Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
The creators of "Frack U. Mexico" take on the story of Central American migrants in Mexico...and the media's stupidity in covering it.
103 backers pledged $6,019 to help bring this project to life.

About

Gringoyo's New Video Will Give Migrants The Last Laugh! project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$6,019

103

(En español abajo)

In Mexico, dedicated Central American migrant organizers are making history, and self-serving media are missing the story, making jerks of themselves in a grab for spectacular tales about victims. It's perfect raw material for political satire. In recent years we've created sensational viral videos like the Drug War parody "Narco-Mania" and the cautionary comedic tale called "Frack U. Mexico." We believe that videos can help people to change the world they live in. We have thirty days to make a film about the importance of migrants' movements in Mexico, and only 8 days to raise to funds we need to make it. 

There's a shelter in Southern Mexico for Central American migrants on their way north. It's also a place where migrants are organizing to tackle the serious problems they face. Recently, a camera crew from a well-known cable news station came to do a story. The shelter's volunteer coordinators, many of them migrants themselves, did their best to accommodate them. But the producers complained to their hosts. "What's the problem?" They were asked.

"These people aren't giving us enough drama! They aren't acting 'migrant' enough!"

Inspired by ridiculous anecdotes like these, we began work last month with a team of journalists, organizers, and volunteers to create a new short video. We want to change the way the story about Central American migrants is told. What we've shot so far is fantastic, but now we need your help in order to finish. We need to complete production on our video in September, while our team is still ready and able. That's why we need your help to raise the $5000 it will take us to finish, over the next eight days. This money will pay for room, board, travel, sets, props, costumes, and video and audio materials. Thanks to our fiscal sponsor, Art For Change, all gifts are tax-deductible.

During phase one of production of our new satire.
During phase one of production of our new satire.

Thousands of migrants travel from Central America through Mexico to the United States every day. This is not a new thing. But this year, media in the U.S. and Mexico seem to have "discovered" that it is happening on a grand scale. Images and reports of detention centers filled with young migrants flooded social media and cable news this summer, and hundreds of "experts" gave their opinion about what's causing so much migration and what needs to be done.

Lots of media like to focus on the horrors, dangers and suffering that migrants face. But there is almost no coverage of the organizing work that Cental American and Mexican organizers are doing to put an end to those horrors. Migrants are organizing to keep themselves safe, and to demand protection and an end to corruption from Mexican authorities. These organizers are also working to build economic alternatives to migration in their home countries, and forging alliances with immigrants in the U.S. They are making history and changing the world.

Representatives from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua demand safe passage through Mexico.
Representatives from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua demand safe passage through Mexico.

Wouldn't it be nice if the heroic migrant organizers ignored by the media had the last laugh...literally?

For over ten years I've been producing political satire about social movements in short films about social movements and issues. I used to make documentary films, but I wanted to do more than just report on movements. I wanted to help those movements to be effective. Making people laugh is a good way to do that, so I began making short comedies about movements and issues for people to organize around. Our films have been seen by millions on YouTube, Facebook, and other media on and offline. And I believe that when we do it right, we have an impact on the real world.

A good example of this is the recent success we had with our film "Frack U. Mexico."

Poster for "Frack U. Mexico"
Poster for "Frack U. Mexico"

In late September, as new energy laws were coming to a congressional vote in Mexico, we realized that much of the new legislation had been designed specifically to facilitate hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," a dangerous technique for getting gas and oil out of the ground which leaves a cocktail of more than 500 hazardous chemicals underground. Most Mexicans didn't know what fracking was, so we invented a fictional advocate for fracking named "Joe T. Hodo," in order to show people what fracking is all about. Joe became his own worst enemy, turning people off to fracking through his ridiculous attempts to use tamales, piñatas, and other vital elements of Mexican culture to demonstrate what fracking is, poisoning and mangling everything he got his hands on.

The video went viral, and once it did, it inspired more reports featuring Joe T. Hodo on national television and in one of Mexico's most widely read magazines.

Coverage of fracking in Mexico suddenly spiked, and people began to organize around it. Recently, the first community to declare itself a frack-free zone cleared its first legal hurdle. Although the energy laws passed, our film rang a nationwide alarm against fracking and has inspired communities to organize throughout Mexico to stop it.

We'd like something similar to happen with our new film. We've working on a new satire that will poke fun at the ridiculous frenzy of coverage of Central American migrants and also show what migrant organizers are capable of doing. The script was written with the participation of representatives from Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and the U.S. who are all currently working and organizing in Mexico.

We want to be careful about not giving the exact details of the story (imagine how awful it would be if someone recited the exact storyline of a comedy before you went and saw it?) Like our other videos, including "Narco-Mania" (2011) "Jodido Mexico" (2010) and of course "Frack U. Mexico" (2013) we want the video to go viral and extend beyond the confines of the internet, redefining the way people think about people who migrate from Central America. As we've learned in our other viral media campaigns, once you redefine the way people think about a movement, the movement has a better chance of growing and being effective. That's what we plan to do in collaboration with migrant organizers in Mexico. We want to help them change an intolerable situation.

In July, we filmed one of the sequences of the film. During a long, hot, 16 hour day of intense work at the side of a river, in the bush, and dodging needles in a field of cactus, our team from five countries got its first taste of what the new film will look like, and we're excited. In between takes, we spent much of the day smiling, laughing, and looking forward to seeing the final cut. We're ready to go back to work.

A ridiculous character from our upcoming video
A ridiculous character from our upcoming video

We want our film to be free and available to the entire world, but that costs money to make happen. We're going to use the money raised during this campaign to fund the next phase of producton in Southern Mexico. It will pay for travel costs, meals, and board for the more than twelve participants in the cast and crew. It will also fund the work that I will oversee to edit and distribute the video online. If we exceed our goal, we will use they money to fund our next film projects.

I'd like to give a special thanks to the creative team at Latino Social Innovation.  Among other things, they create social media campaigns and they are a crucial part of this effort. 

Thanks for your support!

---------------

(En Español)

En México, organizadores valientes de Centroamérica están dejando su huella en la historia, mientras los medios, en su búsqueda de anécdotas trágicas sobre la migración, están haciéndose payasos. Es la materia prima perfecta para la sátira política. En años recientes, hemos creado videos virales sensacionales como "Narco-Manía," una parodia de la Guerra Contra las Drogas, y "Frack U México," una comedía que sonó la alarma por la amenaza del fracking en México. Nosotros creemos que los videos virales pueden apoyar a la gente a cambiar el mundo en que viven. Ahora, tenemos 30 días para crear un cortometraje sobre la importancia de los movimientos migrantes en México, y necesitamos su apoyo. Hay un albergue en el sur de México para migrantes centroamericanos en camino hacía el norte. El lugar también sirve como sede en donde los migrantes se están organizando a si mismo para combatir a los obstáculos graves que les enfrentan. Hace pocos meses, un equipo de producción de un noticiero muy conocido llegó para hacer un reporte. Los coordinadores voluntarios del albergue, muchos de ellos migrantes, hizo todo lo que pudieron para apoyar a los periodistas. Pero los productores del equipo se quejó a sus anfitriones, "¿Que les pasó?" les preguntaron. "Esa gente no nos está dando el drama que necesitamos. Tienen que portarse más 'migrante' por favor." Inspirados por anécdotas ridículas como estas, el mes pasado empezamos a trabajar con un equipo de periodistas, organizadores, y voluntarios, para crear un nuevo video. Queremos cambiar la manera en que se cuenta la historia de los migrantes centroamericanos. Lo que hemos grabado hasta ahorita es fantástico, pero ahora necesitamos tu ayuda para terminar. Tenemos que terminar con la producción en septiembre, mientras nuestro equipo todavía dispone del poco tiempo que tiempo para hacerlo. Por esto, necesitamos tu ayuda para recaudar los $5000 que necesitamos para terminar. Este dinero cubrirá hospedaje, comida, viáticos, vestuarios, utilería, y los materiales de video y audio. Gracias a nuestro socio fiscal, Art For Change, todos los donativos son deducibles de impuestos en los Estados Unidos.

Miles de migrantes viajan de Centro América a través de México rumbo a los Estados Unidos cada día. Esto no es algo nuevo. Pero este año, los medios en E.U y México parecen haber “descubierto” que está sucediendo a gran Escala. Imágenes y reportajes de centros de detención llenos de Jóvenes Migrantes inundaron las redes sociales y los noticieros por cable este verano, y cientos de “expertos” dieron su opinión acerca de lo que está provocando tanta migración y lo que es necesario hacer. Muchos medios gustan de enfocarse en los horrores, peligros y sufrimientos que enfrentan los migrantes. Pero casi no hay cobertura del trabajo que los organizadores Centro Americanos y mexicanos están llevando a cabo para detener estos horrores. Los migrantes se están organizando para mantenerse a salvo, y demandar protección y un alto a la corrupción de las autoridades mexicanas. Estos organizadores también están trabajando para construir alternativas económicas a la migración en sus países de origen, y forjando alianzas con inmigrantes en E.U Están haciendo historia y cambiando al mundo. ¿No sería grato si los heroicos organizadores migrantes, ignorados por los medios rieran al último… literalmente? Por más de diez años eh producido sátira política sobre movimientos sociales en cortometrajes. Yo solía hacer documentales pero quería hacer más que simplemente reportar los movimientos. Quería ayudar a estos a ser efectivos. Hacer a la gente reír es una buena forma de hacerlo. Entonces empecé a hacer breves comedias acerca de movimientos y demás temáticas, para que la gente se organizará. Nuestros videos han sido vistos por millones en youtube, Facebook y otros medios dentro y fuera de internet. Y creo que cuando lo hacemos bien, tenemos un impacto en el mundo real. Un buen ejemplo de esto es el reciente éxito con nuestro film “Frack U. México” A finales de Septiembre nuevas leyes Energéticas llegaron para ser votadas por el congreso en México, nos damos cuenta de lo mucho que la nueva legislación ah sido diseñada específicamente para facilitar la fractura hidráulica o “Fracking”, una técnica peligrosa para sacar gas y petróleo de la tierra, lo que deja un coctel de más de 500 químicos peligrosos bajo el suelo. La mayoría de los mexicanos no sabía lo que era el Fracking, entonces inventamos un defensor ficticio para Fracking llamado Joe T. Hodo en función de mostrar a las personas de lo que se trataba el Fracking. Joe se convirtió en su peor enemigo al poner en contra del fracking a la gente a través de sus ridículos intentos de usar tamales, piñatas y otros elementos vitales de la cultura mexicana para demostrar lo que era el fracking. Envenenando y haciendo pedazos todo lo que llegaba a sus manos. El video se hizo viral, y una vez que lo hizo inspiro más reportajes presentando a Joe T. Hodo en Televisión nacional y en una de las revistas más leídas en México. La cobertura de Fracking en México despego de pronto y la gente comenzó a organizarse. Recientemente la primer comunidad en declararse zona libre de Fracking aclaro su primer obstáculo legal. Sin embargo las leyes energéticas se aprobaron. Nuestro video sonó una alarma a lo largo de la nación en contra del Fracking y ah inspirado comunidades a lo largo de México para organizarse y detenerlo. Nos gustaría que algo similar sucediera con nuestro nuevo video. Hemos estado trabajando en una nueva sátira que ridiculizará lo absurdo de la cobertura de los migrantes centroamericanos y también muestra lo que los organizadores migrantes son capaces de hacer. El guión fue escrito con la participación de representantes de Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua y E.U quienes que se encuentran actualmente trabajando y organizando en México. Queremos ser cuidadosos sobre no dar los detalles exactos de la historia (imaginen que desagradable sería si alguien recitara el argumento exacto de una comedia antes que fueran a verla) como nuestros otros videos, incluyendo “Narco- Manía” (2011) “Jodido México” (2010) y por su puesto “Frack U. México” (2013) queremos que el video se realice y se extienda a través de los confines de internet, redefiniendo la forma en que piensa la gente sobre la migración. Como hemos aprendido en nuestras otras campañas virales, una vez que re defines la forma en que la gente piensa acerca de un movimiento, este tiene una mejor oportunidad de crecer y ser efectivo. Eso es lo que planeamos hacer en colaboración con los organizadores migrantes en México, queremos ayudarles a cambiar una situación intolerable. En Julio, grabamos una de las secuencias del video. Durante un largo y caluroso día de intenso trabajo de 16 horas a la orilla del río, en la montaña, y esquivando espinas en un campo de cactus, nuestro equipo de cinco países obtuvo su primer probada de cómo se verá nuestro nuevo video, y estamos emocionados. En los intermedios pasamos gran parte del día sonriendo, riendo y anhelando ver el último corte. Estamos listos para volver al trabajo. Queremos que nuestro video sea gratuito y esté disponible para el mundo entero, pero esto requiere dinero para suceder. Usaremos el dinero recaudado durante esta campaña para financiar la siguiente fase de la producción en el sur de México. Esto pagara los costos de viaje, comidas, and board de más de doce participantes en el reparto y el equipo, también financiara el trabajo que supervisare de edición y distribución del video en línea. Si rebasamos nuestra meta, usaremos el dinero para financiar nuestros siguientes proyectos. ¡Gracias por su apoyo!

Risks and challenges

The greatest risk is having yours truly get ridiculed and laughed at by hundreds of Central American migrants who see a Gringo making a laughing stock of himself for all to see, and having video footage of that spectacle become viral for millions of people around the world...wait...that's the whole point!

The challenge is to make sure everyone who sees that video starts to understand migration in a whole new way.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Got a stain on your wall? We have a poster you can use to cover it up. Pitch in 25 dollars and you'll get a cool 18 x 24 poster of "Frack U. Mexico." A year ago in Mexico, almost no one knew what fracking was. Then we laughed the alarm bell in this short viral video featuring Texas oilman Joe T. Hodo. (¡thanks to designer Uriel Pérez!)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    25 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Nothing says "The U.S. backed Drug War in Latin America must end" like a Spanish-language cover of "A Hard Day's Night." In 2011 we realized that most Mexicans knew more about The Beatles than the history of the Drug War. So we parodied the Fab Four and the absurd story behind the U.S. backed Drug War in our video "¡Narco-Mania!" Give us a $50 gift and you will receive a "¡Narco-Mania!" DVD featuring the title track and a series of other short parodies directed by Greg "Gringoyo" Berger including "¡Narco-Mania!," "Jodido México," and "Spring Breakers Without Borders."

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    17 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    For $75, Joe T. Hodo, President of "Frack U. Mexico" will give you a personalized, four hour tour of Mexico City. (Note: You may experience delays when Mr. Hodo is stopped on the street by angry citizens displeased by his plans to frack Mexico. Bystanders may experience injuries due to hurled projectiles.) Plus you'll get a "Frack U Mexico" poster and a "Narco-Mania" DVD. Thanks!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    If you give this much money to help make our film, you'll want someone else besides me to back up the integrity of the project. So all backers at this level will be invited to attend a live skype chat with the international cast and crew of our new film while we are filming on location in Southern Mexico in September. This will be a great way to hear more from migrant organizers and movement participants in Mexico. You'll also get a chance to ask about the production process, and what the participants hope to accomplish. (But we'll die before we give away the plot of the video!) Translation will be provided. You will also receive a poster and a DVD.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Now we're getting serious! If you give $250 or more, I'll spill the beans on some of my secrets. You will receive all of the above plus you will be invited to attend an additional live chat via skype with yours truly on how to make videos about social movements go viral, and why you should try it. A great opportunity to broaden the reach of your movement!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    For the amazingly generous gift of $500 or more, you will receive all of the above plus long term mentoring from viral video director to aspiring or experienced viral video journalists over a six month period. Join Greg for a private, 30 minute chat sessions once a week over a six month period as you produce your video. (Then again, if you have $500 to spend, you're probably not a filmmaker or journalist!)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (7 days)