Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 27, 2010.

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An inspiring film about dance, creativity, and dirty work. 16 trash trucks, 24 performers on a abandoned airstrip Austin, TX

Your support will help pay the cost of editing and completing the one-hour documentary on the collaboration between dancer Allison Orr and employees of the Austin Department of Solid Waste Services--the trash collectors.

An unnoticed army moves a city’s trash daily. It’s a world of dirty work neatly categorized into five categories: Trash; Litter; Yard Waste; Bulky; and Dead Animal. Choreographer Allison Orr begins a project with employees of the City of Austin’s Dept. of Solid Waste Services to re-imagine their everyday work as dance and make a public performance. From safety training to riding out with crews, Orr watches, listens and tries to recruit collaborators. The film follows employees and Orr in the process, getting to know individuals. At ten months in, they begin ragtag rehearsals. After one year they mount a performance in the rain on an abandoned airstrip--16 trucks, 24 dancers, a piano, violin, and cello--and over 2,000 in attendance.

The “Austin American-Statesman” named it “best art event of 2010.” The 2010 Austin Critics’ Table awarded it “Best Dance Event." The effect on the participants and the audience continues to resonate.

That invisible workforce collecting trash in Austin is 98% minority-- African-American or Hispanic men and a handful of women. The work is dangerous and physically demanding. Yet many of the employees of the Dept. of Solid Waste Services have second jobs or go to school, in addition to raising families and other outside activities.

Anthony wants to make it big as a jam skater and open his own studio. Virginia works out at a boxing gym, prepares for her son’s baby shower and works in a daycare on Sundays. Orange plays harmonica in a blues band. Lee, a single father, says everything he does, he does for his seven-year-old daughter. Their lives are already full. They don’t ”need” a dance project for a meaningful experience. But some people do step forward to participate, changing how they see their jobs and how people see them.

The film will be a one-hour program completed in spring of 2011. Principal shooting is complete. The year leading up to the performance was shot intimately, as a one-person crew. The single performance was shot on 9 borrowed HD cameras with help of a mostly volunteer crew of professionals and students. The results are spectacular.

The premiere will be in Austin in spring 2011, including garbage trucks riding down Congress Avenue to deliver the stars to the red carpet. In addition to the full documentary, we will edit the performance into a stand-alone DVD as an extra, and create "Character Diaries" with additional material that can be unlocked and downloaded onto phones and laptops.

The Department of Solid Waste Services has asked about using the series of still portraits of employees, made for the film, as wrappers for the garbage trucks with the words “I dance," printed on them.

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    43 backers

    An "i Trash Dance" bumper sticker and a signed note of thanks from the director.

  • Pledge $21 or more
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    63 backers

    WAIT! A new category! You like the trailer so you will like the DVD of the roughcut edit of the performance. Instead of waiting for the $75 dollar level, everyone giving more than $20 will also get a DVD of the roughcut! Yes, this is retroactive.

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    47 backers

    A DVD of the three current movie trailers, an "i Trash Dance" bumper sticker and a signed note of thanks from the director.

  • Pledge $75 or more
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    14 backers

    A DVD of the rough-cut of the one-hour dance performance, a DVD of an earlier short film by Garrison, the bumper sticker and signed thank you note.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    22 backers

    A DVD of the rough-cut of the one-hour dance performance signed by Allison Orr and the director, the bumper sticker and signed thank you note.

  • Pledge $200 or more
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    7 backers

    Your choice of a signed DVD of the rough-cut of the performance or a still portrait of one of the employees of Solid Waste Services shot on Polaroid by the director and printed at approximately 40" by 30".

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    0 backers

    A reserve seat at the Austin premiere of TRASH DANCE in spring 2011, plus a signed rough-cut DVD or portrait.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    0 backers

    The director will have you and a friend over for home-made dinner in Austin (you have to get to Austin), plus a signed rough-cut DVD or portrait, and a reserved seat for you and a friend.

Funding period

- (45 days)