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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
- 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.
- SUBSCRIBE to our mailing list by writing to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- LIKE us on Facebook
- FOLLOW us on Twitter
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
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
- CNN Video interview withAriel Hsing
- NYT Profile on Ariel Hsing
- NBC Olympics on Ariel Hsing
- International Table Tennis Federation on Lily Zhang
- The Wall Street Journal on Ariel Hsing
- AFP / Yahoo News video on Ariel Hsing
- NPR All Thing Considered with Michael Landers
- The Examiner Q&A with Mina Son
- TeamUSA blog post
- Rooftop Films blog post
- Angry Asian Man blog post
- (30 days)