Funded! This project was successfully funded on July 12, 2012.

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In this TV pilot, Danny struggles to reconcile his dreams of hip-hop stardom with the realities of a blue-collar life in rural Vermont.

UPDATE:  We've reached our goal, and we're still going strong!  Thank you to everybody who's contributed to American Swag.  We're excited because your additional support is helping us generate funding for post production costs, like  editing, color correction and a professional audio mixdown.  Our original goal was set for production costs only, so thanks so much for helping us bridge the gap to post!

Danny needs your empties.  

He's already checked under the sofa cushions, and in the coin return of every vending machine within a 50-mile radius.  Danny's emptied every last pocket, smashed his piggy bank, and sold off (multiple) pints of Type O Negative.  But he still needs some help if he's gonna get American Swag made.

What is it?

It's the new collaboration from the team that made the music video for Danny Bick's hip-hop single, "Don't Worry Bout Me."  For those who haven't seen the video, check it out: https://vimeo.com/31949829.  For those who have already seen the video but were curious to know more about Danny's world, we've got you covered with American Swag.

Taking the form of a 30-minute TV pilot, American Swag offers a glimpse into Danny's private reality.   Mixing elements of dramatic naturalism with Danny's trademark self-deprecating humor, the show attempts to answer the immortal question: is it possible to be a rap superstar while holding down a construction job in rural Vermont?  Danny's dedication to his unlikely passion in the face of near-universal ridicule earns him the respect of his friends, but will it earn him success?

Who's making it?

Danny created and drafted the pilot with his long-time friend and collaborator, Nathaniel Bartrum, who is also signed on to direct.  They've enlisted the help of LA-based cinematographer Nicholas Piatnik, who provided the wide-angle aesthetic for Nathaniel's music video interpretation of "Don't Worry Bout Me." And making the journey up I-91 from NYC, Graham Waterston will once again bless the project with his creative art direction.

Who's in it?

Danny is joined by two talented young actors, both originally from the Central Vermont community.  With his knack for character detail, Boston-based actor Alex Pollock will tackle the memorable role of Forrest, Danny's trusty sidekick. On loan from the Flea Theater in New York, Maren Langdon will bring a tough, smart sensibility to the role of Kellyne, Danny's girlfriend. 

Portraying himself, young newcomer Roman will be the dopest toddler on TV.

When is the shoot?

Following a week of intensive pre-production, shooting will begin on July 16th in Montpelier, Vermont.  The shoot is scheduled for 7 consecutive days/nights, in order to maximize efficiency and minimize cost.  Post-production will begin in August and carry on into the fall.  

What's the money for?

American Swag would not be possible without an amazing cast and crew, all of whom are donating their time and talent for free; even so, we simply cannot make it work without the generous donations of people like you.  Between the costs of travel, equipment rentals, wardrobe necessities, sound recording and mixing (not to mention all the original music), and food for the cast and crew... 

We'll be needing all the help we can get.  

Your donation to American Swag will support a unique project that we believe in very strongly.  With your help, we can pursue our goal of making network TV a more interesting, entertaining, and musical place.  Thank you.

Every nickel counts.

 

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    A pair of American Swag basketball shoes, as worn by Danny in the show + Associate Producer credit on the pilot + all the above.

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Funding period

- (22 days)