Project image
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$6,887
pledged of $ 25,000pledged of $ 25,000 goal
77
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, December 5 2016 2:16 PM UTC +00:00
$6,887
pledged of $ 25,000pledged of $ 25,000 goal
77
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Mon, December 5 2016 2:16 PM UTC +00:00

About

Synopsis

How do we go about finding a partner today? What do we look for in a companion? How do we build truly intimate relationships? And has technology made it easier or harder to build these connections?

After ten years of being single, filmmaker Shiv Paul finds himself wrestling with these questions and how the rules of dating have evolved in our technology-driven reality. Aided by insight and commentary from a diverse group of couples, psychologists, and experts in relationships, he sets out on a quest to answer how, in today’s world, do we fall in modern love?

So...who are you?

My name is Shiv Paul. I am 45 years old and I have been single for 10 years. There, I just came out as single.

I moved to New York from London in 2005 with a boyfriend I had been living with for 4 years.

We split up after 9 months of being in New York. Phew!

After my break-up I dated half-heartedly, without enthusiasm or, to be honest, knowledge of the process and rules of dating. I thought of dating as an American concept. It didn’t really exist when I was last single and living in London in 2000. There, you met someone at a party or in a pub, fell into bed with each other and, after two weeks of shagging, it was more or less assumed you were together. So, with my newly single status and only my UK naïveté to guide me, ten years went by with a few paltry dating experiences scattered here and there.

I tried the online scene and was sucked into the belief that if I answered just one more quiz I would find a great match. Yet all I got was the same recycled matches that included a hardcore religious man of more than twice my age who lived 50 miles away and hated exercise and a woman called Tammy. Match.com had become the equivalent of one of my Indian Aunties, eagerly insisting my sexuality shouldn’t be a barrier to marrying a nice girl like Tammy. “Gay? What’s gay? You just need to meet a nice girl, beta.”

Apps were even less fruitful—and so to the bars I went. Surely there, some old school, in-person flirtation might result in something more meaningful? Instead, one guy I took home, while sitting naked astride me in flagrante, leaned close and whispered into my ear, “Shall we look for a third? I have Grindr on my phone.” He seemed incensed when I turned down his kind offer.

In our technology-driven age, it’s never been easier to make connections with people all over the world. Yet, have any of these advancements made it any easier to make an authentic or intimate connection with someone or has it, in fact, made it harder?

I took a break from the hamster wheel workout that was New York dating. Throughout my life, I always assumed a long-lasting romantic partnership similar to what my parents had was what I wanted, but now, living on my own for the first time, with two long-term relationships behind me, I questioned whether that was even true. And I couldn’t honestly say that the answer was yes.

This was part of the inspiration for What Are You Looking For?

Through my own story of being single and through conversations with my single friends, relationship experts, and couples of different ages, sexualities, races, and backgrounds, I want to explore these themes of what it means to be single today and what it takes—in world where the perfect person is just another swipe away—to make relationships work.

My hope is that viewers of this film, whether single or coupled, walk away with a better understanding of themselves and what it is they are really looking for.

Why we're making this documentary

We set out thinking that Shiv’s experience being single for a decade and seeing a dating world changed was unique.

However, through filming, we found that while Shiv’s individual story is unique to him, his sentiment is not uncommon. Relationships have always been difficult and meeting people has always been an evolving constant. From the classified ads of yesteryear to the bars and matchmakers and parties to today's dating apps, we all have a story—whether embarrassing, frustrating, silly, or heartwarming—about the trials of building a connection with someone else. But too often, we are left alone in our experiences.

At the core of this film, we want to answer what it means to build meaningful relationships. By telling and celebrating these stories, our ultimate hope is to make the relationship experience less isolated and less singular. As it should be.

Tell me more about what you're making

The film, 60-75 minutes in length, will follow Shiv as he puts himself out in the world of dating and explores how things have changed. 

Alongside Shiv’s story, we also tell the stories of four couples—meet them below!

Meet Avis and Satinder, Deborah and Jesus, Dave and Amanda, & Avina and Keira
Meet Avis and Satinder, Deborah and Jesus, Dave and Amanda, & Avina and Keira

They are:

  • Avis (78) and Satinder (82): Avis and Satinder met online in 2015. Both were looking for companionship and despite Avis having to contend with many men in their 70s who only wanted to “sext with me,” she found an enduring bond with Satinder. 
  • Deborah (42) and Jesus (40): Deborah was born in London and raised in Australia. She met Jesus, who is from Barcelona, when they were both living in Bali. They are a progressive couple, sexually open and are both a mix of fire and resolution. 
  • Dave (39) and Amanda (38): Dave was a high school baseball star and met Amanda through her best friend—on whom he had a crush. They met when they were 16 and 15 and after a friendship and a false start at a relationship, they’ve been together ever since. They live in Delaware with their two kids. 
  • Avina (24) and Keira (23): Avina and Keira met on OKCupid, even though Keira had accidentally set her profile to say she was only looking for friends. As Keira says, “That actually explains a lot of my dating experiences at that time.” They balance each other out and, according to Avina, they are “very similar people at a deeper level.”

In addition to these couples, we seek out insights from psychologists and experts in relationships, including:

Moira Weigel, Academic and Author of ‘Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating’, and filmmaker, Shiv Paul
Moira Weigel, Academic and Author of ‘Labor of Love: The Invention of Dating’, and filmmaker, Shiv Paul

Who we are 

Shiv Paul made his first film, Queens at Court, in 2014. This 20-minute short on diversity showcased the lives of LGBT amateur tennis players from the international Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance tour. Jean, an ex-military serviceman with PTSD, Giselle a male to female transgender woman, and Chip an obese man discuss in interviews how tennis and its community helped them to overcome their adversities and to gain a sense of self. In 2014 the United States Tennis Association sponsored a US tour of Queens at Court at several pro tournaments including Citi Open in Washington, DC, Rogers Cup in Toronto, and the Winston Salem Open in North Carolina. Queens at Court played at several film festivals such as Sonoma International Film Festival, Frameline - San Francisco, Out at the Movies Fest, Winston Salem, ShOUT, Birmingham UK, Queer Film Festival, Italy, and still plays on the film festival circuit today.

Jiayi Ying co-wrote and produced this film. She is based in New York.

Sergei Krasikov is a New York-based documentary filmmaker and Director of Photography. His most recent projects include a feature documentary about musician Connie Converse and a short doc for Steinbeck National Center.

Mary Dalton is a consulting producer on WAYLF. She is Professor of Communication, Film Studies, and Women's and Gender Studies at Wake Forest University. Her film Martha in Lattimore premiered at the Real to Reel Film Festival where it won Best Documentary and was an Official Selection of SILVERDOCS. She has several film and book projects in production—including this one!

Stephen Israel is a consulting producer on WAYLF. Stephen has produced over dozens of movies, including the cult hit "Swimming With Sharks" starring Kevin Spacey. His 2017 releases include Baby Steps; Blood Sand and Gold; and Miles. Born and raised in the UK, Stephen is also a Royal Air Force marksman and a trained rocket scientist (seriously). 

Where we're at 

We’ve filmed all our couples, met with all our experts, and conducted street interviews—extra, extra!—in Vancouver, New York, Barcelona and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The last leg of footage we need to complete is Shiv’s narrative, which we’ve been filming periodically since Summer 2016. Unsurprisingly, it’s ongoing and evolving.

By mid-December, we will have all footage locked and will begin the editing process in earnest. We’ve accumulated over 75 hours of footage that needs to be whittled down into the story we’ve envisioned. This is where we need your help.

If all goes according to plan (which it has been so far!), we will complete the film by Spring 2017. At that point we will submit the film to festivals and find a distribution partner for it.

Our ask

Our most immediate needs to keep the project going is to hire great editors—both for story and sound—and to buy the necessary equipment to make the editing process possible.

We also need support for production and post-production services—transcription fees, trailer editing, logo design, website hosting, music licensing, and film festival application fees. We plan to submit to the many festivals including: Sundance, Raindance, Sonoma International Film Festival, Frameline, TriBeCa Film Festival, Cannes, Out at the Movies Fest, Winston Salem.

The full-breakdown for the $25,000 is below:

  • $15,000 for a great story editor and sound editor 
  • $2,000 for equipment 
  • $6,000 for post-production costs (transcription services, trailer editing, grant application fees, logo design & printing, film festival application fees) 
  • $2,000 for Kickstarter rewards fulfillment

These are our most immediate needs.

Our total budget is $49,000, which covers all travel and expenses for a crew of three as well as payment for our cameraman. We have been covering these expenses so far with our own credit cards—God bless American Express—so any contributions towards these costs is highly appreciated as well (in other words, keep supporting us even if we hit our 25k goal, please!).

Risks and challenges

We had our share of setbacks and challenges in the beginning of this project—finding couples to interview, finding a cameraperson to collaborate with, convincing experts on love and relationships to be part of this movie, losing a trailer edit, missing several flights—but those have all been overcome at this stage of production.

The most critical risk we face at this moment is the potential delay in completing this film if we do not raise sufficient funds. Though we’d like to think that the insights on love and relationships we’ve captured are timeless, the stories themselves are personal and timely. We want to honor their importance by sharing them as they are still personally and emotionally relevant.

The funds raised here will help us find and pay for stellar editors who can tell the stories we’ve captured in the intimate, respectful, and engaging way that we’ve envisioned—hopefully they’ll be able to build upon that vision with their sensibilities, too.

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    Who says snail mail is dead? We're big fans of this—yes, slower but (also!) more thoughtful—form of communication.

    Send a put-a-smile-on-their-face note to a friend, loved one, family member or stranger. (Or all of the above.) We'll supply the materials.

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    Write a note to friend, loved one, family member, stranger and send them an extra something special to commemorate your relationship.

    We're working with a designer to create four different "What Are You Looking For?" enamel pins. You'll receive two randomly selected ones here—they'll all be equally awesome, we promise.

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    Be in the movie! We'll give you a special Kickstarter Contributor shout-out in the end credits.

    Show it off to your friends/family/lovers/strangers by writing them some postcards—"Hey Ma! I'm in the movies!"—and sporting a fun, limited edition pin.

    Includes:
    • Your name listed in the end credits
    • A set of ten (10) “What Are You Looking For?” postcards
    • A book of ten (10) $0.42 “What Are You Looking For?” stamps
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    Share your story with the world! We'll feature your relationship story on the "What Are You Looking For?" Facebook page.

    Also, you'll be credited as a Kickstarter Contributor in the end credits of the film and receive a t-shirt and a limited edition enamel pin.

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    • Your name listed in the end credits
    • Your story featured on our Facebook page
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    Thank you! We'll express our gratitude via a handwritten note and let you do the same to the people in your life with plenty o' postcards and stamps. You can do so wearing a "What Are You Looking For?" t-shirt if you like, too. (Answer is: Yes.)

    Additionally, you'll be featured on our Facebook page and your name will be listed in the end credits along with all our other awesome Kickstarter Contributors.

    Includes:
    • Your name listed in the end credits
    • A handwritten thank you note from the writers/producers
    • Your story featured on our Facebook page
    • One (1) “What Are You Looking For?” T-shirt
    • A set of ten (10) “What Are You Looking For?” postcards
    • A book of ten (10) $0.42 “What Are You Looking For?” stamps
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    Watch the movie in the comfort of your home—before it's available online to the public! A month after the premiere, we'll send you a private link to the film for you to watch. Do so with a specially-designed "What Are You Looking For?" water bottle in hand, if you desire, and catch your name in the end credits.

    We'll also share your story on our Facebook page and send you a handwritten note as a token of our thanks. You can do the same with the people in your life with the postcard set.

    Includes:
    • Digital download of the film one month after release
    • Your name listed in the end credits
    • A handwritten thank you note from the writers/producers + select
    • Your story featured on our Facebook page
    • A set of ten (10) “What Are You Looking For?” postcards
    • A book of ten (10) $0.42 “What Are You Looking For?” stamps
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    Join us for a pre-premiere screening, followed by a 36-questions themed singles party in New York.

    Plus, all swag in the $75 option.

    Includes:
    • Invite to an exclusive film screening
    • Invite to 36 questions-themed party, food and beverage inclusive
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    Join the cast + crew for the world premiere of "What Are You Looking For?" You'll get to choose the location (New York or L.A.).

    Plus, join us for the after party.

    And, not to be forgotten, you'll receive everything in the $100 option, too.

    Includes:
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    Have dinner with the producers and cast! You'll also be invited to the premieres in New York and L.A. Plus, whatever swag you like.

    Includes:
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    Be credited in the movie as an Associate Producer! We'll list your name at the end of the film, font size and placement to be determined. You'll also be shouted out on the programs we'll distribute during screenings and festivals.

    Plus, join us for premieres and dinners sporting whatever swag you want.

    Includes:
    • Associate Producer credit appearing at the end of the film
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    Executive Producer status! We'll list your name at the end of the film, font size and placement to be determined. You'll also be shouted out on programs that will be distributed at screenings and festivals.

    Plus, join us for premieres and dinners sporting whatever swag you want.

    Includes:
    • Executive Producer credit appearing at the end of the film
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    With Special Thanks To <your name>!

    Your credit will appear at the beginning of the film, font size and on-screen length to be determined.

    We'll also add your credit to the poster, which will be shown at festivals, screenings, premieres, and on future covers. Font size and placement here is also to be determined.

    And, of course, your name will also be included on all programs.

    Plus, join us for premieres and dinners sporting whatever swag you want.

    Includes:
    • With Special Thanks To credit appearing at beginning of film
    • With Special Thanks To credit appearing on the poster
    • Your name listed in programs at screenings
    • Invite to premieres
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Funding period

- (32 days)