About this project
ALL OR NOTHING!
"Bluegrass is America's last small town. Everyone knows everyone, and you don't have to lock your doors." - John Hartford
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** Anyone interested in being a sponsor can view the packet here.
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!
Our StoryGrowing 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.
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.
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.
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!
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Anna & Chris
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.
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/.
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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