The Life of a Street Piano
The Life of a Street Piano
Please help us fund a documentary film about how street pianos transform city life - connecting strangers through the magic of music.
Please help us fund a documentary film about how street pianos transform city life - connecting strangers through the magic of music. Read more
About this project
This year we made a short film (The People's Piano) about our local street piano. After the screening we got such an overwhelming response that we felt compelled to continue exploring the subject and make a longer documentary.
In the short film we focused on the effect that the piano has in our local area, Herne Hill in South London. In the longer film we will explore the wider potential that street pianos could have for any urban location.
The way that we behave in city streets is dull and lifeless. We saw how the piano changes that and gives people the space to be friendlier in a public space. We saw how people valued that. People change from being another form of traffic back to being human beings, and they love it.
Click link to see short film.
We feel that these pianos raise issues that concern a lot of people. Issues about connection and community in a world where across the globe more and more people are moving to live in cities.
Music is the common language of diversity - it touches everyone and draws people in and they connect even when they do not speak - they connect.
Around the Herne Hill piano people from every corner of our economically and culturally diverse city connect and interact - they play the same piano and because of the music, they connect. Unemployed, retired, toddlers, homeless, traffic wardens, journalists, wealthy or poor, successful or struggling.
Could street pianos be showing us that it is possible to have more shared experiences in our streets?
Could they be a relatively easy way to make big changes in the quality of our daily lives in urban areas?
Would it be possible to have a lot of street pianos around London?
How do you go about getting one in your area?
And are there any other objects that could have a similar effect?
These are the sort of questions we want to explore.
What the piano does is not an easy thing to do. We feel it is a big story and an important story and want to be able to do it justice, research it fully and complete the film.
A larger goal of the film would be to promote interest in increasing the number of art objects in public spaces, particularly - permanent street pianos on our city streets.
This is how the money will be spent.
Research and Development Expenses.
Hire of camera crew and equipment.
Hire of audio crew and equipment.
Expenses for contributors.
Film Festival Fees and Kickstarter Fees.
If you want let me know on twitter @hernehillpiano when you pledge - it makes a great RT!!
£6,500 is our absolute basic budget - we are good at being resourceful with funds having done the short film over 6 months with no budget.
If the funds were to reach £8000 we would be able to spend every penny on quality post production and the promotion of the film.
If the funds were to reach £9,000 we would be able to extend the use of the film for campaigning for more street pianos by taking it to film festivals.
Risks and challenges
There will always be the potential for unforeseen circumstances when making a film but we have the benefit of having worked together for 6 months. During this time one of the main obstacles we overcame was of working with no budget and the crew having to juggle paid work time with filming and synchronising that with interviewee availability.
A challenge for us with this documentary will be the filming of spontaneous occurrences. Having the equipment in place when interesting interactions occur around the piano can be very tantalising and frustrating - like fishing - the big ones often get away.
We have done a lot of work already - through the research at the Herne Hill Piano and the making of the short film - that we feel ready to begin this project and look forward to overcoming the next obstacle!
The biggest risk for us is in fact coming to create this campaign as without kickstarter funding we will be unable to make the film.
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