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A documentary for and about fangirls. 
Our film explores the pains and pleasures of loving a boyband, as a teenager and beyond.
A documentary for and about fangirls. Our film explores the pains and pleasures of loving a boyband, as a teenager and beyond.
554 backers pledged AU$ 51,403 to help bring this project to life.

About

'I Used to be Normal' - A Boyband Fangirl Story project video thumbnail
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AU$ 51,403

554

We did it! Massive thanks to our 550+ Backers who made this happen! We fangirl for you all! 

If you would still like to become a Backer of 'I Used to be Normal' and get one of our rewards - you still can via PayPal - right here

Please keep in touch with the film's progress and our team - on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or Tumblr. We'd love to hear from you! 

About the film 

This is a film about fangirls – the beating heart of boybands, from the Beatles to the Backstreet Boys to One Direction. We've met amazing people making this film and we want to share their stories and insights with you. Over the past three years we've interviewed passionate fans aged 13 to 65 from around the world. We've also spoken to music theorists, songwriters, educators, adolescent psychologists, neurologists, and even former boyband members as we explore the joys, innocence and awkwardness of being a teenager, whatever the era. Combining interviews with archival material, animation, and home movies, ‘I Used to be Normal’ will investigate the crucial role music plays in our lives, and explore the creativity, dedication and influence of the boyband fangirl.

Why this film?

"Three years ago, I accidentally fell in love with One Direction. My friends and family didn't get it, so I went online and found others who, like me, were obsessed. It wasn’t long until I found myself falling for the fangirls too. These girls were funny, creative, and they looked out for each other. This was something unexpected. I wanted to explore more about what was really going on here. I wanted to meet these amazing women and girls in real life, and find out their stories.

Producer Rita Walsh understood my passion for this idea, and became my partner on this film. Since then we've travelled around Australia and the USA to meet people who have generously given their time and voices to this project.  

We have met so many remarkable girls and experts who told us surprising things about the power of music, marketing and the teenage brain. This is a fun, fascinating and moving world to explore in a film. Zayn is gone (RIP) and the time to make and release this documentary is now. We can't wait to share this with you." 

 - Jessica Leski, Director.  

So who did we interview?

We've filmed interviews with more than 90 people! We've heard some amazing stories. We've met fans in Los Angeles, San Franscisco, New York, Long Island, Sydney and Melbourne. We've interviewed a wide range of experts in the areas of music, pop culture, adolescence, psychology, neuroscience and technology. Some of these experts include: 

Supporter Rewards

We've put together some exciting rewards for our Kickstarter Supporters. You can get streaming copies of the film, your name in the credits, and much more! Special rewards include:

  • A Special Limited Edition Print by fan artist Channybeeb. Chantel has created this wonderful piece of Beatles fan art exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign and will sign and number each print:
Adorable original Beatles fan art, created by Channybeeb
Adorable original Beatles fan art, created by Channybeeb
  • Limited Edition Hand Screen Printed 'I Used to be Normal' T-shirts, created in collaboration with our friends at Home-Work in Melbourne. 
Get your own "I Used to be Normal" T-shirt. All the cool kids are wearing them!
Get your own "I Used to be Normal" T-shirt. All the cool kids are wearing them!
  • A One-Off Artwork by the phenomenally talented Nadia Hendryani aka Cyrilliart. Choose your favourite artist or band and Nadia will create an A4 white pencil/black paper work of art for you.
Nadia and some of her amazing creations. She will draw one just for you!
Nadia and some of her amazing creations. She will draw one just for you!
  • Melbourne Premiere Tickets to the film! (If you aren't in Melbourne then maybe this prize isn't for you, but we will try and get you to your local premiere.)
  • An Exclusive Preview Screening for you and 10 of your friends, including a Skype Q and A with the film makers!

*If you are interested in donating more than $500 and want to find out about tax-deductibility for a donation to our project, please send Rita an email at rita@boybandfangirl.com and she'll provide more information. 

Now we really need your help!

So far we've funded production with the help of a small group of generous donors, and by putting in our own funds. But now we need your help. This film has a lot of potential to appeal to audiences around the world, and it is an important story worth telling. We've had interest from potential broadcasters and production partners, but they won't commit to helping us bring the film to screens until they see a rough cut of the story. 

This is where you guys come in! 

We're turning to you to help us get to the next stage of production. We need crucial funds in order to be able to edit the film. When making a documentary you shoot many more hours of footage than could possibly fit into one film. This means the editing process takes a long time, and involves painstaking work from our director Jessica and our professional editing team as they examine and select the best material with which to tell the story. 

If we don’t reach our funding target of $50,000 it’ll be really sad (almost as sad as Zayn leaving 1D but not quite) because all pledges will be cancelled and your payment will not be processed. It’s all or nothing, and the clock is ticking! We really hope you will be a fan of our fangirl story and support the project.

The Creative Team

The Boyband Fangirl team are all professional filmmakers and we've worked on this film between other jobs and creative projects. Rita and Jessica have each worked in the film and TV industry for over 12 years - check out our biographies in our profile. We're determined to make this film to the highest possible artistic standard and so far we've been lucky enough to work with some talented crew behind the scenes.

  • Director: Jessica Leski
  • Producer: Rita Walsh 
  • Assistant Editor: Elissia Hocking
  • Creative Consultant and Transcription: Hannah Reich 
  • Post Workflow Supervisor: Dave Budge 
  • Our Cinematographers have included Eric LaPlante, Cesar Salmeron, Jessica Leski, Matthew Chuang, Todd Banhazl, Simon Koloadin, Rick Diaz, David Coone, Matthew Harwood, and others.

A wonderful team of people have also helped us put this Kickstarter together - Thank You! 

  • Crowdfunding advice and support from Lester, Anton, Corrie, Kitty, Michael, Charles, Hannah, Addie, Jane, Lou, Georgie, Milly, Lily, Nat, Liv, Josh and Shaun. 
  • Post Production on the trailer from Darius Family
  • T-shirt printing with help from Home-Work Studio - Jess and Lara 
  • Trailer shoot and edit help from Lester Francois and Anna Brady
  • Media Consultant Lucy Handford
  • Graphic Design Celeste Potter 
  • Original Title Design by Annika Fleur
  • Photos Eli Russell
How great are the songs in our trailer?! They are by local Australian bands and we love them all!
  • Waste Away, written by Tarik Stoneman, performed by Chase City.
  • No Sound, written by Kieran Daly and Bianca Sciuto, performed by Willow.
  • See You In London, written by Daniel Rutman, Simon Lam, Hamish Mitchell, performed by The I'lls. 
  • Radio, performed by The Madisons.
(One day we may be able to afford the copyright to some classic boyband songs too!)

We'd love to hear your questions about our film - send an email to rita@boybandfangirl.com or contact us via Twitter or Facebook

If you are excited about seeing this film, please share this page with your friends, family and other fans. 

Risks and challenges

Time

We are aiming to finish the film in the next 18 months. There is always a chance of production delays due to unforeseen problems or circumstances, but we feel that an early 2017 completion date is a realistic aim.

Finishing the Film

We estimate needing at least $250,000 from production partners after this Kickstarter in order to finish the film to a world-class cinematic standard. Getting partners on board might take some time, but we're confident of the commercial appeal of this documentary and that when we have a complete edit to show, those partners will help us to get the film onto screens around the world.

Jessica's previous film ‘The Ball’ played on ABC TV in Australia multiple times, sold to international networks, and screened at festivals internationally. Rita has worked on international feature films and in broadcast television, so we're familiar with how this process works. Even if we were unable to raise this large amount, we know we can still complete the film, it's just that it would be at a different production standard and might take a bit longer to complete while we juggle other jobs.

Music and Archival Material

We're making a film about the fans of some of the most famous and popular music groups in history. People ask why we aren't using the songs of One Direction, or The Backstreet Boys or The Beatles, or why we aren't using footage from their concerts, or excerpts from their video clips. This is because getting permission to use that sort of material is both difficult and very expensive. With proper production finance and the right partners and supporters, we hope we might be able to include a hit song or two in our film, along with some amazing archival footage. That's why your support will help so much!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 5 or more About US$ 4

    FAN GRATITUDE!

    Our endless appreciation and production updates from the team!

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    Pledge AU$ 15 or more About US$ 11

    FAN LOVE!

    An official 'Thank You' on our website and a social media shout out. If you would like to send us a photo of you being a fan, a fan of anything that makes you happy, we will include that on our website too!

    PLUS... our endless appreciation and production updates!

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    29 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 25 or more About US$ 18

    FAN FAVOURITE!

    Your own streaming copy of the film to watch (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country), a Thank You on our website and all the production updates!

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    Limited 139 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 40 or more About $29

    TOTES A FAN!

    An "I Used to be Normal" Tote Bag!
    Special limited edition printed calico tote bag.

    PLUS your own streaming copy of the film (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country), and all the production updates!

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    Limited 58 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 50 or more About US$ 37

    FAN FOREVER!

    Your name in the credits of the film and your own streaming copy of the film to watch (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country).

    PLUS a Thank You on our website and all the production updates!

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    Limited 116 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 75 or more About $55

    FAN ART LOVER!

    Your own piece of fan art. We will send you a copy of the special limited edition artwork created exclusively for this Kickstarter by the amazingly talented fan artist Channybeeb!

    PLUS your name in the credits of the film, your own streaming copy of the film (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country), and all the production updates!

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 100 or more About $73

    FASHIONABLE FAN!

    You'll receive a limited edition hand screen printed 'I Used to be Normal' T-shirt made in collaboration with our friends at Home-Work in Melbourne, Australia.

    PLUS your name in the credits of the film, your own streaming copy of the film (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country), and all the production updates!

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  8. Reward no longer available

    Pledge AU$ 250 or more About $183

    RED CARPET FAN!

    Melbourne Premiere Tickets for you and a friend!

    PLUS a limited edition 'I Used to be Normal' T-shirt, your name in the credits of the film, your own streaming copy of the film (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country), and all the production updates!

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 270 or more About $198

    RED CARPET BONUS FAN!

    Melbourne Premiere Tickets for you and a friend!

    PLUS a limited edition 'I Used to be Normal' T-shirt AND tote bag, your name in the credits of the film, your own streaming copy of the film (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country), and all the production updates!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 500 or more About $367

    FANTASTIC FAN!

    A skype conversation with Jessica and Rita, Director and Producer. We can tell you about the process of making the film and answer all your questions. Or we can talk about the evolution of Harry Styles's hair or debate who was the most talented Beatle.

    PLUS the special limited edition art print, an 'I Used to be Normal' T-shirt, your name in the credits of the film, your own streaming copy of the film (at the time of Home Entertainment release in your country), and all the production updates!

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 1,000 or more About $734

    FAN ART FANATIC!

    The phenomenally talented artist (and 1D fangirl) @cyrilliart will create your own one-of-a-kind A4 black paper/white pencil drawing for you.

    PLUS a limited edition 'I Used to be Normal' t-shirt, your name in the credits, a streaming copy of the film (at the time of home entertainment release in your country) and all our production updates.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 5,000 or more About $3,669

    VIP FAN!

    Exclusive preview screening of the film for you and ten friends! We'll arrange for you to get access to a copy of the film and have an exclusive screening at your home, followed by a Skype Q&A with the film makers!

    PLUS a limited edition 'I Used to be Normal' t-shirt, your name in the credits of the film, personalised card from the filmmakers, Melbourne Premiere tickets x 2 and all of our production updates.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge AU$ 8,000 or more About $5,870

    PHENOMENAL FAN!

    We'll be honoured to give you an Associate Producer credit in the credits of the completed film.

    PLUS tickets to the Melbourne premiere, a personally signed card from the filmmakers, a limited edition 'I Used to be Normal' t-shirt, streaming copy of the film (at the time of home entertainment release in your country) and all our production updates.

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Funding period

- (29 days)