On November 10 and 11, 2017, Asphalt Serenade will debut our film and score "Elegy Highway" at the innovative Music Box Village in New Orleans, Louisiana. It’s the perfect outdoor setting for our cinematic mission – create a unique movie watching experience by performing an evocative score with the best musicians to an original film edited live, where the video mixer is treated like a musical instrument. Film as performance and in the moment.
ABOUT THIS PROJECT: “Elegy Highway” is a road movie collaged from found footage, sampled media, personal footage and home movies. Comically bittersweet, it tells the story of a boy scout on his way to Washington, D.C. for a Boy Scout Jamboree and the America he experiences through the bus windows. Part historical, part time-travel, part autobiographical, “Elegy Highway” is primarily a story of who we are as a culture through the unique American experience of a road trip.
Integral to telling the story, the eighteen instrumental songs that make up the score were written to convey narrative tone and emotional themes as the story progresses, inspiring the viewer to interpret the film through their own eyes.
Musicians include drummer David Lovering of The Pixies, looping cellist Helen Gillet, bassist James Singleton plus some of the best musicians to be found in New Orleans including Xandra Wong and Jason Jurzak. Performers include local cultural icons, the Baby Doll Ladies, who will choreograph selected dance sequences.
Staging a multi-media show of this scale presents various challenges, technically and logistically. With your help we will be able to present the film and score this November as we envision it and, more importantly, lay out the foundation and infrastructure for future shows in other cities. To maintain our commitment to community based projects we will also be working with local schools to use this event as a hands-on educational experience.
ABOUT ASPHALT SERENADE: I had always wanted to be in a band since I was little boy so I started one. Asphalt Serenade is a film and scoring lab and our goal is to create and perform narrative films and scores through the live interplay of music, image and sound in a sub-conscious creative process I call “vusicianship” – that a film story can be ‘written’ through the synergy of moving image and music, the next step as inspired by silent film scoring.
The intention is to turn a film post-production process into a dynamic stage show. Therefore each performance of the film and score will be unique, like prints, of the original. We want to present films and scores that are felt rather than simply watched. “Elegy Highway” is the first, and certainly not the last, in this evolving cinematic experiment.
WHAT WILL YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS SUPPORT? As mentioned, technical challenges of performing a live score with live projected editing demand specific requirements to ensure the show is technically and creatively of the highest standards. We have also assembled a large group of talented musicians and performers and are committed to compensating them fairly. Budget permitting, we also desire to bring in additional musicians and dancers. We also plan to document the performance on HD video and a multi-track recording system for a post-event film and soundtrack distribution release.
Some of the costs we will incur to present the two shows and for future projects include:
• State of the art audio recording and video recording equipment rental and personnel
• High-quality projectors and projection screens
• Additional technical equipment (i.e. drives, computer, updated mixers, software, back up)
• Studio time and personnel for audio mixing and video editing
• Musician and performer rehearsal and performance fees
• Marketing and public relations to extensively promote the shows
• Dedicated rehearsal space
• Live streaming feed of rehearsals and preview performances
• Manufacture vinyl of the existing soundtrack for sale at the shows
• Technical and logistical foundation to perform in other cities in the future
We believe Asphalt Serenade, due to our unique approach, can become an inspirational and integral part of the cultural and creative landscape which makes New Orleans great, and to further the art of film in general.
Risks and challenges
The main risks and challenges for mounting this event are:
1. Due to the climate of New Orleans, and because the show will be held outdoors, there is a slim chance that it could rain thereby postponing the event.
2. Technical issues related to equipment/software failure. Live editing requires a lot of sophisticated hardware and software. Therefore, back up systems and plans will be in place.
Asphalt Serenade has performed several live scores to projected films with no problems. In addition, Carlos Grasso is a highly experienced filmmaker, multi-media performer and creative producer with many years of staging events. We have assembled great musicians, a highly regarded dance company with a well-known choreographer, a publicity and marketing staff, general support staff and have relationships with local highly qualified technicians. We are working with a top notch staff at Music Box Village who are invested in our success and who have mounted many productions. We do not foresee any major issues related to this show. Nor do we see any obstacles when we subsequently take the show on the road.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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