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An animated short about the Velvet Underground’s first gig in 1965 in front of a crowd of shocked kids at a suburban NJ high school.
An animated short about the Velvet Underground’s first gig in 1965 in front of a crowd of shocked kids at a suburban NJ high school.
115 backers pledged $30,888 to help bring this project to life.

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The Velvet Underground Played at My High School

$30,888

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...as a 10th grader sitting in the 3rd row, this was one of the first concerts I had ever been to. It was also my first concert where I witnessed booing, shock, horror, and bewilderment. I’ve always enjoyed telling my story about seeing the Velvet Underground at their, in some minds, disastrous first public performance, so we’re making a short film about it (yes, it will include the part about the audience storming out in disbelief).  Sincerely,

Summit High School and Tony
Summit High School and Tony

While on stage for merely 20 minutes, The Velvet Underground performed three songs, There She Goes, Venus in Furs, and Heroin. The Summit High School audience responded with, as one of the band recalled in 1983, a “murmur of surprise that greeted our appearance” that “increased to a roar of disbelief as we started to play" which"swelled to a mighty howl of outrage and bewilderment…” Half the audience walked out.

Using eyewitness accounts, we will put you there... in the middle of the first Velvet Underground concert. This short animated documentary film will combine hand-drawn and 2D computer animation techniques in a simple, graphic, and graffiti-like style (or zine-style) that reflects the texture of the period -- mid 1960's.

Whether you are a Velvet Underground fan, a Lou Reed fan, a fan of animation, or a fan of indie film, your contribution can help bring this rock and roll legend to life. Help us share this anomalous and fun story with the music loving world. Every dollar raised will go directly towards production costs.

Meet The Filmmakers
Meet The Filmmakers

Tony Jannelli (co-director/ writer/ producer + witness)                                                               Over his 30+ year career, Tony has worked as a cinematographer with such directors as Jonathan Demme and Martin Scorsese. When not filming, he is teaching at NYU’s Tisch Graduate School of Film.                                                                                                                 -http://imdb.to/1SICwwJ                                                                                                                -http://gradfilm.tisch.nyu.edu/object/JanelliA.html

Robert Pietri (co-director/ writer/ designer/ fact checker + guardian angel)                        Robert was a designer/art director for some of the elite design firms of New York, Los Angeles, and Berlin, before attending NYU's Graduate Film program. His film work has received many grants and he has just finished SEMPER FIDEL, a feature film shot in Havana, Cuba.                                                                                                                                              -https://www.behance.net/Pietri

Marina Donahue (producer/ co-writer/ social media manager/ proponent + apostle)                 A true cinephile, Marina has immersed herself in the world of filmmaking with gusto. She most recently is producer/co-writer on the soon to be released feature, All In Time.                             -http://imdb.to/1nYVnGt

Jonathan Cone (animator)                                                                                                             Jonathan is a freelance animator and animation educator. He produces digital media for storytelling sequences, documentaries, product visualizations, as well as his own animated shorts. Currently he is an Assistant Professor in Visual Communications at Cecil College. Most of his work consists of generating realistic 3D renderings but longs for the days of creating terrible drawings hidden by the fact they are moving through 2D animation.

Lee Terwilliger (animator)                                                                                                           Lee is a freelance animator, educator, and beard enthusiast. With several award winning short films and two summers teaching animation at New York Film Academy's Summer Film Program held at Harvard University under his belt, Lee currently works as a full-time animator in Fisher-Price's "Viz Lab" and is an adjunct professor of animation at Villa Maria College. Although usually a Post-Production guy with a soft spot for 2D hand drawn and Stop Mo, he's just as proficient in 3D software and Graphic Design. 

Pre-Production: Done                                                                                                                   -Interview + Research                                                                                                                     -Rough treatments, Revise and edit story                                                                                       -Finished screenplay                                                                                                                       -Production/Character design                                                                                                         -Casting                                                                                                                                           -Storyboards, additional changes                                                                                                   -Workbook & Layout

Production: January – March 2016                                                                                                 -Dialogue recording                                                                                                                         -Backgrounds                                                                                                                                 -Character Animations                                                                                                                    -Secondary Animations + Clean-up

Post-Production and completion: April 2016                                                                               -Effects                                                                                                                                             -Music + Sound

Risks and challenges

As Lou Reed wrote, “I don’t know just where I’m going, but I’m gonna try for the kingdom, if I can.”

In this spirit, we are trying for the kingdom. This is a very conceptual film and the idea of an animated documentary is a lot for people to wrap their heads around. We hope that once the film is made that all of the fans that helped in the Kickstarter campaign will continue to lend their support and be strong advocates for this creative labor of love made by some very, very big fans of the Velvet Underground.

Thank you for your help and support!

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    Thank you for being a supporter of our project and being a fan of the Velvet Underground and 2D Hand Drawn Animation!

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    You will receive a digital copy of the completed film to play over and over and you won't have to worry about it breaking in your VHS player.

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    "SUMMIT HIGH SCHOOL" LEVEL

    One week before the official release of the film, you will get to download it digitally before anyone else! + everything above

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    "ALL TOMORROW'S PARTIES" LEVEL

    Want to know how we put the movie together? At this pledge level we will send you a pdf copy of the storyboards used in the pre-production of the film as well as everything above.

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    "SWEET JANE" LEVEL

    Making a film isn't easy and requires a lot of hard work in preproduction. With your donation, we'll send you original concept art used in the pre-production of the movie + everything above

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    For your generous donation we want to share something special with you from the film: signed, hand drawn storyboards used during the preproduction of the film + everything above

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    "THERE SHE GOES AGAIN" LEVEL

    We hear you're a fan of the Velvet Underground! So are we! Let's talk about it! For your pledge amount you get to participate in a Skype conversation with the producers + everything above!

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    "VENUS IN FURS" LEVEL

    At this donor level, our lead animator, Robert Pietri, will send you an original animation frame with his signature!

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    "WHITE LIGHT" LEVEL

    We know you want to support our documentary, The Velvet Underground Played at My High School. But... would you also like to be in it? At this level donation we'll take your likeness and have it be included in a scene in the film! To immortalize the moment we'll also send you a signed frame of your animated image from the movie.

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    Exclusives like this only come once in a blue moon... with your pledge you receive an original watercolor portrait of the Velvet Underground by our lead animator, Robert Pietri!

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    "SISTER RAY" LEVEL

    Due to your generous donation we want to give you generous thanks, so we will name you one of the Associate Producers of the film. This would be in title only and would not allow you creative input, just a super awesome title.

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    "WARHOL" LEVEL

    It doesn't get any better than this. At this level donation we give you the credit of one of the Executive Producers. This would be in title only and would not allow you creative input. This title can be used to make your friends feel bad.

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Funding period

- (30 days)