOW us on Twitter
Illustration by Lilith Wu
Illustration by Lilith Wu


A HUGE THANK YOU!

As a thank you to all our backers, we'll be releasing 6 never-before-seen mini clips from the film throughout the 30 days! Please join us in starting a ping pong revolution! We could not have made it this far without you. Thank you in advance for your donations and support.


MORE INFO ON OUR REWARDS

Please check back often as we'll continue to update this list!

*NEW $1K REWARD ADDED: Associate Producer credit on TOP SPIN and the chance to appear in the end credits of the film playing ping pong! Plus other perks you can read about in the rewards section.

*$30K EXCLUSIVE REWARD: The lucky backer that helps us break $30K by the deadline above (before the matching donation), will get an autographed copy of the book Everything You Know Is Pong!

$100 REWARD: CHOOSE FROM ONE OF THESE STILLS

$1000 REWARD: Party with the "John McEnroe" of ping pong!
We'll bring Barney Reed to your ping pong party!!! Check the right hand column for more details.

THE DIRTY DOZEN AT SPIN NYC
Every Friday night SPiN challenges 12 of the top players in the nation to compete for cash prizes and bragging rights.


SOO YEON LEE

A former junior table tennis champion turned model and actress. Check her out in action!


THE TOP SPIN TEAM 

Co-Director/Editor: Sara Newens
Co-Director/Producer: Mina T. Son
Co-Producer: Yen Le
Executive Producers: Jonathan Bricklin, Franck Raharinosy
Consulting Producers: Jamie Meltzer, Charles Vogl, Katie Walsh
Co-Editors: Summers Henderson, David Lim
Composers: JJ & Chris
Graphic Designer: Calvin Chu
Interns Extraordinaire: Olivia Haas, Alle Hsu, Ketaki Shriram, Lilith Wu, Kristy Zhen

Supporting Partners

A huge thank you to the following partners who believe in our project. There is no way we could do this without their support!

JOOLA USA, SPiN Galactic, USA Table Tennis, India Community Center, Walls 360, Center for Asian American Media, Meridian (Beijing), 3g.cn (Beijing), Visual Communication, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival, OCA-NY, Rooftop Films, San Diego Asian Film Foundation, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, iTwixie

Recent Media Coverage

Ping pong like you've never seen it!
Ping pong like you've never seen it!

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $1 or more
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    27 backers

    A thank you on the TOP SPIN website!

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    20 backers

    Become a Ping Pong Ambassador! We will send you a TOP SPIN digital movie poster that you can post, tweet or share with friends + a thank you on our website!

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    187 backers

    *New Reward* Digital copy of finished film + digital movie poster + a thank you on our website!

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    16 backers All gone!

    EXCLUSIVE - ONLY AVAILABLE ON JUNE 20: One game to 11 points with one of the stars of the film + a thank you on our website!

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    129 backers

    DVD of the finished film + TOP SPIN movie postcard + digital movie poster + a thank you on our website!

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    60 backers

    DVD of the finished film + JOOLA ping pong ball signed by one of the stars of the film + movie postcard + digital movie poster + a thank you on our website!

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    51 backers

    Special Edition DVD w/ extras + still from a TOP SPIN shoot autographed by one of the stars of the film + autographed JOOLA ping pong ball + a thank you on our website!

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    EXCLUSIVE - ONE NIGHT ONLY ON JUNE 20: One game to 11 points with one of the stars of the film + $100 reward package!

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    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    Entry to play in SPiN's Dirty Dozen weekly tournament in NYC w/ 2 free drinks + Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you phone call from one of the Directors! (SPiN is a ping pong social club in Manhattan.)

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    5 backers

    Autographed photo of the 2012 Women's U.S. Olympic Team in London + special edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you phone call from one of the Directors!

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    9 backers

    TOP SPIN movie poster autographed by all three stars of the film + Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you phone call from one of the Directors!

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    Autographed Ariel Hsing Olympic Trading Card + Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you phone call from one of the Directors!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    VIRTUAL DINNER DATE: Skype call with the Directors while in London for the Olympics and dinner delivered to your door + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    THE PING PONG MECCA: Tour of Beijing and dinner with TOP SPIN's Co-Producer Yen Le (travel to China not included; tour redeemable anytime within a year) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    SPiN NYC Annual Membership + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    3 backers

    *New Reward* ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit on TOP SPIN + appear in the end credits of the film playing ping pong + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    0 backers

    *New Reward* PARTY W/ THE BAD BOY OF PING PONG: Barney Reed and one of the Directors will come to your ping pong-themed party! Play some beer pong, Berlin-style, or just good old ping pong (not including travel if outside of the Bay Area or Los Angeles) + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    POINTERS FROM ARIEL: 1-hour table tennis lesson with Ariel in the Bay Area + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    POINTERS FROM MICHAEL: 1-hour table tennis lesson with Michael in NYC + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    POINTERS FROM SOO YEON: 1-hour table tennis lesson with professional table tennis player, model and actress Soo Yeon Lee in Los Angeles + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    POINTERS FROM LILY: 1-hour table tennis lesson with Lily in the Bay Area + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    1 backer

    SNEAK PREVIEW screening party for your organization, company, or friends before TOP SPIN is publicly released and available on DVD, w/ Directors in attendance (not including travel if outside of the Bay Area or Los Angeles) + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + 10 autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    **NEW REWARD** Private Party at SPiN NYC ping pong social club! Includes 3 hours in SPiN's private room + 2 pro-level ping pong players + a very good chance of guest appearance from SPiN co-founder Susan Sarandon! This is a one-in-a-lifetime reward. Help us reach the finish line!

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    SNEAK PREVIEW screening party for your organization, company, or friends before TOP SPIN is publicly released and available on DVD at SPiN NYC, w/ TOP SPIN star Michael Landers and Executive Producers in attendance + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or a festival screening closest to your city) + 20 autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    A VIP ping pong date with Executive Producers, Jonathan Bricklin and Franck Raharinosy, and free drinks at SPiN NYC + a pair of tickets to the World Premiere (or at a festival screening closest to your city) + 30 autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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    1 backer

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit on TOP SPIN w/ invitations to private work-in-progress screenings + a filmmaker's pass to the World Premiere and dinner with the Directors (or at a festival screening closest to your city) + 30 autographed Special Edition DVD w/ extras + a thank you credit in the film!

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Funding period

- (30 days)