A feature documentary exploring the history of the word "ghetto".
How Did You Come Up With This?
The idea for this documentary came from an article that I wrote while studying journalism in college at California State University, Northridge. In this article, I related some of the observations I had about the word “ghetto ". And honestly, the idea never really left me. After a few years of peppering my resume with some freelance writing, I found myself continually thinking about the word “ghetto” and its current day usage while clocking in and out routinely at my 9 to 5. I started thinking about how often I heard the word "ghetto" as an adjective on a daily basis and how I had heard the word used like this since I was a kid. I felt like someone really needed to examine the history behind the word. I began contemplating ways I could do something about it.
That’s where this idea came from. I knew that with my journalism skills along with how much I had grown as a street photographer here in Los Angeles that not only could I do this, but I had to. People needed to meet this issue front and center. I figured the worst I could do was try and fail but at least feel good about trying. So here I am on Kickstarter, determined to raise funds to complete this project and fanning into flame a passion that lay dormant for some time.
What Exactly Is This Documentary About?
This film is about the use of the word "ghetto" both as a noun and as an adjective. As a noun, I want to continue visiting neighborhoods but not just here in Los Angeles, all over the country, inner-city, suburbs and everything in between—asking people what ghetto means to them. I want to highlight the history of ghettos in the United States. How did ghettos, particularly black ghettos come to exist? When did they become violent and what are people’s thoughts on how to remedy the images that we see on the nightly news? How are ghettos affected in regards to education, jobs, housing and etc. Also, I want to look at how the word is used as an adjective to describe something tacky and not up to par or how it can sometimes implicate class and race. I want to look at the various types of people that use the word and how they use it differently from other people and the messages behind the usage.
I have interviewed several people for
this film already but intend to interview many more. Here are just some of the
types of people I have and/or will interview:
Cops, beat reporters, inner city residents, holocaust survivors, project landlords, historians, ministers, former and current drug dealers, rap musicians, college kids, suburban residents, "hipsters", teachers and leaders in the education realm, people who have felt that they’ve escaped the ghetto, writers and more.
I’ve also secured a majority of the people we intend to interview around the country (as far as talking-heads go), several of which are recognizable and credible names within their fields. We plan on conducting a plethora of street interviews as we seek to get bona fide opinions on the topic, as well as provide thorough historical information. Our hypothesis is that, although a large part of the general population uses the word "ghetto" on a regular basis, many of them have no clue about the origins or insinuations behind the word. Whether you are one of those people who uses the word on the daily or have never used it in your life, the findings of this film will challenge your world view and open your mind.
We need your help to do this. After we are funded, we will pack up a van and tour the country from LA to NYC, all the places in between and back. The more we are funded, the more we can invest in this film with the right equipment, as well as pay for the talent to help us complete this journey and make this film technically sound. When I started this project, I thought it was merely something that would be informative and interesting. But now, I believe the word ghetto, both as an adjective and noun (as the film will explore), is an important part of our history as a country that has been cinematically unexplored until now, and this could be EPIC! I want as many people as possible to join me on this quest.
How Much and Why?
We are looking to raise $64,000 and here’s is where that money will go to:
- Minimal compensation for a crew of 5 people to take 30 days off (at least) from their normal jobs to shoot this film.
- Working meals for the crew.
- Equipment Rentals
- Transportation Costs (Van rental and gas)
- Lodging (although we have lodging with family and friends set up in 70% of the places we are going so lodging costs will be minimal).
- Permits and all the other legal precautions and necessary evils we must take to do this right.
- Archival Footage (another necessary evil).
- Kickstarter and Amazon processing fees
After It's Finished What Happens?
We plan on getting this finished in time for the 2013 Toronto Film Festival and also take it to the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. As long as we don't have any major setbacks, this will be our goal.
Now, here’s the fun stuff. We have some cool incentives check them out in our rewards section; so far most people (particular teenagers for some reason) really love our T-shirts. Right now we’re offering 3 colors with two styles. Here’s what they look like:
Also, as an incentive is some of the photography I plan on taking while on this road trip. Some of the photography will be landscape stuff that we capture while driving, some of if may be street photography. I'll make sure to get some good stuff that I will personally autograph. We'll make the picture options known once we're done and back from the road but here's an example:
This is just a couple of the rewards but I just wanted to give you a visual of what to expect.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
When undertaking a project like this there may be some obstacles. We promise to tackle any obstacles so that we can fulfill all rewards. With us leaving to shoot the film right after we are funded, there may be some challenges to getting some of the rewards out. We have a great group of people helping us ship rewards and keep things organized so that backers who have rewards due soon after the campaign will receive them as promised.
Also, we also know that some setbacks can occur along way during the process from production to post-production possibly pushing the final version of the film back further than we desire. We will keep all of our backers updated on anything of that nature if it happens. We've also tried to setup a lot of backup options for ourselves in case somethings (e.g. interviews) don't work out as planned. We believe that this movie is being made by our backers just as much as by us so our rewards are an important way of saying thank you.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $64,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on November 23, 2012.
Oct 24, 2012 - Nov 23, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $15 or more
A huge thank you on our FB and Twitter page, letting everyone know how we truly appreciate your contribution and a link to the film upon completion (September 2013).Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $30 or more
A stylish OMGTSG t-shirt of your choice. And everything included in the $15 reward level (expect link upon completion of film--September 2013).Estimated delivery: Dec 2012Ships within the US only
Pledge $50 or more
Two OMGTSG t-shirts of your choice along with a link to the film upon completion (expect link upon completion of film--September 2013).Estimated delivery: Dec 2012Ships within the US only
Pledge $100 or more
An autographed (by director) 8x10 photo from the locations we visit while filming (options for photos to be available at a later time) and a DVD of the film when finished (Estimated delivery 2013), as well as all items in the $30 reward level.Estimated delivery: Jan 2013Ships within the US only
Pledge $250 or more
Invitation to private screening of the film, (travel expenses not included), as well as everything in the $100 reward level.Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
Pledge $500 or more
A thank you in film credits plus link to film, plus invitation to dinner with director of film and everything included in the $250 reward level (travel expenses not included).Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
Pledge $1,000 or more
Copy of complete movie, an invitation to accompany director to film festival premiere. Plus everything included in the $500 reward level (travel expenses not included).Estimated delivery: Sep 2013
Pledge $5,000 or more
Associate Producer Credit in Film and IMDB Credit as well as everything included in $500 reward level (travel expenses not included).Estimated delivery: Sep 2013