About this project
Who would I be if I didn’t stutter?
The Way We Talk is a full-length documentary, intimately centered around a support group for people who stutter on their journey toward self-acceptance. As I confront my own stuttering, I follow their stories while reflecting on how the way I talk has shaped my identity and my family story.
My mom, dad, brother and grandpa all stutter, and my own memories weave in with the group’s to document the daily emotional experience that accompanies one of medical science’s most baffling and enduring disabilities. These stories make it a movie about a problem that is relatable to anyone who has experienced feelings of separateness, isolation, or inadequacy in any area their life.
Stuttering is instantly recognizable, if you know what to look for: syllable repetitions, prolongations, blocks, and physical tics that characterize the disorder on the surface. But, as Dr. Joseph Sheehan famously pointed out, stuttering is like an iceberg, with the major part below the surface.
A communication disorder is only a disorder when it negatively affects the way the speaker interacts with the world and him- or herself. Emotions associated with the disorder, like anxiety, depression, denial, and a negative self-image, are rarely confronted in speech therapy or even by people who stutter. After years of ineffective speech therapy, many stutterers simply wait for it to go away, meanwhile denying the effect it has on their life. But what if it never goes away? Can a person who stutters be a complete person as they are?
The Way We Talk will be comprised of three parts; the stories within the support group, an autobiographical exploration, and the voice of the self-help movement within the stuttering community. These components will work together to create the cathartic effect of a support group meeting within the film. It’s a story of how vulnerability can lead to the deepest human connection.
What We Need to Make It
Our goal for The Way We Talk is to create a mainstream documentary about stuttering that can be screened alongside the most significant documentaries today. We need an experienced crew for picture and sound that can bring out the big, complex emotions behind the smallest gestures and words. We are asking for $16,250 to accomplish the following things:
- Color Correction - $1,500
- Sound Design/Mix - $1,500
- Hard Drives - $550
- Original Music Composition - $1,000
- HDCAM + Transfer Fee - $1,050
- Promotional Materials (Poster Printing + Website + Shirts, etc.) - $1000
- Kickstarter Incentive Fulfillment - $1,650
- Crew (Camera, Sound, Editor) and equipment - $8,000
$16,250 will allow our passionate crew to finish the film and attract serious investors to the project. We know we have a community behind us. Whether or not you stutter, just talk, and spread the word. I want to hear stuttering in coffee shops I pass, in line at the market, from movie stars, from kids playing in parks, and I want it to be ok.
This film is a reminder that when we share our experiences, our struggles, our selves―we find that we are not alone.
Real Light presents
THE WAY WE TALK
Directed and Edited by Michael Turner
Written and Produced by Michael Turner and Alyssa Burgé
Original Score by Bill Roberts (The Red River)
Advisory Board: Peter Nicks (Director/Producer, The Waiting Room) Glenn Weybright, M.S. CCC-SLP Kerry Mandulak, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Made with the support of The Stuttering Foundation of America, The National Stuttering Association, The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association (Pacific University), Camp Our Time, and YOU!
Keep checking back throughout this campaign for exclusive video content and updates!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge once the film is complete will be getting it seen. Additional funds raised for the project will go toward theatrical booking, but a grassroots screening campaign will be essential. Keep in touch if you are part of the stuttering community in your area, and we'll work together to organize a screening tour of The Way We Talk next summer.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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