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Get into the trenches on site with Darius and learn the incredible history of Rome through fun & gritty, accessible educational videos.
85 backers pledged $14,642 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$14,642

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The $10,000.00 goal of this Kickstarter campaign is to fund the production of a one-hour documentary Digging History to be used as a free, online educational resource.

Roman Forum
Roman Forum

I am a Roman archaeologist, and I fell in love with Rome for obvious reasons. Living  in Rome, I see it as an important launch pad to talk about many related issues of cultural heritage and the relevance of past societies in our contemporary realities. Working in Rome and directing a US non profit (American Institute for Roman Culture), I've had the privilege to gain access to many of Rome's hidden and inaccessible treasures and stories.   Now it's time to give those sites and stories a voice, which can be used to excite people about history and cultural heritage!

Work and play- here at on the reconsructed arena floor of the Colosseum.
Work and play- here at on the reconsructed arena floor of the Colosseum.

Why film Rome?

Rome is one of the most historically significant cities in the world.  It's a living museum and an open textbook.  But so much of its story has not been explained clearly, and it is sometimes hard to understand all that history.  Today, Rome usually is explained by commercial  film documentaries and media outlets, focused on sensationalist aspects or when disaster strikes. Rome deserves more - and a more engaging way to bring history alive to people who want to know what went on in the past and what's going on today. How is Rome still relevant?  That's where Digging History comes in.

Some of the crew on site in Rome.
Some of the crew on site in Rome.

Digging History will be a one hour engaging, educational video (broken up into 5-10 minute podcast segments) that discovers and explains  many aspects of Rome's rich heritage.  Hosted by Darius Arya, an archaeologist and frequent historian tv presenter, his colleagues (historians, archaeologists, videographers, historical and cultural experts) of the American Institute for Roman Culture (a non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization) and photographer and Instagrammer (recently profiled by Istagram for its new profile page) Nicolee Drake (cucinadigitale), the show will bring viewers behind the scenes and learn about topics in art, archaeology, history, architecture, sustainability, conservation, religion and politics, from experts (archaeologists, conservators, historians, architects and engineers) as they conduct their work, giving fun, accessible insights on the city and the people and events that shaped it, and continue to shape it.

Darius and his colleagues already have created a number of free, educational video podcasts in Rome and throughout Italy-- made possible by partnerships with the Italian Ministry of Culture, and archaeological organizations AIAC and Fastionline.  You can see them online.  Our long-term goal is to produce a huge amount of engaging content to become an online hub and focus for learning about all aspects of Roman culture.

So many universities are turning to the web and producing online content to engage learners of all ages from all around the world.  But they have to be good storytellers and involve the viewer.  That's exactly what we'll do with Digging History.  So contribute to what promises to be an insightful, fun and visually stunning production on Rome.  The final product is going to be free for all and will be easily incorporated into lesson plans for K-12, university courses, and anyone that just wants to know Rome better!

What you can do now:

  • 1) Make a tax-deductible donation to the American Institute for Roman Culture.
  • 2) Use Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and other social media networks to spread the word about our campaign Digging History.
  • 3) Write a blog post about us and our campaign Digging History.
  • 4) Interview us for your blog.  Contact us. We'd be happy to speak with you!

The American Institute for Roman Culture is a 501(c)3 non profit organization. All contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law.  Tax receipts will be provided at time of delivery.

Risks and challenges

We have a lot of challenges facing us. Although we have the contacts, permission, and know-how, we've never produced any videos beyond 10 minutes. The coordination, in terms of storyboarding, filming in multiple site locations, and final edits is a daunting task for us, to complete a 60 minute video by the fall of 2013. With limited resources and time (we have other things we do in Rome!) it is going to be a delicate balance to acquire the required footage throughout the city in sites, museums, and streets to tell the varied stories throughout time that will constitute Digging History. Although we have never produced such a large-scale video project, we feel that we have enough enthusiasm for the city and help from our extended network to rise to the occasion. We are up for the challenge!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1

    Personalized "Thank You" digital photo of us (AIRC) in front of a monument or site for YOU featured on our Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram feeds

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Get your name in the video credits and receive a postcard mailed from Rome with a hand-written fact about the site or monument pictured on postcard written in Latin! (For you to decipher!)

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    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    A unique 10-second "Thank you" video film in front of one of Rome's monuments or art historical sites (and we'll tell you some fun facts about it, just for you!), and a handwritten letter with accompanying map and photos about a location in Rome. Plus invitation to receive video project updates, and mention on our dedicated Digging History videos page.

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Downloadable file of the finished Digging History video and its exclusive "behind the scenes" blooper reel! Also, invitation to receive video project updates, and mention on our dedicated Digging History videos page.

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    17 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    DVD of all previously produced AIRC educational videos plus downloadable file of Digging History video. In addition, a video podcast of "the making of" Digging History. Also, invitation to receive video project updates, and mention on our dedicated Digging History videos page.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    One limited edition approx. 8 by 10 photo print of Rome by photographer and Instagrammer Nicolelee Drake, @cucinadigitale. Also included are a reusable AIRC bag, invitation to receive video project updates, and mention on our dedicated Digging History videos page.

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    4 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    One limited edition approx. 11 by 14 photo print of Rome by photographer and Instagrammer Nicolelee Drake, @cucinadigitale. Also included an AIRC saverome baseball hat and invitation to receive video project updates, and mention on our dedicated Digging History videos page.

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    2 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    All of the rewards previously list PLUS you can produce a video of what Rome means to you, which we will edit and feature on our website. You will be cited on the Digging History video as a sustaining contributor!

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    1 backer
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    All of the rewards previously listed PLUS a phone call consultation with you on the material we cover on the film project. You will be cited as an associate producer of Digging History!

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    1 backer
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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,500 or more About US$ 1,500

    All of the rewards previously listed PLUS citation as an executive producer of Digging History! You can help us choose a specific topic that you would like to see filmed. We will have phone call consultations to discuss the specifics.

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    3 backers
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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    All of the rewards previously PLUS you are the chief executive producer of Digging History! We are happy to discuss with you the overall outline/ storyboard of the production and invite you to an exclusive dinner in Rome for the premiere!

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Funding period

- (30 days)