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The story of a self taught photographer who started with nothing. Looking to create and inspire... and make a mess.

Hello Kickstarter world!

I am Daveed Benito, a professional photographer that is internationally published. My goal is to “inspire and create.” The project I will be undertaking is for the final filming of a long-time coming documentary about my self-taught, starving artist’s journey. In this film, I seek to reveal the trade secrets of the new digital age in photography, which I have worked so hard to learn myself. Ultimately, the idea of this documentary is to not only show the behind the scenes of what it takes to create captivating images, but to inspire others to have fun with their creative side in the process. I wish to include known models (plus a few well known names) down to regular, everyday people. This will show not only beauty, but the process of hard work that makes any piece of art come full circle.

11x17 inch Calendar samples. OR a plain poster of just the image your choice with $15 and up
11x17 inch Calendar samples. OR a plain poster of just the image your choice with $15 and up

As for the filming, it will take place at my photography studio in Tempe Arizona and various other locations, such as California and Nevada. Currently, I have a crew ready to go on this journey and document the struggles and rewards of a fighting artist. We will film for 45 days to cover every aspect imaginable. Over one hundred hours of footage will be included in the editing, which dates back to my first days as a photographer. This will emphasize the starting points of my journey. During this process, I will be interviewing people I work with. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to work with people in many creative fields and I will be not only interviewing but showing their creative process. Artists such as painters, graphic artists, other photographers, tattoo artists and even the models and subjects.  I want the audience to not only to see, but to feel the perspective of what drives us to inspire and create.

Why I need your help 

Realistically I am still an artist who has a lot of growth ahead of me, currently photography is my source of income. I place 80% of my income right back into my company, I believe this is the only way to grow. Your contributions will help me pay for essentials for the filming process; videographer, assistants, travel, editor, minor equipment etc... With 15,000 I am at the very minimal needed to complete this process but it will be complete.  

What inspired me

As for what inspired me to make this film, I would watch documentaries with behind the scenes footage of artists, photographers and directors.  I noticed the trend was to focus on the celebrities they work more than the creative process. Hence arose the questions, ‘how did you create that set, how did you capture that shot, where is your lighting set up, what type of camera?’ I do not want to focus on the glamorous side of this industry, but the tireless work and attention to detail that goes into it. What will be documented will be the compilation of photo shoots with various cameras. This will be as simple as a camera phone on a professional set and different types of lighting to include with even a mere flashlight. The results will be immediately displayed for the audience to see this come to life.  Keep in mind this is not a tutorial, as these will be real events and real photo shoots that will be displayed in magazines, advertisements and posters. Within in this film you will get to know professional models and the personalities that they are. When starting my photographic journey in 2006, not a soul in the professional world would assist or advise with even the slightest bits of direction.  I taught myself how to use a camera, the concept and importance of lighting, and the even more critical side of the social and personal sphere of my craft. This film is for those that want to be great at something creative, and for the many that are told that they never will be. It is not a teaching tool but an inspirational visual. The key takeaway I want anyone who views the documentary to be this; you have the ability to do what I do and what every artist does, with determination and hard work comes true reward. Our current digital age has allowed anyone to become a photographer, but it has not guided us to find ways to create masterpieces that are timeless. Instead, it has caused us to enjoy dated, instant gratification. I want to contribute to a society that knows the difference between inspirational art and art force fed by pop culture. It is not about the fame, it is about is the positive impact to others.

 !!!REWARDS!!! 

 ANYONE who contributes $10 and up will receive a password to a online gallery where I will be posting exclusive behind the scenes photos and video of the entire filming. 

Link for 11x17 posters/calanders: www.daveedbenito.com/11x17%20posters

Link for all T-shirts: www.daveedbenito.com/t-shirts

Link for 24x36/ 24x30 large posters (11 photos) www.daveedbenito.com/largeposters/
24x30/24x36 Posters. just a few samples
24x30/24x36 Posters. just a few samples
T-Shirt designs from my brand "Daveed Benito"
T-Shirt designs from my brand "Daveed Benito"

*****yes I am a dreamer***** 

****30k Goal is THE BOOK! “The Evolution Of An Artist” If the amount is doubled to $30,000 by the deadline everyone who placed $500 or more into the project will be published as a contributor in my up and coming hard copy book “The Evolution Of An Artist”. With 30k I will not only be able to successfully complete the entire documentary but also finish and publish my book which will showcase the best of my work from the first photo shoot I have ever done to current work. It will include all of my tricks and lighting techniques as a photographer and my insight and stories of the photo shoots to include notes and diagrams. 

The size of the book will be roughly 15”x11” so it’s over sized for quality. 50 books will be collectors’ items! $2500 and up will receive a hard copy of my book “The Evolution Of An Artist” signed by me and a handful of the models in the book. These copies’ will be numbered 1-50 and will be the only copies signed by me and select models. The published hard copy will be delivered by May 2014. 

****40K or higher and we are traveling internationally for the completion of both projects and the journey will be documented for all contributors to see things take shape on the digital online gallery. 

 ****45k I will include a full 18 month calendar for anyone that contributes $45 or more. And I will make sure it’s a one of a kind calendar sure to be BAD ASS!

Here was a short trailer I made that has very dated footage, the actual trailer will have new footage plus a story line. http://youtu.be/umGcgM2Ax2o

Me at one of my gallery showings hosted by Jen Deveroux. (All custom frames)
Me at one of my gallery showings hosted by Jen Deveroux. (All custom frames)
My front office at my studio in Arizona. Most of my photo shoots are created here.
My front office at my studio in Arizona. Most of my photo shoots are created here.

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Obstacles in my line of work are an everyday occurrence, so filming a documentary naturally follows suit. Improvisation is the best challenge for a creative mind. My mantra is always “I will always make it work”. Currently, I am signed with a publisher who does merchandise placement for my photography. The publisher will be a part of the distribution process. My goal is to have all filming completed by the end of 2013, which would allow the post production process to be completed by March 1st and ready for DVD packaging as well as digital licensing. Prior to completion select trailers will be submitted to various film festivals fit for this type of documentary.
The reality is that this entire process will be a challenge just like my career, the difference is I started this career with $50 to my name and no assistance. point being: with the right backers I will guarantee success.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    A grateful thank you for the support of my dreams as an artist!

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    1 backer

    (DIGITAL ACCESS) Access to a digital gallery (password protected) featuring photographs and some video of the filming process of the documentary plus bonus screen shots of the photo shoots “in the making”

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    (CALENDAR MEMORIES) 1 11x17 2014 calendar poster signed by me. (With your choice of image from posted gallery link)

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    (LARGE POSTER) 24x36 or 24x30 your choice from 11 posters from posted gallery signed by me.

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    (T-SHIRT REWARD) Super soft 100% cotton tee shirt of your choice. Sizes: S M L XL XXL

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    (COMBO) 24x36 or 24x30 your choice from 11 posters posted gallery plus the 1 11x17 poster calendars of your choice from the gallery link (all signed by me).

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    (POPULAR CHOICE) First copies of the actual DVD! Signed by me. With a 11x17 poster of one of the photo shoots in the documentary.

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    (BONUS) Not only first copies of the DVD signed but a 24x36or 24x30 poster of the 11 to choose from. With a 11x17 poster of one of the photo shoots in the documentary. (Large poster delivered November 2013)

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    (DVD INTERNATIONAL) this is for those overseas that just want a copy of the DVD signed by me. This includes the shipping cost!

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    1 backer

    (Holiday Gifts) 4 11x17 poster calendars with photos of your choice from gallery, PLUS 1 large 24x36 poster signed by the MODEL in the photo 11 to choose from. Plus a DVD copy of the film signed by me and by a few of the models (DVD delivered March 2014)..

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    2 backers

    (GALLERY CANVAS) 12x12inch gallery wrapped canvas of any choice photo from the online gallery, your choice of 1 t-shirt from my brand “Daveed Benito” shown in gallery. Plus a DVD copy of the film signed by me (Everything signed except T-shirt) (DVD delivered March 2014)

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    (CONTRIBUTORS FAVE) you will be listed on the credits of the documentary as a contributor (Mentioned in the DVD case and on the film rolling credits). Plus a DVD copy of the film Signed by me and by a few of the models involved with all merchandise mentioned in the “Holiday Gifts” package. (DVD delivered March 2014)

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    (PHOTOGRAPGERS FAVE) Not only will you receive the rewards mentioned prior but you will receive a 24”x36” (size depends on photo chosen for actual size) gallery quality CANVAS of my photography from the posted gallery (you get to choose which one) for your office or home, Signed by me. (DVD delivered March 2014)

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    (THE COLLECTOR) You will be given a custom canvas of a photo that only 10 people in the world will own in canvas. It will be shipped with a letter of authenticity signed by me and it will also be signed and hand numbered by me (Example 1 of 10). Plus a DVD copy of the film signed by me and crew. (DVD delivered March 2014)

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    (BE THE SUBJECT) You can be one of my subjects in the documentary. I will guide and direct you in a photo shoot while creating a fantasy photo set. I will give you a short interview after your photo shoot to talk about the experience. Your name will be not only on the credits but placed on screen during the photo session. I’m looking to photograph all walks of life for the purpose of art, this is your chance to be a part of history and be immortalized. (Discussion of the style, type and comfort levels will be discussed prior) Plus a DVD copy of the film signed by me and a few cast members. (DVD delivered March 2014)

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    (THE PIPE DREAM) You will have the ability to be on set for one of the photo shoots being produced for the documentary, (time in advance will be given). You will be able to see the creative process, meet the crew and if you are not camera shy have a pro photo snapped with the model while on set. Plus a DVD copy of the film signed by me, the model on set and a few others involved. These signatures will be signed thanking you personally! I will also provide a large 24x36 canvas of the shoot you witnessed for you. (travel is up to you unless otherwise discussed). (DVD delivered March 2014).

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Funding period

- (30 days)