About this project
Featured News about FORCED CHANGE
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina decimated the city of New Orleans, revealing just how poorly our country had prepared for natural disasters, and the terrifying power of Mother Nature. But what most Americans haven’t seen is the long-term fallout from the devastation...until now. The new documentary FORCED CHANGE uses the tragedy and trail of destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina as a reason to follow five individuals from New Orleans who survived the storm, and shares their decade-long struggle to put the pieces of their lives back together.
This is a film ten years in the making, a retrospective following five people who left New Orleans after the hurricane and never returned home. The film captures critical moments at crossroads in uprooted lives and delivers an unflinching view of the difficult choices real people have to make in the wake of disaster. Along the way, the documentary explores universal themes, from the meaning of “home” to how to cope with unimaginable tragedy. FORCED CHANGE is a story of frailty, strength and what it means to be human.
Lorne and Lovie
Hello Kickstarters! Rennik Soholt - Director & Creator of FORCED CHANGE here.
This film is my passion project, a story I have been filming since 2005. And it's more than just a film to me. I used to live New Orleans, and had belongings in storage in the city when Hurricane Katrina hit. Like the rest of the world, I watched the city being drowned by floodwater from afar on the news. It was heartbreaking to see, and made even worse knowing that some of my close friends decided to stay behind and to weather the storm. I had no idea if they were alive or dead.
So I had to act. I grabbed a camera and headed to New Orleans. From the moment I arrived, the devastation blew me away. For a city where people expect the worst, roll with the punches, and keep their heads up with drinks in their hands...this was different.
Once I found out my friends were alive and relatively unscathed, I put on boots, gloves, goggles and a mask. I helped people move their rotten refrigerators outside, bail containers of murky swamp water out of their living rooms, and just did what I could to help. And all the while, I filmed as much as I could.
With devastation so complete, I knew I would have to follow these stories. What I witnessed was bigger than what people were seeing on the news. Nearly all of the people I filmed were leaving the city. They wanted to get out…NOW.
And I wanted to know why.
Here are their stories, which I’ve been filming for the past decade. These are people whose lives have been changed. I have captured their settlement into new, unknown communities, their struggles as they've worked to renovate their former homes and the new relationships they've been able to build. They all started anew. And I want to tell their stories for the first time.
Thanks for your support, it means the world to me.
FORCED CHANGE tells a dynamic story that I have been honored to be part of for the past 9-plus years! But the point of filming all of this is to be able to share it with people like you. Bringing FORCED CHANGE to Kickstarter makes you a part of our team. YOU are our audience! By backing our project, you are letting us know that you are eagerly awaiting the release of this film, and are making it possible for us to bring it directly to you.
If you didn't already know, Kickstarter is run by a unique "all-or-nothing" approach to funding. Projects must reach their goal or they get nothing. This means, if we don’t raise our goal, we lose everything. These funds are the minimum of what we need to get through post production. Your generous support is essential and we are so appreciative that you took the time to consider this campaign.
If you're looking for other ways to support the film, but are not in a place to make a financial contribution, you can spread the word to your friends, family or social network. The more people are aware of FORCED CHANGE, the better chance we have of meeting our goal.
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Rennik Soholt / Director, Producer
Rennik Soholt is the singular creative vision behind Forced Change - a driven storyteller whose dual passion for film and the human condition have led him to seek out unique and touching stories to develop and share with his audiences.
Born and raised in California, Rennik studied Psychology at the University of California Santa Cruz. Once his time at college was complete, Rennik chose a less traditional path, traveling around the country and the world while supporting his filmmaking career by working various odd jobs. Whether waiting tables, teaching English to adults in Buenos Aires, selling avocados on the street, or running sessions as a counselor at a locked-down mental health facility, Rennik was always a consummate artist, constantly looking for, and experiencing, the human stories that ultimately would shape his unique voice.
He used these real experiences to focus his knack for storytelling through the medium of film, and has spent the last twelve years producing and directing high-quality and immersive visual content in over twenty-five countries across five continents. His work can be found on PBS, CNN, Travel Channel, Nat Geo, History, Discovery Channel and ABC.
Rennik has recently complemented his television career with long-form and topical documentary work. Forced Change is his first full-length feature film.
Jared Andrukanis / Co-Producer
Jared Andrukanis is a two-time Emmy Award-winning Producer who has worked on a broad range of documentary series for multiple networks including CNN, PBS, Travel Channel, and Discovery. In addition to his work for broadcast television, he has extensive experience developing and creating high-quality and engaging short-form content for distribution through new media platforms.
Tanya Barringer / Line Producer
Tanya Barringer is a freelance Line Producer based in London and New York City. Over the past nine years she has worked as a producer in a variety of projects from short films to independent features as well as live and corporate events and television series. She is also an active member of New York Women in Film and Television.
Amy's background is in clinical Social Work, having previously managed transitional housing case managers and a street outreach team in Upper Manhattan. She is ecstatic to be a part of the Forced Change team, doing anything she can for the project while also working towards directing and producing her own independent documentary.
Making a documentary that captures these important lives over many years is a long process that adds up fast financially. I am turning to Kickstarter for your help. Your donations will go to the final stages of completing this film: final filming & post-production. Here is a simple breakdown of where every essential dollar will go.
$4,000 - Filming / After well over 9 years of filming, we only have 1 or 2 shoots left before filming is complete. This will cover the last phases of production, from travel to equipment rental to food costs.
$20,500 - Editing / FORCED CHANGE has gone through many editing processes and part-time editors who were willing to give their time to help me find and hone this story over the years. Now this money will pay for a substantial portion of a single editor's salary to take what has been edited so far and finish it.
$2,500 - Composer and Music Rights / This will not only cover the payment to a composer to score the film, it will cover recording and any potential music rights that need clearing.
$3,000 - Color Correction & Sound Mixing / The film will need to go through a final professional sound mixing and color correction.
Here is a general overview of our entire budget, so you can see how your donations are directly affecting our bottom line and helping us finish the film.
All money contributed will go directly to these costs. While this is not the very end of the line to finally getting the film ready to be released, you will have carried me right to the edge. I am confident that I will then be able to raise any necessary finishing funds to make this film a reality. Thank you!
We have many exciting rewards to offer for backing FORCED CHANGE.
Get an unpublished digital copy of the memoir, A Rooftop Above Reality by Jared Andrukanis and read what it was like to "ride out" Hurricane Katrina. We also have commemorative FORCED CHANGE pens and Mardi Gras: Queens of New Orleans Calendars, highlighting some of New Orleans' top Mardi Gras Queens. Or book a Skype session with Rennik Soholt, the director of FORCED CHANGE, and find out how he kept up the momentum for 10 years!
Also see our newly designed FORCED CHANGE Crew T-shirts! In comfortable black or cool white. Come and get them!
TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION Your donation is tax deductible!!! Forced Change is a fiscally sponsored project of the International Documentary Association (IDA), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions on behalf of Forced Change are payable to IDA and are tax deductible less the value of any goods or services received, as allowed by law. The value of goods and services being offered is noted under each donation level. If you would like to deduct the entire donation you have the option to simply decline the reward at checkout.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest risk and challenge is time and it is constantly ticking away. We are following a strict timeline for post-production of FORCED CHANGE to be completed in time for the film to be eligible for distribution during the 10th anniversary of Katrina. If we miss this window, then we risk FORCED CHANGE coming out after the demand for Katrina coverage has ended and viewers will overlook our story as they may think they have seen similar films. Basically, we'll be late to the party. This pressure to finish quickly is an extreme challenge.
As a successful television producer and director, I am aware of and have been able to coordinate what is needed to visually tell this story. But I am also all too familiar with the unexpected setbacks that productions face. So, making FORCED CHANGE, my own independent documentary, is a personal risk. I am spearheading the project because I am confident that the finished product will be worth every exhausting production trip and anxiety-provoking edit session.
I hope that you too are able to see the great potential this story has and will consider backing it. If you have any questions or want further information on anything, then please do reach out to me as I would be excited to tell you as much as you are willing to hear about what has been my passion project for over 9 years.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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