At every turn we have scraped together resources from the love of family, friends, and community to achieve a singular cinematic feat. Through screening Echotone in multiple cities we’ve discovered its universality across America and the world.
As the film approaches widespread release this month, we’ve chosen to continue telling the story through two initiatives: the Echotone Series Pilot and the Echotone Music Grant. Funds will be split evenly among the initiatives.
Echotone opens theatrically at the reRun Theater in New York on Sept 9. and at the Alamo South Lamar in Austin on Sept. 11. It will be available on DVD on Sept. 13 and Digitally Sept. 27 at Echotonefilm.com
Echotone: The Road to an Audience
After drawing 500 people to the small town of Marfa, Texas, for the World Premiere at the Marfa Film Festival (the largest turnout to a MFF screening ever), Echotone spent its time on the festival circuit playing large international festivals like the Starz Denver International Film Festival and small communities like Chambersburg, PA’s, Waking Giant Festival.
For the past 18 months we’ve worked harder than we ever thought imaginable, stapling Echotone flyers to every telephone pole in every city we could find, asking more of friends than we probably should – crashing on couches or asking them to drive us and the film’s musicians halfway across the country for a guerilla screening tour. Bringing Echotone to the world, whether in world-class theaters or projected onto dive bar walls, has been a full-blown marathon.
We have won the Hill Country Film Festival and the Northside Music Festival in Brooklyn, and sold out 10 screenings in our hometown of Austin. Now we charge toward widespread release on digital and DVD, and theatrically in New York on Sept. 9 at the reRun Theater in Brooklyn and again in Austin right before Austin City Limits Festival.
It’s been a difficult journey, bootstrapped from day one. At key moments in the film’s life, friends and strangers have stepped up and helped just as we thought we were about to falter, renewing our faith in the integrity of our creative community. This support is what has led us to keep telling the story in other cities. It also inspired us to find ways to empower artists and fans alike, and give back to the Austin music community that inspired us.
Echotone Series Pilot
Echotone’s relevance in other cities has been impossible to ignore, and has forged many partnerships that continue to reveal powerful stories. The Echotone series is a 6-part 6-hour expansion of the film, showing similar stories in Austin, Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. Kickstarter proceeds provide finishing funds for a series pilot episode, which will enable us to prove and pitch the concept and secure a broadcast deal to fund and produce the series.
Director Nathan Christ and Photographer Robert Garza have already been on the street filming in Chicago in June 2011 with the likes of Buddy Guy, White Mystery, Mannequin Men, and more, and now in New York in September 2011 with important stories at the endangered Chelsea Hotel, and with Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Les Savy Fav, and others. We plan to shoot Los Angeles by the end of 2011 and finish the pilot by late January 2012.
The Kickstarter Campaign
Some are familiar with Kickstarter as a crowd-sourced funding tool. You receive a benefit package for your donation level, detailed to the right. We used Kickstarter early in Echotone’s life to raise $5,000 for production funding. Additionally we introduced one of Echotone’s musicians, Dana Falconberry, to Kickstarter and she raised 82% more than her target to fund production of a new album.
Now we are using Kickstarter to fund the production of the Echotone series pilot and a grant that will be dedicated to helping an Austin artist to release their next album. It’s important to note that we will not receive any funds at all until we meet our funding goal. Please contribute what you can and share this link on your Facebook, Twitter, blog, and email list to help us reach the goal.