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A documentary on a composer who releases his music for free and ended up in millions of videos, thousands of films, & many odd places.
A documentary on composer Kevin MacLeod, his practice of releasing all his music for free and how he unwittingly became one of the most heard composers in the world with his work ending up in millions of videos, thousands of films, and many odd places.
A documentary on composer Kevin MacLeod, his practice of releasing all his music for free and how he unwittingly became one of the most heard composers in the world with his work ending up in millions of videos, thousands of films, and many odd places.
524 backers pledged $30,608 to help bring this project to life.

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Royalty Free: The Music of Kevin MacLeod

$30,608

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The Kickstarter Campaign has just concluded but if you still wish to pledge you can head to RoyaltyFreeDoc.com/Kickstarter 

Thank you to all our backers we wouldn't be able to make this documentary without you!

[We have a Closed Captions enabled version of the above video on YouTube here.]

Composer Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.com has helped thousands of artists across the world by releasing his music royalty free. Anyone can use his music - including you! FOR FREE! His music has ended up in countless films, shows, video games, apps, online videos, and pretty much anywhere you can think of. Ever watch a YouTube video? Then you've probably heard his music. If you’ve ever used Kevin’s music and were waiting for a way to give back, now is the time. Just a small pledge from you can help us tell his story and encourage others to follow in his footsteps. Also by pledging, you'll get awesome rewards like digital downloads of the finished film, DVDs, posters, autographed sheet music, and more.

In 1996, during the early days of the web, Kevin MacLeod, a software programmer with an interest in composing, founded a personal webpage Incompetech.com (named so after his fascination with incompetence and technology). After music he created for a composing job was rejected, he put the music on his website for free hoping that someone out there would find a use for it. We will tell the story of how in 18 years since Incompetech’s humble beginnings, it has grown from a few songs to thousands that have been heard by millions of people worldwide.

Throughout college and beyond, we, the producers, used Kevin’s music without realizing who Kevin was, or how big he had become. Curious, we began to research him, wondering how someone whose music was so widespread could be so unknown? The more we learned, the more questions we had: What do other composers think of his business model? What is the significance of Incompetech post the YouTube copyright crisis and SOPA/PIPA (Stop Online Piracy Act/Protect Internet Protocol Act), where copyright laws are choking the Internet’s creative potential?

We will also cover various people who have used Kevin’s music like: Machinima, Team Coco, Facing Fear (Oscar Nominated Short), PowerPark (An amusement park in Finland), the Nostalgia Chick, Film Brain, MikeJ, Phelous, Hugo, BuzzFeed, College Humor, Monty Python, CaptainSparklez, The Fine Bros, IGN, The Syndicate Project, Tobuscus, JeromeASF, Rooster Teeth, Sky Does MInecraft, Shane Dawson, Michelle Phan, FPS Russia, Enchufe.TV, KSIOlajidebt, SeaNanners, Philip DeFranco (SxePhil), Yogscast, Slamacow, Bad Teeth, CGP Grey, Element Animation, Jack Vale, SethBling, Mediocre Films, Mondo Media, TomSka, OfficialNerdCubed, SSundee, DeadloxMC, Team Crafted, Troye Sivan, ExplodingTNT, Laci Green, EricArchive, GK Films, The Stanley Parable, Kerbal Space Program, Evan Glodell (Bellflower), Magnetic Billiards, Card Hero, Chronicles of a Dark Lord, Your Doodles are Bugged!, Galactic Conflict RTS, Battlehorn (game), Shadow of the Game, Ball: Infinite Challenge, Dream Flight (game), coLAR Mix, The Blockheads (game), Sneak Mouse (game), Putt The Planets, and many many more

Our Official Poster
Our Official Poster

We can't make this film without you! The funding for this campaign is essential in enabling us to obtain the equipment and materials needed to tell this story the way it deserves. Of course, our goal is the bare minimum we need to proceed. With our current goal we would be forced to do remote interviews with many of our interview subjects, relying on whatever equipment and expertise they could find. Additional funds would go towards funding travel to said interviewees, and for very costly post-production processes such as audio mixing, color-correction, and visual effects work. Every pledge is important!

If yo know someone who is using Kevin’s music feel free to email us at:
"sightings(@)RoyaltyFreeDoc.com".

If you feel you have something you can contribute email us at:
"help(@)RoyaltyFreeDoc.com".

Risks and challenges

We need to raise the funds to fly out in order to interview our subjects otherwise we have to do remote interviews with whatever quality camera and equipment they have. We wish to complete this film by January 2016, however we may be delayed due to scheduling conflicts with our interview subjects who are very busy people, budget constraints, or force majeure.

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANKS + WALL OF HEROES: You have our eternal thanks! You’re awesome, so we’ll put your name on our website on our Wall of Heroes.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    DOCUMENTARY SCRIPT: A Digital PDF of the Royalty Free: The Music of Kevin MacLeod Documentary Script! We'll also put your name on the Wall of Heroes!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    POSTCARD: A snazzy post card featuring the film’s poster art will be sent to you with a handwritten thanks, and we’ll put your name on our website on our Wall of Heroes.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    HD DIGITAL DOWNLOAD + NAME IN CREDITS: You will receive an HD digital download of the completed film and YOUR NAME will be immortalized in the credits. Your name will also be on our website on our Wall of Heroes.

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    Pledge $38 or more About $38

    BACKERS’ EDITION DVD (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL) + DIGITAL VIP: Exclusive limited Backers’ Edition DVD (early-birds save $7) includes behind the scenes footage, commentary, and extended interviews. You will also become a Digital VIP and have access to:
    1) An exclusive video where Kevin MacLeod gives Tips & Tricks for composing.
    2) The Making of "Royalty Free" videos
    3) Extra interviews
    4) Documentary Video Making 101: Where we show you the basics of Documentary Filmmaking
    5) Digital Production Still Booklet PDF Called -"Production Bloopers the Inside Story"
    6) Digital Poster 8.5x11 inches
    7) Desktop Wallpaper
    8) Digital Bookmark
    9) An Avatar (icon) for use on online forums and various services.
    Includes all previous rewards.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    BACKERS’ EDITION DVD (EARLY BIRD SPECIAL) + DIGITAL VIP: Exclusive limited Backers’ Edition DVD includes behind the scenes footage, commentary, and extended interviews. You will also become a Digital VIP and have access to:
    1) An exclusive video where Kevin MacLeod gives Tips & Tricks for composing.
    2) The Making of "Royalty Free" videos
    3) Extra interviews
    4) Documentary Video Making 101: Where we show you the basics of Documentary Filmmaking
    5) Digital Production Still Booklet PDF Called -"Production Bloopers the Inside Story"
    6) Digital Poster 8.5x11 inches
    7) Desktop Wallpaper
    8) Digital Bookmark
    9) An Avatar (icon) for use on online forums and various services.
    Includes all previous rewards.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    T-SHIRT & POSTER: Walk around with style in this Royalty Free Doc T-Shirt and when you get home, marvel at your fancy new poster on the wall. Includes all previous rewards.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    BACKERS’ EDITION BLU-RAY (CONTAINS EXTRA FEATURES NOT SEEN IN THE DVD!): Exclusive limited Backers’ Edition Blu-ray. Get to see the film in HD as it was meant to be seen! See every pore of your favorite entertainer like you’ve always wanted to. Includes behind the scenes footage, commentary, and extended interviews. The Blu-ray will also include extra features we will not be able to fit onto the DVD such as more interviews, more “making of” footage, visual effects tips, and other bonus materials. Includes all previous rewards (except the DVD).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    SIGNED ORIGINAL SHEET MUSIC - Kevin's going to sit down and sign his sheet music! Sheet music of Kevin’s popular ‘Cipher’ track. Includes all previous rewards (must choose Blu-ray or DVD).

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    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    PRE-RELEASE STREAM + SKYPE Q&A: Can’t wait?! Want to help shape the final cut of the film?! Pledge for this reward and you'll see a rough pre-release cut before anyone else. We'll be doing a streaming Q&A after and would love to hear your feedback. Includes all previous rewards (except sheet music, must choose Blu-ray or DVD).

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    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    SHOOT YOUR STORY NYC: Has Kevin affected you and you'd like to tell the world about it? We will shoot one hour of your story at a studio in New York City. A video based on your interview will be edited for distribution on our YouTube channel & Blu-ray. We will endeavor to include your interview in the finished film and on the DVD. If you have any work that has used Kevin’s music, we can showcase it alongside your interview if you’d like as well. Includes all previous rewards (except sheet music and Make A Custom Theme, must choose Blu-ray or DVD). Travel and lodging not included.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    SUPERVISING PRODUCER: Want one on one input on how the documentary will turn out? If you're a Supervising Producer. We will talk to you over Skype once a month for an hour to hear your thoughts on how the film should be! Exclusive sneak peaks at the footage and weekly updates with behind the scenes details! Includes all previous rewards.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    NAME A FUTURE KEVIN MACLEOD TRACK: This is for you hardcore MacLeodians (we just coined that) who want to name one of his future songs*. You get to pick a name that will join the ranks of Cipher, Scheming Weasel, Who Likes to Party, Sneaky Snitch, and Pixel Peeker Polka. Includes all previous rewards (except sheet music, must choose Blu-ray or DVD). *Names may not contain profanity, be libelous, and will be subject to review.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    INVITE TO EARLY NYC SCREENING: See the film on the big screen- the good old fashioned way and before anyone else*. You will get to hang out with the filmmakers, hear behind-the-scenes info first hand, and perhaps even meet Kevin! (If his schedule permits). Travel and lodging not included. Includes all previous rewards (except sheet music, must choose Blu-ray or DVD). *Screening may be private or at a film festival depending on festivals we get into. Travel and lodging not included.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    MAKE A CUSTOM THEME WITH KEVIN: You will get to work with Kevin over Skype and he'll create a custom theme for your YouTube channel, app, movie opening, or whatever. Two-hour session maximum. Includes all previous rewards (except sheet music, must choose Blu-ray or DVD).

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: Welcome aboard! You're part of our motley crew, and you get your name immortalized as an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER in the credits and on IMDb. Includes all previous rewards (except Make A Custom Theme, must choose Blu-ray or DVD). Travel and lodging not included.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Ahoy there, you're part of the privileged Executive Producer club! You'll be an EXECUTIVE PRODUCER on the film and you'll be featured in the credits and on IMDB. You'll also have an open door invitation to drop by and observe during any aspect of production or post-production. Includes all previous rewards (except Associate Producer, Make A Custom Theme, must choose Blu-ray or DVD). Travel and lodging not included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)