"Why I Wrote This Book" Video Link: https://video214.com/play/fI15uc0ZK0jwwRi1Lo2q8A/s/dark
Since I was a wee one myself, I've loved classic movies. Growing up in the 1970s, we'd have to wait for whatever was going to be on the local station on Sunday afternoon - no cable, no Turner Classic Movies, we didn't even have VHS yet. And it was my favorite television moments of the week, because my mom and I would watch together and she'd point out the actors and actresses to me: "That's Bette Davis; oh, and that's the ever-handsome Cary Grant - maybe you'll find a man like that someday!" My friends growing up never "got it," but I didn't care; something about the way they talked, the banter, the black-and-white images, the clothes they wore, the music - it all just drew me in. We often joked I was reincarnated from the 1930s. In college, I studied film history with an amazing professor who passed away recently, Dr. Andrew Jefchak, at Aquinas College. It's through him that I learned it was legitimate to love classic film, academic even! And then Ted Turner bought the rights to all of those old movies and eventually founded TCM, where anyone with access to their cable network could watch classic films without commercials ALL DAY LONG. It's heaven for the classic movie fan. But it also means once you get kids excited about classic movies, they have a place to go to see more. I don't work for TCM, but I'm grateful for them every day.
I founded my concept of Kidascope to bring under one umbrella this children's book, a community, and resources for teachers. I want to bring the history of the moving image to children - from light shows and magic tricks of the 1700s to vaudeville of the 1800s to the invention of still and series motion photography at the turn of the 20th century and through the decades of film from 1900 to 1939.
There's a linear connection through history from the first moving images to the YouTube videos, movies and video games that kids, and we all, watch on hand-held and electronic devices. This connection is crucial to media literacy, and to understanding ourselves and the history of storytelling through this visual medium. Film naturally ties into STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and the new Common Core standards required by teachers in the public school system. A film is "magic" because so many elements come together to create a work of art, but they are elements of both creativity and science (can you separate the two?): the writing of the screenwriter, the technical skills of the filmmakers, the math required for budgeting and technology, the engineering of new inventions that have advanced film from its inception.
My book is written, and I've identified the illustrator (Howell Edwards of London) who can bring it to life. We've met several times, have storyboarded out each page, and share a vision for this project coming to fruition. Once my Kickstarter is completed and I've raised the funds, the illustrator will begin work on bringing the storyboard we've worked out together to life, and I will launch the book using Amazon's KDP Kids, as well as print on demand. The illustrator works on a contract basis and we plan to have the final book ready for publication with 60 days after the Kickstarter is completed successfully.
After publication, I will use my networks of classic film fans, blogs and groups I have joined - authentically and as a genuine fan - to share the news of my book, as well as engaging in an outreach campaign with K-5 educators (via Kid Scoop News, possibly, and other avenues) and with classic film fans and educators world-wide. As a hard launch opportunity, I will be attending the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood on April 26-29, 2018. As I have for many years, I will be staying at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, the site of the very first Academy Awards in 1927 and the hub of activity of this festival attracting 25,000+ classic film fans. I'll network, talk about my book to everyone I meet, distribute Muybridge-flipbooks with book ordering information, and share updates using the event hashtags throughout the festival.
An appreciation for storytelling, for the past, and for the many inventions and stories that have brought us where we are today in media is what inspires me to bring this children's book to life.
Risks and challenges
The only risks and challenges, as with most projects on Kickstarter, are financial. I've found the illustrator who I strongly believe can bring my vision to life - he's already begun to offer new ideas to my original plan before collecting a dime, and I will be using that company to professionally illustrate what I've sketched out. Their quoted rate to complete 15 spreads of illustrations and a cover is $2,500. I would also like to purchase 2,500 FlipBooks with a mini-version of the children's book included in a flip-format, which illustrates the concept of persistence of vision which is what makes it appear that films are "real" motion to viewers and would be an impactful, fun way to market the book in addition to the online element. I plan to distribute these booklets to K-5 educators and at classic film events around the country that I already attend, most of which attract hundreds if not thousands of classic film fans, including the TCM Classic Film Festival in Hollywood each April. The cost of these booklets is also around $2,500. I will be self-publishing through Amazon, and will use my own funds to set up that printing.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (40 days)