D. A. Smith Presents: The 9/11 Project
D. A. Smith Presents: The 9/11 Project
Three act musical album based on 9/11 and the decade after. Intended for healing and dialogue; to inspire activism and patriotism.
Three act musical album based on 9/11 and the decade after. Intended for healing and dialogue; to inspire activism and patriotism. Read more
About this project
The 9/11 Project in 20 seconds (or thereabouts...):
I have often wondered what to say if I ran into a big Hollywood producer or someone like that and I got 20 seconds to describe The 9/11 Project. I finally came up with this:
"The 9/11 Project is a story unique in history that has not been told before. It is something the public is aware of and cares deeply about, as we’ll be reminded of it yearly with movies, books, and news articles for decades and generations to come. It’s a work intended for healing, understanding, dialogue and activism."
And to that, add “patriotism.”
So what is The 9/11 Project?
I wrote an album—a rock opera—about the tragedy on September 11, 2001 and the decade after. It’s on three CDs with 11 songs on each for a total of 33 songs. Each CD is like an act, like a three-act play: Shock and Awe, This Means War, and The God Files [DECLASSIFIED]. I wanted to tell a story about the act of war, being in war and our search for redemption; and I think I succeeded in doing that.
People who have heard songs from The 9/11 Project liken it to a rock opera like Pink Floyd's The Wall, and the characters to a Shakespearean drama. Again, this reflects my own feelings about that time—the personalities involved: Osama bin Laden, Karl Rove, Saddam Hussein, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, even our current President Barack Obama—in the context of the times, they seemed so much larger than life.
So why do I need $60,000?
I need so much money to:
- Hire a professional band;
- Hire a professional studio—I have already picked out an excellent, world-famous one in Chicago;
- Hire a high-quality marketing team—again, I have the people I want already in mind;
- Press the CDs and produce the collectors-item quality cases and inserts;
- Have sufficient left over to cover unforeseen problems.
A rough budget is as follows:
Notice that, unlike many Kickstarter campaigns, I have budgeted in the cost of pledge fulfillment. There are many cases of successful Kickstarter campaigns where essentially all the money they raised was spent just fulfilling pledges—you’d be shocked to learn how expensive T-shirts can get!
So to help contain fulfillment costs I am limiting production of advance copies of The 9/11 Project to one thousand albums. That is not 1,000 per pledge level—that is 1,000 total. Only the first 1000 pledges of $40 or more will receive a physical copy. All pledge amounts are entitled to downloadable copies of The 9/11 Project.
One thing I learned the hard way producing albums: it always takes more time than you think it ought to, and much more money. The 9/11 Project is essentially done; it only needs to be recorded, produced and marketed. I expect this to take no more than eight months, taking into account possible delays, and the $60,000 should be sufficient to cover most extra expenses I expect to run into.
Sounds good so far: What else do you need?
I'm also asking the public for
- True Stories
from or inspired by September 11 and the decade since, up to election of Barack Obama, and the death of bin Laden.
I thought—so many people lived through this, so many people were affected by this—I wanted to create a place where people can share their feelings, their art and their memories with the world just like I am. So I created the 911 Project Wall.
If we find your stories truly moving, your art really inspiring, we'll want to use them on the album cover and insert material. You can find more information on http://911projectwall.com/.
I also need somebody who can play bagpipes.
We have a song that calls for a bagpipe solo, but I don't know anybody who plays bagpipes. So if you're a bagpipe piper, let us know.
Anything else we need to know?
For The 9/11 Project, I did something I don't usually do. I put the lyrics to all 33 songs online, at http://www.dasmith911.com/lyrics; because some of them are controversial, some have adult language, and some have religious overtones some people might find offensive. The finished album will most definitely be carrying an RIAA warning label.
But war is ugly, and I didn't want to hide that. So for transparency reasons I wanted to make the lyrics readily available so you can see them before you pledge, so you'll know exactly what you're supporting.
OK, to sum up:
- We need $60.000;
- More details about The 9/11 Project can be found on our website and our blog;
- You can post your art, memories, prayers, anything you'd like to share on our 9/11 Wall. The best, we’ll include in our album art!
- We’re on Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and we have a special page at www.dontforgetasoldier.com!
Thank you, everybody, and have an awesome day!
Risks and challenges
The reason I am giving a time frame of six to eight months from the completions of this campaign for fulfillment of pledges is precisely to allow time for any delays that may come up in the course of producing this album.
And while I have been frequently advised to ask for less money, or to break this project up into smaller, more easily funded chunks, it is precisely because of my experience producing albums and the expensive problems that can crop up, as well as the expense of fulfilling Kickstarter pledges that I have decided to ask for $60,000.
I would rather go all out and risk failure than put forth a half hearted effort and certainly fail.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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