Giasone was one of the most popular operas of the 17th century; this raucous telling of the Jason and Medea myth features tortured lovers, a bitter old maid, and other interesting characters. Using a style that incorporates commedia dell’arte, punk and cabaret, Opera Omnia’s version of the quest for the Golden Fleece is sure to delight the fun crowds of New York. We spoke with Wesley Chinn of the Omnia team about pulling off and funding a modern opera. What was the inspiration behind the innovative opera project you are currently running on RocketHub? This is actually our second project as a company, so let me give a two-part answer. Opera Omnia’s first project was Monteverdi’s Coronation of Poppea, which we presented, in English, at Le Poisson Rouge in August of 2008. The previous January, I had just played a show with the Worldess Music Orchestra, which is run by Ronen Givony, who does the classical programming at LPR, and he sent out a call soliciting classical programming proposals for this new club he was involved in. I pitched him on doing an opera, and pulled together the other two artistic directors of the company (Crystal Manich, stage director, and Avi Stein, music director), with whom I’d been talking about doing this for a while, and we put together the show. Thanks in part to the late-summer doldrums, and in part to the buzz around LPR’s opening, we were able to get a lot of attention. We managed to to get a full-page preview in the New York Times arts section, got a lot of further attention and sold out our show. I’d been running around for nearly a decade before that telling everyone that I wanted to put on 17th-century opera in English. These early operas have huge amounts of text that goes by relatively quickly, with occasional tunes mixed in; this can make them a little difficult when done in the original language, but in translation you see this wonderful thing, which is that it’s almost more of a play set to music than an opera—the effect is that it sounds like old music, but as far as dramatic pacing and the general experience it has more in common with Gilbert and Sullivan than it does with, say, Wagner. So in a relatively small room like Le Poisson Rouge, and accompanied by these early instruments like harpsichords and lutes, everyone can sing in a way that you can really understand them without having to work at it, and suddenly you have direct communication between actor and audience—unmediated by supertitles or a libretto—as you would in a play, and you have a show that anyone can enjoy. I love opera to death, but oftentimes we feel like we have to do homework in order to enjoy the show properly. There’s absolutely a place in this world for art that isn’t too easy to understand, but I wanted to show that opera doesn’t always have to fall in that category, and sometimes can just be a lot of fun. As far as this show in particular (have I gone on too long yet?), it had been three years since our first one, and obviously those years were tough ones for the economy (not that we’re done with that, as the last weeks have shown!). We’d raised almost $25,000 in donations for the first show, and I knew a couple of those were from people who’d done me a one-time favor. The thought of trying to put on another opera was just too terrifying. But eventually it was just time—furthermore, I figure that collectively, it’s the fact that businesses and individuals are afraid to spend money is part of what holds back our economic recovery. You might call the show the world’s smallest economic stimulus program (something I guess you could say about many RocketHub projects). If you want to get political, you could also take the conservative standpoint, in which case I’d say that giving money to us is a chance to demonstrate that supply-side economics actually works! Your passion clearly comes through in the project. How has your experience been as a crowdfunding pioneer in the world of opera music in New York - how are your supporters responding? As I hinted above, we’re also going about some more traditional fundraising, through snail mail letters and such; the $5000 we’re seeking to raise through RocketHub (hopefully more!) is just a portion of our overall goal. What RocketHub has enabled us to do is to not only to amass some smaller donations, but also to reach out to people who I wouldn’t have been comfortable sending solicitations to. It’s hard to ask for money! But I’ve been delighted at some of the people who I knew supported our work, but who I didn’t expect to be interested in contributing monetarily. There’s a little part of me that feels bad about getting money from my friends, but mostly it’s an amazing feeling to have people tangibly put themselves behind what you’re doing. What I’ve been particularly pleased with is the response from the creative community of the city (which is confusing, of course, because in RocketHub parlance, we’re the Creative). Our donors are an immensely talented group, and if you locked them in a room, they could write and produce their own very successful opera! That makes total sense - crowdfunding part of the total amount needed is very common. We are all Creatives in one way or another :) You’ve built a lot of momentum quickly. Any advice for Creatives looking to crowdfund a similar project? As I mentioned above, we had a few advantages going into this—nearly 1500 people saw our last show, and thanks to both the magic of the media and the interconnectedness of the New York music scene, we had a pretty healthy reputation already established in a bigger circle than that, which I think helped a lot with getting people to respond to our campaign. I like to think we also had a well-conceived project. While opera is inherently among the least-practical ventures one could imagine (and I like to compare deciding to put on an opera with deciding to jump off a cliff and hope that your parachute opens on the way down), I think our project has a clear place in the music scene and it’s clear what we’re trying to accomplish and why it’s different from what anyone else is doing, which I think is really important. The part that everyone should understand is that the internet isn’t magical. I’ve heard a lot of marketing professionals talk about wanting things to go viral as though it were this magic thing that’s going to solve all of their problems. It’s hard to quantify exactly why some things go viral—but they have to start with some combination of compelling content and some initial people who will care enough (or be so compelled by the content) to aggressively pass a link on to their friends. In fact, for us so far RocketHub is mostly a convenient way to reach out to our existing contacts and give them an easy way to support us without picking up a checkbook and finding a stamp. It helps that we have a reputation as a company, but our success so far also rests on our reputations as individuals and the donations are partly a personal vote of confidence. That part is something anyone can duplicate to some degree—come up with a project you can stand behind and understand that you will have to marshal your personal network to support you. That said, of course we do hope that our campaign goes viral and that we start getting donations from people we’ve never heard of who just love our idea, so if you’re reading this, please feel free to click on our campaign and give us some fuel! Thank you Wesley and Omnia for this awesome project. The RocketHub team looks forward to coming out and supporting the performance. Get your tickets and other cool rewards, here. -Vlad
Because of the large size of the Salesforce community, it is very easy to get bogged down with information overload. This is where “We Are Daryl Shaber" comes in. The site will be a hub for unofficial and official Salesforce community resources. And Patrick Connelly is the man with the plan who is leading the movement. He has galvanized his network of individuals and supportive organizations (including Appirio, Bracket Labs, and Shell Black) to quickly crowdfund this new platform. I spoke with Patrick about how he did it and where he plans to take the community. Inspiration: Part of my job is as a developer on the Salesforce platform. Over the years I’ve learned a lot of things about the community and where to find information, but it has taken a long time. The problem isn’t that the information isn’t there, but that it is spread all over the place. That’s where the idea for our project stemmed from. What wearedarylshaber.com is designed to be is a hub for all of this information. What’s with the name you ask? There is a Twitter bot named Daryl Shaber that retweets information about Salesforce and other things in the Salesforce world / community. So, just like the information that comes from Daryl Shaber is not from one individual, the Salesforce community is not one person. The entire community is, in a sense, Daryl Shaber. We all are a little bit of Daryl. Experience: To be honest, I was a little leery about how well the fundraising was going to go at first. Originally we posted the target amount at what it would cost us to run the site for a year as well as buy some promotional items to take with us to Dreamforce (the annual Salesforce conference). But once we started posting our RocketHub project online and the donations started coming in, I was ecstatic. I’ve been part of several projects in the past that never got off the ground because of people say “sure, I’ll chip in” and never actually doing it. But thanks to the outstanding Salesforce community we are able to not only fund that stuff we had originally planned, but are now able to provide more promotional items and beef-up our backend. Advice: I think the biggest reason behind our success has been social media. Prior to the launch of the RocketHub, we generated some buzz about an ”upcoming project” and got people to pay attention. Then when we launched the RocketHub we posted the information anywhere somebody would listen. It really helped that one of our organizers, Amber, is very connected in the Salesforce community and helped get the word out. The other key to our success are the companies Appirio and Bracket Labs who made large contributions because they too are large supporters of the Salesforce community. Plus, people like free t-shirts :) Thank you Patrick for leading the way and for bringing this great community to RocketHub. Check out this project, here. -Vlad
RocketHub is stoked to teach a crowdfunding workshop at the white-hot General Assembly, an urban campus for entrepreneurs seeking to transform industry and culture through technology and design. GA (as it’s known to the Silicon Alley scene) provides programming, space, and support services to foster collaborative practices and learning opportunities. “We wanted to recreate the feeling of a college campus, ” say Adam Pritzker, one of the principles behind GA. “Something that was outside the structure of an institution but had the same academic tendencies.” On Thursday August 11th at 6PM - RocketHub is presenting a lecture called Crowdfunding Your Product - and there are a limited number spots still available for the session. We look forward to seeing you there! Email us for a promo code - and RocketHub will hook you up with a discount. Brian Meece Photo images courtesy Dan Frommer, Business Insider
Friday night RocketHub hosted the Artiscle Photography Show in the Chelesa neighborhood of New York City. The gala was made up of a wonderfully mixed crowd of artists, press, and photography enthusiasts - over 100 people dropped by throughout the eve - and the vibe was warm, fun, and friendly. Joshua Reuben Lewis rocked an acoustic set of his new NONVIOLENCE record, and selected photographers Laura Boyd and Jo Arellanes shook hands with fans of their work. The World Monuments Fund Gallery was so pleased with the work that they’ve extended the show an extra week - we think that pretty much says it all! A heartfelt thanks to all of those who came out and made this show a success.
Sean and Aimee Dayton are award winning musical artists from North Bay, Ontario. They’ve released three albums and are now working to develop their new Christmas record. I spoke with Sean about what inspires this dynamic duo and about the timing of their new endeavor. What was the inspiration behind the music project you are currently running on RocketHub? Why is it important to you and why do a Christmas album now? It seems the older I get, the busier Christmas becomes. I hear it from friends and family all the time. Running around buying presents. Working extra hours to pay for the presents. Then trying to find time to wrap all the presents. It can be a pretty hectic time. Our Christmas album is kind of a response to that. To give people a chance to slow down in the midst of the craziness. It’s sort of an acoustic Christmas album. A lot of us have great memories hanging out with family in the living room … that’s how we’re trying to approach this album. A ‘Living Room Christmas’. Our faith plays a big a part in the songs we’ve selected. That’s what Christmas is about for us. That makes sense a lot of sense. How has your experience been as a crowdfunding pioneer in the world of music in Canada - how are your supporters responding? The response has been amazing so far! We’re definitely on track to reaching our $5000 goal. The window for selling Christmas music (traditionally) is pretty small .. so the great thing about this is that it’s helped open the window for us. Not only that, .. I’m seeing that people are buying extra copies. That probably wouldn’t have happened any other way. We’re only 15 days into the campaign, but I’m already convinced that crowdfunding is the way to go. Very smart use of the crowdfunding mechanism. You’ve built a lot of momentum quickly. Any advice for Creatives looking to crowdfund a similar project? Build relationships. Most of my supporters so far have been people that I know personally. Facebook & twitter are great to help get the word out, but you might not get a huge response unless you have relationships with some of these people. They’ll be more apt to support your project .. especially when they know you (and they’re interested in what you’re doing). Also, a good deal/incentive never hurts - especially when it involves Christmas cookies!! Thanks Sean and Aimee for your heartfelt project. Check it out, here. -Vlad
"Whiskey Planet is a brutally realistic, gritty and heavily-stylized post-apocolyptic survival sim game." They had be at the first line. Being a big gaming fan, I was intrigued. So I needed to talk to Christopher Postill about his crowdfunding endeavor. Chris seems to be the modern-day Renaissnace Man with a few major creative interests. What was the inspiration behind the gaming project you are currently running on RocketHub? Why is it important to you? The project has been a loooong time in the making. It was originally conceived as a collaborative graphic novel; a story inspired by Tom Waits’ music, The Day The Earth Stood Still, The Road, Mad Max and whiskey of course… all this dirty, gritty, unapologetic rough-around-the-edges stuff. I loved the post-apocalyptic stories that were more about people reacting to the loss of modern day society rather than people getting eaten by zombies. However, the comic didn’t happen for a number of reasons (there were 5 separate authors to say the least). I still loved the idea but it got moved to the backburner for a while. When Josh (the lead programmer) and I (game design) worked together at a game development company a few years ago, I showed him some of the material I had developed. He thought it could be a cool online game, but again, our schedules were much too hectic at the time. We both went our separate ways for a while, but kept emailing each other saying “Hey man, we really should make that game some day!”. When I found RocketHub, it seemed like a really good way to make it happen, and here we are. The game is like a mix between playing RISK with 50 people, having an alter-ego to keep alive (in real time) in a ‘post-collapse-of-society’ world, and a really cool gritty comic book narrative to create/explore with your friends. We’ve got 5 factions that all play differently; sort of like Magic: The Gathering if the goal of the game wasn’t only to destroy your opponents, but also to keep yourself alive in a harsh world. Honestly, it is almost half a game and half a social experiment… to see how players will handle the world we build for them. I’m curious about how much co-operation will happen. That’s why we’re so passionate about it, there is a lot of “Why hasn’t anyone built this yet!?”, “Can our game get away with being that harsh?” and “Imagine that in real life?! That’d be insane!” as we test. I’m a big Tom Waits and Risk fan - so I see where you’re coming from, in an awesomely weird way. How has your experience been as a crowdfunding pioneer in the world of indie-gaming and self-publishing - how are your supporters responding? I love crowdfunding. It is really hard, but when people get behind your game they seem legitimately invested in it and that’s brilliant. Indie game development seems to be a pretty established industry now, but there are still a lot of questions about how to do it right. With Whiskey Planet, we’ve kept pretty quiet about development. We just slowly sent off the funding campaign to people we thought would be legitimately interested in it. Word seems to have made its way around and now we’ve been seeing a lot of feedback from both supporters and haters alike. There are a number of forums discussing how the game will play, what is and isn’t cool about it, etc. We’ve been doing our best to stay on top of these conversations and take everyone’s thoughts into mind. Moral of the story is, with crowd-funding you need to make something interesting, you need to be honest/transparent about how you make it, and you need to count on the crowd to help you make a good game with not only money, but supportive feedback and damn harsh criticism too. We see crowdfunding as a major new path for indie game developers. Any advice for Creatives looking to crowdfund a similar project? Too much to fit into a few paragraphs… First and foremost, be innovative, especially with gaming projects. There are massive studios with massive budgets out there and the best way to stand out is to try some new things with your game. For us its the permanent death, the mix of real-time survival and social strategy, and the cool AI that creates a fixed economy of wildlife/food supplies. We approached the game as though we were challenging players to fight not only against each other, but against the game itself to stay alive. Instead of treating it as a problem, we embraced the idea that certain ‘towns’ in our game might become almost uninhabitable for a period of time if players get too greedy and destroy all the wildlife there. We think that is cool! Not everyone will I’m sure, but those who like a game that challenges what they are used to playing, will almost certainly dig it. So, in short, take the standard procedures from whatever genre game you are making and flip them on their heads, if anything you’ll make something interesting. Games are particularly fun because you can offer really cool incentives. We’re designing landmarks in the game that are named after our funders. Those who really back the project get a whole town named after them. These are huge parts of the narratives that will come out of the game and its fun to honor the people who support us like that. When “Dakota’s Tavern” (named after one of our current funders) is the last stand of The Horde Punks in such and such a town, we hope he can get a good smirk out of seeing that happen. The last thing I’ll say is promote like a human. I learned really quickly that blasting out copy and pasted emails isn’t the way to go about promoting online. Especially with crowdfunding, you are looking for people to become part of your project, to take a genuine interest in your game and support it. Find bloggers, actually read their blog, then write them an email like you were meeting them at the pub. If they feature your project, they will write a much better article about the game as well as YOU yourself; and their readers will be all the more into it. I could ramble on, if you actually want to chat about your project, or Whiskey Planet, etc. shoot me an email at email@example.com! Great advice and honesty. Reach out to Chris if you have any questions or visit his project page to jump in. -Vlad
We live in a beautiful world. Alexandria Neonakis offers a very unique and gorgeous perspective on both common and uncommon sights. “Places” is a personal art project that Alexandria started upon taking a giant cross-continental road trip with her sister last summer. Alexandria is now leveraging the power of her friends and fans to self-publish this wonderful collection of illustrations. I spoke with Alexandria about her journey and about the process of DIY publishing. What was the inspiration behind the visual art project you are currently running on RocketHub? Why is it important to you? The idea for Places came to me while on a cross-continental road trip with my little sister last summer. We drove from our hometown in Halifax, Nova Scotia to Los Angeles, California. North America is a beautiful continent, and each individual stop was absolutely flooded with incredible people and scenery. I used a flip camera to record pieces of the drive and little moments. When I got home and re-watched all of the videos, I decided to do a series of illustrations. I wanted to try to capture not only the places, but the feelings and memories I had there. It really just snowballed from there. I spend a lot of time traveling. I realized while working on the project that each place I’ve been has had a distinct impact on my life. A project of this size however takes a ton of time. To be able to complete a project like this would be a huge accomplishment to me as an artist. It’s a big goal, but I’m a pretty determined person… I drove 6000kms in 14 days in a Honda Civic even though people told me that I was nuts for even trying. I feel like I can do pretty much anything haha. Your work is great and your journey comes through in the images. How has your experience been as a crowdfunding pioneer in the world of art, particularly an innovative and new form of visual art - how are your supporters responding? Crowdfunding was something I didn’t fully understand at first. I stumbled onto RocketHub a couple weeks ago and started looking around. At first I thought my project was too small and wouldn’t get enough interest. Everyone else had things like songs and music videos and TV shows to pitch and all sorts of really interesting stuff. I am interested in my project, but would anyone else be? Also… it’s digital art. there will be a tangible book at the end, but do people want digital doodles? I pretty quickly learned that people love them, and that my network are just as excited about this as I am! I think a part of the reason the doodles were so widely appreciated is because I post them on the person’s Facebook wall with a little thank you message. It gets shared on their network, some set it as their profile pic… it gets shown off in a way that a real sketch on paper mailed to their doorstep probably wouldn’t. Each contribution from the $5 donation to the $500 donation gives me a little lump in my throat. It’s one thing to be passionate about something, it’s another entirely to have other people excited enough about you and your projects to give you what they can. That’s a brilliant use of Facebook and digital content. You’ve built a lot of momentum quickly. Any advice for Creatives looking to crowdfund a similar project? To people who want to do this, just do it! Post it to your Facebook, your Twitter, your Deviantart, your blog… hit as many people in your network as you can! Don’t be naggy or beggy or anything like that, I just said “Hey guys, you know those drawings of places I’ve been making the past couple of months? I want to make those into a book, and I’m looking for contributions! Check out my RocketHub project” and it just went on its own from there. Having a good network of peers helps. All of the people who funded me so far are friends, fellow artists and fans of my work from Deviantart. If you’re an artist, whether you want to make a RocketHub project today or maybe in a few months, get to building your network! It’s not just about finding clients, it’s about connecting with your peers. I am always willing to help out with a cool arts project, and Places is proof that lots of people, both artists and fans of art, feel the same! I also try not to over flood my Facebook or Twitter with posts asking more people to contribute. Instead, I post the reward doodles I’ve been doing as I finish them, and that has built a ton of momentum. People see the rewards being given almost immediately, and that makes them more willing to contribute. I want to generate excitement and support, I don’t want Facebook and Twitter friends to stop following my posts because I’m begging too much haha. Lastly, don’t feel like your project is not worth it. It’s a lesson I learned from my RocketHub experience :) Perfect advice! Thank you Alexandria for your beautiful work and poignant insights. Reserve your copy of the book. -Vlad
Gleb Osatinksi is the writer, director and producer of a short film called “Pisces of an Unconscious Mind,” a psychological drama about a journey between worlds of consciousness. The film is based loosely on his experiences, and is told through the languages of scenic imagery, poetry, and allegory. It is an artistic and sincere take on an introspective topic. Gleb is in the process of running a successful crowdfunding capaign on RocketHub and I had the pleasure of catching up with him about his endeavor and his mind… What was the inspiration behind the film project you are currently running on RocketHub? Why is it important to you? To say simply - this project is my life changer. I hadn’t directed a film before, though I always wanted to. I admire good directors, like Bergman, Kubrick, Tarkovsky, and over time built a film library at home. In Russia I graduated with masters in physics, wrote scientific papers, and did some experiments with superconductivity. Following the fall of the Soviet Union, my family immigrated to the United States in 1994, and I couldn’t continue with science. I had to look for a job, and found one in a Brooklyn hardware store making four bucks an hour. Fifteen years later, I was working in the one of the most prestigious firms on Wall Street. If you ask me what these fifteen years went, I will tell you they felt like one monolithic block of an unconscious process that I became a part of for a while. My background, together with my interest in films, triggered an idea for a movie I might write one day. But I never thought I would ever leave the comfort of Wall Street and become a filmmaker and give myself a chance to make it. Then at some point, I asked myself an important question: why not do something that I always wanted to do? Subconsciously I always was attracted to any art form, but consciously I always neglected it, or maybe suppressed it. In the end, I answered the question. I left Wall Street for good, and started this film, and I couldn’t be happier I found an unbelievable crew that believes in my script. I found actors who connect with my characters. Everyone who is a part of this film production is creative, inspired, and talented, and I’m proud to be their producer and director. “Pisces of an Unconscious Mind” is my creative statement. It’s my baby, and is a personal story for me. But, as we’ve progressed in this movie-making process, I’ve discovered talents around me. I’ve discovered new friends. A new life. And I’ve welcomed collaboration. No question, finishing the film is an important first step for me in my new career, and for us as a production team. We are excited to submit “Pisces” to festivals around the world and share our unique story with audiences. Once finished, we plan to begin production on another film; this former Wall Street worker has other ideas to develop and create with his trusted crew; ideas that he’s been holding, but never dared to implement. That’s quite a unique path. How has your experience been as a crowdfunding pioneer in the world of short film in New York and beyond - how are your supporters responding? A few of my supporters said to me that they always knew that I was an artist. Others commented that what I have started is “very cool.” Trading the financial services industry for an artist life was a very tough decision. School, job, time, friends, environment, schedule — everything I have built and created over time all of a sudden changes. But on this stage I can say, if you have a vision, people go after you and believe in you. And I believe I have one. My Director of Photography mentioned that this is a unique film in a way because, in his experience, most low budget independent films shot in New York are filmed in NYC not outside of the city. “Pisces” is filmed in multiple locations outside and inside too. We had to wake up at 2 am drive 3.5 hours away. Finish at 7 pm. Drive back to NYC to be here at 11 pm and then to be on the set at 3 am. We didn’t sleep for 48 hours. My sound boom engineer showed up at my place at 1:30 am. He didn’t sleep and looked tired. I mentioned to him that the inverter that we were using on the set was not working. Where would you look for a new inverter at 2 am? He had a cup of coffee. Picked up the phone and started to call laces and said: “Let’s go” We jumped into the car and drove to Home Depot here in Brooklyn. It was closed, of course, but then we saw a few people outside. We stopped, stepped out. I ran towards them with an old inverter. I told the story that the set is supposed to start at 3 am, and if we don’t have the inverter now, the production won’t start. One of them, the night shift manager, I guess, disappeared, but then came back with the new inverter for us. “Here, take it, do your art” he said. I hugged him, jumped into a car. Left. And we used it without a problem. That lamp on the poster is using the power from it! Film production is really something unbelievable. Things happened left and right for me and I felt as a director / producer I just needed to prevent “disasters” that could potentially damage the project. We were shooting in Manhattan, and one of the scenes was next to the telephone booth in the financial district in the middle of a weekday afternoon. We had a steady cam, and the actor was supposed to come to the phone both and talk. While we were shooting, I just hated the sun rays that were falling on the phone and on his face. I could not help, but we were taking probably 10 takes, and none of them was working. I said to my DP, let’s go somewhere else and shoot more along our story board. We left, but then in an hour, we came back to add that scene. When we came closer to that phone, I realized it was blocked by a UPS truck, and the driver was unloading something. I ran towards him and pleaded him to move the truck. He looked at me as if I was mad, then I hugged him. Why? I don’t know. He said, well, I will move the truck now, if you want. I felt something inside of me boiling. I hugged him. One of my crew members asked me why I did it. “I would do anything,” I said, “to make my day”. I think our supporters need to know what real filmmaking process is sometimes. It is a hard work behind the scenes. Our van was broken into, I had to replace the rear window on the way back to the car rentals. Nothing was taken, the window was oscillating on one screw. I guess the thief was screamed off. But, that’s another minor story, and my PA left a key inside of it and locked all doors, so we could not open it. But those are different stories. I would probably mention another time :). All I can say now, that on the set, I felt that my crew gives me so much energy and power through the film creation that nothing can withstand it to let us go. But who are our supporters now? My wife, Kate! Without her, this film would not happen. She believes in me and has encouraged me like nobody else to pursue my dreams. My friends! Incredibly supportive. I recently had a dinner with one of my friends, who has supported me tremendously in my film journey. One day, he and his wife were sitting silently on the roof when I kept talking endlessly none stop about the film. After a while, they said to me: “We never have seen you so happy in your life as you are right now”. I realized than that I am on the right track. He lended me his Cannon 5D 3 months ago, and he’s wondering if he’ll ever get it back. Two more scenes to go. Sorry, Nik! My crew! A special place in the process I would like to allocate to David Berman. I have spent a lot of time discussing the plot with David, who is an actor, director, editor, and writer. I cast David as my lead, but he has told me how deeply he connects to my story, and, overtime, his role has evolved into something collaborative. From day one he contributed his experience as a filmmaker, and his ideas and suggestions What it was exactly, I cannot exactly tell. I think we’ve become creative partners on this project Richard Manichello - a leading actor in the film. When I first met Richard, I had no doubt that he would play the perfect Fisherman. He brought this incredible energy, knowledge, maturity, and uniqueness that made us all proud and inspired to work with him. Katya Austin - an Art Director and FX Designer. Katya was the first crew member on board. I was looking for an FX designer and sent her my script first. Katya said, after she read it, that she was in “because the story “is bold”. Katya endlessly has contributed her energy, creative thought, sense of design, time into our project. Without Katya, it would be impossible to complete what we’ve completed today. Her art is unique, and I feel lucky to have her on my team. John Arthur Kelly and Steve Brown - Directors of Photography - essential work has been done. They have provided incredible energy, expertise, and leadership on the set. And the rest of the crew, who are really true troopers and supporters of our film, including Jason Melani, Meagan Hester, Jordana Davis without them, we would really would not be to do what we did today, and there is really much more to do, and that is why we are on RocketHub now! You’ve built a lot of momentum quickly. Any advice for Creatives looking to crowdfund a similar project? I think the most important thing is vision. I mentioned this before and feel it’s worth repeating. If you believe in your project and have a vision of what you are doing, it’s like you posess a magnet attracting everything, including, creativity, productivity, luck, hope, and funding. From storyboard to music, voiceovers, color correction… everything is based on your vision. We were shooting somewhere in midtown, and it just wasn’t working for me. We grabbed a cab drove to downtown and shot the scene within an hour somewhere on the empty street that just worked perfectly. In Midtown, we were trying and trying and trying and it all felt like a waste of time and energy. I stopped and asked myself, is this really what I want? And this is it.This question is so important sometimes. You need to stop, step back, evaluate, realize what is wrong, and listen to yourself. Hide your ego. Listen to yourself. And this is what our film is about, actually. It is an allegory, told through imagery and poetry, which I suppose is why it resonates for many who read about out it, and/or see the trailer. If you hide your ego, you do what is right. Go for it. Don’t stop. Listen to others, collaborate. Create. Don’t look back. This is what I have realized in seven months and counting of making my first film. People sense confidence. If you believe in your vision, others will, too. IF people believe in you, you will be surrounded by creative talents that trigger and multiply the results of your vision. I am honored to work with people who contribute their creative talents to my process and believe that what we are building together is real. It’s like building a dream with multiple hands. I guess what I am saying — if you have a dream - go for it, and find people who dream it, too. You have us convinced - we believe in Gleb. Thank you for the extremely candid and deep interview. Learn more about Gleb’s film and jump onboard this adventure. -Vlad
We are proud to unveil the artists selected for the Artiscle Photography Show. These five selected photographers will have their work shown at the World Monuments Fund Gallery located in the heart of Manhattan – and have their work distributed through Artsicle’s curated online marketplace. Hats off to all the fine photographers that submitted their work. The bulk of the submissions were top notch, and the RocketHub A&R Team wishes we had extra space to include much of the work entered. The final artists were selected based on their feedback and scoring from the judges, as well as the ability to effectively mobilize their fan-bases through RocketHub’s crowdsourcing mechanism…a hearty congrats to the final lineup! And special thanks to our judges - Alex Moore of Death & Taxes; Director of Photography for Quiksilver, Jason Murray; and Alexis Tryon, CEO of Artsicle. "RocketHub is excited to provide a next step for artists within our community", says co-founder and CEO Brian Meece. "Many of these photographers are already using our platform to raise thousands of dollars - now they are gaining access to next steps in their careers, with their own gallery show in NYC. That’s what LaunchPad is all about." Email us at ARTeam@rockethub.com for an invite to the gala on August 5th (supply very limited). The event will include press folks, art industry pros, and a special live acoustic performance from previous LaunchPad musical artist - Joshua Reuben Lewis and NONVIOLENCE. Here is the final Artsicle Photography Show lineup, along with samples of their photography - enjoy! John Crandall - Buffalo, NY "I am a photographer and traveler of the world, staying off the beaten path to get amazing photos and experience new culture." Laura Boyd - New York, NY "My photography business focuses on weddings, portraits, and boudoir, but I LOVE travel photography, too." Phillip Robbins - Newfoundland, Canada "The relevance of this part of my Faces series are the implied narratives and relationships that the viewer creates between people, even if those people are simply photographs on a wall." Zoltán Balogh - Budapest, Hungary "Find the beauty and peace in the changing world." Jo Arellanes - Atlanta, GA "My photography is filled with small moments. The passing chance of angles, light, and design. It’s in these moments I feel like I can stop the world from spinning around me and see where I am."
NYC singer/songwriter Annie Dressner is using her RocktHub campaign to premiere a music video for the song “September” - which was produced by Anthony Rizzo. The tune and video are part of her new work entitled “Strangers Who Knew Each Others Names.” "I feel that the record gets the songs across in a similar way as when I play live…All of these songs were written for myself, and to share them, well, that in itself is quite exciting!" - Annie Dressner Photo by Shervin Lainez