About this project
FINAL STRETCH GOAL - £25,000
Guys, what a journey this has been! Our three targets have all been reached in record time. This really has been an amazing experience for us and we want to thank each and every one of you again for your incredible support.
This is it now. The last push. We have set our final stretch goal at £25,000. And we wanted to explain exactly what this additional money is going to be used for...
When shooting a film like this, every penny, truly, counts. Every pledge made allows us to go that extra step towards doing things the right way. While making our independent projects over the years, we've always had to rely on people's goodwill and creative incentive. The additional funding we are now receiving means we are actually able to pay our collaborators something, however small, towards their work on the film, which is a huge step for us.
The majority of our Kickstarter funding will be going into shooting costs over what we hope to be three final weeks of production. This will include the services of DOP Matt Shaw, a full shooting crew and our Red Epic camera setup. Every pound pledged allows us to hire that extra pair of hands, rent that additional piece of equipment or simply allow us one more night in our hostel in Leeds!
We are talking to editors at the moment, and have set aside funding for six weeks of this person's time on the project. Grading wise, we have had amazing offers from top post production houses, but these incredibly generous offers are still going to require a large percentage of our final tally. Meeting our additional targets has meant that we've been able to talk to some of the most talented people in the business, and every new pledge earns us a little more of their time.
As you already know, I Like Trains will be composing the score for the film, and have already begun working on it, much to everyone's excitement. Recording and mastering the soundtrack will be an additional cost covered by your generous pledges. (And for those who have been wondering, the soundtrack will be available in a lossless format, wav or flac, rather than mp3!)
We hope the above goes some way to explaining where these additional stretch goals will be allocated come the end of our campaign. Please continue to share our page over these final few days, and follow the madness via social media @iliketrainsfilm if you haven't already.
As it happens, it is actually Ben's 30th birthday on Tuesday, so at 6pm on October 14th, there will be double cause for celebration...
Matt + Ben
***SECOND GOAL REACHED - THIRD TARGET SET!***
Thank you so much for your unbelievable support - we have exceeded our second target of £20,000 !!!
We now turn our sights to our third stretch target of £23,000 ...
Please contribute in any way you can, we have just over a week to reach our third goal !!!
NEW GOAL - £20,000 !!!
Our Kickstarter campaign for A Divorce Before Marriage has been fully funded! We cannot begin to express our gratitude - we are overwhelmed and truly humbled by this incredible show of support.
To all of our backers... THANK YOU! We are making this film together!
However, it doesn't stop here. £16,000 was always the bare minimum we needed to finish this film. We are now looking farther and wider and starting to think a little bigger... Since we began the campaign we have been talking to a lot of people who want to help us, both with the remaining shooting and through post production. These are both incredible people and incredible opportunities, but we need to keep raising additional funds to be able to fulfil these promising leads. It's very exciting times all round, and we'll be sure to give you more news as we get it!
Our next target goal is £20,000! Help us get there...
Please follow us on social media if you haven't already: on Twitter and Instagram @iliketrainsfilm - and on Facebook at facebook.com/adivorcebeforemarriage
...and continue to spread the word!
Matt + Ben
The Band's Story
In 2006, five-piece rock and roll band I Like Trains were the toast of the music industry. They were signed to a distinguished label and playing sold out tours around the world. They had money, momentum and were fulfilling their dreams. A Divorce Before Marriage picks up the story five years later, where, due to the decline of the music industry and a change in their fortune, the band are now in a very different position.
Over the course of the next three years, we witness each band member adjusting to this change, moving into the real world of work, family and adulthood, building new careers and lives for themselves. While doing this, we see them attempt to continue their journey as a band against the backdrop of a dying music industry.
Capturing the timeless, bittersweet beauty of Yorkshire, A Divorce Before Marriage is a cinematic portrait of five men battling to express themselves against the detritus of everyday life. Moreover, it is a film about the wannabe rockstar finally growing up, a rite-of-passage documentary that will strike a chord with any creative individual battling with the strains of becoming an adult in contemporary Britain.
The Journey So Far
As filmmakers we have been working with I Like Trains for five years. This relationship started through a series of music videos, live performance promos and album trailers.
Here is Sea of Regrets, one of our videos for the band:
Over five years, we have seen the record industry change beyond recognition; the money has disappeared and bands have been left to fend for themselves. However, where other bands may have thrown in the towel, I Like Trains have picked themselves up and gone out on their own, continuing to make unique records through the DIY model that independent music now subscribes to.
A Divorce Before Marriage is a film about real artists in modern Britain and the blood, sweat and tears that go into actually making music. We've been incredibly inspired to watch the journey of this band for the past five years and we think they deserve to have their story told, and this has been the driving force behind the film since the outset.
We are well into our third year of shooting. We have endured some amazing highs and lows, neither of which we'd trade for anything. It has been a truly defining experience and we've learnt an incredible amount, but above all we are confident that we have, after all this time, a story that needs to be told. We have self-funded everything up until this point, but now we need your help to finish the film the way we always intended.
This is an independent film. It is neither commissioned nor funded by the band. However, we have the blessing of all involved to document their story, with unrestricted access.
Why We Want To Make This Film
“I don’t see enough people chronicling Britain. You don’t have to get on a plane; there are lots of social wars in our cities" - Don McCullin
We have purposefully made our first feature film about people like us. We haven't picked an outrageous story in a far flung destination, we've picked a subject we can truly connect with, a story close to us that we know and believe in.
As creatives of a similar age to our protagonists, we feel that a film like this is of huge importance. Simply put, this subject has not been tackled before. Musicians are either considered to be superstars or failures; A Divorce Before Marriage takes a look at those working away in the middle. For the average music fan - which is everyone - it is important that this debate is opened up, that audiences are shown exactly what it means to be an artist recording, releasing and playing music all over the world, yet unable to find security within this.
The film will be an inspiring, familiar tale for any creative person who feels the path they were promised - of great adventure and financial freedom - has turned into monotonous hard work, that the dream they were sold simply isn’t true. And for audiences new to the idea of working creatives, the film will be an eye-opening insight into the realities behind these professions. In many ways this is the anti-music documentary, the polar opposite of the popular rock and roll biopic audiences are used to seeing.
This will also be a film that cinematically captures the very essence of everyday life. Through our complete and relentless access, we have captured our subjects on their first day at a new job, at their wedding reception surrounded by friends, and at home while they feed their children after a long day at work; beautiful, unique moments that are rarely seen on the cinema screen within the context of a documentary.
Our Creative Approach
This is a single camera, observational documentary. Every shot is considered, ensuring a beguiling aesthetic that draws us into scenes in which we remain an observer. Captured predominantly using a static, unobtrusive camera, we hope this bold form suits the gradual, mannered pace of the unfolding story.
We have embraced the cinema of the ordinary. Our images of Northern England are haunting and lyrical, capturing the edgelands of our country’s towns and cities that serve as the backbone of the film. Our visual style is dreamlike and nostalgic, drab but beautiful, long, meditative shots that draw audiences in, rewarding patience.
Who We Are
Ben is from Bognor Regis, a small seaside town famous for rock (the confectionery) and Butlins (the holiday resort). Up the road from Bognor is Worthing, Matt's home town, famous for being close to Bognor. Despite growing up a short distance from each other, it wasn't until we arrived at university in Bournemouth that we met, back in 2004.
Since then we have developed a close working relationship, establishing ourselves as filmmakers individually, but also developing projects together. Our process has always been to work on commercial jobs in order to self-finance films close to our hearts. So far these have included numerous shorts and music videos, as well as the award-winning online documentary series England Your England, which attempts to examine strong themes of identity in modern Britain. Here is a link to our site:
As independent filmmakers, we have always prided ourselves on creating inspiring and important films without asking people for money - we have just picked up cameras and made things off our own backs. We've pushed this model of working as far as we can, but really need your help this time around to make our biggest film yet. In short - your help at this point in our careers would be a real game changer.
A Divorce Before Marriage, our first feature, feels like a natural progression and maybe even a culmination of all the work we have done so far.
I Like Trains are a band who pride themselves on the design and presentation of their merchandise, and we are determined to achieve the same level of care and attention with our Kickstarter rewards. From beautifully produced DVDs to stunning film posters and online photo books, we have endeavoured to create prizes that fans of the band and the film will be proud to call their own.
You can see our selection of rewards to the right of this page. You will also notice that pride of place is Ben's Purple Nissan Micra, the life blood of the making of this film. With over 80,000 miles on the clock, we have taken more trips up the M1 to Leeds and back than we care to remember in this car, so it felt like a fitting top prize for our most generous donator.
Please know that any and all of the money that you contribute is directly going into the making of this film. With 75% of our narrative already shot, we now have to shoot the additional sequences that are going to make up the majority of the film's visual content, scenes that enforce and support the narrative of these five men.
Unfortunately, this is the part that costs the most money! Your Kickstarter pounds will go directly into a month long shoot all over the UK with director of photography Matt Shaw. We have shot everything up until this point on the Red Epic camera, and we need to continue to keep up our cinematic values with this aesthetic. Additional camera requirements such as a steadicam and a proper shooting crew are vitally needed to ensure we shoot these special sequences as well as possible.
Once the shoot is finally complete, we will be locked away for a three month edit in a Welsh cabin as we work towards our January completion date. Your Kickstarter contributions will go towards the hiring of an editing system that will be able to handle three years worth of Red footage! From here we will enlist the services of an editor who will dust the film down before we begin the process of putting the finishing touches to it, such as the grade and sound mix. All of our Kickstarter funds will go towards each of these areas of production as we take the film over the finish line.
With your backing, you will not only be making a vital contribution to our finishing costs, we hope you will be making a powerful statement that independent films like ours are wanted and needed. As a backer, you will have first-look access to our project as we complete it - and of course, the opportunity to see the film first, before it is released.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story.
Ben, Matt and I Like Trains
Risks and challenges
You can take our word that after two and a half long years, we are determined to complete and release this film, no matter what final obstacles we may face as we approach the final hurdle.
We are planning a worldwide festival run, and have already garnered the interest of festivals here in the UK, and in Europe.
Since we started in January 2012 we have already faced numerous challenges and stared the possibility of failure in the face. We are not giving up now! We just need your support to get us over the finish line.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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