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A film that highlights the catalysts in dance, stand-up comedy, poetry, food, clowning, and music in Athens, GA.
29 backers pledged $6,676 to help bring this project to life.

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$6,676

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Stretch Goals  

I am incredibly humbled by your support of this film Athens!  It looks like we're going to reach our goal for the minimum of funding the film so I'm excited to announce the following stretch goals that will help us share the film with our community.  

Every donation is paying the way for us to show the film FOR FREE in downtown Athens.  We'll even throw in free transportation for the underserved areas of our community.  Think of all the artists we can inspire!

$7500 - We'll screen the film for the Athens community at no charge at all for 2 days.  Over 100 local folks get the opportunity to learn more about our wonderful tapestry of Athens creatives!

$9000 - Let's make that 4 days screening the film downtown free of charge.  That's over 250 inspired individuals we can send back out into the community!

SICYON: An Intro

I moved to Athens, GA a little more than four years ago to found LiveSyphon, a company that eventually filmed over a thousand bands all across the country - but the business ultimately failed.  Why?  Because we were never quite able to connect with the artistic communities whom we served.

Since then, I've fallen in love with Athens and, more specifically, the unique creative community that thousands of people have helped cultivate over decades and continues to evolve.

So I'm turning inward to launch a new film series, SICYON: Celebrating the Creative Class in the Classic City.

The Concept

SICYON will be a twice-yearly 60 minute+ film release, one film in spring and one in fall, with each film focusing on a different slice of the creative class in Athens.  

For the first episode, the one I'd love your help getting off the ground by funding this project, I'll focus on the catalysts in our community - the people who woke up one day and decided to start something amazing.

I think of it in terms of the original mission of Austin City Limits meets the city-as-a-character quirkiness of Portlandia with a dash of the intimacy and style of Chef's Table.

Representation

I want this project to represent Athens' creative community to the world, but I also want it to be an accurate representation of this city.  This means the film will have (as best we can) an even mix of male/female performers and the faces and voices of people of color.  Athens is ~30% non-white, SICYON will be as well.

The Name?

Sicyon was a city near Athens in Ancient Greece that is known as the birthplace of Greek painting.  Not because they were the first to do it, but because they were the first to document it.  In fact, Sicyon became known as one of the first communities to document and share a number of Greek art forms.  Nifty!

The Catalysts (in no particular order)

These people are the creative veins of our city, getting out of their comfort zone to promote something totally new.  For some art forms, this means I'm collaborating with a local adviser/expert to develop a compelling concept that celebrates a slice of this particular form.  For others, I'm simply trying to capture an underground event that's been brewing in Athens for years.

Stand Up Comedy - Krakin Jokes
Coming up on show number fifteen, Kelly Petronis and Daniel Cutts' backyard comedy series is a jewel in a community that at some times lacks comedy options.  Remember 3 years ago when Athens was destined to become a comedy mecca?  These guys have kept this show going every other month for 3 years, always free, and always hilarious.  SICYON will feature local comedians from an upcoming Krakin Jokes show this Spring.

Krakin Jokes Facebook Page
Krakin Jokes: The Movie - my $150 film that inspired this project

Dance - Underground Dance Society's Small Box Series
Since 2012, Laura Glenn, Amanda Martin, Jen Tweed Morlock, Anne Shaffer, and Lisa Yaconelli have been crafting mixed media dance performances that have evolved into their quarterly Small Box Series (in addition to a number of other shows throughout the year).  SICYON will capture their upcoming February show, directed by Lisa Yaconelli and produced by UDS, at the sustainable fashion boutique, Community.

Underground Dance Society Facebook Page

Food - Heirloom Cafe & Fresh Market's new executive chef, Garrett MacFalda
Jessica Rothaker and her father, Travis Burch, opened Heirloom in 2011 with the mission "to create community, celebrate local farmers, and tell a story through food."  Their new executive chef, Garrett MacFalda is rolling out his new menu this season which aims to encompass the historic intersection of Boulevard (affluent locavores) and Chase St (traditionally working class amazing latino restaurants).  "To paraphrase a local poet, I just want to 'stand in the place where I work.'"  SICYON will follow the journey of Garrett's menu from farm to table.

Heirloom Facebook Page
Garrett's Instagram

Music - Collaboration with Taylor Chicoine (Perfect Attendance Records, The Pity Party)
Taylor is about as close to the heart of the Athens music scene as you can get without your eyes gettin' wet.  Over the last 3 years, his record label, Perfect Attendance Records, and his backyard music series, The Pity Party, have documented and celebrated our ever-changing music scene.  Between the two of us, Taylor and I have produced thousands of live performance and music videos.  That said, we're developing a unique concept to dive deep into a slice of the music community that goes beyond anything we've ever done before.

The Pity Party Vimeo
Perfect Attendance Records Facebook Page

Poetry - Collaboration with Chase White
If you've ever had more than a two minute conversation with Chase, he'll likely bring you a book of poetry next time he sees you.  Twice published, Chase is diving into the local poetry landscape to find the bards of our town.  SICYON will celebrate the songs of our city throughout the course of the film.

Full disclosure: Chase is my lovely partner of seven years
Thief! by Chase White

Clowning - Cooper Holmes / Rubber Soul / Peepa Show
Rubber Soul, Peepa Show, and Cooper Holmes have been promoting and celebrating the classical performance art of clowning in Athens for years.  SICYON will feature one of their upcoming live performances and remind you of an art you had no idea you'd love.

Rubber Soul's Website

The $6000 Breakdown

- $4000 will go towards production*
- $1000 will go towards promotion of the completed film
- $500 will go towards the premiere
- $500 will cover Kickstarter costs

*I will be paying other local companies for their help throughout production, but never myself.

Risks and challenges

Oh man, too many to count - but I feel like half a decade of entrepreneurship, film making, and seemingly insurmountable odds have given me the resolve to get things done. And did I mention the dozen or so amazing artists/advisers above? They're not only why I'm doing this - but the only way I will be able to accomplish it.

And you! I can't do this without you, Athens. If a financial contribution isn't an option, I'd love to hear any leads you have on interesting things going on in this wonderful community. I hope to make you proud!

Best,
James Preston

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Athens Advocate

    Thanks for your support! You'll receive exclusive updates throughout the production process and see how SICYON comes together.

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    Barber St Backer

    Nice! In addition to exclusive updates, you'll receive a special code to watch the final film online before we release it online to the public.

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    Chase St Champion

    You'll receive a framed and printed color still from the final film (8" x 12" or less), in addition to everything above. Each print will be one of a kind!

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    Pulaski Partier

    Come celebrate with us and be the first to see the final film in theaters! Includes (2) passes to the premiere of SICYON in downtown Athens (location TBD).

    This reward includes all of the above rewards.

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    Normaltown Name Dropper

    In addition to all the goodness above, we'll include a special thank you and YOUR NAME in the final credits of the film!

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    Patron of Prince

    Takin' it up a notch! You'll be listed as an Associate Producer in the final credits of the film. Get your name on a bit of Athens art history!

    Includes all rewards above but you'll get (4) passes to the premiere rather than 2.

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    Milledge Milieux

    How does Executive Producer sound? Your name included in the final film credits as an Executive Producer of SICYON.

    Includes (6) premiere passes, a unique framed still from the film, and regular updates throughout production.

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    Boulevard Baller

    Boom. You just funded a private screening party at your house (or another location of your choice in Athens - even the director's house if you'd like) before the premiere downtown.

    You'll be listed as an executive producer in the credits of the film, get (10) passes to the premiere downtown, a unique framed still from the film, and get regular updates as the film progresses.

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Funding period

- (26 days)