Always keen to push boundaries, the Hardcore Underground team have joined forced with HTID USA, and Lethal Theory, to film a cutting-edge standard Blu-ray/DVD release featuring two full DJ sets and plenty of supplemental footage. Using the latest in broadcast standard cameras and related technologies, with a >HD workflow and multichannel audio, we're aiming at nothing short of a truly immersive sense-searing spectacle. Not only beautifully showcasing the music we all love, but capturing the feel of a truly epic event filled with up-for-it ravers on a night like no other.
So, if you're unable to attend HTID USA we've got the next best thing and *you* can still be a part of it. If you are attending HTID USA, this is potentially the best memento imaginable. With your help, we'll create not just a mind blowing "in-rave experience" but also a sizzle reel for the genre. As the music continues to grow around the world, it's imperative that we have media to a standard that does it justice.
We're not looking to just match the standard of existing dance music concert Blu-rays, we're looking to jump ahead using Red 6k cameras more typically used to shoot the latest Hollywood blockbusters wielded by some of the most experienced operators around. The workflow will preserve near fantastical levels of greyscale information and the colour spectrum, and at a framerate enabling all kinds of fun in postproduction. The tracks will be mixed into surround sound, anchoring the vocal in the centre for better off-axis listening in typical living rooms or home theatres. We'll be capturing as much ambient and crowd noise as possible, and the acoustic signature of the venue, to carefully construct a wrap-around audio field you won't ever want to leave. We will also put considerable effort into ensuring there is a robust stereo mix available.
Normally, achieving this would be very cost-prohibitive and remain soundly out of the realm of reason. Hiring out multichannel studios and engineers, paying professional media editors etc. Luckily, HU already has some very crucial tools to make this feasible and cost-effective; a 5k screen attached to a highly capable video editing workstation, and the experience to do the bulk of the editing in-house. We also have a 7.1 multichannel reference standard room to do the audio work in. This should mean that for pulling together a professional result only the final color grading and audio mastering will need to be outsourced. We've already done some test filming, at various locations, admittedly on a much smaller scale and with less high end gear, in order to get a good handle on not just what we need but also what more could be achieved.
Which is where you come in! The more cameras, and the higher quality footage we can get, the better this is going to be. We could fall back on a more traditional path, but in doing so we lose the chance to shoot for the stars. We've doggedly prepared a crowdfunding campaign we hope will enable us, together, to raise the bar.
For those not familiar with crowdfunding, we've knocked up a sort of Q&A which might help, further down this page.
The two main sets to be recorded are Fracus & Darwin (hosted by MC Enemy) and Joey Riot (hosted by MCs Obie and Mayhem). We are acutely aware of local concerns regarding more UK typical style MCing; this will be done sensitively and with a view to getting the best on both the night and the Blu-ray. HU, Lethal Theory and HTID USA are working closely together with all artists involved to make this a genuinely legendary experience to both witness and enjoy over and over again for years to come!
We've got some really cool stuff up for grabs, most of which will only be available during this campaign. While the end result is what matters the most, it's important to have some unique rewards for the people who help us get to it. We will be adding more information throughout the next month, not just the stuff we've got ready or are working on, but things you guys want to know. Part of this is making us available to you, and folding your feedback into both the crowdfunding and the project itself. So, strap in, pick a tier and let's get this show on the road!
£8750 - Powerstomp Workout (extra feature) with Joey Riot *ACHIEVED*
£10000 - Move to DTS-HD Master Audio, with 7.1/5.1 and Stereo in a single stream. Frees up space for future stretch goals and music only audio track *ACHIEVED*
£11250 - Documentary featuring behind the scenes at HTID USA, shooting of the blu-ray and interviews. Additional feature on the fourth F&D album "Diversions" including attended mastering at Metropolis Studios (London) *ACHIEVED*
£12500 - Vocalist Meron Ryan (Never Let Go/Heavyweight) will perform at HTID USA for the blu-ray! *ACHIEVED*
What is "crowdfunding"?
Crowdfunding, at least in the sense used here, is a relatively new internet-led method of funding projects and bringing them to life. Unlike a simple pre-order, crowdfunding allows ambitious and/or risky ideas to not only happen but to scale in line with audience demand. Why not just pay for it yourselves? Good question, as that's what we usually do. We'd trust our collective experience to set a shooting budget in line with potential sales, and attempt to at least break even with the wider picture in mind. The problem with that is twofold: Firstly there's never been anything like this in genre and, secondly, even presuming a decent level of interest, the costs incurred in doing this "properly" make it a very precarious endeavour. Equally importantly, it means there is no way to take things to the next level. If it turns out enough people share our vision and passion, the project takes on a life of its own and can exceed not just our expectations but yours. The sky's the limit.
Okay, with you so far. Why are there so many different options?
The options are called "tiers", and this is where we complicate things further with a view to untangling down the line. It's important to understand another key difference between a pre-order and crowdfunding. In crowdfunding you don't just assign a price to a tier and expect people to be blown away by the value of the item(s) offered. The very idea of the higher pledge tiers is to offer a unique, and hopefully appealing, reward for supporting the project. In most instances, the actual cost of manufacturing those additional items is nowhere near the prices shown; the bulk of the money from those pledges goes directly into making the project happen, or scaling it up so the core product is better for everyone. In the same way that rare vinyl, or albums, end up costing far more than perhaps originally priced; the rewards at higher tiers are only available during the campaign and the sticker price reflects that.
Why are there some tiers that are the same but different prices, or the same price but different?
If you look closely, you'll see that there is a "(number) of (number)" value on these tiers. These are quantity-limited. This works for two different situations: 1: The people who jump on the project fastest can take advantage of a small number of discounted standard and deluxe variants of the finished Blu-ray/DVD. The quickest can get "Super Early Bird" and once those are exhausted, there is "Early Bird". When they are all gone, the rest are available at the standard price. Early backers often help the campaign get momentum and the discount both represents our appreciation, as well as encouraging people to get in early. 2: The reward is similar, but assigned to a different set or individual involved in the project.
Right, I think I get it; the idea is to basically pre-sell some cool limited stuff so that you can make something which might not be possible, or as cool, otherwise?
Indeed, that's a lot simpler than what I said.
So, let's say I sign up to Kickstarter and "pledge" at a "tier". What's that mean? Do I definitely get it?
At this point, yes. It's now more like a pre-order. We had what's called a "funding target"…
Yeah, basically it's an amount we've calculated which enables us to do the project to a standard we are happy with and still deliver any rewards we've attached. In this case that was £7,500.
So, what happened when you got £7,500? Then the project was green-lit, and at the end of the campaign any pledge amounts will be collected by Kickstarter. That’s when you actually part with your money. Down the road, we ship the finished product and any associated rewards to you.
Is £7,500 enough?
It's the bare minimum, basically. It's the amount we'd sensibly budget if we were paying for it ourselves, hoping to recoup on traditional sales.
What happens if you get more?
It gets better. Potentially, a *lot* better, which is why we're doing it in this fashion. This is where "stretch goals" come in. Further stretch goals are revealed once the funding target is exceeded and each stretch goal is surpassed. At the start of the campaign, the first stretch goal is mixing in 7.1 instead of 5.1. This ties into a related ability to add a music only track, as we would move from PCM to a codec (format) that allows us to contain 7.1/5.1/Stereo in a single audio stream and thus free up space for additional tracks and other content. The important thing to understand about stretch goals is that, similar to the higher reward tiers, they don't exactly match a cost with an objective. Overall funding improves the overall project, and stretch goals tend to highlight improvements in specific technical or creative areas. Some people won't care about 7.1, or other future stretch goals, so it's important to know that it's more than a box being ticked. Other stretch goals may reflect additional content, which requires additional editing and shooting, and some may end up being decided based on feedback from backers.
What do you mean by "based on feedback from backers"?
One of the other really cool things about crowdfunding is that you aren't just getting funding, you can also shape the project and expand it according to what backers want and are collectively willing to pay for and towards. If you guys come up with a great idea which potentially gets more people interested in the project, we can adopt it and offer it as a stretch goal. This is where things like "Extra Features" on a Blu-ray/DVD project could get pretty interesting…
I'm in. I've pledged, what now?
Talk about it. To us. To your friends. To your neighbours. To long-lost relatives who will no doubt be very confused about your reason for resuming contact? We've got just a few days remaining to get as many people involved as possible, and raise as much money as possible.
Once I've pledged, can I upgrade to a higher tier?
Presuming there's still enough quantity available on the tier you want to upgrade to, absolutely. In fact, that's something crowdfunding campaigns rely on. Perhaps someone comes in at the £15 tier, and over the course of the campaign decides this is a really cool thing, or they really like the look of the higher tier rewards as we reveal them, so they move up to the £75 tier to get a T-shirt and other goodies. The HU team have done this themselves, a fair few times ;)
Risks and challenges
Whilst every project carries a degree of risk, we feel we have done enough planning and will build in enough redundancies that we will be able to achieve our objectives should anything untoward occur. There's always the chance of artists falling ill, or airports shutting down, but they aren't something that is either likely or worth living in fear of. Our intended delivery date is December, which allows quite a lengthy period of both production and manufacture. However, as long term followers are no doubt acutely aware, we're more interested in getting it "right" than hitting deadlines. If the end result justifies it, we'll take as long as it needs. So, we're shooting for December... but don't count on it as the only Xmas present for a loved one ;)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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