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

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OBEY THE GIANT is the first narrative film about the early life of Shepard Fairey and the origin of his OBEY GIANT street art campaign.

The last 28 days have proven to us that Shepard's fan base is as emphatic as ever.

You may be scratching your head, asking, "You have reached your goal of $30,000. What will you do with additional funding?"

That answer is simple. Andrew and I were conservative in establishing our primary goal. As we stand right now, we have just enough money to finish the film :). Now the question is, how do we ensure that this film garners the most exposure possible? And what rewards can we offer in order to get more people excited about the project?

As many may know, submitting to festivals is a lengthy and expensive process. We intend to send this film to festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, and Toronto International Film Festival. 

As a result, we are continuing to raise funds to cover the costs of submitting to festivals, marketing the film, hiring a publicist, and the extreme cost of travel.

Before I get into the description, I want to make the exciting distinction that THIS IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY - IT IS A NARRATIVE FILM. The film approaches the origin of OBEY in a similar fashion to how The Social Network approached the origin of Facebook. This film is authorized by Shepard Fairey and I have the rights to his life story for the period that this story covers.

PROJECT STATEMENT:

Hi. My name is Julian Marshall. I am a 22-year-old film director from Washington, DC. I am currently a senior at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). I recently directed a short narrative film about the early life of Shepard Fairey and the origin story of his OBEY GIANT street art campaign. The film is set in Providence, RI, in 1990 when Shepard was studying illustration at RISD. In an illustration class, titled Style and Substance, Shepard received a historic assignment that would later establish his legacy in Providence. Each student in the class was given a fortune cookie, and tasked with illustrating his or her respective fortune. Shepard's fortune read: TO AFFECT THE QUALITY OF THE DAY IS NO SMALL ACHIEVEMENT. He then decided to paste his Andre graphic over the face of notorious former Mayor of Providence, Buddy Cianci, on his re-election billboard, located in the heart of the city.

They say you cannot force creativity. That seems to be the message behind the making of this project. 

One morning I was sitting in my bedroom brainstorming story ideas for my RISD thesis film, and staring me in the face was the Andre The Giant poster that Shepard Fairey had given to me when I worked for him three years ago. It was then that creativity struck. I thought to myself, wouldn't it be wonderful to tell the story of the conception of Shepard's OBEY GIANT street art campaign from when he attended RISD in the early 90's?

I put together a pitch and sent it to Amanda Fairey, Shepard's wife. One week later, I received an email from Amanda saying that Shepard loved the idea for the project and could I come out to LA to speak with him about it. So I went out to LA.

From there, I developed the story with my friend Alex Jablonski and the rest is history.

SYNOPSIS:

Based on the true story of Shepard Fairey’s first act of street art, OBEY THE GIANT tells the story of a young skate punk challenging a big-city mayor and the powers-that-be at art school. Frustrated by his inability to gain respect within the confines of art school Shepard sets out to gain notoriety and acclaim by targeting the most powerful man in Providence, former Mayor Buddy Cianci. Risking expulsion and jail time Shepard plasters Andre the Giant’s face over the image of Cianci on a campaign billboard. As word of Shepard’s prank gets out, Shepard learns that art is a weapon and attention is both a blessing and a curse.

EXECUTION:

On January 1, 2012, we began pre-production on OBEY THE GIANT. We built a cast and crew of about 150 people. Many of the crew helped produce Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom (Cannes 2012) and RIPD. We began to prep a 2500 square foot replica of Shepard Fairey's studio from 1990 on our sound stage, and a 27,000 pound Buddy Cianci billboard replica on site at RISD. We managed to bring together an all-star cast and crew simply because of their love for Shepard Fairey's artwork and love of the story. Naturally, we received a ton of support from RISD and RISD students. Roughly 50 RISD students worked on this project.

On February 11, 2012, we went into production on OBEY THE GIANT. The film was produced in 8 intense days. We took over the streets of Providence. This film was shot on the ARRI ALEXA camera system and its film-like quality helped us to achieve a strong 'period' look. While this was technically a student film, it was indistinguishable from a professional industry production. Because it was a student film, we were able to produce the film for about 1/3 of what it would cost had it been produced outside of RISD. 

This is by far the biggest film to ever be produced at RISD and it is all due to the power of compelling storytelling.

KICKSTARTER:

We are trying to be conservative, so we have set our goal to $30,000. This reflects the bare minimum (and we are very good at budgeting) to finish the project. We need funds to pay for editing, sound design and mix, vfx and wire removal, score, and color correction.

Ideally, we would like to raise even more than out goal which will go towards making the film that much more successful. Additional funding will help us pay for marketing costs, festival costs, and ultimately greatly increase our production value. 

Please help us to finish this historic film, and thank you in advance for your support.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT:

Executive Producer credit is a very special honor and it is for this reason we have limited the credits available. We are offering exclusive Shepard Fairey artwork to all Executive Producers in return for their help. In addition, EPs will be invited into the inner circle and have private dialogues with the production team.

EXCLUSIVE SHEPARD FAIREY ARTWORK:

FESTIVALS:

The future of this film is bright! I believe it has the potential to blow away many festivals. Our goal is to send it to festivals such as Sundance, Tribeca, SXSW, and Toronto International Film Festival.

CONTACT:

You can reach us at obeythegiantmovie@gmail.com Feel free to email us with any questions may have. We will answer all emails promptly.

CAST:

  • Josh Wills - Shepard Fairey
  • Keith Jochim - Buddy Cianci
  • Patrick Collins - Dean Carter
  • Tom O'Neill - Jonah
  • Elizabeth Roberge - Ella
  • Tommy Dickie - Lee Dover
  • Daryl Laperle - George
  • Alexander Remington - Buddy Cianci's Driver
  • Sarah Cote - Jessica
  • Mark O'Leary - Father
  • Max Derderian - Son
  • Frank Vollero - Ray

Still photography by: Philip Scott Andrews

DONATION CRITERIA:

To those OUTSIDE the continental US, donating 50 dollars or more, please add 40 dollars to your donation for shipping costs.

Rewards will be administered as soon as they become available.

FAQ

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    Our eternal gratitude for helping to make this film possible

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    Digital download of the soundtrack by Nick Garcia + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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    A special edition DVD of the film + OBEY stickers + Movie Poster + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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    SPECIAL THANKS credit in the closing credits + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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    Exclusive OBEY THE GIANT Cianci Billboard t-shirt + OBEY THE GIANT stickers + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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    Two exclusive T-Shirts designed by Shepard Fairey in 1990 + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit in the opening and closing credits of the film and IMDB + Exclusive signed Shepard Fairey artwork (This reward will only be available at this pledge level) + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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    A PRIVATE SCREENING OF THE FILM. Before the film is released, I will come to your home for a day, screen the film, and speak with you about how we brought the project to life (This reward will only be available at this pledge level. US only.) + EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit in the OPENING and closing credits of the film and IMDB + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit in the OPENING and closing credits of the film and IMDB + Exclusive signed Shepard Fairey artwork + Invitation to the film festivals with Julian Marshall and Andrew Gisch + A signed piece of the wall of the OBEY THE GIANT 'Shepard Fairey studio' set + A Signed piece of the BUDDY CIANCI billboard + ALL OF THE ABOVE

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Funding period

- (30 days)