The basic idea behind this book is to travel around Europe and get opinions about "average Americans" from the locals. One thing that I have heard countless times throughout my travels and experiences with other cultures is, "You're not what I expected an American to be like." Or "You're not an average American." It doesn't matter how they say it, the message is still the same...I don't fit into their preconceived stereotype of what an American is "supposed" to be like. But I have to ask myself, what IS an American like from their perspective? Because of this, I have decided to take a humorous approach to journalism and find out once and for all. What do Europeans really think about Americans when the liquor has been flowing and all politically correct filters are off?
The title, "A Pint for Your Thoughts," actually explains the project extremely well. I will be spending time interviewing Europeans in various pubs across Europe. As an incentive for the interviewees I will be purchasing each person a pint to enjoy while they are filmed answering the questions posed by the backers. It is intended to be an entertaining, humor laden book, but that doesn't mean that backers can't ask serious questions! It's a completely open field as far as what questions are acceptable. If you want to pose a legitimate question that has been burning inside of you, by all means, ask it! The same goes for the drama-loving backers who simply want to ask a question with the hopes of me being put into an awkward situation. There really is no limit to how creative you can be!
The book for the $50 rewards and higher will be a Hardback full-page, full-color book with high quality photographs detailing the journey. The e-book sent out to the Backers under the $50 dollar reward level will be slightly pared down version without all the images of the larger version and still a great deal at only $10 dollars. The main difference is that the e-book will detail the journey and you can read about all the places and wild experiences. However the print copy of the book will let you experience the journey through the literature AND let you experience the adventure through the stunning sights around the continent! And don't forget the Behind the Scenes DVD detailing the challenges and triumphs, thrills and spills, and drama that can be found when hundreds of inebriated Europeans are crammed into a one tiny little pub!...........And it comes with the Print copy for free!
The tentative route across Europe will be starting in Dublin and working my way across Europe eventually departing out of Prague. So as of right now the stops will be Dublin to London to Paris to Brussels to Amsterdam to Berlin to Prague. As I mentioned, these are tentative and subject to change depending on the backers. All the specific pubs will be determined once the countries are finalized.
Prior to embarking on the journey I will be emailing all the backers who have votes and giving them the options to vote on. I will also keep everyone updated every few days as to where I am and what pubs I will be at. You can also follow me on twitter @pint4thoughts, for added updates and musings while traveling. Feel free to stop by and introduce yourself if you are going to be in the same area at the same time! I am happy to interview backers if they're interested and the pint for your participation will definitely still apply! --Calling all you value seekers living in Europe! For a small $5 dollar donation you can get on the mailing list and know exactly where I will be every day. That way you can get yourself a free pint for an interview and a $5 donation. WHAT A DEAL!
The initial goal is to fund a portion of the travel, equipment expenses and rewards for the backers. If the funding exceeds the goal, I will update the plan as we go and create a much larger and more expansive project.
So what exactly are you paying for?
Well in the most general sense you are paying for the pints that the interviewees will be offered, some camera equipment and the estimated rewards for the backers. The more funding that the project receives, the more interviews I will be able to conduct. NO money will be wasted or pocketed, it will simply be used to create a better book. So if there are less books and DVD's to send out to the backers, I will use the excess money from the rewards to conduct more interviews.
So at the $10,000 goal level, anticipated expenses would be as follows:
-2 GoPro Camera Bundles with necessary equipment(Tripods/Multiple Extra Memory Cards/cases with locks/waterproof and more importantly beer-proof camera housings/etc.) for filming interviews-1500
-Rewards for Backers-estimated-200 DVD's @ $7 each for creation and shipping and 100 books @ $20 each for publishing and shipping- 3400 (As mentioned earlier, the books are full size, with high quality color pictures which is why they cost so much to produce and to ship! They will be a nice addition to any literary collection!)
-Legal documentation for the project(release waivers for interviewees, etc.)- 100
-Pints for the interviewees. The basic idea is to buy someone a pint in exchange for their interview. (I have already emailed multiple pubs asking if this was something they would allow and all but one of the pubs that replied back said it would be okay.) Do your part and help contribute to European alcoholism! 500+ interviewees averaging $10 USD for pint and tip.(Prices vary greatly by location as we all know. It could be $12-$15 USD in London and Paris and only $6-$9 USD in Berlin and Prague...so $10 USD per drink is an estimated average.)--5000+
IMPORTANT- What you're not paying for!!!!!!
-Airfare/ Rail between countries/Transportation inside each country.-3000 (This is paid for with my personal investment. I'm not asking for a free trip here!!!)
-Lodging/Food and Beverage/Other Incidentals for 30 days- estimated $150USD per day-4500 (Also paid for with my personal investment....so you can rest assured you won't be contributing to my personal "beer money fund.")
I just want it to be extremely clear...This is not a campaign to fund a vacation!! I am paying for my own trip! All backers would simply be buying beers for various Europeans as an incentive to be interviewed, and the equipment to document it for your viewing!
As mentioned earlier, if the funding goes above and beyond the minimum amount necessary, I will let the project evolve to suit the funding. Possible additions would be adding crew members to further document the trip, leading to more interviews and footage. Upgrading to more cameras and better professional equipment. If the funding really goes through the roof I have the ability to extend the duration of the trip up to 90 days and create a full comedic documentary. There is truly no limit to how far we can take this with the right funding and the more you fund the more creative control you will earn over the project.
One big part of this project is that I am looking for the backers to really take an active role in creating a project they would enjoy. Meaning smaller donations may get to add a question that I will ask during the interviews, but the larger backers can influence virtually anything for the right price. Including but not limited to the title of the project. SO let's just say......if you're willing to invest $100,000.00 dollars into this project, I'll let you name the documentary "Kalen is worthless sack of garbage" if that's what you wanted!
If the funding reaches $18,000, I will add a new crew member and create a small documentary that will be available and added to the rewards of all backers $100 or more!
If we can push it up to $30,000 I will add some higher end equipment upgrades, two new crew members, and I will add the documentary to the rewards of all backers $50 or more!
At $50,000 I will add yet another crew member, purchase professional filming equipment and create a full length documentary distributed as a reward to all backers of $50 or more!
If we can raise it up even higher than that, I will begin to take requests on new ways to make it better and adapt the project to make the most of it! I can do everything from extending the length of the project to interview more people or even add another continent of interviews, perhaps South America! The options are only limited by the creative imaginations of all you amazing backers! So thank you for all the support!
Risks and challenges
The glory of this project is that any challenges or setbacks that I can anticipate will actually add to the comedic value of the book or documentary. For example, I imagine that at least one person will fund this project with the intention of making me ask an inebriated European a question that might make them want to throw a drink in my face. Like for example, "Why are all soccer players pansies?" Although I like soccer, and wouldn't want to offend anyone, if a backer wants me to, I will! It might be a challenge, but that footage is Gold!
One big challenge is going to be simply to get the interviewees to talk to me...an American. To solve that problem I am offering them a pint for their participation in my project. Another issue is to get them to speak freely and openly without their "politically correct filter." And again the pints being offered play a big role in this. My hope is that people will want to openly talk to me, but I figure that conducting these interviews in a pub will give me a better chance of finding those free speaking individuals.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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