an intimate portrait of a family in the Iranian diaspora, PYTYK studies how the Iran/US conflict is a result of two cultures' inability to communicate
Through an intimate portrait of one family in the Iranian diaspora (mine), "People You Think You Know" studies how the Iran / US conflict is a result of two cultures' inability to communicate.
I have been shooting footage, editing and developing the website for the project over the past 2 1/2 years. You can see my progress so far at PeopleYouThinkYouKnow.com ~ there are already several sequences (about 40 minutes of material) for you to watch as I continue to work on PYTYK. Ultimately, using those sequences, I will be putting together a feature-length documentary. In the meantime, you will be privy to the making of a full-length 90 (or so) minute movie. A movie which you can also help shape with your feedback.
Thus far this project has survived as a labor of love between freelance gigs I use to support myself. However, as I've now collected over 150 hours of footage, and will probably need much more…things are starting to get serious. The movie needs more attention to take it to the next step. There are:
- tens of hours of footage already waiting to be digitized and organized
- more interviews to be conducted
- expenses to be covered -- (since the June 2009 election, another trip to Iran has become absolutely essential, while more tape stock, hard drive space, etc. seems always in short supply)
But most of all, there are many more months needed for editing all my footage - and to carve a final narrative which (with any luck) you will like to see.
I will be using my current Kickstarter fundraising goal of $5000 to … kickstart my fundraising. The ultimate budget to finish the movie will be quite a bit higher, however I will use your generous Kickstarter support to take a few months off freelancing to 1) continue keeping PeopleYouThinkYouKnow.com active and updated with news and episodes and 2) diligently pursue further funding in the way of grants.
Thank you for your time,
P.S.: Please keep in mind, that if my fundraising goal is not met by the end of the fundraising period, I won't be getting a penny of your generous support! So feel free to spread the word to anyone you think may be interested in this project. Also, if you feel like you have too much stuff in your life already, you can opt out of the rewards.
P.P.S.: In case you're wondering why I'm working on this project in the first place: I'm simply interested in it. And I think you are too. See, for hundreds of thousands of years, humans have lived largely in isolation from one another - different groups of us (separated by rivers, mountains and continents) developing entirely different ways of doing everyday things like eating, making friends, dancing or dying. (What we refer to as different "cultures.") We've even come up with different ways of speaking. (These are called "languages.") Only in the last couple hundred years have we begun to make contact across these cultural divides - begun to truly grapple with a globalized planet. And naturally, like members of a broken-up family coming back together, there is a lot to learn, a lot to enjoy and a lot of conflict to overcome. Iran / U.S. relations are no exception. By examining my own ties to both cultures, I want to get a better understanding of why, sometimes, we just can't seem to get along.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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A sincere "thank you" on the PYTYK blog (PeopleYouThinkYouKnow.com/theblog) with a link to your own blog or website (if applicable of course). GET THIS WITH ANY PLEDGE OF $5 OR MORE.
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My mom's secret recipe to my favorite Iranian dish: from northern Iran, "anar-beej." You won't regret it. GET THIS WITH ANY PLEDGE OF $10 OR MORE.
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A set of 5 hand-stenciled PYTYK postcards.
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You can be in the movie. I would like to create a sequence where people from all over the country/world speak about their own immigration experiences, notions of home, feelings about their culture, thoughts about PYTYK, etc. You're invited to record your thoughts on these topics and send them to me. I will do my best to feature it in the project (either through the website, blog or ideally the feature film). Video quality is not an issue - even webcams are fine as the movie's subject-matter touches on the Internet Generation as well. Alternately, you can write your thoughts and I will have them done in voiceover. More specific instructions/questions to come once fundraising ends. GET TO DO THIS WITH ANY PLEDGE OF $30 OR MORE.
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A DVD of the finished feature-length movie, signed by yours truly.
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Special Edition DVD(s) - featuring the final movie, along with additional/extended sequences that may be featured on the website but don't make it into the final cut. (Still signed by yours truly.)
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Deluxe Edition DVD(s) - The the Special Edition DVD(s) PLUS an original, frameable black/white drawing of a scene from the movie - drawn by myself. You can choose a shot from the video on this page or from the many more videos on the official site. Otherwise, you can let me surprise you. (I would like to illustrate the shot of my mom looking at the flowers...so that will probably be the first one going out. Act now!) In style, the illustrations will be something like the line drawings here: http://cargocollective.com/AK (click on "illustrations / sketches") and will be around 10x10 inches.
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Movie poster + Deluxe Edition DVD(s)
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ALL OF THE ABOVE + an invitation to a screening of the final movie in your area. (Sorry, I cannot promise travel and accommodations at this point.)
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ALL OF THE ABOVE + a special thanks in the final movie credits.
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ALL OF THE ABOVE + associate producer credit in the final movie credits.
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ALL OF THE ABOVE + mention of any person, organization or cause in the final movie credits. (Within reason. Nothing that conflicts with the general spirit of the project.)
- (32 days)