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$1
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, September 16 2019 11:01 PM UTC +00:00.

$1
pledged of $22,000pledged of $22,000 goal
1
backer
29days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Mon, September 16 2019 11:01 PM UTC +00:00.

About

The video above was shot five years ago on a lark while I was on my way to McCarran airport in Las Vegas. Everything that's happened since has led to this moment and the creation of this project. 

Inspired Ground is a musical anthology and episodic film documentary project, that sets out to find unique buskers, record their music for publication and tell their stories within the context of the cities they live in starting with the man who inspired it all: Drew Dunbar! 

Pilot: Inspired Ground - Las Vegas feat. Drew Dunbar

The first installment in this project will take us back to Las Vegas to meet Drew once again. But first, you should know how we got here.

Origin Story - A Seed in the Desert 

I think we can all relate to being under appreciated. Whether at work or in other kinds of relationships, everybody has been through those moments where no matter how hard you try or how good you are, your efforts simply pass others by like a ship in the night. But, you can’t take it personally. Sometimes people are just not ready to take notice. They can be walking past a wonderfully talented musician performing a great cover of one of the greatest classic rock songs ever and it won’t even register.

Thankfully, I wasn’t one of those people five years ago when I was snapping some pictures around Las Vegas after a gig. As luck would have it, I also had a good sound recorder on me when I spotted Drew Dunbar jamming on a pedestrian bridge. I stopped to ask if I could record him and he generously acquiesced. Afterwards, we talked for a bit and I learned about some of the tragic circumstances that had led him to the strip. 

The Busker - Illustration by Raul Diego
The Busker - Illustration by Raul Diego

Little did I know what awaited me when I got home to Miami. In a matter of weeks, I too would end up on the streets. But, I had managed to upload the video to my channel just before things went sideways. It was during this difficult time in my life, when everything seemed lost and there was no light at the end of the tunnel, that the idea for Inspired Ground was born. 

It was like finding a seed in the desert. I knew there was nowhere to plant it, so I tucked it away until such a time that I would find fertile soil where it could bloom. 

Now is that time. You are that soil.

A Time to Sow

When I boarded my flight back home from Vegas, I had no way of finding Drew again. He didn’t have a phone number or an email address to give me. All I could do was tell him to search his name in YouTube, so he could see the video I would eventually upload and which right now stands at more than 2 million views.

I put a call-out in the video’s description and in the video itself, in case anyone watching knew him or ran into him on the strip. I didn’t hear from him, but I did get a few emails from strangers claiming to know him; some were looking for him, too. 

It all started to come together in May of 2019, when I received an email from a fellow busker who had just run into him. He sent me this recent picture of Drew on one of those same pedestrian bridges. 

Recent picture of Drew Dunbar in Las Vegas (May 2019)
Recent picture of Drew Dunbar in Las Vegas (May 2019)

Under a Tree's Shade 

That day in Las Vegas, I also got to record a fantastic original song by Drew. But I didn’t want to disseminate it without having established a contact channel with him. Due to a failed hard drive, I have since lost that recording.

But now that contact has been reestablished and the concept for this project has matured, we can record that song and many more he has composed over these last five years to launch this project. 

Here's a short clip I got in that same email in May: 

Inspired Ground is about real music, real people and real places. It’s about what seems harder and harder to find in our digital age. The riffs we hear in our songs are increasingly decided by studio executives instead of musicians. The cool parts of our cities and towns are becoming opportunities for Instagram posts instead of communal experiences and the more we use our devices, the less we seem to interact with each other.

The Fruits of Labor

At the root of why this project came to be were the questions that kept popping up in the video's comment section and, which I was also asking myself. Why was nobody stopping - if only for a moment - to listen? Why only two people felt compelled to give Drew a couple of bucks? And why was he playing outdoors on a bridge instead of a venue, like a club? 

The answers to these questions will vary depending on the circumstances and will be part of each individual's stories. But, this project also intends to mitigate the hardships buskers face in today's world, where cash is on the way out and a tip cup can barely collect enough coins to keep it from rolling in the wind.

Drew, and all future buskers who become a part of the Inspired Ground project, will not only receive 100% of the net revenue from the post-crowdfunding sale of their album, but will retain 100% of the rights to their music, as well.

The films, too, will help promote them and their work opening up all kinds of opportunities to continue making music.

Inspired Ground inaugural poster series - designed by Raul Diego
Inspired Ground inaugural poster series - designed by Raul Diego

Pollination 

Film and Music are the two art forms, which will comprise the Inspired Ground universe. And while this is the first one, we want it to become a recurring project with a global reach and publish anthologies, in addition to the solo albums. Original collections of the best original busker music, curated by city.

Each documentary will be 25 minutes in length and entered into film festivals, as well as distributed in the local television markets, which are germane to the film’s story. As with the albums, the possibility of feature-length versions, which combine different stories in different cities are also envisioned as possibilities for the future.

We believe in this project so much, that we have already started scouting talent for the next one. Watch videos of some of our prospects for Inspired Ground - Miami:

Julia is a young singer songwriter with a unique vocal timbre

DONATE AT LEAST $5 TO UNLOCK 

Nick and Oly are a Tropical Country music duo

DONATE AT LEAST $5 TO UNLOCK 

Help us find the next busker and get an Associate Producer credit on the Inspired Ground production that features your suggested artist! Just send us a video link of a performance with the artist's contact information to buskers@inspiredgroundproject.com

Budget Breakdown:

  • Air travel and lodging
  • Transportation 
  • Per diem
  • Production shoot
  • Video Editing 
  • Sound mastering
  • Post production 
  • Deliverables
  • Distribution
  • Marketing

Team members

// Raul Diego - Project Creator, Filmmaker

Coming from a background in advertising, Raul left that profession to pursue his passion as a writer, photojournalist and documentary filmmaker. He has many years of experience in photography and video production, in addition to his broad range of creative design skills. Among his current projects is a feature length documentary called "Ghost on the Water", which deals with the spiritual roots of environmental justice. Previous projects include a sobering look into the roots of the drug war in "Borderline - The Unhinged Truth About the Drug War". 

He is also founder and editor of Deep City Chronicles, an online publication and engages in freelance photojournalism from time to time.

// Charlie Pazos - Filmmaker 

Talented director with a unique creative vision and a passion for cinematography. His career has spanned over 18 years, taking him from the motion graphics departments at MTV, Telemundo, and Sony Pictures to becoming one of the pioneers of Miami’s burgeoning film making scene. His experience includes directing, casting, scriptwriting and post-production.

He currently resides in New York City, where he works on several independent projects. 

// Alex Marrero - Music Consultant

Vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and in-demand sideman for various genres. Alex is known for comfortably inhabiting the role of drummer, percussionist, guitar player, writer or producer. As a singer, he possesses a unique bravado which has garnered him a reputation as an engaging front man. His voice and showmanship present in “Brownout Presents: Brown Sabbath” earned him high praise from Ozzy Osbourne himself.

Alex has performed and collaborated with: Grupo Fantasma, Bo Deans, Gary Clark Jr, Carrie Rodriguez, Charanga Cakewalk, Papa Mali, Darden Smith, Gina Chavez, Greyhounds, Kalu James, Topaz & many more.

Project site: inspiredgroundproject.com

Risks and challenges

We are confident that we can complete this project by the end of this year and deliver in January of 2020. Of course, a hitch or two can always come up. But, as professionals in our field and our passion for this project, we are ready to push through any obstacle to achieve our purpose.

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    A great start

    Your help will make it possible for Drew to get the recognition he deserves by getting our project off the ground and be able to check out some of our prospects for future editions of Inspired Ground.

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    Get the album

    - Inspired Ground digital album (download)

    This tier will get you the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

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    The Collector

    - Inspired Ground digital album (download)
    - Poster series (hi-res download)

    This tier will get you the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

    In addition, we'll send you our inaugural Inspired Ground 12x18 poster series in high resolution as soon as the campaign is fully backed.

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    Film and music lovers

    - Exclusive film access (streaming)
    - Inspired Ground digital album (download)
    - Poster series (hi-res download)

    Exclusive streaming access to the first Inspired Ground documentary film.

    You also get the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

    In addition, we'll send you our inaugural Inspired Ground 12x18 poster series in high resolution as soon as the campaign is fully backed.

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    The junior philanthropist

    - Acknowledgement (film only)
    - Exclusive film access (streaming)
    - Inspired Ground digital album (download)
    - Poster series (hi-res download)

    Your name in pictures! We'll thank you by name in the film's roll credits.

    Exclusive streaming access to the first Inspired Ground documentary film.

    You receive the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

    In addition, we'll send you our inaugural Inspired Ground 12x18 poster series in high resolution as soon as the campaign is fully backed.

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    Passionate supporter

    - Inspired Ground vinyl album + digital
    - Acknowledgement (film and album)
    - Exclusive film access (streaming)
    - Poster series (hi-res download)

    Special vinyl edition of the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album, plus a digital download version once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

    Your name in pictures! We'll thank you by name in the film's roll credits.

    Exclusive streaming access to the first Inspired Ground documentary film.

    In addition, we'll send you our inaugural Inspired Ground 12x18 poster series in high resolution as soon as the campaign is fully backed.

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    Angel Donor

    - Inspired Ground vinyl album + digital
    - Associate Producer creidt (film and album)
    - Exclusive film access (streaming)
    - Poster series (hi-res download)

    Special vinyl edition of the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album, plus a digital download version once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

    Associate Producer credit in the album and the film.

    Exclusive streaming access to the first Inspired Ground documentary film.

    In addition, we'll send you our inaugural Inspired Ground 12x18 poster series in high resolution as soon as the campaign is fully backed.

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    Patron of the arts

    - Inspired Ground vinyl album, signed by artist + digital
    - Associate Producer credit(film and album)
    - Exclusive Pre-Release film access (streaming)
    - Inspired Ground Inaugural poster, signed by team members, artist

    Special vinyl edition of the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album, plus a digital download version once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

    Associate Producer credit in the album and the film.

    You'll see the movie before anyone else. Exclusive Pre-Release streaming access to the first Inspired Ground documentary film.

    In addition, we'll send you our inaugural Inspired Ground 12x18 poster, signed by the artist and team members

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    The Executive Producer

    - Inspired Ground vinyl album, signed by artist + digital
    - Associate Producer credit(film and album)
    - Exclusive Pre-Release film access (streaming)
    - Inspired Ground Inaugural poster, signed by team members, artist

    Special, signed vinyl edition of the Inspired Ground - Las Vegas album, plus a digital download version once it's ready and we'll also send you private links to see some of our prospects for future editions.

    Executive Producer credit in the album and the film.

    You'll see the movie before anyone else. Exclusive Pre-Release streaming access to the first Inspired Ground documentary film.

    In addition, we'll send you our inaugural Inspired Ground 12x18 poster, signed by the artist and team members

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    Limited (10 left of 10) 0 backers
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