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$23,065
pledged of $31,500pledged of $31,500 goal
174
backers
7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, May 2 2019 1:22 AM UTC +00:00.

$23,065
pledged of $31,500pledged of $31,500 goal
174
backers
7days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, May 2 2019 1:22 AM UTC +00:00.

About

Quest of the Muscle Nerd is the true story of one man’s dream to host the first-ever bodybuilding/cosplay competition at Dragon Con (in 2017). To fulfill his dream, he had to find two men willing to drag their bodies through hell, hoping to claim the crown. He also had to juggle a million details, keep focused, and stay organized.

If you (or someone close to you) enjoys cosplay, you'll feel this film was made just for you. It was. But it was also made for anyone who gets an adrenaline rush from competition, who dares to dream, and who lives life determined to make a mark by setting a high standard.  It is especially for all those who might be considered outliers - people whose dreams and desires tend to reside outside of society's ordinary (and often unexceptional) "norm".

The story is emotional and fun. The personalities are quirky, but it's their humanity that shines through clear as day. Who among us hasn't sought acceptance, identification with a community, and maybe a bit of glory?

Production is nearly complete.  Your support will allow us to add important post-production and other finishing touches to a film you know you'll enjoy. Thanks for visiting our page. 

SPECIAL NOTE: The first 200 backers of any $ amount will receive a special sneak peek at the first 30 minutes of the film immediately following the completion of the Kickstarter. That means during the first week of May 2019 you will get a private link to watch the first third of the movie before anyone else!

ABOUT THE FILM

Quest of the Muscle Nerd chronicles the efforts of an avid and idealistic fan turned event producer, who pits a giant but insecure hobbyist against an accomplished and gregarious bodybuilder in the first-ever cosplay/bodybuilding competition, to take place at America's single largest annual sci-fi and fantasy convention - Dragon Con. 

Dragon Con is America's largest sci-fi and fantasy convention. It takes place annually, over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, GA.
Dragon Con is America's largest sci-fi and fantasy convention. It takes place annually, over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, GA.

 Cosplay is the practice of dressing up as a character from a movie, book, or video game. The most popular cosplay characters are generally rooted in fantasy, science fiction, and pop culture. Many are superheroes - so the act of dressing up as them requires not only an elaborate and authentic costume, but the ability to mirror the character's physique. 

Tens of thousands of cosplay performers, participants and fans - many of them colorfully costumed - gather in Atlanta for Dragon Con each year - here are some early arrivals flexing their wares.
Tens of thousands of cosplay performers, participants and fans - many of them colorfully costumed - gather in Atlanta for Dragon Con each year - here are some early arrivals flexing their wares.

Jerry Peacock has a dream. It's not his first, but it's his latest. Jerry loves movies and superheroes and he dreams of combining cosplay and bodybuilding into the first-ever competition of its kind. He takes an ambitious step when he approaches Dragon Con, the nation's single largest fan-run sci-fi/fantasy convention, whose standard for excellence is world-renown. He asks if they'll host his competition. They say they are interested. Jerry persists. In time, they agree! It's now Jerry's best idea ever. 

Jerry Peacock was always more about the ideas themselves than their execution. He now had an opportunity to execute an event combining the two things he loved most at the nation's largest convention of its kind.
Jerry Peacock was always more about the ideas themselves than their execution. He now had an opportunity to execute an event combining the two things he loved most at the nation's largest convention of its kind.

Dragon Con was cautious when it agreed to host Jerry's event. Would their audience of cosplay fans accept bodybuilding into their guarded world? Would the competition be well attended? Dragon Con brass insisted the competition be manageable - a test of sorts. For the 2017 Dragon Con, Jerry would be permitted to stage the scheduled event as a demonstration of concept, as a one-on-one showdown.  

He now needed to find two worthy competitors. He approached his friend Billy Davis first. 

Billy Davis is a bashful behemoth. He has a heart of gold, but struggles with his own self-worth. He knows he must come out of his shell in order to compete in front of others at Jerry's Muscle Nerd competition. For Billy, it's an opportunity to stare down his fears, and rise above his inner demons. He agrees to give it a shot.  

Jonathan Carroll is outspoken and confident. He has no issues of low self-esteem - his issues are quite the contrary.  He is successful - both a costuming veteran and experienced bodybuilder who appreciates recognition, and desires celebrity. When Jerry approached him to compete in the Muscle Nerd competition at Dragon Con, Jonathan jumped at it as an opportunity to strut his stuff.  

MORE ABOUT THE FILM

Quest of the Muscle Nerd tracks 8 months of preparation leading up to (and including) the Muscle Nerd competition at Dragon Con. We follow Billy and Jonathan's rigorous physical training. We walk along side Jerry as he plans and prepares. We see them construct their costumes, constrained by very different budgets. We ride the emotional roller coaster along with them as each vacillates between brimming with confidence and bravado, and struggling with indecision and doubt.  

Jerry and his mom - designing Jerry's costume as host of the competition, watching video, and discussing strategy.
Jerry and his mom - designing Jerry's costume as host of the competition, watching video, and discussing strategy.
L: Billy getting a helping hand from Jerry's mom; R: Billy undergoing a moment of quiet consternation
L: Billy getting a helping hand from Jerry's mom; R: Billy undergoing a moment of quiet consternation
Jonathan showing vulnerability as he struggles with balancing his identity, the opportunity before him, and the risks of falling short.
Jonathan showing vulnerability as he struggles with balancing his identity, the opportunity before him, and the risks of falling short.
Jerry's emotions run the gamut. He has never been a producer of anything this big before.
Jerry's emotions run the gamut. He has never been a producer of anything this big before.

Finally, the day arrives and the stage is set.  Billy and Jonathan will be judged for the quality of their costumes, their bodies, and their pose-down performances. Jerry will be judged by the crowd that attends, their engagement, and their enthusiasm. Of course, he'll also be judged by the Dragon Con establishment who will use this event to decide whether fitness-style competition has a proper place in their cosplay empire.

The stage is full and Jerry (seated, far right) is ready. The Muscle Nerd showdown competition begins soon. Footage from Dragon Con
The stage is full and Jerry (seated, far right) is ready. The Muscle Nerd showdown competition begins soon. Footage from Dragon Con

WHAT EXACTLY IS A MUSCLE NERD?

As we all know, society sure does have a penchant for labels and stereotypes. One such label that has morphed in its meaning over the years is that of a nerd. The term was once used to describe people who were overly intellectual, technical, introverted, and/or unpopular. Now it's probably true to say that nerds are simply non-mainstream types who embrace their interests avidly, often to the exclusion of other activities. But the term is hardly derogatory - it can even be said to have been reclaimed and redefined as a term of pride and group identity.  And that's a good thing. 

Jonathan in He-Man costume (left) and Jerry in Star Trek attire (right) - both "classic" cosplay.
Jonathan in He-Man costume (left) and Jerry in Star Trek attire (right) - both "classic" cosplay.

And then there are muscle nerds. Muscle nerds, as the name implies, engage in a healthy regimen of physical fitness, and it shows. Although they may be more introverted generally, they project an outward physical competence.  Anyone with a chiseled physique has obviously spent time and care to get it that way. The filmmakers have come to know many muscle nerds personally.  Says Matt Young: "The thing I've noticed most, is that they are positive when they interact, even if they are shy.  Their identities are enmeshed with their physiques, and that serves to break down barriers. When you see them together with each other - engaged together in cosplay - you can't help but smile. Their camaraderie is so genuine - and they really play off one another"

The worlds of cosplay and bodybuilding both involve high degrees of energy; performers often develop a special camaraderie when working side by side.
The worlds of cosplay and bodybuilding both involve high degrees of energy; performers often develop a special camaraderie when working side by side.

COMBINING COSPLAY WITH BODYBUILDING

It's a natural combination if you think about it. Many of the major characters popular in cosplay require a portrayal that involves an impressive physique. 

But the combination is also fascinating from a sociological perspective. It's easy to see cosplay a certain way when you look at it from afar. But step up close. Take a look at these colorful familiar costumes inhabited by physically daunting real-life bodies. It's very much a statement; it says passion and commitment.  

FILMMAKER COMMENTARY

Say the Brothers Young: "People hear the title of the film and immediately, they ask us what it's about. We used to answer by saying: Quest of the Muscle Nerd is about bodybuilders that engage in cosplay.  But we've learned to add that it's also about what it means to find community and purpose in unexpected places. 

We've known Jerry for over 9 years, and he's always been an avid cosplay fan and bodybuilding enthusiast. A few years ago, he came up with this idea to do a Muscle Nerd Showdown at Dragon Con, and when 'the powers that be' agreed, we looked at each other and said - 'let's make a documentary!'  We grabbed our cameras and haven't let go since.

What started as a simple effort to tell the story of a good friend's whimsical pursuit of a dream became a meaningful adventure - and an epic tale of what it means to 'belong.' 

We have to confess - neither of us qualify as nerds and it's because we've not earned that moniker. But we could not be more proud to call the people you'll meet in this film our friends, and feel privileged to be able to share this story."

ABOUT THE REWARDS

  •  SPECIAL NOTE: The first 200 backers of any $ amount will receive a special sneak peak at the first 30 minutes of the film immediately following the completion of the Kickstarter. That means, during the first week of May 2019 you will get a private link to watch the first third of the movie before anyone else!
  •  CAN YOU MIX AND MATCH? Yes. If there are Rewards you'd like in a certain combination or quantity that are not offered that way, no problem. Send a message, we'll work it out. 
  •  DELIVERY DATES: The Rewards deliveries are approximate, and reflect a delivery date for the film's completion; we are very likely to fulfill the other Rewards a bit earlier. 
  •  MAKING YOUR "CHOICES": All "options" involved in any Reward (t-shirt size) will be made AFTER the campaign using a Kickstarter "survey". That's also how we get your address.

THE FILM: the film is included in every Reward option from $20 upward. It is available as a download and as a DVD. The deluxe download includes extra's - uncensored and deleted scenes among them and the DVD includes the extra's and also commentary by the filmmakers and Jerry. 

FLEX COMICS SHIRT: We are thrilled to share this exclusive one-of-a-kind Flex Comics t-shirt designed specifically for this Kickstarter campaign. This shirt is an absolute must-have collector's item - grab it while you can! The shirt tank are only available within the given reward. Once the these are sold-out they are gone!

MUSCLE NERD T-SHIRT:  The T-Shirt offered here as a Reward is a true Limited Edition - only available on this campaign. It will be the Quest logo (see below) - artful and inspirational, and you'll be proud to wear it.  Choice of size, etc. is all made after the campaign. Anyone that pledges $125 and above will be able to choose between the FLEX shirt and the MUSCLE NERD shirt.    

POSTER - high quality; shipped in a protective tube; 13" x 19"; designed by Jared Young; suitable for framing - will sure look great on your wall. 

FUNKO POP FIGURES - see below for what a Funko Pop figure looks like. imagine these popular collectibles being created in the images of Jerry, Billy, and Jonathan. Pick any one, or the entire set. Custom made, and includes a custom box.  Unique and very limited. 

TWO VIP TIX TO PREMIERE - at the historic Plaza Theatre on August 28, the opening night of Dragon Con 2019.  The single biggest must-attend premiere in the history of muscle nerd-dom! 

MEET THE TEAM

Matthew Young - Director;  Jared Young - Director

Matthew Young
Matthew Young
Jared Young
Jared Young

Matthew and Jared Young are twin brothers who have been making films and television shows with heart and humor for almost 15 years.  As natives of Marietta, Ga, they attended the University of Georgia, graduated together, and began searching for a creative outlet. It was then that they discovered they shared a passion for telling stories through the camera. They would go on to produce, act in, and direct everything from children's shows to sci-fi/fantasy films to inspirational documentaries. In their mid-20s, the twins landed a distribution deal with their children’s show, The Fantastic World.  Making movies full time is their desire but they “keep the lights on” through their production company - Brothers Young Productions - which is a boutique commercial and narrative production firm based in their native hometown of Marietta. 

The brothers love to tell colorful, heartwarming stories featuring flawed but lovable characters - often with big problems, always with big dreams. Whether it’s behind the camera or in front of it, they try to make you smile and strive to touch your soul. 

Matthew currently resides in Woodstock, Ga with his wife, Sarah Beth and their young son, George.  Jared currently resides in Kennesaw, Ga with his collection of old toys and dirty laundry.

Mac Maguire - Executive Producer

Mac Maguire is equal parts creative artist and seasoned businessman. He started his career as a musician and later became an actor. He worked with Johnny Cash, Kenny Rogers, John Denver, and others. Mac spent two decades in the private sector eventually serving as CEO and President of several public and private technology companies. After living abroad for some time, he returned to the U.S in 2009 with his young son, Julian, reigniting his career as an actor and producer. 

Mac joined Brothers Young Productions in early 2013 bringing with him a wealth of business experience and creative insight.

BUDGET, TIMELINE, & USE OF PROCEEDS 

The Kickstarter campaign will conclude and settle by early May (successfully, knock on wood), and it is expected that there will be a final rough cut in June.  Most post-production efforts (sound, color correction) should conclude 60 days later - with final clearances, music, and effects being added shortly after that.  The projected fulfillment of the Rewards has been indicated as October which is based on an outside date for the finished film, and adding all the extra's promised in the deluxe versions and the DVD.  Some of the Rewards are likely to be fulfilled earlier.  

WHY KICKSTARTER

We came to Kickstarter to maintain independence, to tell a story truthfully, and to reach and interact with a like-minded community that enjoys cosplay, competition, comedy, independent film, and uniquely entertaining stories.  

QUESTIONS 

If you've got questions, our team is pleased to respond. At the top of the page on the left there is a small round image of the Brothers Young - click that, then click CONTACT ME to send a message. 

Risks and challenges

Making a full length feature film is a challenge for anyone, even for a major studio. It is a substantial endeavor, with many moving parts. Our principal footage is "in the can", and the funds raised here are for finishing the film. That means taking it through post production enhancements (sound edit, color correction, etc.), refining the music and adding some effects. Though these items represent real costs, they are predictable. Furthermore, Brothers Young Productions are experienced filmmakers working from realistic budgets and schedules.

Accordingly, while there might ideally be more funding that would be helpful for marketing and distribution, we can say for certain that if this Kickstarter campaign succeeds, the film Quest of the Muscle Nerd will be completed, and all rewards will be delivered fully and on time.

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    YOU'RE IN OUR "OFF-THE-WALL" OF FAME

    You are officially inducted in our "Off-The-Wall" of Fame. It's a special page on our website, where you shall forever honorably remain. This means that if you are ever accused of being too mainstream, or dare we say - normal - you'll have this as evidence to help you prove your uniqueness. You will also receive updates periodically about the film, and - we thank you - right here and now - for your support.

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    ROTATING SCREENSAVER

    In addition to your induction in the Off-the-Wall of Fame (from $6 level), you receive this screensaver, which will rotate between 6 colorful and inspiring images from the film. Now, when you sit down at your computer in the morning with your coffee, you will wake up to validation that cosplay is cinematic art. You'll start your day with a smile.

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD

    You will receive induction into the Off-The-Wall of Fame from the $6 level, PLUS the Rotating Screensaver from the $10 level PLUS you will receive the film - a digital download of QUEST OF THE MUSCLE NERD.

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD DELUXE - EARLY BIRD

    You will receive the induction into the Off-the-Wall of Fame from the $6 level, PLUS the Rotating Screensaver from the $10 level PLUS you will receive a DELUXE download of the film - featuring uncensored and humorous outtakes, extra interviews, and bonus footage of the competition - all of it colorful, engaging, and fun. Only 100 available at this price.

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD DELUXE

    You will receive induction into the Off-the-Wall of Fame from the $6 level, PLUS the Rotating Screensaver from the $10 level PLUS you will receive a DELUXE download of the film - featuring uncensored and humorous outtakes, extra interviews, and bonus footage of the competition - all of it colorful, engaging, and fun.

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    DVD - WITH COMMENTARY

    You will receive everything from the $30 level above, including the "deluxe" extra's and all the bonuses - except you will receive it on DVD, PLUS you receive an "extra special" feature - an entire separate version of the film that contains real-time voice-over commentary, anecdotes, and behind the scenes insights - from the Brothers Young, Jerry Peacock, and other special guests. If you're intrigued to know some of the crazy stuff that happened during the making of this film - here it is. :)

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    FLEX COMICS LIMITED EDITION T-SHIRT

    You will receive a digital download of the film and the exclusive, one-of-a-kind Flex Comics T-Shirt designed specifically for this Kickstarter campaign. This shirt is an absolute must-have collector's item - grab it while you can!

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    AWESOME POSTER

    You will receive everything from the $30 level above, including the "deluxe" download of the film with all the extra's, PLUS an awesome poster (high quality; shipped in a protective tube; 13" x 19"; suitable for framing) - which will sure look great on your wall. Note: for more information about this awesome poster, and an image, please see the About the Rewards section.

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    FLEX COMICS LIMITED EDITION TANK TOP

    You will receive a digital download of the film and the exclusive, one-of-a-kind Flex Comics Tank Top designed specifically for this Kickstarter campaign. This tank top is an absolute must-have collector's item - grab it while you can!

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    T-SHIRT

    You will receive everything from the $30 level above, including the "deluxe" download of the film with all the extra's, PLUS an artful and inspirational T-Shirt that you'll be proud to wear. This is a Limited Edition, exclusive for this campaign. Note: Choice of size, etc. is all made after the campaign. See section on About the Rewards for more. You'll see the final art of course before you make your choice(s).

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    COMBO #1 PLUS NAME IN CREDITS

    You will receive everything from the $30 level (above), PLUS any TWO of the following - the DVD (from the $40 level), the poster (from the $50 level) or the T-shirt (from the $60 level), PLUS your name will appear in the end credits of the film under "the Producers wish to thank ..." Note: ALL Rewards at this level and above receive name in credits. All "choices" are made after the campaign.

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    FLEX COMICS T-SHIRT & TANK TOP

    You will receive a digital download of the film and the exclusive, one-of-a-kind Flex Comics T-Shirt and Tank Top designed specifically for this Kickstarter campaign. The T-Shirt and Tank Top are absolute must-have collector's items - grab them while you can!

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    COMBO #2 PLUS NAME IN CREDITS

    You will receive everything from the $30 level (above), PLUS the DVD (from the $40 level), PLUS the poster (from the $50 level) PLUS the T-shirt (from the $60 level), PLUS your name will appear in the end credits of the film under "the Producers wish to thank ..." Note: All "choices" are made after the campaign.

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    PARTY-TIME IN ATLANTA: 2 TIX TO PREMIERE

    You receive everything from the $60 level above, PLUS -- 2 tickets to the Atlanta-area premiere of the film AND the after-party - which will take place on ... (drum roll) ... the opening night of the 2019 Dragon Con (August 28) at the historic Plaza Theater. (Travel not included. Ticket to Dragon Con not required.) Join with us in the "Brothers Young" group for a celebration of the film's release. We already know one thing for sure - this will be a special, heartfelt, and memorable night! And you (and your guest) will see your name on screen, spelled correctly, as you are thanked in the end credits. See the About the Rewards section for more.

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    FUNKO POP FIGURE: Jerry, Billy, Jonathan

    A collector's special. You receive everything from the $125 level, PLUS you choose between Jerry, Billy, or Jonathan, and receive a unique, authentic, custom-made Funko Pop figure of them. Includes a custom box. You will also be thanked in the closing credits. See About the Rewards for more.

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    INSIDER SPECIAL

    You receive everything from the $125 level, PLUS your poster and DVD are hand-signed by the filmmakers, PLUS you will receive an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the filmmaking process for this film - documents, spreadsheets, uncensored repartee, and much more. You are also thanked in the closing credits under a special "Extra Special thanks to … " section. Thank you for your support, and we welcome you as a true insider. Very limited quantity.

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    PRIVATE VIP SCREENING - FOR UP TO 20

    You receive everything from the $125 level above, including being thanked in the end credits, PLUS you and up to 19 of your friends will be invited to host a special VIP screening of the film. There will be goodies, lots of hangin' out, and special guests for a fun post-film Q and A, and ... you, yes you, will be the first to see the Festival Cut of the film with your name in the end credits. Must be proximal to Atlanta, GA. You'll have lead time to invite your friends, or make new ones. Either way, your 19 friends will love you for life. (Travel not included.) See About the Rewards section.

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    SET OF ALL THREE FUNKO POP FIGURES

    The ultimate collector's special. You receive everything from the $125 level, PLUS you receive the entire set - Jerry, Billy, and Jonathan - as unique, authentic, custom-made Funko Pop figures. Includes a custom box for each. You will also be thanked in the closing credits. See About the Rewards for more.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

    You receive everything from the $240, including 2 VIP tickets to the ATL Premiere (travel not included) and After-party, in our group, PLUS credit as an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER, which will go onto IMDb, as well as the film's end credits. You also get periodic status reports by email from the producers with the inside scoop PLUS a first look at a preview of the film. Thanks for being a big part of our team.

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    CO-PRODUCER

    You receive everything from the $240 level, including 2 VIP tickets to the ATL Premiere (travel not included) and After-party, in our group, PLUS credit as an CO-PRODUCER, which will go onto IMDb, as well as the film's end credits. You also get periodic status reports by email from the producers with the inside scoop PLUS a first look at a preview of the film PLUS a status report phone call with the Producers. Thanks for being a HUGE part of our team.

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

    You receive everything from the $240, including 2 VIP tickets to the ATL Premiere (travel not included) and After-party, in our group, PLUS credit as an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, which will go onto IMDb, as well as the film's Opening credits. You also get periodic status reports by email from the producers with the inside scoop PLUS a first look at a preview of the film PLUS periodic phone calls with the filmmakers before the release. Thanks for being a GIGANTIC part of our team.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    BRANDED ALLIANCE

    This is an opportunity for a branded alliance between QUEST OF THE MUSCLE NERD and a person OR consumer brand. Values and packaging for discussion. Product placement IS available, but it MUST be consistent with the content and messaging of the film or we cannot do it. PR benefits also included - outreach and impressions are projected to be quite significant - please contact us for more details. You also get everything from the $240 level including two VIP tickets to the Premier (travel not included), PLUS a film credit and thanks to be determined, befitting you AND your brand. Pleased to work with you, and happy to talk further. Note: no shipping, it is aso included.

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