About Killer B3
Seven years ago, I wandered into a musty blues bar on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida to hear a friend play a gig on his Hammond Organ. While I was familiar with the Hammond sound, I really hadn't paid much attention to it. There was my buddy Shawn Brown at the helm of this bulky two-layered keyboard, but he had morphed into this OCTOPUS -- pouring every once of his energy into his music. He was gliding over the keys, sliding levers, stepping on pedals, flipping switches with both hands. If this wasn't enough, he was singing too. Wow! I was simply floored.
During his break, I couldn't stop asking Shawn questions about this massive instrument he had paired with a beautiful matching wood cabinet. Inside was a spinning speaker called a Leslie Speaker.
That night, I learned the Hammond Organ creates one of the most widespread sounds in music. You hear it in Gospel, Blues, Jazz, Rock, Country, Reggae, Television Commercials and Ballparks. It was once the popular sound at Roller Skating Rinks and in Soap Operas before there were soundtracks. Although common in usage, the Hammond Organ is also one of the hardest instruments to conquer. Those that do devote their lifetime to it.
Shawn told me each year more and more of these "Old School" players are dying. That was the trigger. The journalist in me took over. I immediately knew the Hammond Organ would make for one hell of a story.
I shot some video of Shawn playing with my outdated still camera. The next day I showed it to my best friend, co-worker and cameraman, Joe Bamford. Yes, the clip was grainy and low-resolution, but Joe began to feel something too.
After a little research, it was clear that no one had ever done a long-form story on this wild instrument sometimes called the Beast. Joe and I looked at each other and agreed. We wanted to be first to tame an in-depth documentary about the Hammond Organ sound.
We're Almost Done!
In the summer of 2005, we started on Killer B3 (KB3) with a blank piece of paper and zero knowledge about Hammond Organs. Since then, we have traveled to almost a dozen cities, shot more than 80 hours of footage and interviewed some of the top organists in the world. This includes, Jimmy McGriff, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, Tony Monaco, Reuben Wilson, Trudy Pitts, Michael Toresone, Shawn Brown and many others.
In preparation of producing KB3, we purchased a new camera, two editing systems and a bunch of other production gear. We had no idea writing, producing and editing a 90-minute Feature Documentary would take almost a decade and cost so much money. KB3 has already been invited to show at several Film Festivals. Unfortunately, we have had to decline all invites, because we can't afford the hefty costs of video and music clearance fees.
Our film includes several Video Clips from movies and DVDs. These clips are expensive and crucial to the storyline of KB3. KB3 will use about a dozen Historical Still Photos. Each photo costs anywhere from $300 to $500. Without these pictures, we just can't tell the story of the Hammond Organ effectively. We need funds to pay for Entrance Fees to Film Festivals. While there are hundreds of Festivals, we plan to enter only the ones that are a good fit for our unique music documentary. We also need Marketing Materials. This includes, Posters, Flyers, Press Releases and other Merchandise. We also need funds to help offset Travel Expenses to various Festivals and Educational Venues.
Putting KB3 together has been an emotional journey for us too. Several of the organists who took part in this documentary are no longer alive to see its outcome (you will learn more about that in the documentary). We owe it to those organists and others to get KB3 released.
We need to raise at least $10,000 in 30 days to help get KB3 released in 2013. Yeah, yeah. We know it reads like a hostage note, but it's true. We really need your support, and we need you to spread the word about our Kickstarter Campaign to music fans and your friends .
None of the money raised goes in our pockets. We knew going inwe might never get back what we put into producing this project. Every dime raised will be spent on needs associated with promoting and advancing opportunities for KB3.
Our Thanks to You
As journalists, we decided to tackle this project because we strongly believe life isn't about ourselves. Instead, it's about our impact on others. We want KB3 to impact people while we are here and long after we are gone. We have put together some cool Rewards to encourage support regardless of the amount. Until we discovered Kickstarter, we had no idea how to raise the thousands of dollars needed to launch our project. Help us get KB3 shown at Film Festivals and beyond starting in 2013. Thank you for believing in us and supporting in our mission.
Title Sponsorship Opportunities
If you would like to donate more than our rewards amount, please contact us. We are eager to partner with a Title Sponsor who shares our passion for the preservation of music and the arts associated with the Hammond Organ. Please contact us @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
Fortunately, our documentary is 99% complete. During this post-production stage, all that remains is to obtain the rights to use many of the historical films and still images that are imperative to the telling of this story. One of the advantages of recently finding out about Kickstarter is we already had most of the pieces in place to complete our film before approaching Kickstarter. This means we have had a seven-year head start on our project.
The big challenge moving forward is taking advantage of our personal business and social networks. We must get them involved and responding. We currently have over 2,000 people in our social network and this fan base is growing daily.
In conjunction with our Kickstarter effort, we are also presenting a series of live concerts to showcase our project. We will have at least three of these kinds of events leading up to and during our Kickstarter Campaign.
As media professionals, we know the importance of mass marketing through media. Currently, we are getting exposure in newspapers, radio and online publications.
Our 50 years of combined professional experience qualifies us to take on any challenge associated with getting this project released. We have already put in thousands of dollars and hours into Killer B3 and we are ready for release. As we approach the finish line, we just need your help!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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