Funded! This project was successfully funded on March 3, 2013.

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Mr. Grillo is the story of an outcast musical genius separated from the music world due to his choice of instrument, the theremin.

Mr. Grillo is a documentary film about an alienated musician named Thomas Grillo who uses his theremin to play the most beautiful classical music you have ever heard. 

I first heard of Thomas Grillo when my friend started giving away everything to everyone. Especially me because I was living right down the hall from him. One of the amazing things he gave me was a electronic instrument called a theremin. 

Like any curious musician, I went to youtube and looked up how to play the theremin, and the first video that popped up was an instructional video by Thomas Grillo. 

I recently went down to Mississippi and filmed Thomas for four days with my cinematographer friend Isiah Flores and we learned a lot about his life and his dedication to the instrument he has come to master. We got a lot more than anticipated with Thomas as we learned more and more about his story. We found out he was adopted as a child. His biological father was Spanish and his biological mother was German and his brother and sister were also adopted and come from Lebanon. This was an interesting part of the story since it links back to a gig Thomas had at a Lebanese restaurant. 

We have so much beautiful documentation of his world and I think we captured something really emotionally intimate with a mix of good quirky humor. Now I just have to edit the project.

Raising these funds will help that editing process by supporting it with sound mixing, titles, possible animations, and film festival submissions. 

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

One of the reasons for getting this film funding is to continue to work on the project without having to take on other outside film jobs. I have already spent a good portion of my savings on the shooting part of the project and need the extra support to finish the project in a timely fashion.

Another goal is to screen the film in Mississippi for Thomas Grillo and the music community there. I'd really like to screen the film at the Planetarium which is a location we filmed at during the project and also have Thomas play at the planetarium. Hopefully building some understanding and excitement about this awesome instrument and getting Thomas more gigs.

FAQ

  • Hey Everyone. Thanks So much for your support on this project. I've got a lot of emails about it and I'm really happy that people are interested in the theremin and interested in Thomas Grillo's story. It's going to be a fun project to put together and a fun project to watch when it's done. Please help spread the word if you can. I have 15 days left so lets do some damage. Thanks again,

    danilo parra + thomas grillo

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    6 backers

    You will receive a thank you on the DVD jacket.

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    18 backers

    Receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email.

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    29 backers

    Receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the full Mr. Grillo film in your email * Plus get a special thanks in the credits shown at the ending of the film.

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    8 backers

    This package includes: * A 4x6 print of a picture I took of Thomas Grillo during the filming, Plus all of the above... * A digital download of Thomas's album. * A Special Thank you in the end credits * Also receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email.

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    3 backers

    This package includes: ** A signed 8x10 print I took of Thomas Grillo during the filming. Plus all of the above... * A digital download of Thomas's album. * A Special Thank you in the end credits * Also receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Thomas likes this package because it includes: * One Ready To Play Gakken Theremin Mini - used by Thomas in the Film. Play along on your very own Theremin. **a special VHS of the film. 25 available. Plus all of the above... * "The Art Of The Theremin" music by Clara Rockmore CD or audio download. * A signed 8x10 print I took of Thomas Grillo during the filming. * A digital download of Thomas's album. * A Special Thank you in the end credits * Also receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Theremin Package Special Includes: ** One Ready To Play Burns B3 Theremin. Used by Thomas in the film. Professional Theremin you can play in your own home. + Thomas Grillo Mug: Plus all of the above... * A special VHS of the film. * "The Art Of The Theremin" music by Clara Rockmore CD or audio download. * A signed 8x10 print I took of Thomas Grillo during the filming. * A digital download of Thomas's album. * A Special Thank you in the end credits * Also receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email. Thomas is excited about this one because his dream is to get the world playing the Theremin.

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Fun package includes: ** Thomas Grillo will play a song dedicated to you or your loved one and send you a video recording of the performance. ** You will also get your own Ready To Play B3 Deluxe Theremin shipped to you so you can play along and get first hand experience with the Theremin Plus all of the above... *Thomas Grillo Mug. * A special DVD of the film with Bonus Features * "The Art Of The Theremin" music by Clara Rockmore CD or audio download. * A signed 8x10 print I took of Thomas Grillo during the filming. * A digital download of Thomas's album. * A Special Thank you in the end credits * Also receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email. Thomas is excited about this one because his dream is to get the world playing the Theremin.

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    This package includes: ** A signed Ready To Play Professional Grade Moog Etherwave Standard Theremin shipped to you. (The main theremin Thomas Grillo Plays in the film. ** Plus get a Thomas Grillo instructional DVD. * Thomas Grillo Mug. Plus all of the above... * Thomas Grillo will play a song dedicated to you or your loved one and send you a video recording of the performance. * A Thomas Grillo Mug. * A special DVD of the film with Bonus Features * "The Art Of The Theremin" music by Clara Rockmore CD or audio download. * A signed 8x10 print I took of Thomas Grillo during the filming. * A digital download of Thomas's album. * A Special Thank you in the end credits * Also receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email. Thomas is excited about this one because his dream is to get the world playing the Theremin.

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    Add $30 USD to ship outside the US
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    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    I call this one the Thomas Grillo Tour. ** One all inclusive trip for two to Mississippi for the premiere of the film Flights and Hotel included. (US residents only) ** In Jackson, you will get to meet Thomas Grillo and even get a private Theremin lesson with him to learn first hand from the master. Plus: * A signed Ready To Play Moog Etherwave Standard Theremin shipped to you before the trip. (The main theremin Thomas Grillo Plays in the film.) * Plus get a Thomas Grillo instructional DVD. * Thomas Grillo will play a song dedicated to you or your loved one and send you a video recording of the performance. * A special VHS of the film. * "The Art Of The Theremin" music by Clara Rockmore CD or audio download. * A digital download of Thomas's album. * A Special Thank you in the end credits. * Also receive an exclusive early sneak peak of the the full Mr. Grillo film in your email. Thomas loves sharing his love for the Theremin and he is excited to welcome you to Jackson, Mississippi. Thank you for supporting this documentary.

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Funding period

- (30 days)