Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 1, 2012.

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The evolution of the bluegrass sound told through the voices of the community.

ALL OR NOTHING! 

"Bluegrass is America's last small town. Everyone knows everyone, and you don't have to lock your doors."                          -       John Hartford

** Like us on Facebook, tweet about us, and see our sneak preview videos!

** Be sure to check in on our Kickstarter updates and spread the word.

** Anyone interested in being a sponsor can view the packet here.

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About the Film

Born out of the isolation of a ruggedly beautiful landscape, the Appalachian Mountains became a cultural crossroads where the influences of Jazz and Blues merged with the folk traditions of Scots-Irish immigrants to create an entirely unique American sound. Authentic and acoustic, Bluegrass culture has evolved and gone international, appealing to a desire in modern society to return to the roots and a way of life that is being lost.

The Porchlight Sessions is a finger pickin' and foot stompin' adventure through the evolution of the hillbilly sound as it became a genre following the legacy of the patriarch, Bill Monroe. Told through the collective voice of the originators of style to contemporary mainstream acts and campground pickers, the film marks the first time the community has come together to tell the bluegrass story.

The film features interviews and performances with Dr. Ralph Stanley, Bobby Osborne, Del McCoury, Peter Rowan, Doc Watson, Jerry Douglas, Tim O'Brien, Sam Bush, Béla Fleck, Alison Brown, Pete Wernick, Abigail Washburn, The Infamous Stringdusters, Crooked Still, Trampled By Turtles, Sara and Sean Watkins, Mumford & Sons and many more!

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Our Story

Growing up in Nashville, Bluegrass music served as the cultural backdrop to my many outdoor adventures, especially kayaking on the rivers in Appalachia. After living in Los Angeles for many years during film school and serving as a local radio DJ, I traveled to Australia to perfect my Photomedia skills at the Australian National University. While there, I befriended a banjo-playing artist who's love for Nashville and surrounding Bluegrass music scene fascinated me. It was through his interest that mine was rekindled.

The past few years, I’ve been dedicated to the task of crossing the vast expanse of America to get at the heart of this music. I realized growing up that there were a lack of quality films and documentaries representing the region. Given my background in music-based film and television production, I saw the opportunity to fill the void. The Porchlight Sessions has been a labor of love and we’ve spent countless hours perfecting this cinematic expression of Bluegrass music as a genre, a lifestyle, and a belief system.

We aim to bring this gift to you, a growing family that has opened its arms to this project and welcomed our camera into their homes to tell a story that is real and relevant to the changing scope of today’s American culture.

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What We Need & What You Get

We need folks coming out of the woodwork to announce their pride and say, “Hell yea, I’ll donate!” The Porchlight Sessions is currently in post-production and we need your help to get through the final edit. This panoramic history is packed full of wonderful original performances, enlightening interviews, and all access festival footage. 

With your contributions, we will be able to license the timeless archival film footage, historic recordings and still photos necessary to bring the story of Bluegrass to life. We are trying to make this film the most beautiful and best sounding representation of bluegrass culture to-date, and your support will allow for the color-timing and audio mix that we need.

Anyone who donates in any amount will receive regular updates on the progress of the film and an invitation to screenings around the United States. All donations are greatly appreciated, and will go directly onto the screen to get The Porchlight Sessions ready for your viewing pleasure.

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The Impact

The mission of The Porchlight Sessions is to build a platform for the community voice of Bluegrass in cinema and multimedia. From the casual picker to the die-hard fanatic, we hope to expose a mainstream audience to Bluegrass in a way that is both entertaining and informative. 

Documentation is important to Bluegrass. As a predominantly oral tradition, it is necessary from time to time to preserve the vitality of the genre while capturing the spirit of the community from which the music springs. 

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Other Ways You Can Help

Please help us spread the word about The Porchlight Sessions. You can use the share tools to link to your facebook or twitter. Support the musicians in the film by using our website to learn more about them. Like us on facebook, email friends and family, tweet us up, call Western Union, send up smoke signals, but help us to spread the music!


Sign up for the newsletter to receive exclusive content on our website.


www.porchlightsessions.com
www.facebook.com/porchlightsessions
www.twitter.com/#!/underporchlight
 
Thanks!
Anna & Chris
 


FAQ

  • The video was by shot and edited by Chris Cloyd and Anna Schwaber.

    Music was composed by The Get Down Boys here in Los Angeles. You can check them out here: http://www.http://www.thegetdownboys.com/. The Post Sound Mix was done by Grant Johnson in Nashville, TN.

    Musicians seen on screen (in order of appearance): Erik Berry of Trampled by Turtles, Lance LeRoy, Béla Fleck, Morgan O'Kane, Marcus Mumford and Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons, Peter Rowan, Ben Kaufmann of Yonder Mountain String Band, Travis Book and Andy Hall of The Infamous Stringdusters, Doc Watson, Sim Daley, Greg Liszt with Crooked Still, David Hamilton, Alison Brown, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Tim O'Brien, Pete Wernick, Jerry Douglas, Del McCoury, Stuart Duncan, Dale Ann Bradley, Todd Phillips, Sierra Hull, Sara and Sean Watkins, Ronnie Reno, Bryan Sutton, The Infamous Stringdusters, Mike Bub, Sam Bush, Trampled by Turtles, Bobby Osborne, and Abigail Washburn.

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  • Cyndee Barber out here in Los Angeles, of course! Check out her great illustration here: http://www.cbarberstudio.com/. She is also in the midst of designing our Official Film Poster.

    Our logo was designed back in 2009 by Mary Dauterman. Truth be told, I've never actually gotten to meet Mary. She used to live in Austin and now lives in San Francisco and maybe one day I can thank her in person for believing in us at such an early phase. Her work can be viewed here: http://www.marydauterman.com/.

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  • That's a great question. There are a variety of sources that have some of the footage we are looking to use from individuals to archival film houses including Historic Films, The Grand Ole Opry Archives, and The Country Music Hall of Fame. Tracking this stuff down has not been an easy process and if you have something you absolutely want us to take a look at, please feel free to contact us.

    In the creation of the campaign video, I say that we are looking to "restore" the beautiful archival imagery. When I say this, I do not mean that we are going to be raising funds to do any extensive restoration processes. I simply meant "restore" in the context of revive or to bring back. We've discovered some amazing footage from archival houses who are only beginning to digitize their libraries!

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    Thank you. We are sincerely grateful! Good bluegrass karma comin' your way!

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    You will receive a special handwritten thank you keepsake The Porchlight Sessions postcard from the filmmakers. It will surely brighten your day!

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    "Orange Blossom Special!" - The pre-release DVD only.

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    You're a porchlight picker now! You will be sent the The Porchlight Sessions Official Film Poster, The Porchlight Sessions instrument case/bumper sticker, and the special handwritten postcard. Super cool.

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    Donor exclusive Hatch Show Print Only! Get one of 'em while their hot!

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    Copy of the pre-release DVD and an autographed copy of the wonderful book titled Bluegrass Time by Phil Zimmerman, which features photography of Bluegrass legends from 1972 to 1984. This book has been an inspiration for us in creating the film. If you haven't seen this book you should! - http://bit.ly/I5QJzP

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    A pre-release copy of the DVD! The Porchlight Sessions Official Film Poster, The Porchlight Sessions instrument case/bumper sticker, and the personalized postcard will arrive right along with it.

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    1-Hour Skype Call with Filmmakers, Anna & Chris. Looking to film your favorite musicians, your latest sceenplay, or music video idea? Need help with your general workflow? We can guide you through any hang-ups you are having from concept to delivery. Email/message us if you are curious how we can help you or your business. You can also buy more than one hour.

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    1-Hour One-on-One Social Media Skype Seminar with Anna. Yes, we are in that day and age where this is going to be helpful for your business because it is my favorite kind of marketing out there...FREE! Help with Twitter, Facebook Pages, Instagram, Foursquare, and more to help build your brand.

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    Get ready for a classic throwback! You will receive a limited edition, 14"x22" The Porchlight Sessions Hatch Show Print, created exclusively for donors. In addition, your name will be added to the "Thanks" credits in the film, and a package with the pre-release copy of the DVD, The Porchlight Sessions Official Film Poster, two (2) instrument case/bumper stickers, and the personalized postcard will be headed your way!

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    Don't get trampled at the record store...we have them hot off the presses! You will receive everything at the $100 reward level and your very own AUTOGRAPHED copy of the new Trampled by Turtles album "Stars and Satellites", which came out April 10th, 2012.

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    Master Class!! Perfect your mandolin chops with Tim O'Brien. Learn from anywhere in the world through this 1-hour skype lesson. All rewards from the "Classic Throwback $100 tier" also included.

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    Master Class!! Alison Brown will help you perfect your banjo playin' skills from anywhere in the world with this 1-hour skype lesson. All rewards from the "Classic Throwback $100 tier" also included.

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    Master Class!! Todd Phillips is a legend...and he's gonna impart some bass playin' wisdom to you anywhere in the world with this 1-hour skype lesson. All rewards from the "Classic Throwback $100 tier" also included.

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    Imagine this on your wall! You will receive an autographed, limited edition, 14"x22" The Porchlight Sessions Hatch Show Print perfect for framing and a 100% Cotton The Porchlight Sessions T-Shirt. Also included is your name in the film with the "Thanks" credit, a pre-release copy of the DVD, Official Film Poster, five (5) instrument case/bumper stickers, and a personalized postcard.

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    Let's make some music! 1 Day (10-hour) Recording Session at Compass Studio in Nashville, TN with Engineer included + All items at the $500 level. Yup! You bring the musicians.

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    "Foggy Mountain Special!" - 1 Package to the Americana Music Festival & Conference (2 tickets). Includes access to all daytime conference activities, evening festival showcases, and two tickets to the esteemed Americana Honors & Awards show at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. PLUS all the $1000 Sponsor tier level rewards!

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    SPONSOR. Sponsor Credit in the film and on The Porchlight Sessions website, two (2) tickets to the Official Premiere and meet and greet during bluegrass week in Nashville, TN in September 2012. You will also be gifted the autographed, limited edition, 14"x22" The Porchlight Sessions Hatch Show Print, two (2) The Porchlight Sessions T-Shirts, a pre-release copy of the DVD, Official Film Poster, five (5) instrument case/bumper stickers, and the personalized postcard.

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    Entered into the drawing to win Mumford & Sons signed professional Deering Eagle II Banjo! WHAT?!?! Yes, the banjo is valued at $2500 alone. Yes, your odds are REALLY GOOD. All rewards for the SPONSOR $1000 level tier are included.

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    VIP SPONSOR. Two (2) VIP tickets to the International Bluegrass Music Association Fan Fest. Two (2) tickets to the IBMA Awards. Dinner with filmmaking team at the Premiere event. Sponsor Credit in the film and on the PLS website. Two (2) tickets to the Official Premiere, including meet and greet. Autographed, limited edition, 14"x22" The Porchlight Sessions Hatch Show Print. Two (2) T-Shirts. A pre-release copy of the DVD. Official Film Poster. Six (6) instrument case/bumper stickers. Handwritten, thank you keepsake postcard.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER. Name or logo on the website and all print materials including film poster (but excluding Hatch Show Print) and DVD packaging. Entered in a drawing to win a Deering Eagle II Banjo (a $2,500 value). Two (2) VIP Tickets to IBMA Fan Fest and the IBMA Awards Show. Two (2) tickets to the official premiere, including meet and greet. Premiere night dinner with filmmaking team. Sponsor Credit in the film and on the PLS website. Autographed, limited edition, 14"x22" Porchlight Sessions Hatch Show Print. Two (2) T-Shirts. A pre-release copy of the DVD. Official Film Poster. Six (6) instrument case/bumper stickers. Handwritten, thank you keepsake postcard

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    MUSIC CITY SPONSOR. Two (2) round trip flights from anywhere in the US served by Southwest Airlines. Two (2) Complimentary VIP Tickets to IBMA Fan Fest and the IBMA Awards Show. Three night stay at the official IBMA hotel (including Gift Basket in your room). Name or logo on the PLS website and all print materials including film poster (but excluding Hatch Show Print) and DVD packaging. Entered in a drawing to win a Deering Eagle II Banjo (a $2,500 value). Anna’s (producer/director) tour of Music City. Two (2) tickets to the official premiere, including meet and greet. Premiere night dinner with filmmaking team. Autographed, limited edition The Porchlight Sessions Hatch Show Print. Two (2) T-Shirts. A pre-release copy of the DVD. Official Film Poster. Six (6) instrument case/bumper stickers. Handwritten, thank you keepsake postcard. Contact us if you'd like to be anonymous.

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    TITLE SPONSOR. Email us for specs - info@porchlightsessions.com

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Funding period

- (60 days)