More than 70 gangs with
some 68,000 members operate in the city of Chicago. Their toll on the
the city is severe, carving parts of the South and West sides into
practical war zones. As of this writing, there have been 246 homicides so far in 2012, many of the victims were kids and the vast majority were gang related.
For youths trying to escape, the routes are clogged with violence.
But a growing number have found in skateboarding a vehicle, literal and
figurative, to escape the perils of gang life. Leo Castillo was one such youth.
or Die”, an overused catchphrase dating back to the origins of
skate culture, strikes at a very real threat to kids like Leo. For them, it's literal.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
While this film tells the story of one kid attempting to overcome incredible odds, it is also a film about a larger movement - the rise of inner-city skateboarding.
Once the province of West
Coast surfers, followed by their admirers in suburbs around the
country, skating has now gained a foothold in some of the world's most violent and impoverished
Skating offers at-risk youth a similar sense of community as gangs. But it also provides them a vehicle to express themselves creatively and more importantly, to ride past the geographic gang boundaries that imprison so many of their peers. It gives them hope by exposing them to all walks of life.
Please help us share Leo's story with the world, as it is an inspiration for kids everywhere facing a similar reality.
The money raised will be used to hire an editor to take four years of footage, or well over 100 hours, and cut it down into an 80 minute draft of the final film. Any money we raise OVER our target will go towards finishing costs like color correction, music composition, and mastering.
Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with both this fundraising campaign as well as the film itself. And then pass it on to your friends and family to help us reach our goal.
We have devoted four years to this passion project because we believe that it is an important story that needs to be told. We hope you agree and are incredibly grateful for your support.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding the film or this Kickstarter campaign. General questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org or director, Ryan Ferguson, can be reached at email@example.com.
Below are just a few of the wide array of incentives we are offering. Remember, you will only receive these incentives if we reach our target.
We'd like to extend our deepest thanks to those sponsors who have contributed incentives such as EmergingThoughts.com, Uprise Skate Shop, Tech-Deck, and especially Metropolis Coffee Company, one of the film's earliest supporters and the host of the 2010 fundraiser that helped fund our production.
We list December, 2013 as the estimated delivery date on our incentives because that's roughly when we think the final film will be available for home viewing. But any incentives that can be mailed to you sooner, such as the 'Skate or Die' apparel or the artwork, will be.
And if you'd like to make a pledge of any amount as a gift to someone else, we're happy to accommodate. Just contact us via email and we will make arrangements to transfer thanks/incentives to their name.
Finally, stay tuned for updates as we hope to add more incentives as our campaign proceeds.
UPDATE: In response to a question from one of our pledgers, I just want to mention here that we will gladly throw in the digital download of the final film with any package that includes a DVD... just in case you prefer that medium.
UPDATE2: Re. shipping... US shipping costs are included in the reward price points but we would ask international donors to cover additional shipping cost to send overseas. This is a fundraiser after all :-)
Ryan Ferguson -Director, Producer, DP - Ryan is a filmmaker, photographer, and musician who recently sold his documentary, 'A Week to Kill', starring comedian Hannibal Buress, to Comedy Central. Ryan has created several other short films and music videos and has operated the commercial video and photo company, Flyback Productions, for the past 8 years. Flyback's clients have included VH1, Super 8 Hotels, Ford Motor Company, Allscripts, and the Cook County Juvenile Court.
Azam Ahmed - Producer, Writer - Azam is currently a reporter for the New York Times. He has previously written for several media organizations, including the Dow Jones Newswires, the Wall Street Journal and the Chicago Tribune, who published the story that thematically inspired 'Skate or Die'. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he has lived and worked in New York, Washington D.C., Brussels, Belgium and Chicago, and has traveled through more than 30 countries across the globe.
THE DOWNLOAD: You'll get an HD digital download of 'Skate or Die' before the film is released for home viewing and your name will appear on a special partner dedication page on the 'Skate or Die' website.
THE END CREDITS: You'll get the pre-released DVD along with a special thanks in the END CREDITS of the film as well as on our website. We will also throw in a sample size bag of the special 'Skate or Die' coffee beans provided by our sponsor, Metropolis Coffee.
THE COFFEE AND A PRINT: You'll get everything in THE END CREDITS package but instead of a sample, you will get a full 12oz. bag of the 'Skate or Die' coffee beans with a 'Skate or Die' coffee mug to drink it out of. You will also get ONE limited edition, 8x10 high quality print, signed and numbered from director Ryan Ferguson's Little Village photo series. Little Village is the neighborhood where 'Skate or Die' takes place.
THE AUTOGRAPHED DVD: You'll get a SIGNED (by filmmakers) pre-released DVD of 'Skate or Die', plus everything else in THE COFFEE AND A PRINT package, except instead of receiving one of the Little Village prints, you will receive ALL FOUR.
THE POSTER: You will get a signed DVD of the film, thanks in the end credits and website, AND a hand printed, signed and numbered, 18x24 SKATE OR DIE poster by renowned Chicago poster artist Jay Ryan!!
THE PRESS PLATE AND POSTCARD: Along with a SIGNED (by filmmakers) pre-released DVD of the film, ALL FOUR of the Little Village prints, and thanks in the END CREDITS of the film, you'll get a souvenir aluminum press plate of the Chicago Tribune front page from November 11, 2007 which features the article that originally inspired this film, 'Kick, Push, Kick, Push, Escape', written by producer Azam Ahmed. You will also get a limited edition 'Skate or Die' postcard with a personalized thanks from the filmmakers.
THE 'SKATE OR DIE' GIFT BASKET: The perfect gift for a friend or family member - you'll get a wrapped gift basket which will include a signed DVD of 'Skate or Die', a black or colored beaded 'Skate or Die' bracelet, a limited edition 'Skate or Die' T-shirt, the full bag of 'Skate or Die' coffee and mug, and a limited edition 'Skate or Die' postcard with a personalized message to whoever the gift is for, plus THEIR name will appear in the END CREDITS of the film.
We'll even throw in a unique SURPRISE souvenir from Chicago's Little Village neighborhood where the film takes place!
*NEW REWARD*: HANNIBAL BURESS COMEDY PACKAGE: You will get a signed DVD of SKATE OR DIE, thanks in the credits, and a personalized postcard. You will also receive a DVD of standup comic Hannibal Buress' new Comedy Central special ANIMAL FURNACE, autographed by Hannibal PLUS Hannibal will personally leave a comedic outgoing message on your voicemail! Debt collectors will think you're HILARIOUS ;-)
THE FILMMAKER FAN PACKAGE(1) - You'll get everything in the PRESS PLATE AND POSTCARD package PLUS you'll get a one of a kind 16x20 museum wrapped canvas print of Director Ryan Ferguson's photograph 'Asleep'.
FILMMAKERS FAN PACKAGE(2) - The same as the FILMMAKERS FAN PACKAGE(1) but the 16x20 canvas print is of Ryan Ferguson's photograph 'Gotham 3.1'. Images of both prints can be seen in the project description.
You will get a signed DVD of SKATE OR DIE and thanks in the credits PLUS your selection of one of the three 16x20, high-grade photo prints of the Chicago skyline taken by director Ryan Ferguson. You will also get one of the SKATE OR DIE Jay Ryan screen-print posters and a bag of Metropolis SKATE OR DIE coffee.
You will get everything in the DOUBLE PRINTS AND JOE package but instead of a skyline print, you can choose one of either of Ryan Ferguson's pieces "Dusk Purple" or "Voluptuous" printed on 16x20 museum wrapped canvas.
THE VIP PREMIERE: In addition to the signed DVD and personalized 'Skate or Die' postcard, you'll get two VIP TICKETS to the Chicago premiere of 'Skate or Die', plus you will be invited to BOTH a private donor appreciation pre-screening dinner with the cast and producers of the film, as well as an invite-only post-screening premier party. You (or your company logo) will be prominently displayed in the END CREDITS of the film as a "sponsor".
THE PRIVATE SCREENING WITH CAST AND CREW -
We will hold a private screening for your company, organization, school, church, or any other group. We will conduct a question and answer session with the cast and the filmmakers after the screening and we will give you 10 DVD's, 10 beaded 'Skate or Die' Bracelets, and 10 T-shirts for you to give out to your attendees. We will even bring a batch of the 'Skate or Die' coffee along to share with everyone during the screening. (PLEASE NOTE: Outside of Chicago area, travel and accommodations are NOT included and must be provided)