"The Business of Amateurs" will examine and challenge the role of the NCAA from the perspective of a former student/athlete.
*UPDATE - STRETCH GOAL: $40,000*
We did it! We reached our initial goal of $30,000, and with time left to spare! A big thank you goes out to all the supporters that have gotten behind the documentary this far.
We are setting a stretch goal of $40,000 with the hopes of increasing our licensing options in post-production. It is still going to be a bare bones production with a talented crew working for peanuts and justice. Any extra money past our initial goal will go directly toward licensing the rights to photos, video, and music in order to enhance the quality of the final product. Please continue to spread the word about the documentary
About The Documentary
The NCAA was originally founded on the principles of protecting and benefiting the health of the student/athlete. This documentary will challenge NCAA's current role in the marketing and selling of their cheapest commodity: amateurs.
am•a•teur (n): A person who engages in a pursuit, esp. a sport, on an unpaid basis
As a former player at USC I saw the business side of college athletics first hand. From 1997- to 2001, I played football for three different coaches at the University of Southern California. I was an award-winning student/athlete and, for the most part, it was a dream come true.
But recently, some of my old injuries have opened my eyes to the fact that my future medical costs will likely outweigh the monetary benefits of my free education by the time I’m a senior citizen.
Student/Athletes or Employees?
What many people don’t know about student/athletes from all sports:
- They work over 40 hours a week on their sport alone
- They incur over $3,000 in debt per year
- Their scholarships are renewable on an annual basis
- The injuries they incur while at the school are are no longer covered once their eligibility is up
The NCAA - A Billion Dollar Non-Profit
The documentary will investigate what happens to the billions of dollars generated from March Madness and college football’s Bowl Games every year.
Where else does a sport exist where you wait 4 weeks to play a game that goes nowhere (Bowl Games), and then say it’s not about the money?
*THIS DOCUMENTARY IS NOT JUST ABOUT FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL; IT'S ABOUT COLLEGE ATHLETES FROM ALL SPORTS.
From the athlete’s perspective, we will discover how college sports and the NCAA evolved into the disproportionate model of today. However, we won’t just shed light on the problems of the NCAA; we are going to search for solutions that will spark change in the NCAA and work towards moving the focus back to the health of the athlete.
Meet the Team
Bob DeMars (Director/Producer) - Bob is an award-winning filmmaker with over a decade of experience producing, writing, and directing. In 2009 he produced his first documentary “Adjust Your Color: The Truth of Petey Greene”, which was narrated by Don Cheadle. The film was distributed by PBS’s “Independent Lens” and went on to win the program’s Audience Award for the year. He received his degree from USC's Marshall School of Business.
Zack Jerome (Producer) - Zack is a sports and lifestyle blogger specializing in college football. He's been recognized by CBS and LA Weekly for his contributions. Zack got his start on his blog Lost Angeles and by being a contributor to LAist covering the Dodgers. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon where he works as a digital strategist at a large advertising agency. He received a degree in Screenwriting from the USC School for Cinematic Arts. You can visit his insightful and hilarious blog at Lost Angeles Blog
What We Need and Why
This initial goal is only for bare bones production costs like travel, food, and equipment rental. We are also able to keep the production budget low due to favors from many talented people. Any money raised beyond our initial goal will go toward improving the film in post production, such as acquiring additional rights (footage, photos, music, etc.).
We Need Your Help
HOW KICKSTARTER WORKS: IF WE DON'T REACH OUR GOAL, THEN FUNDS ARE NOT COLLECTED OR USED.
Therefore, we need everyone's help to reach our goal and make a feature that could potentially create positive change for future student/athletes.
PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!
“Amateurism is not a moral issue; it is an economic camouflage for monopoly practice. The college player cannot sell his own feet (the coach does that) nor can he sell his own name (the college will do that). This is the plantation mentality resurrected and blessed by today’s campus executive. This system is so biased against human nature and simple fairness in light of today’s high-dollar commercialized college marketplace that the ever-increasing number of NCAA infractions emerge as mostly an indictment of the system itself.”
Walter Byers, the first executive director of the NCAA (1951-1988)
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Independent filmmaking is always a risky endeavor outside of the studio system. However, my past experience has shown that the quality of the final product will determine whether the film finds an audience or not. With the topic of NCAA reform on everyone's mind, the film will likely find it's place in distribution.
Documentaries require patience because there is not a clear defined ending to the process as the outcome of the final product is constantly evolving.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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