About this project
As of May 24th we reached 100% FUNDED! We are overwhelmed with support and humbled by the kindness of everyone! We still have a couple days left so our STRETCH GOAL is now $30,000! Why not go for it and keep this momentum going?
Here is what we can use the extra money for:
- pay the women on our crew that we take on the trip
- better equipment to make this project look and sound as good as it can!
- visit more cities than initially planned, transportation, gas, etc etc etc
Hi there! Dana and Sarah here, Creators and Producers of this docu-series and Kickstarter. We are also Heartfelt Productions!
WHAT IS "THE EMPOWERMENT PROJECT?"
"The Empowerment Project: Extraordinary Women Doing Extraordinary Things" is a docu-series that aims to create positive content for women by shining a light on inspirational, powerful, and strong women in many career fields across the US. Made for women by women!
With your help, our master plan is to travel across the country for one month (Tentatively August/September 2013) and tell the stories of 10 strong women and shine light on what it's like to be a woman in their professional position, what it took to get there, what it's like to balance a personal life with work, as well as any advice or stories they can share. Our goal is to create a webisode for each story, ultimately making a 10 part docu-series as the end result. Our dream? To have women and girls alike take valuable inspiration away from this series and transfer that into their own lives and their own career goals. (And men too!) We know we wish there was more content like this out there for us to watch.
In the video above you can see we already had the pleasure of interviewing Hollywood powerhouse Jill Soloway (Afternoon Delight, Six Feet Under, United States of Tara) and these are the women we have in mind to appear in the series not just in the TV/Film industry:
GAIL MANCUSO (Director- Modern Family, Friends, 30 Rock), MOLLY BARKER (Creator of the non profit Girls on the Run Program), MERRILL MARKOE (Creator of the David Letterman Show/Writer/Comedianne), REBECCA WALKER (Writer, co-founder of the Third Wave Foundation), ROSALIND BREWER (First African American CEO of Sam's Club and Walmart Stores), DR. KATHY MAGLIATO (World renowned heart surgeon), KATHRYN DWYER SULLIVAN (First American Female Astronaut to walk in space), NANCY BRINKER (founded the Susan G. Komen Foundation)
We are going to ask questions like: How did you get to be in your position? How does it feel to be at the top of a typically male dominated field? How do you balance personal life and career? What advice can you share with young women that might want to pursue the same path as you did? What is your proudest moment in your career and what is your greatest failure, what did you learn from both? Do you consider yourself a feminist and what does being a feminist mean to you? And we are definitely open to YOUR ideas too. If you know of a strong woman you think we should interview, or a question you think should be answered, LET US KNOW!
And the best part of it all? We are an all female crew! We believe the best way to set ourselves apart and to truly inspire the women that watch this series is to make it with all women. Everything from the graphic design to shooting, editing, promotion...will be entirely done by women. How's that for female empowerment?
WHAT IS THE MONEY GOING TO GO TO?
I know what you're thinking, $25,000 is a lot of money! And it is. But the truth is to travel across the country for a month with 4 women is not cheap. We need the money for equipment rentals (camera, audio, lighting, etc), accommodations, transportation from city to city, food, permits, insurance, hard drives, memory cards, the list goes on and on! Although we realize that this may be a huge challenge to raise so much money, we know we need at least this much to get this project off the ground. And we don't want to do this half-way. We want it to look good, sound good, and be as amazing as it can be with your help. If we don't raise the full $25,000 the project doesn't happen!
WHAT MAKES US QUALIFIED TO PULL THIS OFF?
Well, to begin, we're both filmmakers and producers who have been working in reality TV for many years and while we do love what we do, we want more...to really be a part something we are passionate about, which is exactly why this project was born. We believe this project is our mission, our contribution to the empowerment landscape!
You can check out these other projects HERE:
A bit of our backstory: We met in 2007 while working on a youth filmmaking program together, and immediately felt a connection not only as kindred spirits, but also realized that we held the same passions regarding the need to create positive content for women. We decided to start Heartfelt Productions as a way to tell these stories, and showcase uplifting, positive content to inspire women everywhere. Our first short documentary in 2010, entitled "Girls Rock Chicago", focuses on an all-girl school of rock, and was showcased at variety of film festivals and aired on WTTW in Chicago. Our second documentary, "Growing Up Strong: Girls on the Run," is about an after school running program that taught valuable lessons about self-esteem, communication and bullying to young girls. This also aired on WTTW in March 2013. We're incredibly proud of the work we've done on these projects in bringing awareness to these organizations doing amazing things in Chicago.
WHY THE ALL FEMALE CREW?
We just want to create an environment on screen and off where women are encouraged to get their hands dirty and get behind the scenes. Often times women are discouraged from picking up equipment because they think they won't be good at it, or they think that men are better at shooting or editing, etc. We want to see more women in the director's chair and more ladies holding cameras, and for this female-minded project we think it is appropriate to put our money where our mouth is and pull this off with all badass ladies! As an added bonus we will have a whole behind the scenes element as well, filming our thoughts and adventures throughout our cross country journey so you can see what it takes for us to pull all this off!
We want this to be not only inspirational to the people that watch it but we want it to be a personal journey to chase our own dreams through all the ups and downs.
HOW IS THIS DOC DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS?
There have been some incredible documentaries recently about female empowerment, for example MAKERS on PBS stands out to us. We want to keep the modern feminism conversation going and add to that landscape from those who came before us. There can't be enough projects out there that empower women. For us, the all female crew is a special element as well as the fact that this will be a journey for us too. This month long journey is a way for us to push our boundaries, learn, grow and share this incredible experience with each other and with the world. We will be documenting our entire journey behind the scenes so people can see what it took to make this happen and what we learned along the way as women, as filmmakers, and as friends.
WANT TO GET INVOLVED IN THE EMPOWERMENT PROJECT?
Contact us! We are open to new people and new ideas to make this project as good as it can be. Women have to stick together! Is this your dream too? Then help us achieve it!
Risks and challenges
Every production presents certain risks and challenges especially when you're on the road for a project. With interviews set up across the country in such a short amount of time, problems could arise with interview subjects canceling and delaying or derailing our shooting schedule...or something as simple as a flat tire throwing your whole schedule off! But we know these things happen..
Unforeseen costs and expenses are always a reality, like needing money for a permit or insurance that we didn't budget for, but we can only plan and predict for so much try to do the best that we can to think of everything before we leave so that we don't run into many problems.
Even after our cross country journey is complete we will still need to raise finishing money to make sure the docu-series comes out as great as it can. Our plan for now is to raise money here for the shoot and then cut together a sizzle from our journey to pitch to female-minded brands and companies that might be able to help us complete the project and get it seen by the masses.
All in all the risks are worth it for the potential reward which to us is creating this project that could be really positive and inspirational for a lot of people!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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