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This documentary short aims to place Taccola as the first to illustrate Vitruvius nearly 70 years prior to Leonardo da Vinci


Who is Taccola?

Mariano di Jacopo, better known as il Taccola, was an artist/engineer from Siena, Italy who lived from 1382 until 1453. Through research for my graduate thesis at Kent State University I have been arguing Taccola is the first artist to attempt illustrating the ancient text of Vitruvius. Everyone has most likely seen Leonardo da Vinci's famous representation, Vitruvian Man, of the ideal human figure within a circle and square. Taccola actually attempted this illustration 70 years prior to Leonardo, along with a number of other illustrations copied including diving suits, tanks and mill complexes. Taccola was an essential figure in the development of the Renaissance period in art history and a proud citizen of the beautifully dynamic city of Siena.


What is the project?

This project aims to take the culmination of the research done, bring Siena to life visually and create an exciting short documentary surrounding this essential 15th century figure.  I was one of 48 candidates chosen to present at the Renaissance conference at the Newberry Library in Chicago this past January. Essentially I'd like to take the 15 minute presentation which I created for Chicago and turn that into an exciting 30 minute documentary with additional animations and scenes from the city of Siena and it's rich traditions like the Palio.  So that if you've never seen a photograph of Siena or are longing for a nostalgic escape, this film will captivate a wide range of audiences.

presenting for the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies 2013 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference
presenting for the Newberry Center for Renaissance Studies 2013 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference

If interested in knowing more about Taccola before the film or seeing the 15 minute presentation from The Newberry you can go here.


Why I need your help:

I am lucky enough to be traveling back to Italy this June for almost 5 weeks so this is perfect timing to bring this project to life. Since travel and accommodations outside of Siena will be taken care of the majority of donations will be used towards equipment costs. Having the right equipment is essential to capture the beauty of Siena, home of Taccola. Most animations will be done on my own but there are a few things outside of my expertise which a percentage of funds will go towards. The remaining funds will be used towards application fees into film festivals this fall and winter which can average from $50 to $100 for each festival.

I would greatly appreciate your help in this endeavor, whether it be donations or simply passing the link on to family, friends and coworkers. This will be an exciting film and can't wait to share it with you all! Here are some of the examples of artwork/rewards you will receive with certain donations:

photo: Contrada dell'Onda | Siena, Italy
photo: Contrada dell'Onda | Siena, Italy
sketch: medieval towers | San Gimignano, Italy
sketch: medieval towers | San Gimignano, Italy
photo: medieval towers | San Gimignano, Italy
photo: medieval towers | San Gimignano, Italy
sketch: Ponte Vecchio | Florence, Italy
sketch: Ponte Vecchio | Florence, Italy
sketch: Tempietto | Rome, Italy
sketch: Tempietto | Rome, Italy
ACB* abroad | coffee table book of photos from my 2012 travels
ACB* abroad | coffee table book of photos from my 2012 travels
photo: Superhero Dante | Florence, Italy
photo: Superhero Dante | Florence, Italy

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

With every project there are risks and challenges however with this Taccola endeavor most of the hard work has already been taken care of. The research I've done over the last year and a half has prepared me to bring this to life visually. The travel and accommodations are also taken care of which is another huge hurdle. I am very familiar with Siena so the shots are already planned to bring Siena to life for a broad audience, now all I need is that last push by your generous contributions to make sure I have the right equipment to fully capture the beauty that surrounds Siena. I am fully prepared for setbacks which usually happen, luckily I will be living outside of Siena for 5 weeks so if a shot is missed, weather poor, or any other road bump I will have more than a few chances to get it right. If you follow me on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram you will be able to keep up to date with my travels and the progress of the film! Thank you so much and I can't wait to bring this to life.

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    A very big THANK YOU via email & shout out via the social medias

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    A personal postcard THANK YOU from Siena, Italy while I am working there this summer. You will also get a shout out via social media AND a link to the digital download of the finished film.

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    A color photograph print of Siena (8"x10") taken by me! You will also get a digital download of the finished film.

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    One personal sketch, signed and dated, from my travels through Italy. You will also receive a special thank you in the film credits. Additionally you will have access to the digital download of the finished film and a DVD copy.

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    A signed final movie poster (18"x24") along with a special thank you in the credits, 8x10 photo print, personal postcard from Siena and digital download of the finished film (and DVD copy).

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    For this contribution you will receive an associate producer credit for the finished film along with a signed copy of my "ACB* abroad" coffee table book, personal sketch, postcard from Siena and digital download of the finished film (DVD copy as well).

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