How well can you get to know someone from what they leave behind?
That is the question at the heart of this project. Inspired by a cassette tape diary from the 1970s, the film will consider the different ways that our memory can be interpreted and come to influence people we’ve never met—even decades later.
The origin of Unwound
In the summer of 2011, filmmaker Michael Marabella stumbled upon an unlabeled cassette tape in a thrift store. The tape contained the collected thoughts and musings of a young woman who referred to herself only as “K.R.,” recorded over a four-month period in 1976. The entries are often simple—K.R. frets over an upcoming astronomy test, comments on the weather, drinks with friends—yet they offer a poignant look into the life of this young woman.
Weeks after first listening to the tape, Michael managed to piece together the identity of the mysterious K.R.—and learned that she passed away shortly before he found the cassette. It was a profoundly affecting moment. “After countless times listening to the 90-minute tape, I felt a strong connection with K.R.,” he recalls. “I felt I really knew her, and now she was gone.”
About the film
Michael’s experiences with the tape, and sharing it with others, inspired him to create a film that would explore the way a voice from years in the past can echo in the present. Unwound will feature four different entries from the K.R. tape adapted for film, with each entry conceptualized and executed by a different cast and crew. Each director will work from the source material of the 1976 cassette tape, but their segments will be influenced by their own impressions of K.R., and the themes they find in the entries of the tape. Likewise, each segment will feature a different actress interpreting the role of K.R.
Our goal is to show not only the ways one person can appear in the eyes of others, but also the ways that the memory of a person can come to influence others—even complete strangers, separated by many years. We want our audience to leave with their own impression of this young woman, this voice from nearly forty years ago—and also to question the impression their own lives make on others.
We need your help.
We are so excited about this project. K.R.’s story is one we feel deserves to be told, and we believe we can produce a provocative and truly unique film to tell it. But we can’t do it without your help.
In order to produce Unwound, we need to raise funds to cover the costs associated with securing locations, transporting and feeding our casts and crews, and editing together the four different segments into one, cohesive film.
That’s where you come in. Every pledge you make will go towards covering the costs of completing this film. Kickstarter will only release the money to us if we meet our $10,000 goal—if we don’t reach our goal, you get your money back. So we ask that you please donate, even if it’s just a little. Every contribution brings the film that much closer to reality. We also ask that you please share this page among your friends and family, even if you can’t donate yourself.
“This tape recorder can only get the words. No videotape or film could capture three-dimensional life: the life, the reality, the real world.” —K.R.
Unwound will offer four distinct perspectives on K.R. and her story. But we don’t want to stop there. We want to see how far we can go in telling this story, and we want to see it expand into as many different forms of media as possible.
That’s why we want to invite you to share your own perspective on K.R.’s story. Donate $30 or more through Kickstarter and we will send you a segment of the tape, which you can use to create your own Unwound-inspired work of art. Submissions can be in any medium—painting, video, performance art, mixed media, or anything else you can think of—as long as it is based off the tape.
Any work of art you submit will be featured on the Unwound Archive website, and at all future screenings, gallery shows, and events that we will be hosting in support of the project.
What we want is to expand Unwound into a platform for showcasing the work of as many different artists as possible. That means giving you a way to get your work seen, heard, and experienced. We really believe that there is a lot of potential in this project and we would love for you to get involved.
We will be posting more updates on how you can do just that over the next few weeks, so watch this space!
Risks and challenges
Short films are neither easy nor cheap to produce. This is especially true of a project like Unwound, which will feature the work of no less than four different directors, each with their own cast, crew, and style, all of which must be painstakingly shot and edited so that the segments can come together as a single, cohesive film. All this means extensive art direction and continuity work before and during production; it also means a lot of intense (and rather expensive) post-production work to bring it all together.
These are some of the biggest challenges we'll be facing in bringing this project to life. But they are not insurmountable. That is why we have assembled an extremely talented and passionate group of young filmmakers to bring this project to life. Everyone involved in this project brings a wealth of experience, skills, and resources to the film, and while there is a lot to be done before we're finished, we are very excited to dive into it headfirst.
It's also why we need you—your contributions will allow us to fund the art direction, rent necessary equipment, and hire the colorists and sound designers that will ensure this film will be as good as it can be. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but with your help, we know the end results are going to be incredible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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