About this project
This is the Kickstarter page for a fundraising campaign that ended on December 27, 2016. Please go to www.violinaroundtheworld.com for information on the film Otherwise It's Just Firewood and the television series Violin Around the World.
Dear Friends, this is a campaign to raise funds to finish the first episode of Violin Around the World television series entitled Otherwise It's Just Firewood. We're thrilled to announce that the final edit has now been approved by National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) for distribution to the 170 public TV stations in the USA. We are almost there! We just need $7500 to cover post-production costs (mostly sound mastering and color correction) and it will be screened on public TV across the USA and television channels around the world!
Why is this project so important? The idea that music brings the world together is nothing new, and it goes without saying that we all need more of this right now. However the violin, more than any other musical instrument, unites people across the boundaries that can keep us apart. Boundaries of language, distance, race, religion and ethnicity; Americans and Iranians, Kurds and Turks, Sunni and Shia, Israelis and Arabs. Even Democrats and Republicans. As the world's most flexible instrument, used in the traditional and classical music of dozens of countries and regions worldwide, the violin provides insight into both what makes us all unique and what we all share. I believe this is the essential element in breaking down barriers between people- that our differences are not only tolerated, but celebrated. And the violin is a unique tool in this regard, as it embodies this concept perfectly.
How can this instrument- this small wooden box with strings and a bow, perfected in Italy in the 16th century, sound so completely different depending on where and by whom it is played? How is it that so many places consider the violin a "native" instrument? As a violinist myself, I find this question endlessly fascinating and is at the core of my motivation to produce this film and series.
A short description of the first episode, Otherwise It's Just Firewood: In a feat of musical extreme sports, violinist Daniel Hoffman travels to Ireland and has just one week of study with master Irish fiddler James Kelly before they perform together on stage. Daniel has never studied Irish music.
Attempting to achieve the unachievable, forces him to look inside of himself in unexpected ways, and reveals the subtlety and beauty of the Irish fiddle tradition. In addition to daily, intensive lessons, the journey takes him to a host of other musicians, philosophers, dancers, academics, luthiers, and to an ancient Irish burial ground and religious site. Its a story about music, Ireland, identity, and the inner journey.
Otherwise, It's Just Firewood is the first episode of the Violin Around the World television series. After distribution on public television in the USA with the help of the NETA, I will continue building an audience and will be able to make the case to underwriters and foundations that this is an important project to support. When I have real financial backing, I hope to produce from 6-10 episodes per year.
So what's going on now, and why am I asking for support again? The first successful Kickstarter campaign financed most of my actual week-long trip to rural Ireland with Daniel Meyers, my intrepid cameraman/director/enabler, and Matthew Thomson my talented sound guy, fixer, driver, and interpreter. After several years work with several talented film editors and a considerable investment of my own money, I've got the 56 minute episode edited and ready to go. We just need a little push to get us over the finish line.
So what is "post production?" It's the process of color correction, sound mastering (especially important for a documentary about music) adding the titles and closed captioning. I also need to format it according to the American public television guidelines down to the millisecond. Because I only work with professionals, Its all very pricey, and I could easily spend much more than I'm asking. However, $7500 will allow me to create an excellent, gorgeous, and captivating documentary film, ready for distribution.
Why is this taking so long for the love of Pete? The short answer is of course, money, or rather lack thereof. Aside from the fact that this is an extremely expensive process and that I'm a freelance musician, other things happened in my life these last few years. First this:
Tfu-tfu! And we were just catching our breath when this happened:
Tfu-tfu-tfu!! Amazing miracles. So Talyah now has a brother and a sister and we've been very blessed and busy to say the least, but I never lost sight of my vision for the series or stopped working on the film and we are nearly finished. We just need a little push to get us over the top and make this film available to audiences around the world.
Creating a 56-minute documentary film like this normally takes a budget several times what I've had at my disposal, but I have never been willing to compromise on quality, so I've been working with professionals at the top of their game from the beginning. I've worked with editors these last few years who were enthusiastic about the project and have agreed to work for me at a reduced rate if I work around their schedule. This stretched things out quite a bit as sometimes we could only find a few hours per week between our crazy schedules.
OK enough with the excuses, lets go forward. Since NETA agreed to handle the film, there is at last a clear path to sharing this with a large audience, and thats where you all come in.
So any donation, no matter how small is greatly appreciated and will help put this film on TV. Thanks for considering my crowd funding campaign and if you like the project but can't donate, sharing the project by email, on Facebook or other social media will be a huge help as well.
Warm regards, Daniel Hoffman
PS: Look at the great animated explanation of the rewards!
Risks and challenges
The path to finishing this documentary and distribution on American public television is clear. My previous successful Kickstarter campaign has only funded a fraction of the overall cost, and I've made up the difference out of my own pocket. Thanks for your support, monetary or otherwise!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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