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A multimedia storytelling collaboration, creating immersive experiences that open a door into someone else’s life!
A multimedia storytelling collaboration, creating immersive experiences that open a door into someone else’s life!
132 backers pledged $10,803 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$10,803

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Hey there! We are Pencil Head Industries. And we love stories.

Especially when someone tells you their own. There's that moment when their eyes widen or their voice cracks with emotion, and they truly take you somewhere - back into a memory, or a weightless feeling, or a life changing moment. That’s how this project started, with the mission of capturing those moments and sharing them with you!

With your help, we will release a collection of 10 Audio/Visual Portraits that will transport you to another time and place! Our plan involves:

  • The release of a vinyl record with accompanying artwork inside.
  • The first of many immersive experiences, beginning with the A.I.R. Gallery, in Portland, OR, this September 19th, where visitors will put on a headset and step into another world.
  • A website where the stories will live, and be added to as the Story continues to grow. Now is your chance to be a part of the story!

Examples of the Portraits:

"Blue" from an interview with Ema Robinson
"Blue" from an interview with Ema Robinson
"Howlers" from an interview with Peter Nevins
"Howlers" from an interview with Peter Nevins


Three years ago Travis Abels started recording conversations with friends and people he met on the street. From those recordings, he made short audio portraits by pulling apart a collection of moments, reshaping them with sound design and music, to create immersive soundscapes. From there the vision grew with Marc Girouard. Together they started collaborating on visual interpretations of the audio portraits, by making 16x16” screen prints to accompany them.

We became fascinated with how a story evolves over time, as memory tinkers with the details. From here, we decided to embrace those inconsistencies and take them a step further. Hence the title, or Something Like That.

We got crazy excited about the idea of an audio/visual portrait, and decided to make a collection of ten and package them into a vinyl record and booklet for the stories to be seen and heard simultaneously.

We also loved the idea of creating a gallery space in which these stories could live in a more interactive way. Upon entering the gallery, you’ll be invited to put on headset that connects you to the portrait of your choice. While walking through the space, your ears are eyes are linked to different versions of the same story!

The collaborative nature of the project grew even more as we began reaching out to our favorite musicians to create original scores for each piece. Such musicians include Gene Back from The Books and Cameron Spies from Portland's own Radiation City.

Over the past year and a half we’ve been working tirelessly to make this dream a reality. Eight of the ten portraits are in their final stages for printing and mastering, and through the good people of the A.I.R. gallery in downtown Portland, we’ve secured a gallery space for three weeks in which to premiere this event.

When you contribute to this project, you get a piece of it, and enable us to spread it far and wide by pressing more records, printing more art, and finding more stories. Assuming that our goal is fulfilled, we'll be reaching out to everyone shortly after the end of the campaign with details about claiming your rewards. At this stage you can pick exactly which portraits you want, how you’d like us to mod out your jean jacket, celebrate your day of honor, what-have-you!

As you might imagine, this is a very expensive and time-consuming process. A portrait can take a few months to get just right as we go back and forth with each musician, and each other, to elevate each story to its full potential. This sometimes means booking space at a recording studio, buying ink and paper for screen prints, and doing several test prints to make sure we've got the visuals dialed in.

Here we've broken down our budget based on meeting our current goal. If we exceed our goal we'll put any extra money back into the story machine for creating new portraits and putting on more shows. We’re currently based in Portland, but we dream of hosting these stories in several galleries all over the country and eventually the world.

There are so many more portraits to come. This collection is just the first iteration. There are over a dozen portraits outside of this release that are in various forms of completion. This is just the beginning!

We are: Travis Abels and Marc Girouard, two creatives with a singular vision for collaborative storytelling experiences. Nice to meet you!

We met 10 years ago in art school, and have been collaborating on art projects ever since. We discovered that our creative styles were complimentary. For instance, when Travis made a giant nose car for the Red Bull Soapbox Derby, Marc created this catchy track, entirely from nose noises, to accompany the race.

Outside of Pencil-Head Industries, Marc is a freelance artist and graphic designer, and Travis is an award-winning* trailer editor for the movie business (*The Imitation Game).

So many people have donated their time to this project, from the 70+ storytellers we’ve sat down with, to the musicians who’ve donated their time and talent to breathe more life into each piece. With your help, we will tell this story, far and wide. Thank you and to all of the people who've helped out so far!

Linda Eliason, Jason Traeger, Isabel Miller, Dan Weber, Guin Frehling, Peter Nevins, Ema Robinson, Garrett Price, Adrien Warner, Gene Back, Aaron Ransley, Cameron Spies, Elisabeth Ellison, Mike Zarin, Human Ottoman, Megan McGeorge, Jon Rogers, Susan Richardson, Matt Cartmill, Grayson Fiske, Andy Rayborn, Wax Tailor, Nick Finney, Linsay Craten, Mike Holderreed, Maria Munoz, Tony Morales, Brad Simmons, Evan Skvarce, Karlo Valle, Tarik Bel-Bahar, Cheri Anderson, Andrew Reder, Anna Nelson, Jon Bailey, Servane Varnese, Charlotte Marette, Ollie Collins, Marilyn Divine, Tyler Yenna, Rachelle Eileen, Christina Davis, Jocelyn Brady, Olen May, John May, Steve Parton, Ryan Kong, Jay Flewelling, Kelsey Peake, Donovan James, Tod Kelly, Rob Gray, Anjuli Azem, Jamie Grant, Katie Grant, Ben Cassou, Kyle Stevens, Allie O’Brien, Steve Wilcox, Corrie Weber, Terra Keck, Connor Limbocker, the members of Flight 64, Flight 65, Chris Haberman, The People’s Gallery, Jenny Lamb, Jake Silberman, Ben Carr, Kurt Schnelker, Donna Abels, Roger Abels, Courtney Harmon, Jessica McClure, Dawn Wagner, Alicia Johnson, Patrick Girouard, Debra Cusick, Linda Girouard Jones, Ronald H. Jones, Anthony A. Altomare, Monica Reyes, Andi Bixel, Tim and Eric, and Brother

Risks and challenges

Provided that Marc and Travis’s hands don’t fall off, there’s very little risk that the art won’t be finished in time for the opening in September. There are always unexpected hiccups in any creative process though. For instance, midway through the filming of this Kickstarter video our camera completely fell apart. This, however, is what makes any creative endeavor an adventure, and we’re dedicated to charging forward regardless of what obstacles may arise.

Our greatest challenge ahead is the timing of the record. Working closely with musicians to create original, soaring composition for the last few pieces is taking a bit of time, and most vinyl pressing plants take 14-16 weeks to create a record. We’ve found a great spot in LA that can do it in 8-10, and we’re feeling confident that we can have everything wrapped up in time for a release at the big show in September.

Our first priority is making the record amazing, and if getting it there means spending a few extra weeks on it and pushing back the release til after the show, then that is what we will do. Regardless of what happens, you’ll get your slick vinyl no later than October of this year. Sound good?

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    We give you our sincerest thanks and list you as an honor-rific hero on our website. Seriously, every dollar counts!

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    SURPRISE PACKAGE:

    We'll send you a sweet button along with a handwritten letter and a fun surprise!

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    THRIFT STORE SCORE

    You don’t get our record, but you get A record! We’ll send you a sweet pick that’s sure to tickle your ears. Plus you get everything in the digital downloads package.

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    DIGITAL PORTRAITS PACKAGE:

    Hi-res download of all ten audio / visual portraits with the audio and a thank you on the website.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    THE VOICEMAIL

    Tired of people hanging up without leaving you a rad message? Well guess what, we won’t. We’ll leave you the cooooolest message. Will we tell you all about that one time? Maybe. Will there be laughter and antics. Probably. Will you want to keep it forever and show all your friends. Duh.

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    5x5 Archival Print of your choice.

    + Everything in the Digital Portrait Package.

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    ALL THE BUTTONS!

    That denim jacket of yours is lookin pretty bare, homey. Sign up for this package and you get all 9 sweet buttons.

    + Everything in the Digital Portrait Package.

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    YOUR VOICEMAIL

    Maybe the reason all those people aren't leaving you message sis because your outgoing message wasn’t made by us. We’ll deck our your outgoing voicemail so hard -- so many lightning bolts and screaming eagles – you’ll wanna start calling yourself.

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    16x16" Archival Print

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    THE RECORD PACKAGE

    The 12" vinyl with 10 audio portraits, and accompanying artwork in printed booklet.

    + Everything in the Digital Portrait Package.

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    RAP IT UP

    We’ll record a personalized freestyle thank-you rap just for you! We’re talking a fully produced track made specifically for you! Is your name Tad? Well we’re probably gonna rhyme that with RAD! Is your name Regina Barstool? Really? That’s a crazy name! You get all of the downloads too, but let’s be honest. The freestyle is the real win here!

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    A limited edition, handmade 16x16 screen print (The Howlers, Dissolve, or Nothingness).

    + Everything in the Digital Portrait Package.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    5x5 bamboo-mounted print of your choice, ready to hang!

    + Everything in the Digital Portrait Package.

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    12x12 bamboo mounted Print of your choice.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A thank you on the record itself! Holla holla.

    + Everything in the Record Package.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    THE BEDTIME STORY

    We’ll give ya warm cookies and milk, while lulling you to sleep with a tall tale. Did we say warm cookies and milk? Yes we did. And don’t worry, we won’t leave until you’re asleep.

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    THE RUSSIAN:

    We redo your favorite portrait in our best Russian accent and put it on the website. Awesome, right?

    + Everything in the Digital Portrait Package.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    12x12 bamboo mounted Print of your choice.

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    THE FINE DINER

    We’re gonna treat you to a nice dinner! We’ll come and make it for you, pick it up from your favorite place or take you out, but WATCH OUT! We’re gonna try and steal your food for the duration of the meal. We’re bringing our LONG FORKS! Hey and how about the downloads package too. You’re getting it.

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    16x16 bamboo mounted print of your choice.

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    (YOUR NAME) DAY!!

    Want us to treat a day of your choosing as a national holiday in honor of you? We will (for the next 3 years) take off of work, make banners, buy party hats and celebrate, while taking a crazy amount of photos to send you as proof.

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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    THE STORY MACHINE

    You get the story machine! You get the record package! You get THE STORY MACHINE! As seen in our video, the Story Machine is the most magical machine in the land. Before the Story Machine we had to make all these pesky portraits by hand.* So imagine how exciting it would be to own! We’ll even personalize it with a custom “property of” nameplate It is a fragile device so delivery will be limited to the Portland metro area only.

    *The story machine is a proprietary device. All story-making functionality will be deactivated prior to shipping.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    JAZZ UP YOUR CLOTHES

    Send us an article of clothing and we'll totally mod it out for you. Kickass lighting bolts painted on? You got it. Bedazzle the hell out of it? Sure. Want us to put on YOUR clothes and walk around town saying we are you? We'd be happy to, ya freak ;)

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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    Pledge $600 or more About $600

    THE FIRST DATE

    Make Marc's girlfriend jealous! We'll spend the day taking you around town to our favorite haunts, underground whiskey bars, lookout points, and treating you like the Belle of the Ball that you are. If you're not in love with us by the end of the day, Travis will draw Marc drawing you, and you get to keep both drawings!

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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    THE MASTER SUITE

    16x16 archival prints of all 10 portraits.

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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    THE SMOOCH

    We hunt you down, pull you out of a moving vehicle and give you a smooch right on your nose!* *We aren’t going to hunt you down, and we’re both pretty bad drivers, but we WILL personally deliver to your doorstep a copy of the vinyl record, a 16x16 bamboo mounted print of your choice, and a smooch on the nose (optional). Portland metro area only

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    THE BEST FRIEND PACKAGE

    Visit the Pencilhead Factory and take a look behind the scenes. You'll also get Producer Credit on the album, and we'll call up our moms and tell them all about you. At the opening in September, we'll introduce you to everyone as the coolest person we know and we'll carry a picture of you in our wallets for one month (and send you picture proof).

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE MUSE

    We create an audio visual portrait of YOU! The recorded conversation can be in person at the Pencilhead Studio, or over the phone if you live somehwere awesome like Croatia and don't have time for a Portland visit. If you pay airfare, Travis will fly to you!

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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    Pledge $7,000 or more About $7,000

    THE ULTIMATE EVERYTHING PACKAGE

    You get all 10 of the 16x16 bamboo mounted portraits, Executive Producer credit on the record, a ten minute compliment shower over the phone, and make you a personalized Pencil Head Industries styled logo with a matching ink stamp -- for which to sign all of your letters with, you fat cat you ;)

    + Everything in the Record Package!

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Funding period

- (30 days)