Dear Friends, Colleagues, Dancers, Bloggers and all those mysterious strangers out there... please lend me your eyes... As you can probably tell from the video above, this project is
intense. CIA involvement in narcotics trafficking, mixed with the current NDAA
debate can be a toxic twist. It took two years to make this project and several weeks to lay out this page. Yes, there's a lot to read. Please grab a cup of coffee and roll with me...
I'm Marlo. I'm making a Music Video about how one woman beat a system that locked her up, erased her identity and destroyed her freedom. This video is for my single "The New Black" and it deals with a hypothetical scenario surrounding the controversy of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA FY2012). We are filming in Michigan and our Team needs $5000 in order to make this video happen.
Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website: Creators take an idea and go directly to their audience (that's you!) to help fund the venture. Usually, the pre-sale of goods ("the cool stuff") is offered in return for your investment.
KICKSTARTER USES AN ALL-OR-NOTHING MODEL: That means, we only receive money if our project reaches (or exceeds) it's goal of $5000 in a set amount of time (30 days). The site collects donations through Amazon Payments and no one is charged until the 30-day campaign has ended and our goal is met. How to pledge your donation?
- Click on "Be a Backer"
- Enter your Pledge (it can be ANY amount)
- Choose a Rewards Tier (if you'd like)
- Continue to the "Next Step" (checkout with Amazon)
- Sign in to Amazon and confirm. (That's it!)
Easy breezy. Now, on to the goods...
Prints, T-shirts, Posters and DVDs: Putting all those photos to good use.
Where will the money go? The short list is:
- Insurance & Safety (that zombie apocalypse could come anytime...)
- Travel expenses (remember when gas was $2/gallon? Simpler times...)
- Gear (Lighting, Sound, Proton Packs, ect.)
- Venue Rental (Mental Hospitals aren't cheap.)
- Post-production (Editing...evil editing.)
- Costumes (I'm fond of nakedness, but it really doesn't work here.)
- I might want a helicopter cameo in the end... (no, seriously.)
Disclaimer: I, Marlo Dell'Antonio, attest to the fact that all characters, situations and events described below are fictional in nature and solely a figment of my imagination. Any similarities to real-life events are coincidental and a miracle. (8-27-12)
I have done an incredible amount of research on the details surrounding the NDAA, DEA, Justice Dept. and historical/current-events like Fast and Furious. For the sake of sweet brevity, I'm only skimming the surface here, because we can only put so much content in a 6-minute music video.
Who is the New Black? Thelyrics are about being drawn to an outcast. (It came to me over a four-hour flight from LA to Detroit.) In our music video: the female protagonist is a freak of nature with a rebellious spirit few have ever seen. To those who admire her, she is "The New Black". To her agency, she is a black sheep. A liability that must be silenced before others begin to follow her example of inquiry and dissent.
AHPTIC FILM & DIGITAL is a full-service film production company based out of Lansing, MI. With an extensive list of clientele, I'm honored that they've adopted this project based off intrigue in the concept. I've offered them creative liberty to take the story and run wild with it. That means the more money we raise, the cooler things we can do and the more options we'll have to make this story come to life! To see some of Ahptic's work, check out these music videos for recording artist's Miley Cyrus and Nelly Furtado.
OLIVIA'S PHOTOGRAPHY. Rebekah and I met as Models in Michigan in 2008. She and her husband have since started their own photography studio. While I was in town in the Fall, we shot the storyboard in Lansing, Charlotte and Grand Rapids, MI.
Makeup Artist KARRI FARRIS. Karri and I have worked together on multiple photo-shoots in Michigan since 2007. Although we met through Fashion, Karri has extensive Film & TV experience, including makeup effects. While currently based out of New Orleans, LA., I am thankful to be able to bring her back in town to be our Head Makeup Artist for this music video.
Fashion Photographer DAVIDE ANDERSON. Davide is a well-known Detroit Fashion Photographer. He is also a close friend and colleague. We've worked on nearly 45 concepts since our first shoot six years ago. Davide shot "The New Black" Album Art series. I'm happy to announce he will also be shooting behind-the-scenes photography during the filming of this music video, so we can document every moment (and share the results with you).
Actor COLLIN FRAZIER is creating the role of "Drakon" in our story. Collin is also a professional Dancer-Choreographer from Detroit. After completing his training at Michigan State University, he went on to dance for the Detroit Dance Collective for two years before relocating to New York. While there, he has worked on projects ranging from atypical choreographic showcases to Off-Broadway musicals. Having been colleagues since our days at Michigan State University, I knew Collin would be a perfect fit for this project from it's initial conception. Now, with the new theme and armed with the perfect intensity that Drakon's character demands, I can't wait to see what Collin will bring to the production table.
How long have you been working on this project? I have been trying to get this music video made for three years. The concept was changed three times: each when two investors backed out of the project in 2009 and 2010, then finally to it's currentform. Let's re-enact...
Originally, with the first investor in place, I gathered a small team together to create a parody video of political commentator Glenn Beck (long story) in June 2009. This parody was to precede the official release later that fall. At it's initial conception, the official video involved two versions of myself on either side of a TV screen. (I refuse to go into details, as I might actually use that concept in a future video one day... Hmm...) Anyways, the parody was meant to be a cute prequel in the style of a news broadcast. The "Marlo-character" seducing everyone on the other side of the screen in a completely-over-the-top (not-seriously-sexy-at-all) way. It was ridiculously fun to make.
Note to Self: Never make a parody video BEFORE the real video. The first investor backed out (for personal reasons) and the original concept was never produced. The following summer, I found another backer in New York and added some changes to the concept. Late summer, that investor disappeared. (It was around this time that I became very cynical...) My frustration was at an all-time high. But...
the dudette abides.
October 2010, I say: Let's start over from scratch, research Kickstarter and film the video in Michigan. After drastically changing the concept (to its current form) everything began to flow. I was introduced to Ahptic, brought Olivia's on board to film the Storyboard, as well as Karri and Davide for the core team. Everyone I spoke with in Michigan got excited and wanted to be involved. I'm thinking OKAY - THIS IS IT! We were ready to launch Kickstarter in late May 2011. Then, a few days before Mother's Day, there was a tragic death in my family. I lost all motivation in the project and spent the summer in serious reconsideration of everything I stood for as an artist. After an extreme amount of soul-searching, I slowly (and I do mean *slowly*) pulled myself out of the funk and in April 2012, found a new editor (Holla to George!) to complete the Promo video. The track producer and I agreed that we would re-release the single as a Remix for the video. I then spent the past three months re-establishing the Production Team for Fall 2012.
So, HERE WE ARE because I am committed to finishing what I started three years ago.
How does completing this video help you as an Artist? The simple truth is: I just have to get this video made. It has consumed me for two years and it's got to come out. In addition to New Black, I have a handfull of demos recorded, that I'm currently performing in local shows with dancers in New York. My next goal is to get these arranged onto an EP by December 2012.
What is the NDAA? The National Defense Authorization Act. This is a very real issue that affects every American today. At the time of this post, there is currently a lengthy lawsuit going on between a group of Journalists-Activists (called the "Freedom Seven"), a District Judge, and the U.S. Government. You can read an article by one of the lead plaintiffs in the case here and a very in-depth discussion on the legislation here. (There are many articles out there, these are just two I found helpful and concise.)
That, my friends, is it.
IF YOU'VE READ THIS FAR: Thank You. I am so proud of what the New Black Team and I have been able to accomplish this far and I feel blessed to be able to inspire and excite their interest. This interest has grown and grown, and that can only mean one thing:the story has value. I hope you will join us. After you've made your pledge, please share this link far and wide, on Facebook and Twitter, so we can see the project complete!
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Master of disguise...
Lover of mangos... and bacon.
But not during the same meal...
To Karri, Davide, Collin, Dominic and John for your patience...
To Mike Madigan of M1-Studios for keeping me on my toes...
To Mark Daugherty for standing in for Collin during the interrogation scene...
To Wendy Thibodeau for assisting and filming the storyboard shoot...
To Ben Winterman for making drupal programs work with wordpress...
To George Carrara for dealing with my insane perfectionism while editing...
To Nick Ketchum for disappearing then reappearing in the nick of time...
To Michael Levine for your heroism and years of service to our nation...
All photos styled and edited by @ Marlo Dell'Antonio (2010 - 2012)
Fashion Photography by: Davide Anderson, MUA: Karri Farris
New Black Storyboard Photography by: Olivia's Photo Studio & Marlo
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