This documentary follows the daily lives and experiences of several adults with facial differences. It is common to hear facial differences described with pejorative terms like facial "deformity" or "disfigurement." Similarly, mainstream media often portrays people with facial differences in a negative light. For example, in children's stories and Hollywood movies, they're often depicted as evil and ill-spirited characters, such as Scar in the "Lion King" or Darth Sith in "Star Wars." I believe these negative images have generated dangerous misconceptions about people with facial differences in real life: that we are mean, conniving, unintelligent, or damaged. Through exposing my audience to the real life experiences of the adults I will be filming, I hope to create more awareness and understanding of some of the issues confronting adults living with facial differences. The film will explore how the facial differences of the adults I am filming have impacted their social lives, friendships, family relations, dating, education, and careers, as well as how these experiences have shaped their perspectives and outlooks on the world.
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I am a video journalist with a decade of experience in film and video production. This documentary is personal because I was born with a cleft lip and palate. Even now, 15 surgeries later, I struggle as an adult to come to terms with my facial difference and often feel like the experience of living with a facial difference left me with deeper emotional scars than the physical scars themselves.
"Don't Look Away" is my first full-length documentary film. There are several reasons why I am making this documentary. On a personal level, I’d like a creative outlet to help me continue in my journey towards accepting my facial difference. I am also very excited to create a platform through which other people with facial differences—like Jane, Matt, and Adele, who appear in the teaser—can tell their stories. Some of the viewers of the documentary will have facial differences and I hope the film helps them realize they are not alone. Finally, I want the film to promote awareness and tolerance of people with facial differences.
WHY I NEED YOUR HELP
The good news is I've already shot a tenth of the documentary using my own financial resources and created the video teaser above. The bad news is that I can't afford to film the rest of the project on my own. This is why I need your help.
The $35,000 will pay for a small crew of three: a sound field mixer, a camera & lighting assistant, and me (although I’m not paying myself). Because the people I'm filming live in different areas of the United States and Canada, I need funds for the crew's travel and lodging, as well as food. The funds will pay for camera and lighting equipment rentals. Occasionally, I will need to purchase production insurance if a particular location (e.g., a school, restaurant or park) requires it. Finally, I will need some additional funds for unforeseen expenses, so please continue to donate if we reach our goal.
Risks and challenges
Pre-production, pre-production, and more pre-production. It is the number one way to mitigate risks and challenges. I’ve learned from my work as a videographer and producer that being prepared and organized prior to principal photography can be the difference between a successful project and failed one. For example, before I filmed Jane for the first time, I contacted the places where I planned to go with her, because I knew I needed permission to film in those types of locations. Having an efficient shooting scheduling is another example of why pre-production is critical for a project. For example, three of the potential interviewees live in or near Toronto, Canada. Instead of flying to Toronto multiple times to film each person separately, I will minimize my trips there in order to save money on travel and lodging expenses.
Another way to mitigate risks and challenges is knowing the limitations of the project. I know I will have a small crew, which means we will need to work fast and can't spend too much time setting up a shot or interview. Furthermore, I know we will have a small budget, which means we're limited on certain things like our equipment. I know we can't afford to rent a RED camera, Cooke lenses and/or a crane for this project. Because of my camera experience, I know which cameras and equipment we will need to best tell our story in the most economic and efficient way, avoiding unnecessary spending.
Of course there are going to be unforeseen obstacles, but I feel confident that my team and I will be able to deal with these situations.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)