About this project
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It's official - We've achieved our minimum funding goal and are now true Flyweight Novice crowdfunders!! An incredible feat! This means not only will this film actually get completed, but we can make it exponentially better with each stretch goal we hit!
Every penny raised above the $35 000 goal will go into making Chessboxing: The King's Discipline a more amazing film. If we reach the Heavyweight Grandmaster level of $175 000, this will truly be a film fit for a king!
WHAT WILL THE EXTRA MONEY GO TOWARDS?
COLOUR GRADING & 5.1 SURROUND MIX
These processes are the final stages of post-production and are what make a film truly pop. I can do a basic job with the money we've raised, but to do it professionally, we'll need to hit our KNIGHT LEVEL stretch goal! Help us do it!
As you can tell in the trailer video at the top of the page, chessboxing has been talked about a lot in the media, on popular shows worldwide like the Colbert Report, TV Total, BBC News, etc.
The way in which the sport is viewed by the media is an important reflection of how society perceives it, and including this footage in the film would add a great deal to the story. Unfortunately the rights for these clips can cost upwards of $100 per second of footage!
If we hit the $75 000 mark, I'll be able to purchase the rights to a portion of the clips needed to tell the story, and $125 000 will guarantee all of the archival footage needed will be included in the film.
Because the idea for chessboxing originated in the comic book world, I intend to include some brief animated sequences in the film, in Enki Bilal's distinct style. Bilal himself would supervise the animation to ensure it meets his standards and he has already given his blessing for this. If we hit the $125 000 mark, we can make it happen!
Bilal isn’t the only comic book connection to the chessboxing universe – Our LA chessboxer Andrew “The Fightin’ Philanthropist” McGregor has had his exploits as a war photographer in the DR Congo retold as a superhero story in his very own comic book entitled Captain Africa.
Andrew McGregor's superhero alter-ego, Captain Africa
Andrew McGregor's superhero alter-ego, Captain Africa
This story ties into his discovery of chessboxing and his vision for the sport as a means to help people. If we reach $175 000, I’ll be able to create an animated version of this “origin story,” telling it in an exciting, visual way that stays faithful to Andrew’s personality, much like a shorter version of O-Ren Ishii’s anime sequence in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill Vol. 1.
Both chess and boxing are firmly rooted in the popular culture. They are both instantly recognizable to almost everyone in almost any society around the world. Countless songs have been written about chess and boxing (a few have even been written about both!) and The King’s Discipline should reflect this by including some of these songs as part of the soundtrack.
Worldwide music licensing rights are incredibly expensive, especially for some of the tracks by well-known artists I would like to include, costing upwards of $10 000 each!
I guarantee the expense would be worth it – I’ve already edited a few scenes to some of these tracks and they pump those scenes from an uppercut to a one-punch power knock-out!
This is the single most expensive element of the film, but like the choice of jewels on a royal crown, it’s the finishing touch that will make this a film fit for a true Heavyweight Grandmaster!
That's right! Some new rewards have been added that I think you'll enjoy and some of the pre-existing ones have been readjusted:
- New $300 reward - Chessboxing movie poster signed by the director (that's me!) - Artwork to be determined. (Includes all previous non-limited rewards)
- $500 - VIP Treatment in London!
- PRICE DROP! The rare, Enki Bilal signed lithograph - a beautiful work and a piece of chessboxing history can now be yours for $2500, and includes tickets to the premiere of the film & all previous non-limited rewards.
- The $5000 tier adds an associate producer credit and a signed movie poster to the Bilal lithograph, and more!
- Two new $10 000 EXECUTIVE PRODUCER tiers added, one of which includes travel fare to London, England! (some restrictions apply). The other includes a screening of a rough cut of the film and more!
- The Bilal lithograph has been removed from the $10 000 tiers
Check out the project in the media!
InnerSpace on the Space Channel/MTV Canada:
(Select the clip named: "Newsmaker - Chess boxing explained")
Global TV Morning News:
New York Times:
Indiewire Project of the Day:
Den of Geek:
Winnipeg Free Press:
In a small concert venue in Berlin, Germany, a crowd of over 400 people turns to watch the darkened entrance as music starts pumping from the sound system. From the shadows, two hooded figures emerge: Nils "The Berlin Bull" Becker and Nick "The Show-Stopper" Cornish.
Climbing into the boxing ring in the middle of the room, they pump their fists in the air - the crowd responds with wild cheers and applause. Intimidating stares are exchanged. A booming voice fills the room, setting the impending battle in motion:
The Show Stopper and the Berlin Bull meet at the centre of the ring, shake hands, and sit down to play a civilized game of chess.
In 4 minutes time a bell will ring, prompting the two men to strap on boxing gloves and punch each other repeatedly in the head. 3 minutes more and the bell will ring again, putting them back at the chessboard, struggling to focus while their bodies pump adrenaline and drip blood and sweat. This will continue for up to 11 rounds, until someone gets knocked out, check-mated, or sees the time on their chess clock run out.
This is chessboxing.
Chess and boxing are both known and widely respected by hundreds of millions of people around the world.
Chessboxing, as you might imagine, is not.
The W.T.F. factor of such an unlikely combination has made it an easy target for satire on shows like The Colbert Report or as fluff-piece fodder at the end of the nightly news, but to the man who invented it, chessboxing represents nothing less than the pinnacle of sport - an ultimate test of body and mind.
Chessboxing: The King's Discipline will tell the story of this man's struggle to transform his sport from underground cult curiosity into a respected and recognized mainstream phenomenon.
But he's not the only one with big plans for the sport.
Three world class cities; three men; three visions for chessboxing.
By zeroing in on these hotbeds of brain vs. brawn action, The King's Discipline will offer you an exclusive glimpse into the worlds of the three visionaries who are vying to create their own special brand of chessboxing.
- BERLIN: The birthplace of the sport and home of the World Chess Boxing Organization, which was founded by Dutch performance artist Iepe Rubingh in 2003. Rubingh's sights are set on the big leagues: televised Pay-Per-View chessboxing events, Vegas-style productions, top-tier athletes and ultimately Olympic glory.
- LONDON: Despite having founded his chessboxing club at the start of the Great Recession, former TV executive Tim Woolgar was able to exercise his media savvy to build a loyal following for his events in central London. Solid fights mixed with P.T. Barnum style showmanship are his recipe for success and it's been keeping the crowds coming back.
- LOS ANGELES: At 6'10" and 290 lbs, former war photographer Andrew McGregor is an enormous man with a heart to match. Shell-shocked after having lived some harrowing experiences while on assignment in the DR Congo, he credits chessboxing with having set him right again. His off-the-wall charity-focused events reflect his vision of chessboxing as a means to help the world while simultaneously embracing it's inherent absurdity in true LA-style.
Although Rubingh created the sport as it's practised today, the actual inspiration for chessboxing came from world-renowned graphic novelist Enki Bilal. His 1992 book Froid Equateur (Cold Equator), depicted fighters competing in successive boxing and chess tournaments in order to determine the strongest, smartest person in his post-apocalyptic world.
Today that sport is a reality, which raises a lot of questions, ranging from the most basic "Why would anyone do this?" or "It was cool in a comic book, but is this actually a viable sport?" to the more philosophical "How does the combination of these two disciplines challenge societal stereotypes?"
Everyone from pro boxers and chess masters to behaviour therapists, sociologists, art historians and the chessboxers themselves will weigh in with their thoughts. Through these interviews, Chessboxing: The King's Discipline will attempt to get at the root of what this crazy sport is all about.
*Although this man is a fan of chessboxing, he is not Albert Einstein
Great, because without your help, it might not get finished!
The good news is that 95% of the film has been shot, and the exciting process of sculpting a 90-minute masterpiece out of all that footage is ready to begin!
The down side is that post-production on a documentary of this scale is absurdly expensive. Getting through the 3-year production phase has been extremely rewarding, but it has also completely drained my savings, which means that the project is at a standstill until the necessary funds are raised.
Thankfully we live in an age where it's possible to reach out to the people who want to see this film get made as much as I do and involve them in the process!
I'm determined to finish this film one way or another, but realistically without your help it might take years to complete and would only be a mere shadow of the movie that it could and should be.
If this campaign is a success, your contribution will not only help this first and only feature film about chessboxing exist - you'll also become a part of the process, getting access to exclusive and regular post-production updates.
But that's not all!
Everyone who contributes will also get to select a reward as thanks for helping to make this documentary happen.
Working with the different chessboxing clubs, as well as with Enki Bilal himself, I'm able to offer you some truly amazing stuff - from physical rewards to unique experiences, many of which are exclusive to this campaign.
Some are limited editions as well, so be sure to act fast to avoid missing out!
(Below are photos of just a few of the different rewards available. See the sidebar on the right-hand side of the page for full descriptions and links to back the film!).
This reward is the piece de resistance of this campaign. Enki Bilal has revisited chessboxing recently in a series of chessboxing themed paintings that collectively sold at auction for over 1.5 million dollars. Chessboxers with Black Horse alone sold for over 170 000 Euros earlier this year.
Bilal, with the participation of the World Chess Boxing Organization, was generous enough to donate 2 copies for this campaign - one at the $2500 level and one at the $5000 level (with more bundled perks). Now is your chance to own a limited-edition, signed lithograph of this special piece of chessboxing history.
Other Exciting Rewards:
- DVD OF THE FILM W/ KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE SPECIAL FEATURES
- PLAY A GAME OF CHESS AGAINST A CHESSBOXER AT A LONDON EVENT
- CHESSBOXING TRAINING SESSIONS IN LONDON, BERLIN & L.A.
- VIP TICKETS TO CHESSBOXING EVENTS
- YOUR OWN CHESSBOXING RING ENTRANCE
- AND MUCH, MUCH MORE!
Special thanks to the following people and organisations for allowing many of the rewards in this campaign to be offered: Enki Bilal, London Chessboxing, The World Chess Boxing Organization, Chess Boxing Club Berlin, James Bartosik, Matt Read, The London Chess Shop, Los Angeles Chessboxing Club, The Gandhis, Graphation.
Risks and challenges
I am fully committed to completing this project, but as with any film, and especially with any documentary, there are many unknowns and unexpected situations that present themselves and that must be overcome.
With 95% of the film shot, I'm confident that I have a solid story to tell, even if that remaining 5% becomes impossible to film for whatever reason.
Given that this is the first film of this scale that I am producing, the biggest challenges I foresee will be in the post-production phase, and would involve things taking longer than I expect them to. I have tried to account for this in my delivery estimates for the project, overestimating wherever possible in order to provide myself a bit of a buffer.
The other potential issue involves acquiring the rights to the archival footage and the music. Rights acquisition is a very tricky business, so it may be that it will be impossible to get the rights to certain elements I hope to include, but I will do my best and find alternatives wherever possible.
I'm confident despite these potential challenges, that should we surpass our goal, I will be able to complete a great film in a timely fashion that we can all be proud of.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Support this project
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