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Three music students desperately need to practice the night before their evaluations, but they can't stand the noise from one another.
Three music students desperately need to practice the night before their evaluations, but they can't stand the noise from one another.
15 backers pledged $380 to help bring this project to life.

About

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"Trio" - A Short Film About Musicians, Created by a Musician

$380

15

Trio (2015) - Full Film

Because the film is completed and I want you to know what you're supporting, the film is available to watch here in its entirety.

Please don't share this unlisted video with your friends, direct them to this Kickstarter page instead!


History of the Project

Andrew Wickwire as the tuba player, trying to play louder than the pianist.
Andrew Wickwire as the tuba player, trying to play louder than the pianist.

"Trio" was made for a production class at Eastern Washington University. The assignment was to make a narrative short film that did not use more than one line of dialogue.

I am a musician as well as a filmmaker, and have been playing jazz piano for seven years. I often score my films too. "Trio" was my way of connecting the two art forms I love in a cohesive way. The song at the end of the film, which I called "Trio Groove," is an original composition.

The film was well-received and went on to be featured in the "Best of EWU" screening at the end of the school year, which features the best senior productions from EWU. As a junior, it was exciting to have my film screened with the seniors.


Making of "Trio"

Tonya Ballman, who plays one of the three musicians in the film and performed the classical pieces live on set.
Tonya Ballman, who plays one of the three musicians in the film and performed the classical pieces live on set.

I knew I wanted to cast real musicians for the roles. I'm sure many musicians have shared my painful experience of watching actors portray musicians in a film and realizing that their technique is terrible, or the notes they're fingering don't match up to what we are hearing. My cast was:

  • Tonya Ballman, a classical and jazz pianist, and pianist for the EWU jazz orchestra.
  • Andrew Wickwire, a film student who was previously a music major. He told me he could play the tuba, but "not very well," and I told him that was exactly what I was looking for.
  • Quindrey Davis, jazz drummer for the EWU jazz orchestra.

For Tonya's classical performances and Quindrey's drum solo, the music was recorded on set. The ending piece, which features all three musicians at once, was recorded in studio and played back on set for the actors to perform along to, then carefully synced and mixed to be as realistic as possible.

Recording with Ben Price, who acted as on-set tuba consultant and provided additional tuba for the film.
Recording with Ben Price, who acted as on-set tuba consultant and provided additional tuba for the film.

Rewards

Because this project is asking for such a small amount of funds relative to other Kickstarter projects, all the rewards are things that won't cost me anything to make or ship, that would add to the total cost of this project.

The rewards include your name in the credits as a backer, a digital download of the film, a digital copy of the script, and credit as a producer.

Recording wild sounds from the baby grand on set.
Recording wild sounds from the baby grand on set.

For the thank you credits and producer credits, a new, final version of the film will be released online at the end of the film's festival run. This will likely be June 2016 at the latest.


Where's my money going?

Breakdown of the costs of this project
Breakdown of the costs of this project

Trio was completed on a $0 budget. The film was shot using locations and equipment from the school that were rented to us for free. I did spend around $60 on pizza for both days of shooting but nothing that was part of the actual film cost me anything.

The only costs have been getting the film sent to festivals. This has included festival fees, which can be reimbursed by the university, and the licensing cost for "Donna Lee," which was approved for me by the license holders and estimated at $400.

For the total cost of this project I have subtracted donations that have been made to me privately, and factored in the cost of Kickstarter's fees. Any money beyond the goal will go directly to covering festival fees and travel expenses for festival showings.

Tonya's character struggles to retrieve her pencil after throwing it into the piano following a surprise performance of "Donna Lee."
Tonya's character struggles to retrieve her pencil after throwing it into the piano following a surprise performance of "Donna Lee."

The reason I wanted to include a Charlie Parker song was because I wanted a real jazz piece that could represent the jazz side of this film, which features different genres of music, from classical, to jazz, to rock. Unlike classical music, most jazz music is not old enough to be in the public domain, and I still need the publishing rights (but not master use rights) to have a character playing a Charlie Parker composition.

Risks and challenges

Since the film is completed, there are no risks to the film not being finished! The film will be available to be shared with the public at any festivals it gets accepted to. I am waiting to hear from several festivals late this summer. At that time, any festivals that accept Trio may ask for my proof of license for the use of "Donna Lee," and I will be able to provide them with this in a timely manner if this campaign is successful.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A special thank you on my website and in the film credits when the final version is released publicly.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    An HD digital download of the film in the format of your choice, plus a special thank you on my website and in the credits when the final version is released.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    A digital copy of the script will be sent to you, plus an HD digital download, and special thank you on my website and in the credits when the final version is released.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    I will add you as a producer in the credits of the final version of the film, plus send you a script, digital download, and special thank you.

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Funding period

- (25 days)