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A short film about a young, black tradeswoman who must learn to prove herself on a new job site. Bring tradeswomen to the big screen!
A short film about a young, black tradeswoman who must learn to prove herself on a new job site. Bring tradeswomen to the big screen!
256 backers pledged $13,159 to help bring this project to life.

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UPDATE: see stretch goals at the bottom!

Sista in the Brotherhood

We are excited to bring to life our short tradeswoman film! The story is about a young black tradeswomen named Laniece as she arrives at her new job site. Though she is eager to work, her co-workers are less than welcoming. She struggles and in a moment of difficulty, she must figure out how to rise above her situation. The film reflects the experience of many tradeswomen, but also, it also touches on the wider theme of personal transformation--with a dash of humor. 

The film is co-produced and co-written by Dr. Roberta Hunte who is also the author of the original work the film is loosely based on.  She also co-authored and co-produced the play My Walk Has Never Been Average with Bonnie Ratner. 

It is directed, co-produced and co-written by Dawn Jones, a journey-level carpenter and past tradeswomen trainer turned filmmaker. Dawn is owner of Hearts+Sparks Productions and has been making videos for 14 years.

Kia Anne Geraths has joined our team as our Director of Photography and we are excited to have such a talented DP on board.  

And check out our coverage in the Oregonian!

Our Story

Roberta Hunte and Dawn Jones met while working at Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., a non-profit that helps women access careers in construction--one of the few jobs that doesn’t require an expensive college degree and  pays a living wage. As a journey-level carpenter and former member of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, Dawn served as Training Manager while Roberta was a Career Counselor. Together, we served many women and over and over, saw both the passion women have for working in the trades and the resistance that women and women of color face. During this time, in addition to teaching, Dawn made over thirty videos documenting the tradeswoman experience. 
Roberta went on to write a dissertation on the experience of black tradeswomen titled “My Walk Has Never Been Average”: Black Tradeswomen Negotiating Intersections of Race and Gender In Long Term Careers in The United States’ Building Trades.” Through her collaboration with Bonnie Ratner, the thesis was successfully turned into a play. Meanwhile, Dawn went on to pursue filmmaking full time at Hearts+Sparks Productions. We stayed in touch over the years and after Roberta's success with the play and Dawn's success with video, we decided to make a short film in hopes of reaching an even wider audience and we wrote a script for a sixteen minute short.

With script in hand, budget and schedule complete, we are ready to tell a story that uses cinematic elements to bring to light the issues faced by black tradeswomen like the lead character in the movie, Laniece. If all goes well, we want to eventually make a feature film so that this story can be seen by many, many more people. The more people we reach, the more hearts and minds can be potentially about the work women are more than capable of doing, the work women love to do and the work women are already doing. 
We feel that with our combined technical ability, understanding of these social issues, acquired skills in filmmaking/producing/storytelling, connection to the trades community and most importantly, passion to tell this story, we are the perfect people to bring this compelling and rare glimpse into the life of a tradeswomen to the big screen.
We want to make this film and we need your help! Please donate to Sista in the Brotherhood!

More About Rewards

Every little bit helps us move closer to our goal. We value a $5 donation just as much as a $3,000 one. If you can't donate, even just helping to spread the word is much appreciated!

Stickers and t-shirts include two designs. Both designs are available on the dark gray or red shirts pictured below.

Donate $50 and receive design number one--made by Bologna Sandwich specifically for the project! 

Design #1
Design #1
Or for the same amount, you can receive this t-shirt designed by Dawn. The text reads, "Sista in the Brotherhood--the film."
Design #2
Design #2
We plan to ship stickers and t-shirts by January of next year, but have given ourselves some leeway by saying March. 

For $150, Oregon Tradeswomen will "hammer in your name" and you'll get the t-shirt, sticker, download, and updates. What does it mean to have a bunch of tradeswomen "hammer in your name" exactly? Dawn will get together with a group of trades ladies gathered by Amy James Neel of Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. and make a video of them hammering on our large nailed "Thank You" sign and yelling out your name at the same time. Roberta and Dawn will also jump in and thank you. Then we'll take the video and post it to our Facebook page and tag you or email it to you for your enjoyment. Basically, if you do this, this is one of the ways we have to show our deep gratitude for helping us promote the tradeswoman image! 
See rewards section for full listing of all rewards.
UPDATE:  Here's one of the first ones we just made for a friend that donated. Yours probably won't have blurred nudity in it and would be more a sincere "thank you" kind of thing.  https://vimeo.com/108800919


The Plan

This fall we'll continue to refine and get feedback on the script, fundraise, storyboard and assemble a crew. We'll begin casting in February, shoot in April and complete by end of June in 2015, ready to start film festival submissions. Soon after, we'll have two public screenings in Portland: one at PCC Cascade auditorium with a talkback about women in construction and one at Pro Photo Supply.

We'll be shooting on the Canon C300 EOS Cinema Camera with a cast and crew of 13 people total. We literally can't do this without you!!! Please donate and make all our dreams come true!

Budget

With donations and a potential grant (we've applied for a couple), our overall budget value is $30,000. Money raised from Kickstarter will go toward cast, crew, (the bulk of our costs) locations, props and additional gear for a five day shoot. It will also help cover editing, color correction, marketing, Kickstarter/Amazon fees and film festival submissions.

We've been working hard to make this project happen and on top of the cash we need to raise, we have secured donations from the following:

Special thanks to Johnetta Abraham (on the movie image) and Anjeanette Brown (in video) for allowing us to use their image to depict what the film could look like. Dawn shot both of these images while working at Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc. and they have graciously allowed us to use the images. 

Additional thanks to Kia Anne Geraths who appears in and shot most of the opening scenes, to Amy James Neel who shot one scene, to James Jones who helped with music and to Holly Huntley of Environs who helped us secure the location for the tradeswomen shoot. 

Like us on Facebook!


Stretch Goals

As we have reached our goal five days early (!), we are expanding our goals! If we can raise additional funds, we'd like to do the following:
  • Hire someone to assist with script development so that these resources will be used for the strongest story. We've gotten feedback from some folks and are working on the script now, but it would be best to actually hire someone that can be dedicated to the project. This is not something we put in our initial budget.
  • Be prepared for NOT getting some of the grants we applied for. We created a budget and then projected getting some grants, but they may not come through so the reality is that if we don't get these grants, we will need to find this money or scale our budget back down. If we have more money from Kickstarter, this will ensure a higher quality film with the original budget or greater.
  • Hire additional crew like a script supervisor and additional production assistants. We started with a skeleton crew because we wanted to really conserve resources. But the more professional crew we can get, the better the film!


Risks and challenges

Having made films and put on plays before, if there's one thing we know, it's to anticipate the unexpected. It is entirely possible that things might pop up that would cause us to delay the delivery of rewards or the film itself. We don't take for granted your support and understand that if you contribute, we are responsible to you to deliver what we say we are going to deliver. We are used to adapting to changes and will do everything in our power to deliver our rewards and the film on time!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A big social media "thank you" and access to updates on the film!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Sista in the Brotherhood sticker designed by Bologna Sandwich for the film, plus updates and thanks!

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    22 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A download of the film, plus, a Sista in the Brotherhood sticker, updates and thanks! Sticker should arrive by March 2015 at the latest, but the download won't arrive until completion of the film.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Sista in the Brotherhood t-shirt #1 designed by Bologna Sandwich (design and illustration), sticker, updates and thanks! See main page for photo of design.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Sista in the Brotherhood t-shirt #2 designed by Dawn, sticker, updates and thanks! See main page for photo of design.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Dawn will make a 40 second video of Oregon Tradeswomen "hammering in your name" (driving nails and yelling out thank you and your name) and a video thanks from Dawn and Roberta. It will then be posted to our social media account by end of December 2014. You'll also get t-shirt, sticker, updates and thanks! (by March 2015 latest)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your name will appear as an "Associate Producer" in the film. Plus, you'll receive hammering, t-shirt, sticker, updates and thanks!

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  8. Select this reward

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

    Visit the set for up to thirty minutes (must be able to come for designated shoot dates tentatively scheduled for April in Portland, OR). Plus, you'll receive thanks in film, hammering, t-shirt, sticker, updates and thanks!

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Get an "Executive Producer" credit and a chance to weigh in on the project. Meet with Dawn and Roberta personally to watch an early preview of the film, discuss and give feedback. Plus, you'll receive everything else listed above!

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Funding period

- (28 days)