Final Project Proposal + CW2 Proforma

Title

Dusted Wax Kingdom – The Trip Hop Netlabel

Pitch

Some people collect records.
Dimitar is different – he collects artists.

Find out what drives the Dusted Wax Kingdom netlabel and meet some of the people behind modern trip-hop, in this 10-minute short documentary.

Unique Selling Points

  • the first documentary film about a netlabel, made in Bulgaria
  • the netlabel is based in Bulgaria – a country mostly known for its tourist sites, not usually associated with trip-hop music
  • the film will follow the guidelines of the Creative Commons licenses, and will be released for free under a CC license, available for re-mixing
  • a film looking at a digital phenomenon and an online community – still an area not well explored by documentary filmmaking
  • a fully CC-licensed, high quality trip-hop film soundtrack, produced by members of the netlabel
  • a positive and uplifting, music-driven film, sharing the inspiration for originality, independent thinking and creativity

Intended Audience

The film will be interesting for audiophiles, people who listen to and create music independently, sound engineers, fans of trip hop, primarily male audience between the ages of 15-50, with a vested interest in new technology, online communities, and sound engineering. A secondary audience would be music journalists and enthusiasts, curious to find out about new, emerging artists.

Rationale

The Dusted Wax Kingdom netlabel, based in Bulgaria, has been releasing trip-hop music for five years. Everything they create is shared for free with their listeners, spreading the love and passion for old-school samples and beats.

The 10-minute short documentary film will help us get to know the people behind this digital community, find out who they are and what drives them. We will see how they create, why they release their music independently and what inspires them to keep going.

The main focus of the film will be an interview with the netlabel’s Founder and Leader.

Context

The film will explore the hidden world of digital communities, what makes them different from real-life communities, what they do for their members and why people choose to create and take part in these communities. In addition, it will shed some light on new ways for independent artists to meet an audience, share their music and keep in touch with their fans.

Two main phenomena that are current and not well explored will be looked at through this film – internet music labels, and releasing music under a Creative Commons license, changing the paradigm of traditional copyright protection. It will look at new, creative, technology-driven ways to think about music, make music, and share music. There is not a single documentary film about netlabels, which means this film will create a niche for itself, and maybe start a trend of looking into these new and growing trends that a lot of people are part of but not many people outside of these communities know of. It will not just be a film about a technology tribe – it will be a film about a different way of thinking, a sociological and cultural exploration.

Distribution

The main audience of the film will be best reachable online – due to both the nature of the themes discussed, and the types of people the film is aimed at.

The first place the film will be published is Vimeo.com – an online community for digital filmmakers. The platform also allows for Creative Commons licensing of the video, which is the intended way of sharing the film.

Vimeo has started offering a Tip Jar for videos – meaning viewers can choose a sum and ‘tip’ the filmmakers after seeing the film.
This will be encouraged once the film has been uploaded, and it is expected people who understand the idea of Creative Commons and are fans of digital publishing will go with it.

Vimeo’s other payment option, Pay Per View, has been deemed inappropriate for the project, because the film is not promoting and is not using traditional copyright and traditional media distribution business models.

It is hoped that if the film reaches the right people, it might be invited to be screened – but festival and public screenings will not be the main focus of distribution.

It can be used to make a point in a presentation or lecture, or a conversation about digital culture – so screenings will be encouraged for educational and informative purposes.

The main aim of the film is to make these emerging trends more visible – and to start (or continue) a conversation about how they are changing today’s media and cultural space.

Budget

The style and aim of the film is for it to be a DIY documentary – so for its production, the costs will be kept to a realistic minimum. Although it is a music documentary, there will be no associated costs for music rights, as all the music will be available through a Creative Commons license – this has been already agreed with some of the potential contributors.

Music = £0
The author is currently in Bulgaria, where the netlabel is also based, so there will be basic expenses for local travel, food and accommodation.
Travel, food, accommodation
Return ticket (train or bus) Sofia – Varna = £50 maximum
Food for up to 5 days in Varna = £50 maximum
Accommodation for up to 5 days in Varna = £100 maximum

The author doesn’t currently have access to her own equipment, so this will be rented out in Bulgaria.

Equipment
Video camera + audio + tripod = up to £150 for 5 days (rates in Bulgaria)

Total expenses expected:
£350.
Add emergency fund of £100 for unexpected expenses.
Altogether, £450 budget

Source of budget:

The author is currently receiving an Academic Scholarship which will be the main source of the budget. It is deemed appropriate, since this is a research / academic project, with no commercial aims and expectations. Some costs might be later covered by the Vimeo Tip Jar option.

The idea of crowdfunding has been considered, but a final decision has not been made yet for its appropriateness. However, if used, crowdfunding will be used more for audience engagement and will not be seen as a viable source of income for the project.

Skills Audit

The author is very knowledgeable about the themes discussed as she has a vested personal interest in music and technology. She has gained a rapport and trust with the main contributors and interviewees, and is very experienced in leading a conversation / interview for a specific purpose. Her experience in video production, effective communication skills, technical and organisational abilities makes her a good Producer for this project.

Schedule of Work

The idea was conceived in June 2012. Since then, it has been in an idea development stage, including:
June 2012-ongoing
– developing a relationship and building rapport / trust with the main contributor and a few more people in the netlabel
July 2012
– becoming part of the online community and their internal Facebook group, where all the artists discuss ideas, problems, share their new work, ask for feedback, and generally keep in touch
August 2012
– travelling to Varna to meet the main contributor for an initial conversation
February 2013
– pre-production, planning with main contributor, arranging details for equipment hire, setting up online spaces promoting the project
March 2013
– production of main interviews (3-5 days in Varna)
– acquiring additional footage – cutaways, establishing shots, sourcing material from other authors, additional interviews from other contributors (tbc)
– paper edit of the main body of the film – interviews, additional information, text
April 2013
– rough edit of the film – all interview clips cut together, all cutaways and text on screen finalized, translation from Bulgarian to English and rough draft of subtitles
May 2013
– final edit of the film ready for hand in and distribution in the first two weeks of the month; press packs and distribution strategy finalized; DVD & other formats authored, needed for university hand in, Degree show and screening purposes.

Supporting Creative Artefact

Recording of initial conversation with the main contributor & a few photos of him, made in August 2012 – included in the first minutes of the CW2 presentation, plus one of his tracks that will most likely be used in the film sound track.

Conclusion

  1. This is a theme that the author is vastly interested in, but not many people know about – the author wants to make it more visible, and to make herself known for being part of this movement, knowing what it is about, and understanding its cultural importance. Professionally, the author is very interested in music distribution and creative communication promoting arts, so this is a chance for her to get to know these mechanisms better.
  2. The author is currently in Bulgaria, which makes the logistics of the project very easy. She is heavily connected with photo, audio and video professionals & enthusiasts in the country, which makes it easy to access support, advice, and equipment.
  3. The author believes Bulgaria is not just a tourist destination – it has a rich and diverse, active and very interesting cultural life, exploring new technologies and old traditions, and wants to help keep Bulgaria on the map for more than just its Black Sea and ski resorts. The country is full of interesting and talented people, and this is worth showing.
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