Last summer, a band called Banana Phonetic was invited to play their first music festival. The band had been playing together in Boston for 7 years, so this was a major success threshold for them. They are some of our closest friends, so we thought we would tag along and film the entire thing.
Banana Phonetic is Akhil Bhatt (vocals, piano, guitar), Tom Mangan (guitar), Sam Doty (bass), Andy Bickerton (drums), and Jhai Sinnatamby (guitar, synth). The song in the Kickstarter video is called "Parallel Feeling Pt.1" It's on their new album, which you can find here: http://bananaphonetic.bandcamp.com/
They are a really good band, but we’re not trying to make another band documentary. We don’t really care about their unique songwriting process or how they write lyrics by translating Latvian tourist maps into English, then back into Latvian, then back into English again. This is about a creative, hilarious, wonderful group of people on the precipice of adulthood. Individually, they’re trying to figure out whether to go all-in or throw in the towel. We caught the band’s high water mark on film and now we want to make something beautiful, funny, and entertaining out of it.
One thing is for certain: this film will have effectively no indelible or persisting impact on the wider world or civilization. But when these five bandmates are 45 years-old, hiding in the bathroom from their wives and children, they can watch this video to remind themselves that their lives have not been a complete waste of time. On the other hand, when you watch this film, you will laugh, reflect on growing up, and realize you’re never too old to have an obscene amount of fun.
Our asking is modest (as far as films go); $5,000 is the bare minimum we need to raise to do this right. We aren’t trying to make any money off of this film. We just don’t want to lose (much) money making it.
Here is a breakdown of our costs:
Last summer, we rented professional film equipment and flew/drove to rural Pennsylvania to film these five guys for a weekend. This came out to roughly $1000. We’ve written off that cost as our financial contribution to the project. Now, we need to edit the film. We live on opposite ends of America, so we need to travel and spend roughly 14 days editing together. With plane tickets, food, and lodging for the two of us, we will need $1,500. After that, we would like to give the film a professional sound mix and color correction. This really makes a difference. Together these will be around $3,500, and that’s even with a special, happy-baby, friend-price discount.
$1,500 - Flights and lodging during editing
+ $1,500 - Professional Color Correction
+ $2,000 - Professional Sound Mix
We (Nick and Pete) have collaborated on several major projects. We were the ones behind the Fu-Go episode for WNYC’s Radiolab (http://www.radiolab.org/story/fu-go/), a show with over 5 million monthly listeners. We also made a radio documentary for BBC World Service called The Resurrection Men (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02t7plx), which was distributed to over 40 million listeners worldwide. The point is that we know how to work together and we know how to finish good-quality things.
Nick Farago (Co-Director | DP)
Nick Farago is a film-maker and documentarian whose work has been featured on Radiolab, BBC World Service, Discovery and National Geographic. He is the film producer for Radio Silence and runs Light Fighter Film, a film and video production company based in San Francisco, CA.
Peter Lang-Stanton (Co-Director | Writer)
Peter is a writer, radio producer, and musician living in Portland, ME. His work has been featured on Radiolab, BBC World Service, Narratively, and in Slice Magazine.
Risks and challenges
Short of some sort of hellishly implausible catastrophe, there is not much risk involved in completing this project. We already have all of the footage we need, which is typically where the most uncertainty plays into filmmaking. All we have to do now is edit this video, which, to be honest, will happen one way or another because we care deeply about the project. The only risk is really whether we have funding to complete the film with the time and expertise we think it deserves.
Thank you very much for your support.
Nick and Pete
PS. The basketball kid at the end of the video was in on it.
PPS. The cover photo of Banana Phonetic on the roof was taken by Dom CasserlyLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)