At the Bottom of the Rhine River
At the Bottom of the Rhine River
Richard Wagner's four, epic Ring Cycle operas get a fresh retelling with new words and artwork by L.HUNT. This is Book One in a series.
Richard Wagner's four, epic Ring Cycle operas get a fresh retelling with new words and artwork by L.HUNT. This is Book One in a series. Read more
About this project
YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN THE PUBLISHING OF THIS BOOK!
By funding only $1.00 you will have access to the complete 126 page PDF of the book's layout in its current version & all video updates from L.HUNT Studio!
What Is the Story?
The storyline is based on the first scene of Richard Wagner's first opera in The Ring Cycle that he titled Das Rhinegold.
The tale is a simple idea with huge implications for what will come into play in the scenes and operas that follow (these will be covered in other books in the series). The drama unfolds at the bottom of the Rhine river in Europe in an unspecified, ancient era. The cast of characters involved are
- Three Rhinemaidens. These sisters have been given the task of protecting a large piece of gold.
- Alberich. A dwarf from under the mountains. He is enamored by the women and tries to convince them to pay attention to him.
The Rhinemaidens play along with Alberich. Eventually though, they make fun of him, insult him and reject him. This angers the dwarf. They explain that the gold they guard would give its possessor ultimate power if he were to forge it into a ring. In order to do this the person must renounce love. Long story, short: He steals the gold and disappears, with evil plans to make a ring. What will happen now?
This first book sets the stage for the conflict and resolution that takes place in what will be called The Ring Cycle Reinterpreted, the name of this L.HUNT series of books.
A free flow of imagination was used while writing the text, adding new aspects to the story. Questions arose like:
- How is Alberich able to breathe under the water? Well, what if he followed a tunnel under the mountain and it opened at the bottom of the river? What if the tunnel met the water and created a huge bubble where he could watch the women swimming and still be able to breathe?
- How does the dwarf reach the gold? Maybe he could hit the side of the cave wall with his pick and a lava flow would pour out. The explosion could catapult him across the underwater river canyon. This would cause confusion and panic to the Rhinemaidens and ruin their underwater home while Alberich is disappearing with the gold.
- Where did the gold originally come from? What if it was a stone that had orbited saturn at one time and had come crashing down to the earth as a meteor, splashing into the river and sinking?
By these examples you can see that there are great new directions that the book has already taken. And not just in its written form. The multitude of paintings illustrating the story are almost a play-by-play of each movement. I welcome scholarly critiques of the work during its production by those in university, operatic and publishing circles and I will consider your suggestions before the book goes to print.
More information on Wagner's Ring Cycle can be found on Wikipedia HERE.
What Will the Finished Product Look Like?
The book will be a perfectly square 8.5" x 8.5" with 126 pages. There will be 52 full color paintings in this book which means that almost every other page will be illustrated.
The goal is to produce a low cost, soft cover art book that can have a general circulation in most book stores and other specialty outlets.
This will not be published as a hardback book at present. Once all the books in the series are completed, then a comprehensive hardback boxed set will be produced.
Will These Kickstarter Rewards Books Be Different Than the Bookstore Copies?
All Kickstarter Rewards books will have a unique Rhine sticker mounted on the inside cover that will not be included in any other edition of this book to identify it as the limited Kickstarter book that YOU helped to produce!
Other Than the Kickstarter Reward, Are There Other Perks in Backing This Book Project?
All Backers will receive a secret code to unlock an in-process PDF of the layout of the book as it is being crafted. (This link is included in the latest Update that is only available to Backers) As the changes are made to the layout (sketches replaced by paintings, corrections to the text, etc.) a new PDF will replace the old and a new code will be secretly announced to you via the Update. Click HERE to see an example.
This will also allow for feedback on the progress of the book and even for you to make suggestions on the artwork and text before the final hammer comes down! (Although all comments will be read, it may not be possible to respond to them.)
Does L.HUNT Have Any Experience In Publishing? Can We Be Sure the Project Will Actually Be Completed?
Yes. In 1992 L.HUNT wrote, illustrated and published his 152 page paperback book Desert Rose through his One Man Press publishing company which will also be publishing this book. More information on Desert Rose can be found HERE.
What Is the Production and Release Schedule Expected To Be?
This book is planned to ship to Kickstarter Backers when it is completed with a target date of September, 2015.
Why so far away? Let's crunch some numbers.
I have the sketches and book layout completed. This told me there will be 126 pages (the last one is blank) and 52 paintings in the book (that includes front and back covers as one). If I can produce two paintings a week (which might not be possible with a full time job and a family of 6) it will take 26 weeks to complete the painting process. My calculator says that's 6.5 months. If the paintings start in January then that takes me half way into June. I'll be getting the book ready progressively as the artwork is completed, so the final painting will signal the end of the layout and of my work on the book. I'll send the file to China (Dropbox) at that point. If it takes them two months to print, bind and ship overseas to southern California then we're talking September by the time you receive your books. Prints will be shipped during the printing waiting period. Paintings will be shipped after the book release/one-man show (more information on that below). Marketing and media hype through a professional company begins at that point.
I am very good about producing videos and blogs to keep people posted about my artistic endeavors, so if you're a Backer you'll be updated every step of the way to make this process one to remember. All video updates will be private until after the project has completed. Or, if the project funding is unsuccessful on Kickstarter, then on Dec. 28, 2014 all videos will be made public at that time HERE. I will continue to post them though until the project completes, but on YouTube only and announced on Facebook HERE, not Kickstarter.
How Did You Come Up With the Total Amount Needed To Complete the Project?
It all adds up very quickly and even I was surprised. If you're seriously considering believing in this project, please take a look at these numbers. The asked for amount will get the book published, but it would be even better if I had a professional company to give me 6 weeks of promotional hype. They are saying it would only be the start of a marketing campaign for a book. But if I can get just that little bit of attention for my art book I will be satisfied.
I had none of that in 1992 for Desert Rose and almost all 200 copies ended up in boxes in my closet and eventually storage units and garages as I carried them with me for 20 years.
Even without the professional marketing though I will do my best to get this book in the bookstores nationwide and it will also be available through OneManPress.com.
- $1,000.00 - Hire 2 or 3 models for the characters in the story. I will paint the illustrations based on the model photos.
- $700.00 - Art supplies: Wood panels, gesso, brushes, paint.
- $5,550.00 - This is for 2,500 printed copies of the book in China. A higher print run will mean less cost for each book. This would allow me to have a lower cost book.
- $1,000.00 - Guessing what shipping to bookstore distributors and others might cost.
- $2,000.00 - My own marketing with ads in a few art magazines.
- $1,125.00 - Add Kickstarter's 5% and Amazon Payments 3-5%.
This total is $11,375.00
Consider this an entry-level attempt at book promotion. Book Two in the series The Ring Cycle Reinterpreted will take it a step further according to what I learn from this Kickstarter project.
If additional funding allows for it I will be able to take advantage of the 6 week US and international hype from a professional company for $5,300.00. This marketing includes:
- Writing creative and highly personalized press material about L.HUNT and At the Bottom of the Rhine River
- Aggressively pitch At the Bottom of the Rhine River to selected local, regional and national print (newspaper and magazine), broadcast (radio and television) and online media outlets in geographic areas which includes the United States, Canada and United Kingdom
- Tie in news stories, trends, studies and statistics, when possible, related to At the Bottom of the Rhine River to make it as easy as possible for producers, editors, reporters and bloggers to cover the book
- Distribute At the Bottom of the Rhine River and press material to interested media, and schedule all media interviews
- Follow up with all contacts, leads and interest to encourage a variety of media placements
- Solicit a range of coverage which may include book listings/mentions/excerpts, feature stories and articles, trend pieces, author profiles, TV and radio interviews, blog mentions, and bylined article, op-ed and expert commentary opportunities
- Provide detailed written weekly updates with what is happening with the campaign at all times
If we surpass our funding goal for the ROCKFISH REWARD there will be additional Rewards unlocked along the way, in the deep dark canyons at the bottom of the Rhine! Then all $100.00 Backers will also receive the additional signed prints that are announced without funding anything more.
So that we can use all of the pledge amount for the book project, we are asking that you pay shipping costs on your rewards. We've approximated the amounts for this. If the shipping cost is higher than needed, the surplus funds will go toward the book printing and its marketing to make it better. If it's less, it will come out of the book funding money.
Taxes and fees vary by country. Please be aware that international orders may required you to pay a duty tax by your local postal station.
Book Release Art Show
All paintings rewarded in The Gold Of the Rhine River Package will be shipped after the book release/one-man show is completed toward the end of 2015. Labels at the show will state "On loan from Mr. & Mrs. ________ Collection." Please note: Ownership of original artwork does not include copyright permissions.
If you are a high profile contemporary art gallery in a major United States city please consider having this show at your location. If you're reading this, the gallery and location has not yet been set. Contact Sales@LHUNTGallery.com
Once the book is published and Kickstarter copies are sent out, the book will be available online in all of the common distribution channels as well as at physical bookstores (Barnes and Noble, etc.), comic book stores (in their graphic novel section) and (we will attempt this) at gift shops of large theatre venues (The Metropolitan Opera, etc.) and renowned art galleries (Los Angeles Museum of Art, etc.).
A Modern Opera For This Day and Age?
It's true that an orchestral German-language opera is out-of-touch with what is considered "hip" these days, although the story is a fascinating one. Is there any chance that a reinventing of the music with a modern musical slant can be worked out with the lyrics that I have written? If you are a composer with a sudden lightbulb above your head after reading this, please contact me.
Risks and challenges
Pulling off the September, 2015 publication deadline is going to be the biggest challenge. Overseas shipping is lengthy and to produce 52 paintings prior to that date is going to be a monster. Although the finished product might take a little bit longer than my hoped-for deadline, the book will definitely be completed with your help.
Also, there is going to be a lot of artistic fun throughout the project as I connect with you via video, blogging and photo updates. If you participate in this process you will get a glimpse of what it really takes to self-publish an art book with super-spectacular results!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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