Hi we are Lucy deLeche & Peter Bernard, the main creators behind http://ThoseAmericanGirls.com and now we're going to talk about ourselves in the third person Hooray!
Lucy (voice) & Peter (visuals) are working class artists who mastermind the antics of super-rich cartoon characters Alicia and Debbie American a/k/a the cartoon rock band, Those American Girls. TAG have 49,000 followers on twitter, including a number of prominent politicians and patriotic show business stars. Kurt Loder from MTV News performs a funny/sexy dance song with the girls here: http://ow.ly/cqFQb Yay!
Okay back to first person.
Our dream was always to have the girls perform concerts in live venues like the Gorillaz used to, or Sega's videogame divas, but we assumed it would be incredibly expensive and something that could only happen if we ended up getting sucked into a corporate environment at some point down the line. Then our genius coder friend in Montreal named Mcasual Jacques hipped us to a way to do rudimentary mo-cap for around $100 and it worked (as you see briefly in the video above)! Suddenly, the cost of doing a Those American Girls live show went down from around $100,000 to the cost of a top-end digital projector, the cost of a professional animator to refine the raw bvh data, the cost of voice talent, travel, and fish netting to project Alicia and Deb onto. That's still a lot of startup money, but since we would be helping do something that has never been done before except by million dollar corporations, and we'd help open so many new possibilities for independent animation/indie musician cross-overs, we figured this was something worth risking a big fundraising failure at! We hope you agree.
What We Need & What You Get
This budget would, we think, allow us to create three separate and distinct live shows. Since the "live show" would actually be a cartoon projected on netting, we think that every single performance should be different and never repeated so it is truly a one time only "live" presentation. Otherwise, it would be a touring movie, but this way we feel it's really like a live cartoon band. We love Alicia and Debbie, we want them to have the chance to meet all of you guys in your towns because we think you'll love them too.
If you watch closely in the above video, Alicia's eyebrows change color between scenes at one point. That's because it was animated by our head writer!! He has ghost-written for an Emmy winner but he's no prize-winning animator. This is a project that needs someone gifted in 3D human animation and people like that cost money to hire. Since the job would be cleaning bvhs that already have been evened out by an Mcasual formula and doing brief linking animations, we think that Peter and 1 or 2 "assistants" can finish the work we've started in a 2-3 week period.
The Gorillaz used to use a 10,000 lumen projector per character when performing in large venues. We've seen 2,000 lumen projectors projecting on fish netting in people's darkened living rooms get a remarkably similar effect. We think a 4 or 5,000 lumen projector can show both Alicia and Debbie in a small or medium sized reasonably darkened venue. We would prefer to get one new, which would be $2,500-$3,500, but we've seen them factory refurbished at around $2k.
Voice talent and travel both would need to be paid for as well, but the bulk of the cost would be animation. Since the animation would also be the light show, pyrotechnics, instrument, and wardrobe budget, it's actually worth what we'd have to pay whoever we'd end up paying it to.
A big innovation with this type of "live" show is that the audience could bring the show itself home with them in the form of a digital file that they could project in their living room (assuming they owned a digital projector and some fish netting) and relive the actual show whenever they would feel like. In that sense, we'd be reviving the Grateful Dead ethic of allowing the fans to collect live shows (hence the need for each of them to be different from the others).
Now we've planned out 3 separate and different concerts, so if we were to receive partial funding here, we could scale back in a number of different ways to make certain that we would at least get one show done. For instance, in an emergency we could rent a projector or even book a venue that already has one installed. We just couldn't tour that way, and our goal is to get the girls on the road in a profitable touring live show of America, Amsterdam, Romania, anyplace we have fans!
Other bands need to buy instruments and rehearse; this band needs to buy a projector and pay an animator.
We need to get at least ONE show to happen, we need to bring the girls to life, and we think magical things will happen then.
Other Ways You Can Help
If you like our idea, please tweet about this, blog about this, link to us on Failbook or just plain use your mouth-device to tell other people's ear-devices about us. That could be worth more than a contribution-- you never know! Any way you can show us some love is something we're grateful for.
Indiegogo says, "Remind them to use the Indiegogo share tools!" Listen to Indiegogo! If you're still reading this, thanks from all of us.