BREAKING A MONSTER a film about the band Unlocking The Truth
“Surprisingly Candid” - The Hollywood Reporter
“A wonderful takedown of the modern music industry machine disguised as a conventional documentary that simply tracks a band’s rise to stardom” - 4:3 Film
“A Solid Piece of Verité Observation” - Variety
“Charming and Engaging” - The Guardian
note: Some people who are just discovering BREAKING A MONSTER have been jumping to the conclusion that the film was made by the band. This is not the case. While BREAKING A MONSTER has unique access to the relationship between Unlocking the Truth and their former label (Sony Records), it is an independent production separate from both those entities.
BREAKING A MONSTER is a documentary film about the breakout year of the heavy metal band Unlocking The Truth. It follows 12 and 13-year-old members Alec Atkins, Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins as they first encounter stardom and the music industry, transcending childhood to reckon with the realities behind their rockstar dreams. Questions about the balance of art and commerce, perceptions of race and definitions of childhood all emerge on the band's tumultuous journey.
NOW... Unlocking The Truth's debut album will be self-released this June!!! It has been a long and dramatic road leading up to the release of this record, and BREAKING A MONSTER is the behind-the-scenes look at how the industry tried to shape the band before they chose to release their music independently.
In 2013, before we started filming BREAKING A MONSTER, we made a short film about Unlocking The Truth. You can watch it here:
We need your help to release BREAKING A MONSTER in theaters!
The film is the backstory to the debut album. Timing with the release of the music completes the story - It will offer an exclusive look at what happened behind the buzz and the headlines.
- With the film and the album being released at the same time, we are able to offer Unlocking The Truth's new music in our campaign rewards. This means that donating to this Kickstarter you will be able to support BOTH independent film and independent music!
- Kickstarter’s culture of community-supported projects is a perfect match for this documentary. Releasing the film independently helps us maintain certain creative freedoms about how it is presented to the world. We want to tell an honest story that doesn't conform to clichés found in most movies about musicians trying to make it big. This is a music documentary unlike any you have seen before. Now we want to share the film with you and this can only happen with your help raising the necessary funds.
- We aim to release BREAKING A MONSTER in select cities where it will play for a week or longer (New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, Atlanta, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Seattle & more). Additionally we are lining up dozens of venues to play one-night-only screenings. The filmmakers and the band will attend many of these.
- BREAKING A MONSTER has already generated tremendous response from people of all ages, particularly with high school students. It is inspiring for teenagers to watch their peers push back at adult conventions and declare their independence. We want to do more screenings at schools around the country! This campaign will help make that possible!
We are excited to be working with Abramorama to book theaters and market the film. They are highly regarded in the world of music documentaries, having consulted on everything from The Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense to Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. We couldn't be more optimistic about our plan, but there are many essential hard costs involved in the theatrical release of a film - and that's why we need your help
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
We hope you will join us in bringing BREAKING A MONSTER to the world. We need to raise money to pay for a publicist, advertising, and making the actual copies of the movie to show in the theaters. Contributions at any level help bring this film closer to playing in theaters - And we have many great rewards available to show our appreciation for your generosity.
SPREAD THE WORD! Please email links to this campaign to your friends and share it on your social media.
Reaching our Kickstarter goal will allow us to do the baseline release we have planned. Once that has been achieved we have stretch goals and rewards lined up to take the film further and bring it to more cities, schools and other venues.
If you want the film to play where you live, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do everything we can to make it happen.
MORE ABOUT THE FILM:
The film BREAKING A MONSTER begins as the band Unlocking The Truth is gaining momentum. The band members, Alec Atkins, Malcolm Brickhouse and Jarad Dawkins, are all in 7th grade and live in neighborhoods in central Brooklyn, New York. They play a blend of heavy metal and speed punk in Times Square, often drawing substantial crowds. Many people find the band extraordinary not only because of the combination of their music, skill and age, but also because they break through the stereotype that African-Americans don’t play hard rock.
Someone records a video of them playing and puts it on YouTube. It becomes wildly popular and when their internet fame explodes, they take on a manager: Alan Sacks, a 70-year-old industry veteran who previously worked with the Jonas Brothers. With his guidance they are soon on their way to sign a huge record deal with Sony Music Entertainment.
The boys are coming of age, not only as they make the leap to being professional musicians, but also as they transcend childhood and take their first steps into adulthood. They are confronted with complex contracts, branding decisions and artistic guidance from the team that is running their career. As 12 and 13 year-olds, they are asked to make critical decisions that will affect their lives in a profound way.
The sudden breakout of any band, let alone one of pre-teens, is an extremely narrow and specific period in time. Anything feels possible, and in some moments the boys in the band can almost feel the eyes of the world gazing upon them. From here on the band’s ascension accelerates. As the boys contend with waves of both aggravation and excitement, BREAKING A MONSTER chronicles the narrative of their rapid transformation.
Risks and challenges
We have been working with Abramorama for months to formulate a clear plan and efficient budget for the film’s release in theaters – so the risk following a successful Kickstarter campaign will be minimal. Abramorama has a long history of successfully releasing documentary films – music documentaries in particular. Some notable Abramorama titles are: Amy, Senna, Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, Look of Silence, Heart of a Dog, Listen to Me Marlon, Live from New York, Exit Through the Gift Shop, Neil Young Trunk Show, Anvil: The Story of Anvil, Gasland.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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