About this project
WHAT IS THIS SHOW ABOUT?
BROS is a TV show about exploring places that are perceived as dangerous and off-limits - and putting those reputations to the test. By finding 'bros' and connecting with this universal sense of hospitality and welcome, we aim to prove just how friendly, fun and exciting a time you can have in the most unexpected places. America has one idea of 'BRO-ness' (see Jersey shore, college jocks), but we're extending BRO-ness to the Shisha-smoking tea-drinking Brahs in the Middle East, the Vodka-cheersing Bratans of the the former Soviet Union, and anywhere in the world where young people like to get together, have fun and shoot the shit.
THE PILOT EPISODE
What you're helping us put together now is the very first episode of this series - hosted and produced by Adam, Produced by Marc, Shot by Charlotte, Assoc. Produced by Jeremy - and set in Iraqi Kurdistan! Why Iraq? When we thought of all the places we could possibly go to kick off the show, we couldn't think of a better place (with a worse reputation) to have a great time in. While the name Iraq generally dictates images of fear and danger, we'd heard of Iraqi Kurdistan as an easily-accessible, warm-hearted autonomous region with gorgeous landscapes and awesome kebab.
In the months before we left, conflict erupted in Iraq. On the day our flight was scheduled out of New York, ISIS was reported 30 miles away from Erbil (the airport on our tickets). It was not at all what we had anticipated — all the dangers of "Iraq" seemed so much more real. Still, our goal didn't change: to see what the place felt like at a time when its reputation was worse than ever, and to connect with people on the ground living their day to day lives. This was the only way we knew how to find out.
And what we found gave us so much hope amidst all the craziness.
WE NEED YOUR HELP!
We've already gone and done the dirty work of shooting this thing in northern Iraq with costs kept as low as they could be — made possible by donated services (Charlotte Kaufman — camerawoman/DP Extraordinare, Jeremy Hodge — fearless journalist/producer), sponsored airfare (Royal Jordanian), hotels (Titanic Hotel, Sulaymaniyah) and tech gear (PieceMaker, Hello Nomad).
The last few pieces will now be key in getting this baby out there:
-- Editing (7200): The lion's share of the post-production work is no easy business; these are the experts who make 60 hours of footage, news reels and more come together.
-- Sound Mixing (2000): Probably the most important part of the whole thing — we want you to be able to hear all three languages in the show as clearly as possible, even those secrets in an old man's whisper.
-- Color Correction (1500): Shot in 110+ degree heat, some of our footage could use a little cooling down. (But seriously: this is really helpful polish.)
-- Translation (900): Our team is well-versed in Arabic, French, Chinese and Russian (and English), but we need a bit of help to transcribe and render two Kurdish dialects for fair subtitling.
--- Music Licensing (900): We've been incredibly lucky to collaborate with amazing musicians on two continents, including Rameses B, Ryan Chaney, Steph Chou, Hi-Rez, Sami Hope, Gilad Edelman, Charles Butler, and Skating Polly (CHECK THEM ALL OUT.) Their original music in concert with Kurdish jams gives BROS its soul — we want to be able to show our gratitude for giving the show its unique sound.
-- Kickstarter Fees (1000): They've earned it. They're cool.
***SUPER UPDATED - WE NEED YOU!***
In our final hours, we just want to say how grateful we are for the huge support, from New York to Baghdad, Singapore to Pakistan. Every donation continues to be a huge support — even $1 — as one more vote of confidence to help us get this show on the road. If you haven't chipped in yet and think this might be fun to watch, we promise we'll get you something for the holidays next year. If you have — thank you again from the bottom of our hearts. And please nag all of your relatives.
Special sneak peak coming out on our 10000th FB like: http://on.fb.me/1yjy3RF
Find us here: https://twitter.com/BROSTheShow
***UPDATED - STRETCH GOALS***
We still have a little over two weeks left for this Kickstarter campaign, so in the spirit of Kickstarter, we encourage everyone to keep spreading the word and joining in. Any extra amount pledged would go towards the following:
- If we get to 15.5K - we can rent a professional VO studio to narrate our pilot/pitch mateirals (so we don't have to do it in our bedroom) - our editors would love to be able to do this, but it won't be free.
- If we get to 17K - we can hire web designers to create a snazzy official website to put our prettiest face forward - this goes a long way to set us up and boosts out social presence too.
- If we get to 18K - we can start to develop some web series content and behind the scenes footage - stuff that wouldn't fit into a tv episode - to put on the official website and get more pieces of the show out even sooner! This way, no matter what, we'll be able to work on telling all of the stories fit to tell from this first adventure.
- $$$++ - Anything above and beyond these funds would begin the process of developing and funding our next episode! We’ll be able to finance part of the series on our own and we’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate with producers.
A BIT ABOUT THE TEAM!
Marc Iserlis (Executive Producer, Creator) hails from Russian parents and was raised in Singapore, before attending Columbia University where he studied history, jazz piano and met his friend and future collaborator Adam Valen Levinson. He received training at the Lee Strasberg Institute and The William Esper Studio. In another life, he is an ad-man turning out creative strategies for numerous global brands, and brings a wealth of experience working on international country-branding campaigns. He has spent time in over 50 countries and speaks Russian and Mandarin.
Adam Valen Levinson (Host, Creator, EP) is a multimedia journalist and travel writer with bylines filed from Afghanistan to Somalia to publications worldwide including Al Jazeera, Haaretz, Neue Zürcher Zeitung and VICE. A political science and linguistics grad from Columbia with an MFA from Goucher College, he has worked for the Emmy-winning show The Colbert Report and played second trumpet in the UAE Philharmonic. He can occasionally be spotted on television by those who scour TLC, Investigation Discovery, and the archives of Comedy Central. Adam is fluent in French and speaks multiple dialects of Arabic, imperfectly.
Charlotte Kaufman (Director of Photography) produces and shoots regularly for her production company Pitchslap.tv, based in New York City. Her work has taken her around the world from Dubai to Yemen, Kenya to Iraq. Her commercial clients have included The Gates Foundation, Harry’s, and Harper Collins. Previously, Charlotte worked as a media specialist with Boston Consulting Group, and with the Oscar-winning documentary production house Jigsaw Productions.
Jeremy Hodge (Associate Producer) is an American journalist, Arabic to English language translator, researcher, and documentarian. A graduate in Middle Eastern Studies from UC Santa Barbara, Jeremy spent nearly two years living and working as an investigative reporter in Cairo. Jeremy has filed for myriad international news outlets including Al Jazeera, Le Monde Diplomatique and The Jerusalem Post, and the pro-democracy NGOs Freedom House and Transparency International.
Rosemarie DiSalvo (Senior Producer) Known for NBC’s 1 vs. 100 (2006) and The Million Second Quiz (2013), and ION's On the Cover (2004), Ro is a writer and producer based in Los Angeles. She received two Emmy Award nominations in 2014, for The Chase, produced by ITV Studios, and for The American Bible Challenge, the highest rated original program in the history of the Game Show Network.
Wendy Calhoun (Narrative Consultant) is currently a Co-Executive Producer/Writer for the exciting new hip hop drama Empire staring Terence Howard from Brian Grazer, Lee Daniels, and Danny Strong which is set to premiere on the Fox Broadcast Network in January, 2015. She worked as Director of Creative Affairs for Village Roadshow Pictures, contributing to the development of many features, including The Matrix. Wendy has written and directed over 40 hours of non-fiction programs for PBS, Animal Planet, VH1, TLC, The Travel Channel, and The Discovery Channel including Co-Producing the second season of FOX’s Hell’s Kitchen. Her prime time credits include NBC’s Life, FX’s Justified, ABC’s prime time soap Revenge, and ABC’s Nashville.
Risks and challenges
We've gotten this far on going there and coming back with footage on a next-to-nothing budget. We’ve had great advisors and people working on this with us. While the risk was high in execution, we’re in good stead to string this all together — we feel confident that your help in the editing process is what will best position us to sell this project through!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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