"Why make a movie about traffic?"
Good question. After all, sitting in traffic probably lives somewhere in the neighborhood of root canal and taxes on our list of least favorite things to do.
But here's the thing: you don't know what you think you know about traffic.
We tend to think of a traffic jam as something that just happens for no reason, something that just has to be endured. That's what I thought one day when I was stuck in horrible traffic trying to get home to Brooklyn from Connecticut. But then I started to wonder: what really causes traffic and can cities do anything about it?
The answer, many experts will tell you, is that the traffic problems that plague many of our cities are the result of deliberate policy decisions made over the course of more than half a century.
Most importantly, we changed the definition of a street--from a place where people gathered to meet and conduct business, to a means to get a car from one place to another. That change paved the way (sometimes literally) for the car's dominance over most of the 20th century.
Now, though, a group of advocates and urban designers is trying to change that. They're working to reclaim streets as places for people rather than just pathways for cars.
"In Transit" tells their story.
"So this isn't a documentary about traffic. It's a documentary about people."
Right. Because changing the way streets are designed and used isn't easy.
I've filmed planners in Detroit who must convince a skeptical community that the Motor City's comeback could begin with more pedestrian and bike friendly streets.
In New York, I've investigated why bike lanes and bike share are sometimes seen as benefits for hipster elites even though the cost of traveling by bike is far less than traveling by car.
And with this Kickstarter campaign, I hope to raise funds to continue to find more of the people and the stories that are changing cities all over the country.
"So how does Kickstarter work?"
Kickstarter is a crowd-funding platform that allows backers to support independent creative projects. In addition to helping tell an important story about how cities are changing, your donation entitles you to some of the rewards listed at right. Everybody wins!
Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing platform, which means we need to meet our $25,000 goal or no money changes hands. But with your support, I'm confident we can make that money change hands! Just click on the "Back This Project" button and complete the Amazon checkout process.
And remember, while we can't raise less than our goal, we can--and would love to--raise more. The more money we raise, the more filming we can do
So please share our project on Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, and carrier pigeon.
"What will you use the money for?"
Streets are changing all over the country (and the world), but so far "In Transit" has filmed in only two cities. With these funds, I'll be able to seek out and capture stories in a variety of locations that truly tell the story of America's streets.
Thanks for joining me on the journey.
Risks and challenges
Probably the biggest question any independent filmmaker faces is: "Can you really finish your film?" To paraphrase Shakespeare, the course of documentary production never did run smooth, and if you're backing a project, you want to know that the creators can deliver even when they face challenges.
Fortunately, I'm an experienced documentary film producer. Check out my bio at the upper right for full details, and you'll see that I've successfully produced and distributed an independent documentary, worked as an editor for other widely seen productions, and produced videos for large companies and non-profit organizations.
"In Transit" is at an early stage of production (which is why most of the rewards have an estimated delivery date of late 2015). There are going to be challenges along the way. But solving challenges and completing successful productions is what I do.
And with your help, I know I can do the same with "In Transit." Rest assured, I'll keep you up to date along the way. And at the end, I hope to have created a film of which we can all be proud.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)