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The world's most famous guitar-makers band together on a journey, to save an ancient forest and the acoustic guitar.
The world's most famous guitar-makers band together on a journey, to save an ancient forest and the acoustic guitar.
The world's most famous guitar-makers band together on a journey, to save an ancient forest and the acoustic guitar.
181 backers pledged $25,100 to help bring this project to life.

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The Musicwood Documentary

$25,100

181

***** FINAL HOURS OF THE CAMPAIGN!!! *****

It's the last chance to participate in making Musicwood! We've got last minute new incentives (see pledge levels to the right) and only a few hours to go before this campaign comes to an end!

WHAT IS MUSICWOOD?

The acoustic guitar is under threat. For hundreds of years the guitar has been made the same way, but now this could all change. Musicwood follows the most famous guitar-makers in the world as they travel to Alaska and struggle to negotiate with Native American loggers. These guitar-makers must somehow slow the devastation of ancient trees to save the acoustic guitar.

HOW DID THE PROJECT COME ABOUT?

In 2008 we heard a pretty amazing story. That the over-logging of a forest in Alaska was affecting the wood sources for the acoustic guitar. That if things didn’t change quickly, in less than ten years this forest will run out of the centuries-old Sitka Spruce that acoustic guitars need for their soundboards. And that a coalition of the world’s top guitar-makers (Martin, Taylor, Gibson, Fender) had banded together and were going to Alaska to try and convince an industrial logging company to log sustainably.

We couldn’t believe that this was happening, that the sound of the guitar was under threat, that the heads of these companies dropped their competitive differences and united to try and save a forest. How could it be that no-one had heard this story? It got us fired up. To us it sounded like a story that the world needed to hear, and that a great way to do this was to make a documentary. We started talking to the people involved in the story, and once they were on board, we started filming.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING ON MUSICWOOD?

We have been working on Musicwood for three years, through self-funding and donations (thank you, donors!). Now we need to raise funds to film another acoustic guitar performance, and to pay for post-production time to edit the film together. 

THE MUSIC OF THE FILM

We’re including several performances in the film, so that the acoustic guitar can have its own voice, and we can hear exactly what the guitar-makers are fighting to save. Currently we’ve filmed with musicians Yo La Tengo, Turin Brakes and Sergius Gregory. We also have a verbal agreement to film with Academy-Award winners The Swell Season, and are in discussions with Willie Nelson, Arcade Fire, Gillian Welch, and more.

Filming the Yo La Tengo performance for Musicwood

WHAT WILL THE FUNDS BE USED FOR?

The funds we’ll raise through this Kickstarter campaign will pay to hire cameras, lights and sound to film the next acoustic performances. It will also pay for our post-production. This is a lengthy process where we load hours of footage into a computer, log all the footage, write, rewrite, argue about the footage, realize we don’t have enough footage, film more footage to fill in the missing pieces, research stock footage, commission music...it’s a lot of work, but these Kickstarter funds will enable us to make it happen. 

We are hoping to complete the film by Fall 2011, and then use the documentary as the centerpiece of a bigger campaign to slow the rate of logging and spread the word about how forests can be logged sustainably.

The film is being produced by us as Helpman Productions, a registered non-profit, so all contributions are tax deductible. Don't want to pledge online? Email: musicwood(at)helpmanproductions.org and we'll tell you how to do it offline.

We're very close to being able to get this story out to the world.

With your help, we can do it.

The way Kickstarter works is that your individual pledge only goes through if we reach our fundraising goal of $20,000. So whatever your donation, it will make a huge difference. The last day to pledge is June 24!

Filming logging on location in Alaska   

HOW CAN WE THANK YOU FOR DONATING?

We're building a great community around this film, it really helps us feel like we're on the right track, and encourages us to tell this important story.

You can become part of the film through your pledges, and we've got some great ways to thank you: 

  • copies of the film — both downloadable, and on DVD
  • sustainable bamboo flash drives, lazer-etched with Musicwood logo
  • a scene from the film illustrated by Gabrielle Bell, both in limited edition art prints and the original artwork in a recycled wood frame from our friends at Green House Framing (see a hi-rez image of the art here)
  • a Gibson Dual Pickup Melody Maker guitar! generously donated by our friends at Gibson USA, and a collector's item according to wikipediaat the higher end of donations, you can get a conversation with the film-makers, credit in the film and really take a significant role in the documentary's production

HOW ELSE CAN I HELP?

You can help by telling others, and spreading the word about this Kickstarter campaign. You can also check out the updates on our website, and become a fan of our Facebook page.

We're excited to get this film made. We're excited for you to be a part of it.

For more information...

website: musicwoodthefilm.com

facebook: facebook.com/Musicwoodthefilm

flickr: flickr.com/photos/musicwood/

email: musicwood(at)helpmanproductions.org

twitter: @MUSICWOODDoc (use #musicwood)

FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The joy of contributing, and a special thanks on Facebook!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A Musicwood postcard and an HD download of the film. Watch the film on your computer!

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    62 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Two tickets to Matt McCarthy’s Comedy Show, Marking Out. Held monthly in the basement of Manhattan’s exclusive Ace Hotel, the show features McCarthy (who the NY Times describes as “a Belushi-like madman”) and special guests blowing the roof off this esteemed venue. (this reward includes an HD download of the film and is not included with other reward levels)

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    A pair of tickets to a show of your choice at Irving Plaza, NYC! (this reward includes an HD download of the film and is not included with other reward levels)

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A pair of tickets to Public Assembly, in Brooklyn! (this reward includes an HD download of the film and is not included with other reward levels)

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A pair of tickets to see famed acoustic bluegrass artist David Grisman at The Birchmere in VA on 8/2/11! (this reward includes an HD download of the film and is not included with other reward levels)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Postcard, download and a DVD of the finished film. Watch it whenever you want. Feel the freedom and power of the DVD.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Two tickets to see any show at the Brooklyn Bowl! (except shows that are sold out...) This is an amazing music venue with a great sound system (and bowling!). And great food. (this reward includes an HD download of the film and is not included with other reward levels)

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A free massage donated by our friends at Massage Williamsburg. In the heart of the music land of Williamsburg, maybe get a massage before a show. (this reward includes an HD download of the film and is not included with other reward levels)

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All the above plus a sustainable bamboo 1GB flash drive lazer-engraved with the Musicwood logo and your name featured in the special thanks section of our website. Please be prepared to be the envy of everyone you know. For all time.

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    16 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    All the above and a print of the limited edition Musicwood artwork by artist Gabrielle Bell! Wow. At this level we will also schedule a Skype call with the Producers of Musicwood — chat about the film, the filmmaking process, or whatever you want (no nudity please!).

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    2 backers
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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A pair of tickets to attend the New York Premiere of Musicwood! Two VIP tickets per person (travel and accommodation not included), to join us at this exclusive event. We will be there, we will be extremely excited and we hope you can come too. (this reward includes an HD download of the film and is not included with other reward levels)

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    All the above (except the original art). But you'll also get something more than a physical item — you'll also get credit in the "Special Thanks" section of the film's credits. And indeed, you will have earned our special thanks.

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    7 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All the above and the ORIGINAL art by Gabrielle Bell, in a beautiful recycled wood frame by our friends at Green House Framing. Beautiful one-of-a-kind art in a beautiful one-of-a-kind frame. Unique.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All the above (except original art) but instead of Special Thanks, you will get credit as an Associate Producer. Whoa. Pledging at this level will actually mean that you are helping to produce the film. And that's pretty exciting. For you, and for us.

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    All the above (except original art), AND a Gibson Melody Maker Dual Pickup guitar, which was very generously donated to us by Gibson USA. It was discontinued in 2008, and according to wikipedia, "is now considered a collectors item on online auction sites." Nice! (shipping not included)...

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    All of the above (except guitar and original art), the AP credit, and an invitation to join us as we film the next performance for the documentary (transportation & accommodation not included). We're currently talking with Glen Hansard and Willie Nelson. You'd be joining us for a pretty special experience.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All the above (except guitar and original art), our undying gratitude, and a Co-Producer credit on the film. At this level, we'd be open to having some serious conversations about the film, the Co-Producer role, and the ultimate direction of the doc. Maybe we can even get your favorite acoustic artist in the film?

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    All the above (except guitar and original art), the Co-Producer credit, and we'll come to your home town to do a private screening of the film just for you and some friends (US & UK only). It's a pretty epic reward for an epic contribution.

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Funding period

- (32 days)