About this project
What is Hype?
Hype is a 10-episode web series (TV show formatted for the Internet), set in Durham, NC, about the decisions we make to accept our reality, or to escape it.
Presented by RUNAWAY®
The story of Hype centers around a young man, Smiles, who is trying to buy the house of his adolescent love so she can move back to the city they both grew up in. He works as a manager at a local market to save up the money, but it’s not coming in fast enough.
When he’s approached by a young woman (Ava) who tells him he is the perfect co-founder for her new company, he hesitantly agrees — not entirely sure of his role. As the company develops, Smiles and Ava become entrenched in a local music scene rife with interpersonal conflict and cocky oneupmanship, as well as ambitious, entrepreneurial-minded artists looking for the kind of big break Ava & Smiles might be offering. Ultimately, everyone involved must choose to either take a chance on the unexpected or settle for the status quo.
As a city undergoing immense change, the type of change mirrored in mid-sized cities across America, Durham is a place with new stories to tell. Hype was written to tell some (not all) of these stories, and to provide one visual perspective in a conversation about the area’s future.
WHY RUNAWAY AS THE PRESENTING SPONSOR?
While the show is scripted and fictionalized, many of the aspects of Hype are very true to our area. Actors that play rappers are local rappers, the series will be scored by local music producers, the locations are all places that real people in Durham frequent and have a relationship with. In fact, everyone associated with the project is of North Carolina, and largely Durham based. That’s why Runaway makes sense as the perfect presenting sponsor. Runaway operates as a representative of Durham’s art culture and aims to progress it by backing projects that do the same.
IS RAP CULTURE REALLY AT ALL RELATABLE WITH STARTUP CULTURE?
Actually, yeah. The younger generation in America is a self-starter generation. They (we) believe in being able to do what they want and what they think is important. Everyone’s a business, a brand. It’s an entrepreneurial way of thinking and one that parallels the rap industry and, obviously, the startup world. These spaces are the backdrop of Hype, and represent the idea behind the title. Much of a new rap artist or startup’s success is due to the hype surrounding it, and thematically, this is what the show is about; how we maneuver our personal perceptions and realities.
WHAT IS THE MONEY FOR?
We've shot the pilot. We're asking for money to shoot nine more episodes of Hype to finish season one and give you a new show to binge!
Simply put: producing a show is expensive. For reference, nine 10-minute episodes, or ninety minutes of television, is about the length of an average feature length film. Even independent films cost, on average, around $750,000. We need to pay production assistants, assistant directors, a director of photography, sound people, grips, a writing staff, editors, colorists, actors, and more for their time to put together a show that looks and sounds great.
Upon completion, the show will be available to stream online.
Risks and challenges
The challenges of making a show like Hype are associated with being realistic with the budget and making the most of the money we raise. Creating a show that is DIY in style and spirit, but professional in look and feel won't be easy, but is something that we're excited to work to achieve.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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