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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMar 21st 2013 edited
     (11021.1)
    OK, FINALLY it's official and online, so now I can divulge: I have been working with noted UK musician Bruce Woolley (co-writer of "Video Killed The Radio Star" and lots of other cool productions, including Grace Jones, Cher, Seal, and tons of others) and his latest collaboration: The Post War Orchestra!

    Along with project originator Hilary Champion and other musicians, The Post War Orchestra is a music project that makes instruments out of decommissioned military ordinance, and now, the next phase is one of the UK's first big Kickstarter campaigns!

    I've been involved developing the entire graphic identity for this ongoing project, and some of the premiums being offered are created by me. And bonus: one of the premiums is a 4 track EP, with an exclusive new track co-created by Bruce Woolley and Thomas Dolby! And now YOU can help this project live on via Kickstarter:

    THE POST WAR ORCHESTRA KICKSTARTER PAGE

    Please take a moment to watch the video, and learn more about how you can support this innovative and exciting new musical project. I figured this would be right up Whitechapel's alley; making instruments out of RPG launchers and theremins out of WW2 machine guns!

    They have set an ambitious goal to hit, so if you dig it, spread the word far and wide! You'll have my undying gratitude!
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      CommentAuthorMorac
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013
     (11021.2)
    Neat! Though the image of people sticking rifle muzzles into their mouths, even for music, rather terrifies me.

    Definitely backed.
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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013
     (11021.3)
    Cool, and appreciated.

    Bruce Woolley is an old friend of Thomas Dolby's (how we met) and he approached me about 3 months ago to collaborate on this project. Woolley has had his fingers in the UK music scene for decades, first with writing "Video Killed The Radio Star" with Trevor Horn, to writing songs and producing people like Seal, Grace Jones, Cher, and doing tons of soundtrack and score work. He also started The Radio Science Orchestra in the early 2000's, a band of theremin players that included Leonid Theremin's great niece.

    He is a huge muso and a really energetic guy, and working with him has been great. The Post War Orchestra has been around a few years, and unstuffed all the stuffed shirts at the Orchestra In A Field festival last year in Glastonbury. Now they want to move it to the next level, and I'm on board as project designer.
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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013 edited
     (11021.4)
    Here's an early collaboration with the Post War Orchestra and steampunk pop princess Ruby Fenn. It's a mellow track, but really nice. I've encouraged them to also take things in a much more industrial, crashy direction as well! : )
    APPLES FROM BERLIN
  1.  (11021.5)
    This looks like a very cook project. That's awesome that you've got some involvement in it, to boot.

    I'm tapped right now, but I just gave it a bump on FB/G+/Twitter. Hopefully that will help get it more exposure.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMar 22nd 2013
     (11021.6)
    All signal boosts are appreciated!
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2013
     (11021.7)
    Here's the poster I've created for one of the Kickstarter premiums for The Post War Orchestra:
    •  
      CommentAuthorBeamish
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2013
     (11021.8)
    I'm in, hope they succeed.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMar 23rd 2013
     (11021.9)
    Me too; admittedly, it's an ambitious funding goal, but they are planning on doing a ton with what they are asking for.
    Thanks Jason; spread the word!
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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeMar 24th 2013
     (11021.10)
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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2013
     (11021.11)
    Hmmm. At this point, it seems pretty likely that the Kickstarter launch on this will not go through.
    It was an ambitious goal, which may have been the biggest hurdle to clear.

    The project is not dead by any means, and some articles and pieces from SKY and the BBC will help get the word out for the next step.
    I'm not worried; something good will come out of this, and we can build on the motion generated from this initial exposure.

    QUESTION: just as a post-mortem exit poll, any one have any thoughts on things that they think didn't gel or work on this pitch? Too esoteric? Goal set too high? Not good enough swag/rewards?
    Please be candid; I'm just interested, as I'm not actually the instigator of this campaign, but have been watching it closely to take notes for when I will use it.
  2.  (11021.12)
    Sorry to hear about your sad development. The pitch was intriguing. But for people who didn't live in the UK, how could they have converted their currency to the equivalent in pounds et al? What incentives could have been offered to draw visitors outisde the UK to donate?
    •  
      CommentAuthorglukkake
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2013 edited
     (11021.13)
    Aye, it's got 17 days. I've seen some bounce up in that time.

    It is a rather high goal for something that is esoteric. Also, if there was a sample track straight of the music, it would be really nice, cause I can get a feel for the music from the video, but I'm not entirely sure if I'd like it?

    For myself, I only contribute at a $25 level - and that's where a lot of the money comes in from. You can generally base all sales to be between $25-$100. Adding in an exchange rate will limit things a bit, especially if the UK isn't huge on Kickstarter funding at this point in time. (Is it? I think it's fairly new out there? I have yet to donate to a UK-based Kickstarter.)

    I've advised a bunch of people through their Kickstarters, so here's what I usually send:

    There was a good (now year old) article about Kickstarter success stats here: http://www.appsblogger.com/behind-kickstarter-crowdfunding-stats/ and Molly wrote up a nice breakdown of how we decided her reward levels/swag here: http://rhizome.org/editorial/2012/mar/15/comment-medici-crowd/. The most relevant paragraph being:

    I broke my rewards into four categories: "Access," "Artifact," "Art Objects," and "Art." "Access" was livestreams and parties and interactions with my backers. I wanted to hear their thoughts, and give them mine. "Artifact" meant the brushes, drawing scraps and paint battered palates that went into making giant paintings. I got the idea watching baseball players sell their baseballs. For "Art Objects," I made postcards, art-adorned poker chips, and other reasonably-priced reproductions.

    This left "Art": the six-foot-tall, impossible-to-sell-affordably, paint and wood megaliths that I felt compelled to make. When three patrons bought these paintings from my Kickstarter, I was flabbergasted.

    Rewards from each category were bundled together into packages, so that someone who donated $20 got livestreams (access), and fake money I designed (art object).



    **As a note, all of our "Art Objects" was consistently well under 20% of what the reward level was, to maximize profits. We were expecting to buy in bulk & I did days of research for the cheapest facility that was the least sweatshop-y.

    You might ask them to stick on the mockups for the standard plectrum & wristband - I think that would be a really good seller, but it actually took me a few read throughs to even notice that it was an option! Also, that's a word I barely recognized because I'm just used to "guitar pick". Maybe cause I'm American/not a musician? Spelling things out for people makes it so much easier - put the reward amount with the description under the photograph so people know where to look for the item they want because it's not an the easy presentation where they can see then immediately click 'buy'. I've been upsold on items when people have it spelled out in the main body of text because it was easier for my lizard brain to shop.

    Otherwise, the reward levels you all have listed hit all the right marks and it seems like something that should take off. Keep promoting!
  3.  (11021.14)
    Having a track or two up would probably help quite a bit. It's tough to spend money on music when you really have no idea what it will sound like. The bits where you see them playing at the 43 second mark sound much different than the music that kicks in at the 1:39 mark. I'm really bad with fitting music in genre's so I won't even attempt to list a bunch that it might be....
    But yeah, that would be the main thing that would stop me from buying music.
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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2013
     (11021.15)
    Good notes, folks, thanks for taking the time to comment. The project isn't dead if the Kickstarter campaign doesn't fly, but this was a first try.
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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013
     (11021.16)
    The group has decided to keep pushing on the campaign, and is calling in big guns to help raise awareness.
    Will keep you posted.
    •  
      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeApr 8th 2013
     (11021.17)
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      CommentAuthorPaul Sizer
    • CommentTimeApr 15th 2013
     (11021.18)
    Official message from The Post War Orchestra. We decided to cut the campaign based on some circumstances outside our control. Thanks for all the support and feedback given here, it is being put to good use, trust me!

    "Hello All,
    Thank you for the support and signal-boosting that you've been giving to the Post War Orchestra during these past few weeks. It's been inspiring, and we appreciate all the financial and emotional support you've given us.

    Today the organisers of the "Orchestra in a Field" festival announced their decision to postpone the event until 2014. Therefore we have decided to withdraw our Kickstarter campaign, because our reward structure was dependent upon the festival taking place.

    Over the last few weeks, we've connected with thousands of people all over the world, new friends, and new sources that are happy to spread the ideas and concepts of The Post War Orchestra. This is a project backed by dedicated artists, and there’s a real potential to continue building upon the foundation that has been laid from this initial outing, and to continue to connect with those who want to see our ideas and concepts realised.

    So thank you, all of you, for the success and exposure The Post War Orchestra has achieved so far, and please keep watch as we continue to grow. All of the outlets which have broadcast our exploits will remain active, and we'll continue to update you with news and developments.

    Stay tuned! The Post War Orchestra's campaign for forging the instruments of peace from the instruments of war continues!"