NEW GOAL FOR THE LAST FEW DAYS: KICKSTARTER SIDE PROJECT Like every Portland band, our Kickstarter now has a side project. We met our original goal of $4500 (THANK YOU), so now we're trying to raise another $500 to purchase enough drives to back up all of our footage. Yeah, that's right -- we have 10TB of footage and none of it is backed up. If one drive fails, we'd lose sessions with 20-30 bands. So we need to purchase five 2TB drives at $100 a piece. Getting to $5000 is totally within reach. Lets do it!
A year ago, we started this project because we wanted to see bands on a more personal level. We took them and their friends to a cabin in the woods, filmed their performance, and did our best to distill the entire amazing experience into a 15-minute episode. We shot some incredible footage, but the endeavor was so expensive that we could only afford to do it twice. These first few shoots got us obsessed with capturing bands outside of their natural environment. For a year, that's what we've continued doing (in more affordable ways), and now we're ready to get back to our original concept. This time, however, the project will continue with a more sustainable model that still allows for the raw intimacy found in those original sessions.
In our brief existence, we’ve received a huge outpouring of support from the artists in our community, and they’ve expressed their gratitude by offering a number of great rewards to encourage your donations. Help Into the Woods keep going, and see an aspect of live music that would otherwise go undocumented.
"I think it’s safe to say that no one in the Portland music scene has ever attempted a project like Into the Woods. Where most online music videos are easily digestible, hovering around the four minute mark, the debut episode of Into the Woods gives us over 17 minutes of Wampire. Think about that for a second: it’s almost a mini movie. I’ll admit that I originally feared such a long run time, but this thing is just flat out gorgeous; from the shots of the band gathering friends in a van to the slow-mo snow scenes, it captures both the beautiful expanse of Mt. Hood in the winter and the communal aspect of Portland music." - Michael Mannheimer, Willamette Week
"Unlike their peers, Into the Woods feels downright epic, clocking in at nearly 18 minutes, and thus raising the bar for these sort of video concepts. I'm definitely looking forward to seeing future episodes." - Ezra Caraeff, Portland Mercury
"I like how Into the Woods aims to capture the communal nature of Portland's music scene (and, by communal, I mean that it sometimes feels like a sweaty pig pile) and the often desolate and majestic settings in which people create here. There's a whole lot of spontaneity and inventiveness." - Carrie Brownstein (Sleater Kinney, Wild Flag, Portlandia), NPR
WHAT WE PLAN TO DO During a recent session with Portland band Hosannas, we realized that we had just come up with a financially sustainable way of accomplishing our original goal of going into the woods, while at the same time improving on that initial concept. Shooting in the Ape Cave at Mt. St. Helens, we brought nothing with us but borrowed generators and some candles and torches we managed to scrounge up. This session confirmed what we had been feeling since we started the site - if we had the gear to shoot anytime, anywhere, going into the woods would result in a much more genuine and intimate communal experience. The money that we spent on the first two Into the Woods shoots created an environment that was conducive to great music but it was an experience that was based on comfort and privilege. We’re now much more interested in shoots that are challenging, in the sense that they place both the musicians and the audience outside of their comfort zones, while still providing an unrivaled intimacy. Inspired by the richness of the sounds in the cave, we realized that we need to have access to this equipment at all times in order to re-create this moment with as many other musicians as possible. And that’s where the idea for Kickstarter came in.
WHAT THE MONEY IS FOR Most of the gear we have now came from our crew members, who had hustled equipment from their freelance gigs in the commercial film/photography worlds. Even with the cameras, microphones, and hard drives we’ve managed to scrape together so far, our gear has seen a ton of wear-and-tear over the past year, and we’re still in need of a fully-functional set-up that will allow us to take the operation anywhere, anytime, without limitation. We’ll need a couple of generators, a portable PA and monitors, lighting, and mobile audio equipment, including a better mixer so that we can track the whole band.
Your support will take this project further Into the Woods, providing a huge asset to the hundreds of musicians with which we’ve formed mutual partnerships, as well as the entire Portland arts community. Thank you so much for your contributions. You won’t be disappointed. Plus you'll get to see footage of our recent shoots before everyone else along with cool rewards.
"Portland video production team Into the Woods has been culling musicians touring through PDX for short live performances. Past guests have included Abe Vigoda, Big Freedia, and Teebs—each new artist a more recognizable one than the last. Yesterday Into the Woods debuted its latest video, this time from Monome-master Daedelus. Sharing a love of arcade games with the video's producers, Daedelus puts his preternatural button-pressing skills to the test in Street Fighter before spending the rest of the video triggering his way through hip-hop, IDM, and house." - Stefan Nickum, XLR8R
"The best Musicfest NW performance wasn't officially part of the festival; it was this New Orlean's Big Freedia taking over Sassy's Strip Club for a performance as part of the Into the Woods video series." - Ryan White, The Oregonian
"The most talked about show of MFNW 2010 wasn’t technically a MusicfestNW show. It was Big Freedia, New Orleans MC, dancer and Sissy Bounce artist extraordinaire, pulling up at Sassy’s on Morrison with the Into the Woods crew....I’m not sure how they did it. But I’m glad they pulled it off." - Casey Jarman, Willamette Week
"Last Thursday, Big Freedia sat back in the green room at Sassy’s, a strip club in Southeast Portland, Oregon. Getting a massage from one of her dancers and occasionally puffing a cigarette, she looked as relaxed as possible, miles away from the frantic sex bomb she was about to drop. In trademark fashion, she was playing shows all over town for Musicfest Northwest, Portland’s annual music festival, but the strip club show was a secret, put on by local video team Into The Woods." - Andrew Tonry, The Fader
"However, Into the Woods actually captures the authentic energy and warm spirit of a house show more fully than any documentary I've seen" - Cary Clark, Portland Mercury
“The Portland music scene has its very own videographer and it goes by the name Into the Woods.” - Portland Loves Music
ABOUT US Within the first year of existence of IntoTheWoods.tv, we will have released over 70 videos from almost as many different artists (and shot an additional 75 videos from our side project 28 Days in May). Each video is the product of countless of hours of organizing shoots, acquiring live audio and video, extensive editing, and running a website that provides free online content to thousands of viewers everyday. The site has expanded from our first shoot at a cabin out in the forest to include a series of different shows, ranging from intimate in-home performances to music tutorials, concerts at fast-food restaurants, mini-documentaries of musicians’ day jobs, and sessions with local and out-of-town artists playing at about every location imaginable in and around Portland, OR.
We’ve been operating under the assumption that these are culturally-relevant times, and have taken it upon ourselves to build a visually- and aurally-engaging archive of the era; one that documents this explosion of music that has occurred upon recognition of the new economic reality. There are so many talented artists out there that don’t have the funds and equipment to properly display themselves in a multimedia experience, and with our expertise, we’ve formed a number of mutual partnerships that have allowed us to build our project into what it is today.
So far, we’ve helped draw well-deserved attention to the diverse and talented Portland music community, and the response we’ve received has been generally positive and encouraging. But while it’s clear that we’re pretty damn good at documenting live performances, it’s also become apparent that we’re not very good at making any money while doing it. We’ve never been prepared to limit the scale of what Into the Woods could be, so up until now, we've purposely ignored the business aspect of things, and in result, we’ve driven ourselves into the financial ground. Now it’s reached a point where we want to set our sights higher, and you can help us get started in the right direction.
- (49 days)