Update: To help promote the music venue and raise funds for this dvd, thesouthernrambler.com has agreed to pledge an additional $2 for every backer who pledges $25 or more!
Setting the scene:
Picture a real live Mayberry. A small town with easy going people and a single stop light. Halfway between Mobile and Pensacola and thirty minutes from the beach. This is Silverhill, Alabama.
Living on the Alabama Gulf Coast, there is a vibrant music scene. Not just the pubs and bars, but live music can be heard at dozens of restaurants, the amphitheater, and in May we even have a giant music festival on the beach. Taking a step away from the commercial scene though is a house concert venue at Blue Moon Farms. Everyone who's seen a show, even the artists who have played there agree… its magical. A true listening venue. A 'sunday social', where everyone brings a dish for the community table and a chair to sit and enjoy the music. It's a gathering of all groups, young and old, from lawyers, doctors and judges, to jugglers, hoopers, and hippies.
Over the past several months, I've recorded the artists in the round, filmed dozens of performances, and even shot a few interviews. I am an independent filmmaker and I want to share these one-of-a-kind songs and performances with you. Some of you who follow my work know I've already begun to cut this dvd. I've produced some of the songs to share on my website chPhotoVideo.com but have done these on my own dime just to share the music. I need your help through Kickstarter to fund a DVD that documents and celebrates great artists coming together in a unique venue for performances that create some of the best music you will ever hear. The name of the DVD is “Music In The Round: Live from the Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm"
There are many things that are special about this DVD project. The venue is a 100-year old farm where everyone feels like friends and family. It's the sunny Sunday afternoons where everyone brings a dish, sits together under the cypress tree and listens to multiple artists playing and singing together on stage. Often these artists have never played together and magic happens as they settle in and make music together. This venue and these shows can't be reproduced, so they should be recorded.
This project is a little different, and more complicated, from many of the projects found on Kickstarter because it is a collaboration of many different artists from all over the nation and overseas. I'm working directly with the venue and the artists to produce this DVD, but there are a lot of expenses that need to be covered.
The artists featured at the Frog Pond have played with Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, Neil Young, Dwight Yoakam, Bonnie Raitt, Steve Winwood, Vince Gill, Black Oak Arkansas, Jimmy Buffett and the list goes on. They have played the Grand Ole Opry, performed on David Letterman, Jay Leno, Soul Train, and the Grammys, and can be heard on soundtracks of movies. They have written songs for John Michael Montgomery, Poison, Jewel, Tim McGraw, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, Kenny Rogers, Lorrie Morgan, Sawyer Brown, and The Oak Ridge Boys. At these shows we've heard them tell stories of sitting in the green room with Johnny Cash, playing Madison Square Garden, or showing John Travolta how to play a song on guitar.
This project will be more than a DVD release. This will be a mix of documentary stories along with performances of these artists on stage laughing and playing along with one another. We want to take the series of shows online, seek out television distribution, and possibly enter something to film festivals. It is certainly a one-of-a-kind experience and your support will help bring this project into the light.
I started this project because I wanted others to experience the same joy that I have in this music and this special place. I have made a great start on this project and have recorded many hours of amazing pieces of music and film, but I don’t have the funding to bring them together and publish them. Without financial contributions, they will sit on a hard drive where no one will ever enjoy them. This project can't be done without your financial support. We also need your help spreading the word by sharing this video on Facebook and Twitter. I believe together we can bring the music of a few… to many.
Along with shooting video to document these shows, I recorded directly from the sound board for the best audio recording I could get. I am proud to say that Ms Trina Shoemaker will be working on the audio for the dvd release. Trina is an extremely accomplished and knowledgeable audio engineer with multiple Grammy's to back up her talent.
Background on filming this project:
This project was created by a 'one man band'. I've filmed dozens of performances over the past 6 months and figured out how to do so almost totally on my own. I ran the main camera from the corner of the stage where I would zoom in/out and pull focus on the subject I wanted. B camera would be set up at the other side of the stage where I ran a long USB cable that connected to my laptop that was at my feet at A camera. From my laptop, I could control B camera, changing exposure, focus, and start/stop the recording. Though I had control over most of its functions, it was a static camera. C camera was a GoPro brought in as an extra cut to angle. It was usually mounted up high on stage, or at the back of the crowd and I could control it using the GoPro app from my phone. I also added other cameras to the mix when I could. I plugged a recorder into the sound board to record the performances. I also came out of my recorder with a wireless that went to A camera where I monitored my audio levels. There were times I had to jump off stage, run back to the sound booth and change batteries when I lost my feed, or pull the levels down because it was peaking. Between videoing the music on stage, I would film B roll of the people, food, etc. When I wasn't filming I would take pictures to have still photography which will be used in a photobook (all photo's seen here are mine). It was a wild ride, but it has truly been a labor of love.
Where's the money going?
The cost of the production can range, and the more money I raise the more I'll be able to put into it. Here is a general break down of the use of funds.
10% to kickstarter to pay fee's and to handle transactions.
25% to fulfill rewards. print books, make dvd's, pay postage, etc
15-20% for legal fees, licensing, paying artists to use their music, etc.
40% to pay for help in editing the film, Trina for mastering the audio, and the basic expenses involved with actually cutting the DVD.
5-10% Distribution of the final product once it is complete.
Extra money raised will pay for the hard drive space the video is stored on, backing up everything for off-site storage, more RAM for my computer for editing, paying down my camera gear, and purchase a new tripod and fluid head.
Along with creating “Music In The Round: Live from the Frog Pond at Blue Moon Farm”, I'll also be creating an 80 page 8x10 photo book from the shows this season and using it as a reward. There are a handful of other photographers contributing their photography to the book. There will be stories. And the most exciting part is I've had artists hand write lyrics from their songs which I will scan and include. I wanted to create the photo book as a whole project on its own, but felt it would be an incredible reward as it is part of the dvd project. The pictures seen here are a sneak peak.
Starting at the lower level I'm including miniprints for anyone contributing to the project. This will be a small photographic prints from one of the performances.
There are two Frog Pond Feasts available. A Grayson Capps, and Sugarcane Jane show. Here's them singing on the Farm.
I've put together a good list of rewards but if there is something you would like to see, then please feel free to email me and ask!
HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK?
MAKE A DONATION AND GET A REWARD
We set a goal and a deadline. You choose an amount you'd like to donate, and the gift you want to receive. After our funding goal is reached we will send out rewards. Those rewards that require the completion of the film will be sent out after it is finished.
IF OUR GOAL IS NOT MET BY THE DEADLINE THEN WE DON'T GET ANYTHING
If we fall short of our goal by any amount then we won't get any of the money. Even if it's only by $5. That's why your help spreading the word about the film and Kickstarter campaign is so important.
Speicial Thanks in creating this project: Although I've been a one man band in the filming of this video, I certainly couldn't have done it all on my own. Big Andy has done an amazing job from the sound booth. Jay was my go to guy as a PA extraordinaire. Dad for helping create the camera mounts. Cathe Steele putting all of this together on her Blue Moon Farm to make it all possible. And I have to thank two very special woman in my life because without their support none of this video would have been possible. Thank you mom & Jen.
For more information about Blue Moon Farms, please visit their website:
Risks and challenges
I have been working closely with the artists and venue and anticipate that the majority of obstacles have already presented themselves prior to the initiation of this kickstarter project. One of the biggest obstacles is getting permission from the songwriters or music label to publish the songs. Many of the songs I have permission directly from the artists/copyright holder. But some songs I'll need to track down approval and/or other licensing. It will take time to have each artist sign a release for their music for this project. Though many of them know exactly what I'm working on and have given approval, I still have to do the paperwork. This can be difficult since all these artists tour. One artist just got back from Paris, one from Amsterdam, two are spending the summer touring in Australia and Sweden, two live in Manitoba, one lives in Belgium, and others who play for our troops. The time it takes to get these releases will depend how long it takes us (the venue and I) to get in touch with the artists. If we're unable to track them down, or other issues arise, I will simply cut that song and use another artist.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)