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Crooked is an expansion of a brief documentary that explores Virginia's Crooked Road, and the people who make its music.
Crooked is an expansion of a brief documentary that explores Virginia's Crooked Road, and the people who make its music.
86 backers pledged $5,161 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$5,161

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I am Martin Lederle-Ensign, and my dad and I are looking to make a movie. 

The funds we raise will go towards making a longer, more in-depth film based on "Crooked," my high school senior project. I had an incredible experience on the Crooked Road last time, but I was not able to learn as much as I would have liked, and I didn't have the time and equipment necessary to take it to the next step. I'm taking a gap year right now, so I have the time. Now all I need is the equipment. That's where you come in. Your donations will pay for a new camera, a new microphone, and the video editing software we will need, as well as helping to cover basic travel expenses.

Almost immediately after this project is funded, I will return to the Crooked Road and spend some more time attending concerts and jams and talking to musicians and instrument makers, filming all the while (and of course observing copyright law.) There will be multiple trips down through Appalachia over the coming year, and the footage I gather will become the rewritten, revamped, better, stronger, faster "Crooked." 

Old-time and bluegrass are relatively untouched by documentaries, and those that do exist focus on the big stars of the music. The stories of the people who make the live, do-it-yourself music found down along the Crooked Road are virtually untold. I appreciate your help in telling their stories. 

Risks and challenges

The music we'll be recording is homemade, and recording homemade music has some associated technical challenges. I've discussed this with a recording specialist, and we've come up with some ways to overcome this. Furthermore, the use of any technical equipment comes with the risk that the equipment will fail in one way or another. I have backups for all of the equipment I will be using, albeit less professional ones
Apart from the myriad technical challenges, my biggest personal challenge is getting people to tell me their stories. Like many artists and performers, I tend by nature to be an introvert and this project requires a lot of going up and talking to people. There is always the risk that people won't want to tell me their stories, but that is not usually the case.
Last time, I did not have enough time to get all of the footage I wanted, but, with months to make this work, that shouldn't be an issue this time.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    My heartfelt thanks.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Heartfelt thanks, and your name will appear in the credits of the film.

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    9 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Heartfelt thanks delivered via a phone call from the filmmaker, as well as your name in the credits.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A super special mention in the credits, and the handwritten thanks of the filmmakers, delivered in the form of a pretty little card.

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    13 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The above (handwritten thank you note, super special mention in the credits), and a bumper sticker featuring Crooked's snazzy logo.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    The above, and you will receive a signed copy of the final product.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above, plus a signed copy of the official Crooked film poster featuring original artwork based on the film.

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    10 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    All of the above, plus a hand painted t-shirt featuring Crooked's as yet undetermined logo (but I promise it will be cool.)

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    Limited 9 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above plus home baked, Cheryl Lederle brownies or loaf of bread.

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    11 backers
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Limited to backers within a six hour drive of Arlington: A showing of the film followed by a question and answer session with the filmmakers at your church or other gathering place, plus the above.

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Funding period

- (20 days)