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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Melanie Feliciano
$1,545 pledged of $9,230 goal
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All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Hello. I'm Melanie Feliciano, creator of The Femmebots. 

Why should you support this project? Because you might be losing your job soon...to a Bot...or worse, a FemmeBOT! That Google Manifesto has gotten The Femmebots super hot and bothered! And Charlottesville? Well, we have learned the same BroBots behind that manifesto and GamerGate are the ones inciting the violence. Supporting this animated web series will make you laugh the pain away while supporting women of color in tech...

The Story

The Femmebots animated web series tells the story of Femmebot 7.0, a female robot on a quest for love and investors while building a tech company in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in 2019. 

When she arrives @91Broadway, the same place her "mother" grew up in the 1960s, she is shocked that the neighborhood that used to be Puerto Rican is completely overrun by BOTs. Femmebots, Brobots and even GenderNeutralBots have TAKEN humans' jobs, homes...even their personalities!!! 

She can't believe her eyes so she pays a visit to Dr. Nutmeg, a tricky mad scientist who gives Femmebot 7.0 a Turing Test of self-awareness rather than a pill to cope.

Unable to look within herself for answers, Femmebot 7.0 searches the Internet. As a result, she finds six Femmebots to pay her skyrocketing rent @91Broadway AND to develop an app that will revolutionize the Media War Zone...if only the B-O-Ys in charge of the Urban Market will allow The Femmebots just 30 seconds to give their elevator pitch!

Will Femmebot 7.0 succeed in her quest to build a tech company and take it public? Or will she succumb to the forces of sexism, racism, materialism, nepotism, communism, capitalist feminism and other "isms" shooting from the hips of The B-O-Ys and their Tech Corporations?

The Episodes

Episode 1: Turing Test 
Episode 2: Gypsy's Exit Strategy
Epiosde 3: Mermaid's Adventures in Tech & the City
Epiosde 4: Prince White Rice Swipes Right
Episode 5: Dr. Nutmeg's Factory
Epiosde 6: The Boob Tube
Episode 7: Mofongo

The Project

The Femmebots animated web series is Silicon Valley meets Jem & the Holograms. 

The script was written by Melanie Feliciano with lots of edits, revisions and workshopping with JJ Laryea, Angello Pizzaro, K Lee Sohn, Robert Liebowitz and Aramus Genie.

The 7-episode series explores:
History: the differences between the 1960s and 21st century human relationships

Love: the effects of tech on our attention spans for each other, mis-communications, over-communications

Identity: selfie-absorption to the point of self-unawareness; racism and sexism in the tech world

Economics: skyrocketing rents and diminishing sense of community, workforce development, increasing homelessness and the persistent spirit one needs as a tech entrepreneur.  

In the end, The Femmebots will make you laugh and NOT PUKE - cuz it doesn't end like typical rom-com with a wedding or someone running to the airport!

The Research 

From The Washington Post to Time, The Atlantic, Wired Magazine and Tech Crunch, mainstream media has been flooded with articles about the imminent shift in our workforce due to automation, and this series captures those fears, along with all the obstacles women and people of color face in the tech world. While personal experience provides the context for the story, we have kept up with trends in AI through the following resources:

Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future
How to Build a Better Human
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM.org)
People are worried Amazon will replace Whole Foods workers with robots
Inside The Chaotic Battle To Be The Top Reply To A Trump Tweet
WHO WILL PAY FOR THE FUTURE IF NOT THE ROBOTS?
Half of American jobs are at risk from automation, new study suggests
As NYC Tech Industry Grows, City Aims to Fill Skills Gap

The Campaign 

With this campaign, we're aiming to raise $9,230 or more in the month of August to complete production of the series in September, just in time to submit to the Tribeca Film Festival. Visit the website at www.thefemmebots.com to learn more about the web series, the Femmebots community we’re building with ACM.org, and the conversations we’re having on Facebook, Meetup and Twitter.

The Money

In a nutshell, $9,230 will allow us to finish recording voiceover, composing animations, editing and sound design. If we make more than our goal, we can improve production quality with more sophisticated animation and sound design.

The Timeline 

Dec 2009: The Femmebots make their first appearance at the Miami Thinkers warehouse in Wynwood during Art Basel. Seven performance artists walked around a dark room wearing the "Boob Tube" on their chests to "brainwash" audiences.

Art Basel 2009
Art Basel 2009

April 2012: The Femmebots becomes a web series at American University with the help of Carol Bruns playing the role of Dr. Nutmeg.

April-Nov 2016: We wrote, shot and edited all the scenes that take place in the 1960s with a Black Magic pocket camera and Adobe Premiere. 

May-July 31 2017: We wrote the script for the animated part of the story and tested out scenes in the animation software that brings it all to life.

Aug-Sept 2017: This final month is going to be a scramble to polish off the final product so we need your support! This is the first story we know of that showcases what it's like to be a woman or a person of color in the tech world!

How Kickstarter Works

It’s easy: all you have to do is sign up for a free account, give any amount you can, and claim your reward. We highly recommend the $29 donation. It guarantees you the full, completed 7 episodes for you to download and watch by December 31, 2017. We also encourage you to test out The Femmebots' "Boob Tube" app, which converts a Tweet to Video for $49. BTW: while writing the script we discovered this app exists IRL (in real life)!! There are a few companies in this space, wouldn't it be cool if they notice us and ask us to be their official marketing evangelists!
Wibbitz
Wochit
Vixt

Your donation amount will not be publicly displayed, and we receive your funds only if we meet our full $9,230 goal. If you’d rather not claim a reward, you’re welcome just to donate, and if you’d like to increase your donation at any point during the campaign, just sign in, come back to this page, and click the blue “Manage Your Donation” button to enter a new amount or choose a new incentive.

Who We Are

Melanie Feliciano and the Fam
After writing two un-published novels and producing the first prototype for The Femmebots web series at Film School at American University, I moved back to the place of my birth, New York, in order to tap into my family's roots and the stories that define us.

I was born in Queens, NY in 1975. At 12 years old, my family uprooted and re-planted in Florida. I swore to my father at the time: I will return!

And so, I did, in 2016, AFTER 20 years of traipsing around the planet a few times to make a few friends - in San Francisco, Miami, Brazil, Prague, DC and London - and to document the trends I was seeing as the world got smaller. It's these trends and Internet culture that The Femmebots parodies. 

My path as a storyteller
My path as a storyteller

 

As soon as I moved back to New York, in an apartment in Williamsburg located directly across the street from the high school my mom attended, a panel of Femmebots appeared in my dreams. They sat at a long conference table in a corporate board room, where they were trying me for "authenticity," as I was parading around a corporate office, pretending to play the role of a "Woman in Charge" on a virtual reality TV show no one was watching. Meanwhile, the writer inside was dying to come out and be part of the action.

Launching this Kickstarter feels cathartic as I am now diving in completely into my own storytelling rather than making it a cute hobby or a "side gig." My insides are now matching my outside, which is a difficult thing to achieve in this image-obsessed society. I used to ask myself: “Are you truly kind or are your Birkenstocks just a fashion statement?” I never owned a pair of Birkenstocks, for the record. They're ugly.

Along my travels I got to work with some amazing and talented people, who are now part of this project, as we've reconnected here in NY or thru the Interwebs...

Russell Morse, a talented writer I used to work with at Youth Outlook magazine in San Francisco, who now lives in Harlem, plays the role of my handsome dad.

Sofia Herrero, an architect I met in DC who now lives in Park Slope, plays the role of my beautiful mom. 

Clara Ibarra, a kind angel who recognized my restless spirit the first day I attended church in Williamsburg, plays the role of my abuelita, the original angel who brought my entire family to Williamsburg in the 1950s.

Angello Pizzarro, a talented poet and actor, who I know from Miami and helped me create the first exhibition of The Femmebots at the Miami Thinkers warehouse for Art Basel 2009, plays Nerd Boy (he lives in Astoria now).

Aramus Genie, a comic writer and reviewer, who I also know from Miami, plays Dr. Blank, spiritual patent investor.

Lisa Delmar, a fellow syncronized swimmer who lives in Manhattan, plays Mermaid.

Rosalinda Sanquiche, founder of Well Written Consulting— helped us write our press release for this Kickstarter. 

Special thanks to my fam: Ray & Judy Feliciano, Eileen Feliciano, Jim & Geri, Jason & Melisa Feliciano and Lauri & Louis Daisy. Your support throughout the ups and downs and swirls of being "different" have kept me grounded all these years. 

Thanks for reading and I hope you can make this project the best it can be! Be sure to follow the action at http://www.thefemmebots.com

Get embeddable videos at: http://vimeo.com/multid  

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Risks and challenges

The risks and challenges of this project?

Time is an issue. We only have 1 month to finish recording voiceover and composing animations so that it's ready to submit to Tribeca Film Festival.

Quality is an issue. Since we are using consumer animation software, we are working hard to make sure the writing is tight, clever and tells a clear story. We believe we can be funny without fancy animation...if the South Park B-O-Ys could pull it off in the 1990s, so can we!

Coordinating schedules with voiceover actors is an issue since everyone is located in different cities (London, Orlando, New York, Miami).

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Thank You

    Thank you.

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    An E-Love Card from Princess

    The rest of the Femmebots don't take Princess seriously because she is too young and doesn't contribute to the rent. But it turns out her writing skills are the team's secret sauce. Pick this perk and she will write a personalized one-page love e-letter to you.

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    Digital Download of The Femmebots

    Through Vimeo on Demand, we will send you a digital download of the entire web series: seven episodes of Femmebots learning how to navigate the world of tech and B-O-Ys.

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    The Boob Tube App

    In the story, The Femmebots build a fictional app that converts racist and sexist Tweets into culturally sensitive video in 10 seconds or less. If you email us a Tweet that you or someone else wrote, The Femmebots will convert it into a 30-second video or animation using Creative Commons images and/or video for you to illustrate your point better. See an example on the left.

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    Dr. Nutmeg's Turing Test

    How high is your self awareness? Find out in a recorded single 30-minute phone session with our favorite mad scientist: Dr. Nutmeg.

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    A Skype Date With Prince White Rice

    It's kind of like "The Bachelorette" for 20 writers seeking engagement with the editor of their dreams. Prince White Rice will personally read and provide feedback via Skype or Google Hangout for up to 20 pages of your script in the works.

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