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Help finish the new design documentary from the director of "Helvetica" and "Objectified".
Help finish the new design documentary from the director of "Helvetica" and "Objectified".
1,814 backers pledged $118,505 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Urbanized: A Documentary Film project video thumbnail
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$118,505

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Our Kickstarter campaign is over now, thanks to everyone who backed the project! If you missed it, you can still get more info about Urbanized and support the film at our official site.

Cheers! -Gary

In 2005 I began work on my first documentary, Helvetica, which looked at the worlds of typography and graphic design through the eyes of one loved/hated/ubiquitous little font. I wasn't a designer, or even a filmmaker, just a design geek who really wanted to see a movie about fonts! After Helvetica was released in 2007, I had the idea for a second film, Objectified, which focused on industrial design and product design, and our relationship with the manufactured objects that surround us. But I realized there was more to explore, and had the initial ideas for a third film that would also examine how design affects our lives. So I began thinking of the films as a "design trilogy".

The third documentary in this trilogy is about the design of cities. Urbanized looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design, featuring some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers. I've teamed up once again with cinematographer Luke Geissbuhler, and we've been traveling around the world interviewing people and filming specific urban design projects that represent the issues facing cities today. The world's population is in the midst of a massive migration to urban areas, and the design solutions our cities implement in the next 20 years will be critical.

We've already spent over a year and some substantial production costs making Urbanized, with over 100 people involved in the film thus far. We're knee-deep in the editing process now with Helvetica editor Shelby Siegel, but we still have several more filming trips to make this spring, and then we tackle post-production tasks like sound editing, color correction, and other tech work before completing the film this summer.

Urbanized is a totally independent project: we don't get government funding or grants. And while we've been honored to have PBS and the BBC broadcast our films, they don't produce them or help us make them, they license broadcast rights to the films after we finish them. So Urbanized is being funded mainly by revenue from my previous two films. Please join us in helping to finish Urbanized, and you'll get some nice goodies as a reward. I'm especially excited about The Design Trilogy limited-edition box set, which will include the debut of Helvetica Neue. It's the director's cut of Helvetica (this time Arial shoots first).

Thanks to everyone who has supported these films, on behalf of all of the people who've worked on them. We really appreciate it.

Cheers! -Gary

PS: The soundtrack of the video above is our old friends El Ten Eleven, it's the song "Anxiety is Cheap" from their new album.

PPS: As a special bonus for our Kickstarter backers, we'll be releasing exclusive video clips and soundtrack MP3s over the next few months as we're finishing Urbanized. These clips and songs will only be available to our backers. You're helping us finish this film, so you deserve an exclusive first look at the footage as we're shooting and editing it!

The Design Trilogy limited-edition box set, designed by Build, only 1,000 copies. Definitive editions of the three films on all-region DVD or Blu-ray, in a slipcover case with a hardbound art book (and some extra surprise goodies). Each copy signed by director Gary Hustwit: 

The Urbanized limited-edition screenprints designed by Build, representing mobility, housing, public space, and infrastructure. Numbered edition of 100 prints:

Urbanized T-shirt design by Build:

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    You'll get a high-definition digital download of "Urbanized" when the film is released on video in late 2011/early 2012. And our sincere thanks!

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    You'll get a copy of the DVD edition of "Urbanized" when the film is released on video in late 2011/early 2012. You'll also receive a series of limited-edition "Urbanized" postcards. Includes shipping worldwide.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You'll get an "Urbanized" T-shirt designed by Build, screened on gray (by popular demand) American Apparel T's in guys and gals sizes. Includes shipping worldwide, your shirt will ship in March. Then you'll also get a digital download of the film when it's released.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    You'll get a copy of the Blu-ray HD edition of "Urbanized" when the film is released on video in late 2011/early 2012. You'll also receive a series of limited-edition "Urbanized" postcards. Includes shipping worldwide.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You'll get "The Design Trilogy" DVD limited-edition box set. Helvetica (the "Neue" director's cut), Objectified, and Urbanized in a specially designed slipcover package, with a hardbound art book featuring photos and notes on the making of the three films, guest contributors, and more. Each copy signed by director Gary Hustwit. The Trilogy box set be released in late 2011/early 2012. Only 1,000 copies of this deluxe edition will be produced, so this Kickstarter campaign may be the only opportunity to get one. Includes shipping worldwide.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    You'll get a Blu-ray "The Design Trilogy" box set, including the hardcover book and other contents, but with Blu-ray high-definition discs instead of normal DVDs. Each copy signed by director Gary Hustwit. The Trilogy box set be released in late 2011/early 2012. Includes shipping worldwide.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    You'll get the T-shirt (now) and The Design Trilogy DVD limited-editon box when it's released in late 2011/early 2012. Includes shipping worldwide.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    You'll get a set of four limited-edition "Urbanized" silkscreen prints designed by Build. A2 size (16 1/2" x 23") and screened on super-bright Colorplan stocks in a numbered edition of 100. Includes shipping worldwide, your prints will ship in March. Plus you or your company will get a "special thanks" in the film's credits. Get your name on the big screen!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    NEW: You'll get the set of limited silkscreen prints now, and the DVD Design Trilogy box set when it's released in late 2011/early 2012. Plus a "thank you" in the film's credits. The signed Trilogy box Includes a hardbound art book featuring photos and notes on the making of the three films, guest contributors, and more. Each copy signed by director Gary Hustwit. Included shipping worldwide.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $525 or more About $525

    NEW: You'll get the set of limited silkscreen prints now, and the Blu-ray Design Trilogy box set when it's released in late 2011/early 2012. Plus a "thank you" in the film's credits. The signed Trilogy box Includes a hardbound art book featuring photos and notes on the making of the three films, guest contributors, and more. Each copy signed by director Gary Hustwit. Included shipping worldwide.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    You'll get two VIP tickets to the World Premiere of the film (your travel and accommodations not included) plus dinner that evening with director Gary Hustwit and members of the film's cast and crew. You or your company will get a "special thanks" in the film's credits, 10 DVDs, two Design Trilogy box sets, two T-shirts, and a set of the limited-edition prints.

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    Reward no longer available 5 backers
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    NEW: You'll get two VIP tickets to a regional "Urbanized" premiere screening of your choice (your travel and accommodations not included) plus dinner that evening with director Gary Hustwit. You or your company will get a "special thanks" in the film's credits, 10 DVDs, two Design Trilogy box sets, two T-shirts, and a set of the limited-edition prints.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    You'll get a private screening of "Urbanized" (or Helvetica, or Objectified, your choice) for your group or company, anywhere in the world, hosted by director Gary Hustwit. You'll get a special thanks in the film's credits, plus 10 posters, 10 t-shirts, and a set of the limited silkscreen prints (these all make good giveaways at the event). Gary's transportation and lodging are additional, unless you're in New York or London. Timing: this fall, exact date TBD depending on Gary's schedule. Email us with ideas or any questions: info@urbanizedfilm.com

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Funding period

- (30 days)