We are running a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo. Here's the introduction we have there:
About the Production
We are making a series of music videos for new music by Mike Keneally, who's known for - besides his solo career - playing with masters like Frank Zappa, Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Devin Townsend. The music on the videos will be released on Mike's upcoming album within next half a year.
The series features videos for five new songs: Big Hit Song, Celery, Spigot, Lana and The Carousel of Progress. All videos will be made as independent pieces of art but when put together with some binding elements they also form a 30-minutes short film named The Complete Adventures of the Unrelated Sound Guy.
The visual approach and the style of videos goes from fairy tale like fantasy and crazy slap stick to artistic documentary. There's a lot of absurd content which has a delicate, serious undertone and vice versa. And probably a lot of hidden metaphors we didn't even think of. But because all categorizations are doomed to fail anyway, we can only promise: if you expect to see something unexpected, your expectations will be fulfilled.
Just Another Group That Does Everything Wrong
The movie is written, directed, shot and edited by me, Mikko Keinonen. As support I have a group of Finnish art professionals and enthusiasts who are there because they are perfect for what they do, they are great to work with and they love the project. The main group working for this is about the size of a regular rock band but altogether by now we've had about 20 different people taking part in the project one way or another and number is growing.
Anyway, the number of people is not the main thing. The most important factor is that everyone really gives their heart and somehow everyone seems to have understood the concept of a music video wrong more or less in the same way and therefore no one asks why when I say that next we'll hit some potatoes with a sledgehammer.
So, whatever it means to the quality of our work, it's fair to say to say we are another group that does everything wrong.
A year ago I had Mike Keneally as a special guest on the music track of my feature film Duus. When I heard that he was preparing an album, I suggested I could make a music video. Nothing was decided until in June I got a two months' grant from the Finnish art council for three different projects including a video for Mike.
At first, Mike sent me four of his songs. I listened to them and since they were so different and called for such a different visual approach, I decided to pick two songs instead of one. Then Mike sent me one more song named Celery - a heavy instrumental featuring two solos by Steve Vai - and after hearing about a minute I already knew how to visualize it. Soon after that I also fell in love with the other two remaining songs started having ideas and I knew I needed to do all five if I wanted to gain a piece of mind. Finally, when Mike suggested I could combine the videos into a short film, it was clear there was no way out.
So, this is where we are now. In a nutshell: we are making five music videos with a budget of one.
We have the material and quite final (and of course fantastic) rough cuts for two of the videos and we also have some material for the rest. We've done 7 shooting days so far and we need about 10 more. Counting together all people who'll be present at the shootings and in the rest of the process and their working hours we still have about 2-3 work months left before we reach the goal.
We are really determined to finish the project and I know we will since I have a lot of experience of working on low resources and completing movie projects which should be impossible. Anyway, when it's about voluntary work, the longer the project becomes, the more difficult it gets to bring the work group together.
What Will We Do with the Funding?
As you can see by where we are now, there will be good use for all extra funding we can get. Also any extra will help us. Here's how we'll use what we receive:
1. Covering the compulsory costs
Although we do a lot of voluntary work, there will be costs we'll just need to pay: travel, equipment, props, catering for the shooting etc. So, this is the first priority.
2. Paying for the good job
At this stage of the project there have been about 20 people involved and number is growing. Although our main passion is to make a fine piece of art and most participants don't expect any financial compensation, we wish people are paid for doing a great job. So, all income which is not bound to other expenses will be shared between work group as fairly as we can.
3. Distribution and marketing
If there's money left after compulsory costs, we'll spend a small share - about 10 % - for the marketing and distribution of the movie and the videos. When talking about financing it's good to remember that money is just a tool to get to the main goal which is making a great movie and making people see it. Unfortunately, that will also require some financial investment because for example most film festivals don't even take movies to the pre-selection without a payment.
What You Get in Return
We have a lot of different perks for those who contribute to our project:
Everyone who supports us will have their name in the end titles of the movie and also on publication covers and on our website (unless someone wants to stay anonymous).
We have different printed items and publications, including post cards, a calendar and an exclusive DVD publication. And yes, we do know DVD is a dying format but a fancy digibag with an elegant cover booklet will still look good in your record shelf. All publications will be signed by Mike Keneally.
We are also giving out some props from the shootings, for example 20 meters (about 70 ft) long which is featured in several videos. We'll also sell out all air guitars used in the video of Celery. (Don't worry, we'll desinfect all air guitar before delivery, so no risk of viruses.)
You may also arrange a screening and get a virtual presentation from the director. There are also several lecture options available.
And, if you fall in love with the locations or feel an urge to meet the crew and the cast in person, you may book a nice long weekend in Finland. We'll pick you from the airport and take good care of you in the beautiful locations where the videos were shot.
Other Ways to Help
We also understand that not everyone can contribute money although they wished to. (We are artists, so we do know a thing or two about financial struggle.)
Also, we love feedback.
The main thing is that our movie is seen. We really believe in what we do and therefore we wish to have wide audience.
Maybe we'll make you laugh. If not, at least we'll make you smile. And if thousands of people smile because of what we do, that definitely makes all the effort worthwhile.