About this project
UPDATE 2: Stretch Goal 1 has been met! All contributors of $35 or above now have the option of receiving Blu-Ray versions of the finished film!
UPDATE: Kanon Rock is now completely funded and set to go! Stretch goals have been added to the bottom of the page! Thank you all for your support!
Kanon Rock is a short animation project about the nature of music. It takes its name from the original German title of Pachelbel's Canon in D (Kanon und Gigue für 3 Violinen mit Generalbaß) and the passionate re-imagining of said piece in surging rock guitar.
It follows a conductor leading a performance of Canon, whose passion for the song materializes in a fantasy of lights set to a surging rock arrangement of the song.
The conductor had long aspired to lead a classical orchestra, but as a child, he never got the hang of precise notation on the piano. He persisted nonetheless, refining a looser, more emotive style that contest judges disdained, but which attracted the attention of a mysterious man who saw fit to bestow him with an electric guitar.
Empowered by the new sound, the conductor soared to new musical heights. But his parents disapproved of his unorthodox tastes and divested him of his guitar. Left with only the soulless notes of the music he was supposed to play, he sunk into depression. But the mysterious man reached out to him again, and reminded him that the notes represent more than just sounds - they are emotions, and to change the notes for the sake of the emotions is to live up to the spirit of the original composer.
Back to the present and the mysterious man plays electric guitar on stage right alongside the conductor. Their performance surges with energy as the fantasy world flows into reality.
The performance ends to raucous applause. The mysterious man watches on, and starts to fade away. His clothes become antiquated and his hair shorter, curled. He drifts back away from the stage, smiling.
The conductor looks back to thank the man, but sees only a painting on the wall - that of Pachelbel himself. For now his soul can rest knowing that not just the notes, but the heart of his music lives on.
A previous film of mine - The Water Sound (2012) - 2 minutes - 9 months work with 3 animators and cleanup-artists
As a film student at the University of Southern California, I've also forged connections with many fellow students in the film and animation programs. I've long wanted to put our collective talents to use on a project, but I could never find the time, funds, or idea that suited all of us, until now.
Several months back, while playing a music game on my iPhone, I came across a techno remix of Pachelbel's Canon in D. This new version of Canon was so catchy, uplifting, and vivid that I soon found myself searching for more remixes on youtube. I spent hours listening to composers and remixers all over the world deliver their takes on Pachelbel's Canon.
In particular, Jerry C.'s popular remix Canon Rock had a remarkable arc to its music - I could envision a story that lived alongside its sound.
And out of pure coincidence, for my animation class that week, we were assigned to create an animation set to music. Most people set off to create 10 second dancing loops or other small animations that could be realized simply in the course of a week, but my path was clear; that very night, I began drawing the film that would become Kanon Rock.
The completed animation cut every imaginable corner to make its deadline, but many all-nighters ensured its successful completion. Thus was the first draft of the introduction to Kanon Rock made:
The reception was remarkably good and one comment popped up more consistently than any other: 'I want to see the rest.' It's time to make good on that sentiment.
I want to create Kanon Rock from the ground up, animating the complete arc of the idea, and commissioning a new remix of Canon that can match the story beats. Furthermore, to animate the entire 5+ minutes of the complete project at a high standard, I want to hire a dedicated group of animators to complete the animation work in a reasonable timeframe.
To do that, I'll need your help.
Our plan calls for the hiring of a composer, 5-6 animators/artists, and around 3-6 musicians. A good deal of these people are on-board with the project now, but contracts and payments cannot be finalized until the kickstarter is complete.
Once our funds have been collected, shots will be distributed to the animators, who will complete animation in small chunks throughout production.
At the same time, I'll be working closely with our composer, Jeremy Huey, to create an extensive temp-track of the main song - an extremely crucial component, as Kanon Rock will have no dialogue, and will thus rely heavily on its music to set its tone. Once we're satisfied with the song's arrangement, it will be recorded and mixed, which can take several months.
Our goal is to do most of our work in the summer and winter months, allowing us, as students, to take advantage of our time out of school, and work extensively on the project. Work during the school-year will proceed, particularly during break weeks, but we expect it to go forward at a slower pace.
Taking all these factors into account, we anticipate completion around April/May 2014. At this point, we will begin shopping the animation to film festivals (and distributing on a limited basis to our backers). Festival submissions will continue for at least a year, after which Kanon Rock will be released online for all to enjoy.
We're asking for $5,500 dollars to make Kanon Rock happen. That money goes to 3 places:
Art & Animation Work:
- Although our animation crew consists mainly of students who work at non-professional rates, there's a lot of drawing to be done, and money still has to change hands.
- We anticipate an art/animation crew of 5-6, doing about $500-$600 worth of work each, so to ere on the side of caution, the animation should take up about $3600 of the budget.
Scoring, Arrangement & Musicians:
- Pachelbel's Canon in D may reside in the public domain, meaning we don't need to pay royalties to use the song, and our composer, Jeremy, is already being very flexible working with our budget, but to record a high quality version of the song, we need musicians, which can go for over $30 an hour. Furthermore, to record well, we'd need to rent a studio, the cost of which can be in the hundreds of dollars.
- Even assuming the minimal assembly of musicians - a guitarist (as opposed to the synthesized guitar used in the promo video), a pianist, and a violinist (preferably more than one), and factor in instruments we'd like to use, like a bass guitarist or a cellist, we find that our music budget necessitates $500 at least.
- The software our crew has access to varies, and although a majority possess Adobe Flash and their own pen tablets, we need the funds to provide each crew member with the necessary work equipment if necessary.
- If we conservatively suggest that half the crew may need software access, and calculate using Adobe Creative Suite's monthly fee of $50 a month (for at least 3 months), we arrive at a figure of $450. Asserting similarly that we have two back-up bamboo tablets that can be provided if need be, that brings us up to $850.
This comes together for a grand total of $5092 dollars, of which Kickstarter and Amazon take 8%. Raise our total by 8% to compensate, and we arrive at the pricetag for Canon Rock: $5499, which we round to $5,500.
Our rewards for all backers, detailed (all backing levels include the rewards of all prior levels, unless otherwise noted):
$1+ UPDATE LIST MEMBERSHIP:
- Everyone who backs our project receives a special thanks on our website, which will also be linked to in the film credits.
- You'll also be put on our mailing list, and receive exclusive updates about the state of the project, and the ability to vote in special polls to determine project-related issues.
$10+ DIGITAL DOWNLOAD - EARLY VIEW
- You'll receive a digital copy of the film, about a year before its wide release. (Film will be in .mp4 format by default, but .movs and other formats can also be provided.)
- [Note: In order to be festival eligible, the film must not have had a wide release on the internet - therefore non-backers and backers of less than $10 will not be able to view the film until a wide release in early 2015, whereas this and many other reward tiers offer a far earlier release date.]
$15+ FILM & SOUNDTRACK COMBO
- In addition to the early download of the film detailed in the $10 reward level, you'll receive mp3s of the finished soundtrack (including the main Kanon Rock remix, a more subdued version of the song to accompany the credits, and any other music pieces composed for the piece or its promotion) in early 2014, even before the completion of the film.
$25+ DVD COPY - ADVANCE VIEW
- Receive a DVD copy of the finished film with custom artwork, including, at the very least, a special commentary track, unavailable anywhere else.
- You'll receive your link and physical copy of the film at the advanced viewing stage, months before the early viewing time.
$35+ CREDITS - ART ACCESS - IMMEDIATE VIEW
- Your name will be listed in the actual film credits under 'backers'.
- Exclusive access to production artwork, storyboards, and concept art, shared via special emails sent out regularly throughout production.
- Immediate viewing - your copy of the DVD and download will be the first group sent out, within 4 weeks of the film's completion.
$55+ ANIMATED PARTICIPATION - AUDIENCE
- Have your likeness animated as one of the members of the concert audience. It's as simple as sending us your picture!
- You'll be able to choose where in the shot your character is, but remember - there are enough seats in the audience to accommodate a large number of backers, but choice priority is given to the first backers, so if you want that proverbial (and indeed, the literal) front-row seat, back early!
- And if you'd like a personal souvenir of your participation, ADD $10 to receive special promotional art of your character (delivered before the completion of the film).
$100+ ANIMATED PARTICIPATION - MUSICIANS
- Have your likeness animated as one of the musical figures, key to the piece. Choose from one of the musicians in the concert orchestra (and the ability to choose your orchestra instrument), or one of the judges in the youth concert.
- Both positions are LIMITED - back quickly to guarantee your choice!
- Special promotional art of your character is included FOR FREE!
- [Note: If you choose to back as a musician, you cannot participate as an audience member - your appearance would be recognized in both places! If you would like to donate on the musician level but participate as an audience member, send us a message with your donation, and we will accommodate (you will also be placed at the front of the audience choice line)!]
$300+ NAME PARTICIPATION & EXECUTIVE PRODUCING CREDIT
- Receive top billing as Executive Producer in the credits.
- Your NAME will be shown in the piece as either the name of the Concert Hall, a sponsor of the Youth Concert, the name of the Youth Conductor, or a brand name for the pianos or guitars used in the piece. Choice is given first come first serve, and limited to those 5 choices.
- Depending on which you choose, you also have the option of making a cameo appearance, the details of which depend on the role you select, and are open to your input. [Because of this, and due to the limited supply of $100 roles, you will not be able to participate as a musician, although you can still choose to be an audience member as per the $100 stipulation.]
$600+ LEGACY PRODUCTION ART (LIMITED)
- For a generous donation of $600, one backer will receive, in addition to their other rewards, the original physical copy of the painting of Pachelbel that will be scanned for use in the film.
- This painting will be hand-made with acrylic paint on canvas; thus it will be one of a kind, and the closest you'll come to taking home a piece of the film - a truly special thanks for our highest backer. Delivery date will be in early 2014, when we've acquired all necessary scans of the painting - shipping is free.
- You will also receive 10 other physical production art drawings (inspirational sketches, character concepts, etc) of your choice; physical production legacy of Kanon Rock will be yours to enjoy.
- You will also have the unique opportunity to design a cameo role for yourself that we will discuss on a one-to-one basis and work into the story at a part of your choice.
Risks and challenges
All animations represent a major undertaking. We estimate Kanon Rock to be approximately 5 minutes, which comprises over 7000 frames of animation, and hundreds of individual shots. Managing a team of artists and musicians is no easy feat either.
But as I've mentioned before however, I'm no stranger to long projects, and we have an assembly of talent ready to tackle the challenge. We'll be making the film in many basic forms, first as a sequence of images (storyboard), then we'll make a film of those images, set to the music (animatic), and from there, it's a simple matter of creating each shot. It will take time, but our preparation will be extensive, and our planning exhaustive.
Every backing level has already been calculated to pay for the reward it entails, and as you can see in our Use of Funds section, our finance plans incorporate failsafe margins in case something should go amiss.
We are ready and able to make Kanon Rock a reality. All we need now is you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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