Are you ready to Rock!? Kickstarter, I can't hear you. Make it loud enough so Zach Braff can hear! ARE YOU READY TO ROCK!!!??
Have you ever had a dream? Ever been with the "one" that got away? Have you ever been through difficult times and still kept "Floating On"? Do you love music? And more importantly do you love ROCK?
“Life’s A Pitch” is a half-hour TV Dramedy series that offers multiple escapes through life when times are difficult. It is in a strict sense, a coming of age story, showing how strong music can be when used as a method of healing. It is a social commentary on the modern and past music industry.
This show focuses on one main character, Jimmy Burwell, and his attempts to make it in the tough music industry after moving to LA with his girlfriend, Danielle. Jimmy makes it into a band but the lead vocalist makes his life hell, even developing a liking for Danielle. Jimmy is presented with the question of: "Do you focus and strive towards your dream, or do you focus on the one you love?"
Some of the biggest reasons I want to make this series are because of my huge love and admiration for music. I am constantly listening to music; I play multiple instruments, mainly the bass, but no matter how I feel, music is always there for me, through good and bad. So this is my ode to music with a focus on Rock because Rock I think has been one of the greatest forms of art today.
So I got together with my best friend and colleague, Cody Smart, who specializes in writing for TV and is the best writer I know, to write the first episode of this amazing Dramedy series.
The Pilot Episode
So the show starts with the main character Jimmy going to an audition with the show's fictional band "Midnight Train." He's so nervous that he keeps messing up, making the lead vocalist, Matthew, very annoyed. Jimmy's girlfriend, Danielle, arrives at the audition for support but only makes things worse. As Jimmy auditions, he begins to get into the zone and leads into a montage of memories seen with a music video style (key stylistic choice of this show). But the lead vocalist pulls the chord on him. Danielle tries to help Jimmy but Jimmy tries to stay strong for her, though he is still very crushed.
Feeling down, Jimmy seeks comfort in his best friend/Manager Robert, who is able to help Jimmy regain his confidence. Danielle attempts to help by talking to Jimmy but only makes things worse. Jimmy becomes distant and unable to talk to Danielle, furthering their already existing communication problems, and driving her further away.
Danielle then goes shopping while Jimmy goes job hunting. While shopping, Danielle runs into Matthew who begins to show her that he's not such a bad guy. Danielle tries calling Jimmy to have him pick her up but every time she calls he's speaking to a hiring manager and can’t pick up. Jimmy gets a call from Robert at the right time who tells him he got into the band and they are celebrating. Jimmy finally calls Danielle to share the news, but she doesn't pick up, pissed at Jimmy, so Jimmy ends up going out to celebrate with Robert at a Dance club. Thus, a communication breakdown drives them even further apart.
Danielle calls Jimmy and tells him she's done with him, and then goes to spend time with Matthew, who is willing to give her time. At the club, Jimmy spots a girl getting hassled by three guys. So he tries to do the moral thing by stopping it only to have the guys severely beat him up at the same time Danielle and Matthew make love. This causes an intercutting scene between sex and pain. As Danielle is experiencing pleasure, Jimmy is experiencing pain, unaware that he's losing his love.
Our mission is to connect people through music, the universal language, and make Rock bigger than it has ever been. Bringing it back to it's roots along the lines of Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Doors, Guns N' Roses, Neil Young, Jimi Hendrix, KISS, Cream, The Who, Pink Floyd, and so much more.
The show aims at helping people cope with the difficult times of their lives by escaping into the world of music. Your girlfriend just broke your heart? What's better than to listen to Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorn"? Just suffered a major loss of a loved one? Try "Bridge Over Troubled Water" by Simon and Garfunkel. Had a bad day? Maybe lost your job or failed a test? Try Three Little Birds by Bob Marley. There's no end to the power Music has in helping a person through the toughest of times. We're all more alike than we think we are and music helps us connect to one another.
Hear what Amber Bailey (Make-up Artist for Life's A Pitch) has to say about the project and music:
This series has the ability to feature Indie rock bands in each episode or a current known band’s latest songs. This will create interesting moods for each episode. Then later on in other seasons it can bring new original music that can be marketable.
The role of Jimmy will be played by the very talented Jason James Richter who played Jesse the lead role in the feature film Free Willy (1993).
A Unique Vision For The Show
How this show will differ from the other shows you've seen on TV, is that it takes the story and sprinkles music videos within each episode. So parts of the story will be shown as a music video. You remember music videos right? From the early days of MTV or VH1 or MTV2 or FUSE? Well, we sure do and we think they need to make a comeback! (Below: A music video I Directed for the Local Colorado band, Lamia of the Pool.)
Each season focuses on a popular band’s music, the first being Modest Mouse, the second being The Black Keys, the third Muse, and so on.
For all you camera buffs out there, the show will be shot on the RED Epic with REDPro Prime lenses. This will give the show a more filmic quality. I know what you're thinking. Why don't you just shoot on film? Well, we would love to, but it's just too expensive these days and is sort of getting harder to come by.
So Why Kickstarter?
Well, we've been watching the successful campaigns of "Veronica Mars" and Zach Braff's "Wish I Was Here" and thought, "Why should they be the only ones with highly successful campaigns? What about the little guys, the ones who really need the financial help to do what they love?" So we took to the internet and created this Kickstarter to get the word out and connect with the lovely people of the world, showing them that the next generation of talent is ready to be heard.
With the money earned from this campaign, the production of this pilot can obtain the quality it needs to get the attention of the networks. That means better locations, amazingly talented actors, a happy and well fed film crew, production design, advanced visuals, exciting fight sequences and let's not forget the most important part... the MUSIC. With this money we will be able to obtain the rights from the bands you love, so you can stay connected.
Then there are the post production costs that include film festival submissions. Where if you donate enough you can see your name on the screen that hundreds of people will see and then it'll be off to the networks where millions of people will see your name splashed on the screen like the finest paint Da Vinci used on the Mona Lisa.
Speaking of Which, What's in it for the backers?
That is a great question! I'm glad you asked. Well if you look off to the side there are a variety of perks for different levels of donations. As what is usually found in a kickstarter campaign. There's something interesting in each one, from getting a personal email from me, to getting a copy of the script, to deciding what happens with my hair! To being an extra on set and having a line of dialogue, to even owning my favorite BASS GUITAR that's featured in the pilot!!!!
That's right! This project means so much to me that I am willing to give away to the one who makes the donation, my most precious child for the development of an even better child. (Just so everyone's on the same page we are talking artistically created children not actual real live children.) And no donation is too small! That is of course unless you donate $0 which is actually technically not a donation...
Help us with getting the word out as well with sharing this page with your friends and family and maybe even strangers who you think may like this. It'll make you sexy! or Sexier in some cases.
You can like my page as well on Facebook. www.facebook.com/Christophe.S.Chandler
Or follow us on twitter https://twitter.com/IronRoadProds
And check out our website. www.ironroadproductions.com
So please help me with my dream so that I may pay it forward and help someone with their dream! And support Indie music!
Let's show that you don't have to be Zach Braff to be successful on Kickstarter! And like Neil Young says, "Keep on Rockn' in the Free World!"
Oh and I guess it's said to always close with a cute dog so:
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge for "Life's A Pitch" after getting funded is that the series doesn't have a network. However, before you start to panic, allow me to ease your minds. There are outlets that make it easier to overcome this obstacle. Such as TV Pilot festivals. "They have those?" "They sure do!" There's actually one in Austin, TX (Austin International Film Festival), Hoboken, NJ (Hoboken International Film Festival) and New York Television Festival plus most festivals you wouldn't think accept pilots, do! Like the Slamdance Film Festival. On top of that there are pitch festivals, and just getting a meeting with a network can be your ticket in the door.
It's that much more crucial that this pilot gets funded because networks are more likely to pick up a show up with a pre-existing visual element than just words on a page. Don't get me wrong, amazing words can definitely get a show picked up and I assure you this pilot is one of them, but having the visual is 10X stronger. Not to mention that if this show is successfully funded, that would mean the public does indeed want to see this show and if we know anything about TV Shows it's that it's all about RATINGS! And showing that there is a large enough crowd interested in seeing this show come to "Life", so much that they are willing to fund the pilot, will definitely get the attention of the big executives at the Premium channels this show needs to be on!
Pre-Production has already begun and Production will begin in July this year (2013), so here are a couple things you need to know if you are a high donator.
The Fine Print:
If you make the donation of 100 + and would like to be on set fulfilling the extra perk or if higher, the speaking role perk, then plan on being available July 9th through the 22nd.
I do not supply transportation outside of the LA Area.
+ side is that you can be a non-US citizen to be in front of the camera just know we are not offering you payment.
+ side you can also be SAG/AFTRA as long as you come prepared to tell us in advance so you can fill out paperwork.
In A Perfect World:
Making a film or TV series isn't as easy as it looks. There are a lot of factors that have to come together to create even a decent product. In a perfect world after getting funding, locations would be set in stone (bigger productions wouldn't come and take them from you). Major people in the music industry would travel from every corner of the globe just to have a cameo in the episode, cameras wouldn't overheat, the weather would be perfect for the entire shoot, planes wouldn't fly over set (making it difficult to record sound) and music rights would come through.
During post there wouldn't be any computer issues and TV networks would be fighting over picking the series up. However, these things don't always go according to plan. Things do breakdown or malfunction, it does rain slowing down the shoot and unfortunately we can't ask the planes and helicopters to hold off flying while we shoot.
Problems do occur that keep the crew from showing up on time and as much as I think every musician will love this show, the reality of it is that some just like to get paid for appearances, which is something we can't afford.
Me and my crew of all-stars do plan ahead for things that could go a rye but there are somethings that are out of our control that can cause production and post-production to slow down.
It is impossible to say with certainty that everything will come together according to plan. However, as my mentor told me, "If it were easy it wouldn't be an adventure." Which is part of the reason I'm in this business to begin with. So I thank you in advance for helping make this adventure possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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