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A visionary high school choir director ignites in his students a relentless determination to achieve true artistry.
A visionary high school choir director ignites in his students a relentless determination to achieve true artistry.
A visionary high school choir director ignites in his students a relentless determination to achieve true artistry.
442 backers pledged $44,670 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Big Voice ...dare to dream

$44,670

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Here are 3 NEW INCREDIBLE REWARDS for you!

  • A visit to the set of the hit series "Grey's Anatomy"!
  • A signed limited edition framed Shepard Fairey print of the Dalai Lama.
  • For your event: a performance by master harpist Vonette Yanaginuma.

Note:  We are only offering one of each of these awards, so make your pledge below to secure these fabulous rewards while they last! 

BIG VOICE 

BIG VOICE is a musical feature documentary directed by award-winning filmmaker Varda Hardy.  This uplifting documentary explores the lives of the top-singing students of the Santa Monica High School Choir, and its visionary choir director.  At a time when drastic budget cuts endanger both the quality of our public schools and their arts programs, this determined high school music teacher strives to create a thriving vocal music program that ignites in his students a passion for the art of music, a sense of belonging, and the value of working hard to achieve their dreams.

Santa Monica High School's Jeffe Huls is a "larger than life" choir teacher with a passion for teaching and an edgy sense of humor.  His talented students practice diligently to pass the highly competitive auditions, meet daily to learn and sing challenging music, and perform both for their local community and in venues around the world. 

Last weekend, Mr. Huls led his advanced choirs on a mountain retreat where they alternated between intensely passionate rehearsals and animated cooperation/trust games.  Three years ago, Mr. Huls shifted his emphasis to music literacy.  The benefit of this shift showed big time during the retreat. Here the students are singing a song that they had just received on sheet music just ten minutes earlier.

Why is Mr. Huls so moved by the power and artistry of the human voice? Why has he dedicated his life to teaching teenagers how to sing? And what does it take for Mr. Huls’ students to rise to his high standards? Why do they dedicate so much of their time and resources to singing? What critical life lessons do they learn and how does singing in the choir affect their artistic and academic dreams as 21st century teenagers?

BIG VOICE will follow Mr. Huls and his teenage students interweaving interviews and concerts with ‘slices of life’ footage. It will explore what it means to be a teenager facing an unknown future, and an accomplished artist creating great art in the context of a public school.  In addition, this visually stunning documentary will include original songs created for and by the students with the assistance of Grammy-winning artists*.

BIG VOICE reveals the challenging journey of an extraordinary teacher who overcomes seemingly insurmountable obstacles to educate and transform students to step into adulthood as powerful contributors to a world that needs them. BIG VOICE will entertain you, touch your soul and uplift your spirit.

*Artists include:

  • Siedah Garrett  (Michael Jackson's Man in the Mirror, Jennifer Hudson Love You I Do)
  • Lamont Dozier (The Supremes Baby Love, Marvin Gaye How Sweet It Is to Be Loved by You)
  • Pam Aronoff (Emmylou Harris Red Dirt Girl, Kelly Clarkson Thankful)
  • Cliff Goldmacher (Jane Monheit It’s Only Smoke, Ronan Tynan The Light Inside of You)
  • David Babich (Varda Hardy Ode to Los Angeles, Red Light Camera Oxygen)

SUPPORT BIG VOICE

Be part of this exciting, entertaining and inspiring project! Donate to BIG VOICE and receive rewards!  Tell others about it and help us tell this story. Share the link to this Kickstarter page, email our Big Voice Trailer, join us on our Facebook and invite others to do the same. Follow us on Twitter and  our blog.

"Ars longa, vita brevis (art is long, life is short). Make today count! It is a truth that we must learn to embrace and exemplify if we are to create amazing musical moments." Jeffe Huls, Santa Monica High School Choir Director

HOW WILL WE USE THE FUNDS?

All funding will go towards the production phase of BIG VOICE.

We work with specialized multiple camera crews to capture the concerts, renting cameras, lights, grip and sound equipment. Because of the nature of this musical documentary, we follow our subjects throughout the year. This project will involve travel at times. We will have to provide meals on all shoot days as well as lodging and transportation as needed.

DO YOU WANT TO MAKE A HUGE IMPACT?

We are offering an original one-to-three minute documentary-style film created by director Varda Hardy to FOUR Angel Supporters who want to contribute $25,000+ to BIG VOICE*.  These short films will be high-quality, intimate, biography-driven films. The shorts may be used for personal purposes, for example, a portrait of a family member, or to promote your business or organization. In addition to all the rewards listed on this Kickstarter Page, our Angel Supporters who contribute $40,000+ will receive a Co-Executive Producer credit in the main titles of the movie and be credited on all our promotional materials. Note: This is an honorary title without engendering any creative and/or business involvement, decision-making opportunities in regards to the film, and/or any claim of ownership. For more information contact us at bigvoicemovie@gmail.com, with the subject: Co-Executive Producer.

*Travel costs not included.

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON'T RAISE OUR GOAL?

If we do not not reach our goal by the deadline, we do not get any funding. You will not be charged and no rewards will be sent out. Please support us and prevent this from happeningI And if you decide you'd like to add more to your donation, click the blue "manage your donation" button and enter the new amount by choosing a new incentive.

HOW TO CONTACT US?

We are looking forward to hearing from you.  You can contact us through Kickstarter or directly at bigvoicemovie@gmail.com.

THANK YOU!

Varda Hardy

Note about onscreen credits: These are honorary titles without engendering any creative and/or business involvement, decision-making opportunities in regards to the film, and/or any claim of ownership.

We wish to thank the following for their support in creating the BIG VOICE PROMO:

  • Cinematography - Daron Keet, Dennis Leight
  • Editing - Chanel Eakin, Francisco Garcia Nava
  • Music - Dave Groseclose
  • Stills - Luigia Martelloni, Deb Love
  • Production Assistants - Dax Bonney, Paloma Bennett, Ethan Corn

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Our sincere gratitude and the satisfaction of knowing that you helped create an inspiring musical documentary.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We want to thank you again and again - you’ll receive a personal hand-written thank you card from the director and your name will be listed on our Facebook Page, Twitter and Blog.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    In addition to our heartfelt thanks, we’ll send you a digital download of the film, plus everything listed above.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Continued appreciation and thanks, and a signed DVD copy of the film, plus everything listed above.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    We want to acknowledge you publicly - an on-screen Thank You in the end credits, plus everything listed above.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Multiple thank yous, and a specially designed Big Voice t-shirt, plus everything listed above.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    See your name on the big screen - 2 VIP tickets to a screening of the film, plus everything listed above.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,250 or more About $1,250

    NEW REWARD! A gorgeous live performance for YOUR event of Harp Music by harpist Vonette Yanaginuma seen in "The Princess Diaries" and heard on Grammy Winner, Nelly Furtado's CD, "Folklore". Vonette is highly regarded as one of the most versatile harpists in the US. The date of performance to be mutually agreed upon with Vonette. Limited to the LA area. Plus everything listed above. Available only to the backer pledging at this level.

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    NEW REWARD! A gift from our director to you, a limited edition Shepard Fairey print of the Dalai Lama. This piece titled “COMPASSION” is signed by the renowned artist. Newly framed. Plus everything listed above (except the harpist). Available only to the backer pledging at this level.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    We want to thank you in person - dinner with the director within a year of the premiere, plus everything listed above.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    NEW REWARD! A visit to the set of the hit series "GREY'S ANATOMY" for you and a guest! Must be 18 or over, transportation not included. Date be mutually agreed upon with Executive Producer, expires April 2012. Plus everything listed above (except the harpist and print).

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    An even bigger on screen credit - ASSOCIATE PRODUCER (!), plus everything listed above.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    You deserve the biggest thank you of all - CO-PRODUCER credit, plus everything listed above.

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Funding period

- (33 days)