Posts Tagged ‘Kickstarter’

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Salad Days (update)

August 11, 2015

Well, the digital screeners of Scott Crawford and Jim Saah‘s Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90) has been sent out to all Kickstarter backers and I had a chance to watch it tonight. What can I say? It was well worth the wait even though I’d preferred if those that helped fund it could’ve had a chance to see it before it started making the rounds on festivals etc. But, again, having seen the final results I gotta say it’s cool.

Starting in the late 1970’s with early bands like The Bad Brains (it’s nice to see scenesters like Henry Rollins and Ian MacKaye stress how important they were to inspire other musicians to start their own bands), the documentary kind of follows the Dischord Records‘ outfits (with some exceptions) and offers in-depth interviews with pretty much everyone on the DC scene.

It’s all here. The early bands, the violence that was pretty much an every day occurrence for punkers back then, the birth of sXe (straight edge), the so-called “revolution summer” and birth of emo – everything up to the early 90s with Nirvana taking a leap out of the post-hardcore scene and onto major mainstream success. This sounds great, looks great and (thankfully) steers clear from that self-congratulatory masturbation you sometimes see in documentaries.

I gotta admit, after watching it, I felt pretty damn proud to have taken a small part in this documentary happening. Check out the trailer on Vimeo, you can buy it for $12,99 or wait for the DVD to be released in September. Official Facebook here.

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House of Monsters (update)

July 9, 2015


Well, it’s official: Check out the trailer for Dawn Brown‘s coming stop-motion animated webseries House of Monsters! It looks pretty damn great IMO and – Great Scott! – if you recognize the speaker’s voice, it belongs to Christopher Lloyd, who recently joined the cast as Dr. Gaulstone.

Having successfully run a Kickstarter campaign that was funded roughly a year ago, it’s now merely days until it goes live and I am really thrilled about it, not only as a backer but a fan of the genre. July 28th marks the official launch date and you can pre-order it for a mere $3,98.

So, check it out, hop on over and give the series a like on Facebook and read the interview I conducted with Dawn roughly a year ago here.

EDIT: Check out Dread Central‘s nice write-up here.

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Mixtape Massacre!

April 12, 2015

Skärmavbild 2015-04-12 kl. 15.26.09

Hey, horror isn’t all fun and games. Wait, actually it is! Check out this coming cool Kickstarter campaign that James at Doc Terror/HorrorSexy hepped me to: Mixtape Massacre!

A mix of 1980s horror films and pop culture, this tabletop board game created by Bright Lights Media has up to eight horror archetypes competing in a killing spree taking place in fictional Tall Oaks in 1986.

So far this campaign is roughly one third completed (they’re asking for $20,000) and perks include t-shirts, silk screen posters and the game itself (plop down $60 to get it). More information here.

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Mail Call

June 18, 2014

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Just a quickie note as I am keeping quite busy finalizing the Videogram mix/album for Doc Terror‘s coming Italian Horror Week: Last week I received my House of Monsters Kickstarter backer goodies in the mail; t-shirt, an original piece of artwork and key that enables free downloads of all the coming episodes. Neat stuff and I am loving the t-shirt!

A nice throwback to the Rankin/Bass Mad Monster Party stop motion animations of the 1960s, this project looks great and I am happy to be on board. Make sure you check out their official page on Facebook here, the official website can be found here and you can read my interview with creator Dawn Brown here.

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An Interview with Dawn Brown

April 14, 2014

(Following my interview with Tal Zimerman regarding his Why Horror? project, I decided to do an impromptu session with Dawn Brown for Swedish Gore Film Society.)

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Fans of Ray Harryhausen‘s work and Rankin/Bass‘ cult classic Mad Monster Party should definitely check out Dawn Brown‘s current Kickstarter project House of Monsters, that see classic screen monsters such as Dracula, The Mummy and The Wolfman revived in all their stop motion glory.

Having created (and directed) the 2012 short film of same name, Dawn, a Hollywood-based set decorator, is now looking to turn it into a web series. A Kansas native relocated to Los Angeles, she has worked with an impressive list of film makers that include Tim Burton, and she currently finished up The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, giving her time to focus on this project as well as answer a couple of questions I sent her way.

HoM04This is gonna sound weird coming from a horror fan – Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chain Saw Massacre is a personal fave – but House of Monsters really struck me as a nice throwback to the fun and naiveté of 1960s horror, and maybe even bringing back an “innocence” to the genre of sorts. What was the reasons for creating it?
Nothing weird about that – I’m a horror fan, too!  I love it all. Yes, House of Monsters is definitely a throwback to a simpler time. The Rankin/Bass classic Mad Monster Party is definitely an influence. Part of the reason for creating it may subconsciously be a reaction to a lot of the stuff that’s being produced these days. Corporate product that is so loud, so fast, so overproduced, so empty. I’m not going to name anything specifically, but I am going to go out on a limb and guess I’m not alone on this. So we made House of Monsters. It’s hand-made. It’s organic. It’s fun and simple, and hopefully something everyone can enjoy.

You’re definitely not alone. I personally haven’t been too impressed with the CGI effects that’s prevalent in the majority of movies these days. Not to take away anything from those programming said effects, but I miss the hands-on craft part of moviemaking. Like you said, it’s organic and, ultimately, human, I guess. Are you a Ray Harryhausen fan as well? What’s your fave film of his? Mine’s Jason & The Argonauts – love the skeleton army!
Mine is Clash of the Titans. Medusa scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid!

The 2012 short film received its share of awards. Was this the reason for deciding to create the web series or was it the growing grassroots support?
Both, definitely. We enjoyed connecting with people so much with the 2012 short, we absolutely want to build on that. We are launching a new studio, The Monster Shop, and this seems like a fantastic first project to get our name out there.

HoM02That’s awesome news! So will it focus on stop-motion animation or all kinds of features?
All kinds of features. We are artists, and our company is a creative services studio, offering everything from character designs, and set designs, pitch packages. All phases of creative development, including production.

So, is the plan to create multiple seasons or will this be limited to a certain number of webisodes?
That depends entirely on the fans. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, we will make as many episodes as we can.

Great! What about a physical release? Any plans of having it released on DVD/Blu-Ray in the future?
Our plan is to distribute through Amazon.com. They offer instant video streaming, downloading or physical discs. It’s your choice! I’m really excited about that.

Sounds great. Technically speaking: I’m amazed by the sheer amount of time put in when it comes to creating stop motion animation. What’s the average amount of hours for creating say a five-minute segment?
We can shoot about a minute a week, so a five minute segment would take 5 weeks to shoot. Add 1 to 2 weeks for post production. If you don’t have sets or puppets ready to go, I would add a week of prep for each week you shoot. So the short answer is 12 weeks for a 5 minute segment – starting from scratch.

HoM05Wow! I thought I was a patient SOB, but you guys must be the Zen monks of the entertainment industry, ha ha ha. So will the episodes be posted monthly, bi-monthly or what? Considering the amount of work, what’s the schedule?
Ha! Yes, animation does require a zen-like commitment! Depending on how many episodes we will have, I want to shoot them all at once and release them all at once. This is the age of binge watching, after all! For example, we’d break down the scripts and shoot all the castle scenes at once, shoot all the village scenes at once, etc. This will allow us to release the episodes as quickly as possible.

Great! Yeah, this is the Netflix-era after all. Can you tell me a little bit about the crew you’ve assembled for this? Being in Hollywood I’m guessing you have quite a nice pool of talent to draw from.
Yes, I am lucky to have a very talented crew. Our core crew is very small. Warren Manser is the character designer. He is a concept artist in the film industry. Current credits include Man of Steel and Transformers: Age of Extinction. Dianne Chadwick sews beautiful tiny costumes. She is a graphic designer in the film industry. Current credits include Oblivion and The Lone Ranger. Jon Neill is a sculptor, his recent credits include master pumpkin carver on the television show, Halloween Wars. I have connections in every level of production and can expand our crew as needed to address whatever needs arise.

That’s great! I know directors like Roger Corman and Russ Meyer preferred to work with a skeleton crew but also heard major directors talking about the advantages of having a large crew where everyone is a specialist in a small field. What’s your personal preference when it comes to crews?
I work for the big studios as a concept artist and we have large crews and everyone is a specialist in their field. So in that respect, I love that. It’s job security. It pays the bills. As a filmmaker, I prefer a smaller, more flexible skeleton crew. I think the more people are personally involved, the more they care about it. And that magic definitely shows on the screen.

Agreed. Speaking of Hollywood: Has the project itself gotten some word of mouth going? I saw USA Today mentioning it this past week and Kickstarter stepped in to fund the project. That must’ve been a blast!
Yeahhoo!!

But has there been any interest by producers, studios etc? Are you planning to pitch this at a later stage?
Right now, I just want to get funded by Thursday and give you guys some really fun and cool monster shorts. My focus is not on the studios, but you guys, the audience.

Sounds great. Best of luck with the project!

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Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/houseofmonsters/house-of-monsters-the-stop-motion-web-series
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/houseofmonstersmovie

UPDATE: This campaign was successfully funded on April 17th.

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House of Monsters

April 6, 2014

Check it out: Here’s the latest Kickstarter project I decided to back, Dawn Brown‘s House of Monsters. Bringing back the stop motion fun of Ray Harryhausen and Mad Monster Party, Dawn – a Hollywood-based set decorator/concept artist – is planning an animated web series using the characters from her S/T 2012 short.

There’s a pretty cool buzz surrounding the project, with Kickstarter adding some funds – how’s that for an endorsement! – and USA Today recently plugged it in an article. The campaign is roughly 60% funded with less than two weeks left, so head on over and show your support! $50 gets you a pretty kick-ass t-shirt!

Kickstarter: www.kickstarter.com/projects/houseofmonsters/house-of-monsters-the-stop-motion-web-series
Website: www.houseofmonstermovie.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/houseofmonstersmovie
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/dawnbrown123
IMDB: www.imdb.com/name/nm0113384/

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Post #650: Summing up 2013

December 31, 2013

Oh jeez, has it been a whole year already? Well, 2013 sure flew by fast I can tell you and I can’t say I remember that much on account of pretty much working my ass off for these past 52 weeks. In fact I once again had to go through the blog in order to check up on what happened and when because it’s all kind of a blur to me. So here we go:

copyright Sellergren Design 2011!January saw the release of Germany-based CRKO #3/4, which I made one of the covers for. The rough mix of In Space, originally slated for my first full length album, somehow turned into a 7-song EP released towards the end of the month. The Adventures of Superseven and Sandra West was released in a mammoth 5 DVD box collecting their initial 28 episodes plus bonus goodies like The Norliss TapesGroovy video. My work for the series earned both me and The Norliss Tapes our own pages on IMDB.com.

February saw the release of Sal Canzonieri‘s book Electric Frankenstein, compiling posters and record sleeves made for them during the period of June 2005 to December 2013, but I’ve still to receive any confirmation that my contributions are in it. Check it out on Amazon.com.

March saw the initial demos for my faux-OST L’Isola die Morti Viventi being created, starting out with A Modest Tribute to Fabio Frizzi. Meanwhile I finished up most of the tracks for the Adventures of Superseven and Sandra West soundtrack album and released the doomsday-dub Armageddon Dub, with a b-side featuring some drumming courtesy The Jimmy C.

squawkyApril kicked off with the release of the super-silly EP Squawky – featuring one of my personal fave b-sides The Name is West. A teaser-taste freebie of the coming soundtrack album was released and the They Call Me Superseven OST was released mid-month. The web series ran a successful campaign on Kickstarter, generating funds for the third season. UK label Dead by Mono‘s third installment of No Way Out! saw the physical debut of The Norliss Tapes with the track A Trip to the Moon. Me and UK photographer Robert Boud crossed paths resulting in some pretty cool collaborations. The end of the month saw the release of Call Me Greenhorn’s new-wave-ish Chasing the Dawn EP, originally slated for inclusion in an Australia-produced feature, but somehow that fell through. The poster I created to commemorate the launch of The Bigfoot Diaries live radio show was released in a limited edition.

May saw the release of Robert Boud’s video for Armageddon Dub, more dub sounds as The Titan Was Deemed Unsinkable was posted on SoundCloud, more videos as Robert Griffith‘s Here Comes Gorbot was made official and The Harvester appeared on SoundCloud, slated for an EP that I totally forgot about. The Jimmy C released the eight-track EP The Man Who Never Dies featuring three mixes I did and the month ended with the release of the CMGH2 album, aka The Abandoned Project.

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

June kicked off with a teaser taste from my stoner project Ursa Major, followed by The Hit ‘In Sounds’ of Today’s Outside Crowd album and I chipped in some $$$ on Kickstarter for James R. Petix and Sarah Babila‘s documentary It Came From Detroit.

July had me creating some merchandise designs for Belgium’s own Captain Catastrophy, I released the I’m Normal! cloudcast on MixCloud, released the “summer bonus” EP L’amour en Apesanteur and started my second side project Get Carpenter – I gotta admit I just love that name!

August saw me launching my page on Society 6, kicking off with the August 18, 1973 series honoring Tobe Hooper‘s horror classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. My stoner side project Ursa Major debuted with its 18-minute two-track Like Leaves and the end of the month saw the release of my faux-OST L’Isola die Morti Viventi.

September saw the launch of greenhorndub.bandcamp.com where I added the four-track The Titan Was Deemed Unsinkable EP after things turned out less-than-optimal over at dubmusic.com. The same month Pink Hulk EP followed. The John-Carpenter-meets-King-Tubby track Cutthroats at Midnight was finished and I began work on a S/T EP. The end of the month saw the release of the Halloween-themed The Ghost of Lee Van Cleef EP and Robert Boud’s video The Modern Day Holocaust.

copyright Sellergren Design 2013!

In October I chipped in more of my hard-earned cash to support Tal Zimerman‘s project Why Horror? on Kickstarter, a documentary on the whys behind this film genre, and I even had a chance to do an interview with the guy for Swedish Gore Film Society. Towards the end of the month my second Haunted House of Horrors cloudcast was released in time for Halloween.

November saw me creating some artwork for U.S.-based true crime magazine Serial Killer Magazine and the end of the month saw the release of the Cutthroats at Midnight EP.

Finally, December saw the launch of Jamie Vayda‘s Loud Comix #2 – featuring a sleeve by yours truly – the release of the It Came From Detroit documentary – check it out! – and some videos I edited with a new freebie video editing software: Battle è in Arrivo, In Orbit, Invasion of the Dead and Voodoo Rhythm/A Feast on Flesh.

Yikes! How’s that for a list? Gee, no wonder I’m tired. But then again, I am quite enjoying myself and hopefully people out there enjoy what I create as well. Got more cool things happening in 2014 and I’d appreciate you joining me to check ’em out. ‘Til then, Happy New Year!

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It Came From Detroit

December 23, 2013

Well X-Mas came early as the mailman brought me my Kickstarter backer package this past week. The DVD, a t-shirt and some other printed goodies like stickers made for a pleasant surprise when I came home, and a pleasant viewing experience as well as James R. Petix‘ documentary turned out looking great.

The latest news via their official Facebook is that they have secured distribution and the feature-length documentary will be released commercially in 2014. Kinda cool thinking that when I (and 437 other backers) chipped in some $$$ back in July all Plus One Productions had was a ton of footage accumulated over a ten-year period.

While waiting for the second edition to be released – does this mean the initial Kickstarter version will end up fetching big bucks as a collector’s item on eBay? – you can stream or download the documentary via VHX.tv. Check it out!

image courtesy Plus One Productions.

image courtesy Plus One Productions.

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An interview with Tal Zimerman

October 19, 2013

(NOTE: this originally appears on the Swedish Gore Film Society website)

Tal Zimerman at Home

The world is full of creativity. That is certainly nothing new, but thanks to the digital age the odds for someone having their dream project realized has become much, much better. Thanks to Kickstarter and Indiegogo (easily some of my fave websites) anyone can pitch their idea to the world and with a bit of luck get it financed. Being a believer in all things D.I.Y. I consider this a healthy and promising phenomenon and try to support interesting projects as much as my wallet allows me.

Tal Zimerman‘s pretty known among horror fans as he’s not only a writer for both Rue Morgue Magazine and Fangoria, but also an authority when it comes to genre movie posters. I recently found out about his upcoming crowdsourced documentary Why Horror?, a look at the psychology behind this phenomenon, and immediately decided to jump on board.  Ambitiously aiming to produce the most comprehensive documentary on the topic, Tal and Co. already amassed an impressive list of interviewees (George Romero, John Carpenter and Eli Roth just to mention a few), and plan to travel around the world in order to cover every aspect of this old phenomenon. Wanting to find out more, as well as help spread the word, I sat down and sent off a couple of questions his way, which he graciously answered.

So tell me a bit of the origins of the documentary. From my understanding it actually mutated from a different sort of concept.
Yes, that’s true.  I wanted to shoot an hour for TV that focussed on Toronto, where I live.  We would see how very horror-centric this city is, from festivals to famous shooting locations, to social activities and everything in between. There’s a pretty big horror community here and we all agree that we are spoiled rotten with things to do.  The production company I approached, with whom I had worked on a comedy project, was kind of baffled by my outward horror fan persona.  We got to talking about why I like horror, and why people in general, everywhere like horror.  So we decided to abandon the local focus and go global and that a feature film exploring all these things was best for the scope of the idea.

John CarpenterYou chose to have this crowdfunded. Considering the popularity of horror these days, did you consider having it produced by a studio? Was there any pitching for producers involved or did you immediately decide to go with Kickstarter?
I’m actually working with a great production company who specializes in TV comedy here in Canada. The feature length documentary format is new for all of us. There are producers on the project and they pitched it at a local documentary conference. We secured a broadcaster and managed to acquire a bit of funding for development.  The Kickstarter idea came when we realized that the costs of travel and film clip licensing were going to require a lot of money.  Almost everything that you saw in the demo was shot here in Toronto.  To tell the story we really want to tell, we need to travel and we need to show movie clips.

You managed to amass a quite impressive list of people for this! Tell me a bit of that process.
Again that comes back to where the production is located.  We have the Toronto International Film Festival and the Fan Expo, two enormous festivals that bring in top talent.  Having attended both shows for over 10 years, you meet people who know people who can introduce you to people.  Nothing is ever that easy, though.  You still have to hustle and nag and beg.  TIFF is especially tough because distribution companies fly in these directors to talk about the movie they are promoting and we’re talking about horror in general.  It helps to have people on the inside to get those kinds of interviews.  Having an interesting subject matter helps, too.  In reading the description of our movie, a lot of people want to express their ideas on the subject, so it’s just a matter of getting our material into the right hands.

George RomeroCROPPEDAs far as I know, this is the first attempt at covering the psychology behind the horror phenomena. Has there been any real revealing surprises while conducting those interviews?
Lots.  Without spoiling anything, I will say that spooking each other out is a very old custom.  Reminding the people around us of our mortality goes back to pre-language civilization.  Wanting to explain what’s on the other side is a natural, human desire.  Not all of us are content with what religion, or even science has to say about death.  And the more you attempt to cover it up, or try to escape,  the more abstract and creative the ways it bubbles to the surface are.  That, and also the fact that John Carpenter is a huge video gamer.  That blew my mind.

Considering some of the past high-brow snubbing of the genre, did you notice a change of attitude among the academics, or has there been some typical “this is garbage and it turns children into serial killers” sentiments vented like back in the hysterical 80s?
Its funny, we have tried to find people who are vehemently opposed to horror, like a larger anti-horror sentiment, it’s not there like it was in the 80s.  We are getting individuals telling us that their parents or co-workers have voiced concerns about their mental health because of horror, and that they can’t wait for our movie to help them explain their passion, but no big anti-horror movement to speak of.  There was some interesting stuff happening when movies like Saw and Hostel came out, and the idiotic label “torture porn” reared its head, but that goes back ten years.  In the time since, TV shows like Dexter, True Blood, and The Walking Dead have brought horror to the mainstream and into people’s houses – and they LOVE it.  So the genre is really at its peak of popularity and that’s another reason why now was the right time to do this film.

Eli RothCROPPEDI agree. The timing’s perfect. Personally I’d like to know why this genre is so polarizing. (The only other form of cinema doing that being porn.) Do you have anything to share regarding that? Why do people either love it or hate it but rarely anything in between?
It’s sort of designed to do that.  It’s safe to say that there are reactions to horror, both physical and mental, in everyone who sees it, but not everyone is going to enjoy that reaction.  But anything that pushes boundaries, which is one of horror’s main functions, is going to upset some people and delight others.  Some people are naturally curious and adventurous.  Others are content in the safety of their shells.  It comes down to personality.

Also, covering the various aspects of horror all over the world. Have you noticed any big differences? With the exception of noticing Euro horror being a bit more “arty” than the pragmatic U.S. films I really can’t say I’ve studied it at any length, but are we afraid of different things?
We are most certainly afraid of different things, or at least, have very different ways of approaching our anxieties.  In Japan, for example, there are several examples of folklore with haunted spaces and spirits trying to manipulate the living.  These tie in to that society’s family-related anxieties.  In Australia, the vast emptiness of the deserts have created a fear of isolation, which has been the theme of many great Oz-horror films.  In the end, though, it all comes back to the fear of death.  How that fear is represented is very driven by local attitudes.

How much of the documentary is already finished? How are you looking to expand it with the crowdsourced budget?
It’s hard to say, quantitatively, how much is finished.  We have roughly 40 interviews, mostly with film-centric individuals.  We still need to talk to art and literature historians, psychologists, and video game developers.  We definitely know what we want to talk about, and a budget from crowdsourcing will, for example, allow us to show works of art in museums and galleries, as opposed to jpegs.  It will give us the ability to talk to video game developers in Japan directly instead of just showing their works.  The movie is definitely happening, but a little extra push can take us a long way.

As it is feature length: Will we see this having a theatrical release?
I hope so.  It will appear on TV here in Canada next year, and we’re hoping to show it at some festivals before that.  We’re shooting with the theatre experience in mind, so we’re all hoping for a theatrical release.

So am I! Best of luck with the project, Tal.

Interview by Magnus Sellergren.
Photos courtesy Tal Zimerman.

Make sure to check out the project on Kickstarter and join them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WhyHorror. Again, the pitch video:

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Why Horror?

October 11, 2013

Well, here’s an interesting new Kickstarter project you should check out: Tal Zimerman‘s documentary Why Horror? – A New Documentary. A look at the psychology behind the horror phenomena – be it film, art, literature or video games – it’s got a great round up of people in it trying to explain the wheres and whys of this polarizing subject: Film makers, historians, psychologists, sociologists etc., with names including directors George Romero, John Carpenter and Don Coscarelli (Phantasm! Yay!) just to name a few.

The project is helmed by quite an impressive roster of peeps: Tal has done work for both Rue Morgue and Fangoria magazines; and directors/producers/editors Nicolas Kleiman and Rob Lindsay got previous experience from several documentaries, including Kazak: The Making of Avraga. They aim to make the most comprehensive documentary on the subject, and by the looks of the pitch video I’d say they’re onto creating it.

Pledges range from $10 CAD up to $8,000 CAD, with goodies including everything from t-shirts, blu-rays and dvds to attending pre-screenings and premiere parties (and do note that a $20 CAD pledge or more gives you screen credit to add on your IMDB). Join ’em on Facebook here and check out the campaign here.

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