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Chelsea Alien Pod Might Be Coming to a Theater Near You

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There are a few buildings out there whose sagas we'd describe as epic enough for the big screen, and one of those is Chelsea's Valhalla, the alien pod/Steampunk fantasy once planned for 123 West 15th Street. Colin and Pamela Rath knocked down a row house next to their home, with plans to build an eight-story, four-unit building with a private garden, geothermal wells, and underground parking. Those plans sparked a neighborhood war, and the Raths eventually sold the building to an owner who gave it a totally different look.

All along, the Raths said they were planning to make a documentary about their experience, to "depict a valiant fight against indifferent bureaucrats and misinformed neighbors," as they put it to the Times. And though the alien pod has moved on, the documentary has been more than nine years in the making. The project is now on Indiegogo, seeking $60,000 by May 15 to finish post-production work in time to submit the film for the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival. Donors get a vook (which is a virtual mixed-media book, apparently) about the project. In the meantime, there's a trailer.

· It is What it IS [Indiegogo]
· 123 West 15th Street coverage [Curbed]