About this project
***** 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?
We're excited to get this film made. We're excited for you to be a part of it.
For more information...
twitter: @MUSICWOODDoc (use #musicwood)
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