Why are roller derby women everywhere donning fishnets & stage names to kick each other’s asses on the track? Juliette Lewis narrates.
Hi, we’re Robin Bond and Dave Wruck, two filmmakers who have spent the past two-plus years on a quest to learn why women’s flat-track roller derby is the fastest growing women’s sport in the world. The result: “Derby, Baby!,” the first feature-length documentary about the global women’s roller derby scene.
Narrated by actress/musician Juliette Lewis, the film features the derby “rock stars” who are propelling the sport in its latest incarnation, including Suzy Hotrod, DeRanged, Rettig to Rumble, Tannibal Lector, and Varla Vendetta. Skaters from around the globe - Ireland, Scotland, Brazil, Australia, Finland, New Zealand, France, the U.S., Canada, etc. - share their common addiction to something that’s more than a sport to them. It’s a community, a source of strength, and a way of life.
We put our heart and soul in to this project because we love the this story of women’s empowerment and the community that is turning flat-track roller derby into a global phenomenon. The movie is done now. But we need your help to get this message of love and empowerment out to the world.
About “Derby, Baby!”: A Story of Love, Addiction & Rink Rash
If you’ve seen a roller derby bout recently, you may have picked up on this: The women involved in flat-track roller derby aren’t just skating for a fun pastime (although it is extremely fun). They’re organizing into communities around the globe, and the sheer numbers are staggering: since we started production on the film in 2010, we’ve seen the number of leagues worldwide double from just over 500 leagues, to more than 1200 leagues worldwide. These skaters are mothers, college students, bartenders, teachers, accountants, all forming friendships with other women from across the socioeconomic spectrum, women whom they might never meet in other circumstances. They’re building lifelong bonds with their teammates and reaching out across the world to organize as a group and produce highly-executed live events in venues around the globe, in true “do-it-yourself” (DIY) style.
What we thought was a documentary about a growing women’s sport... turned out to be an international movement.
"The question is HOW BIG CAN WE GROW?"
As the story grew, we dug deep into our pockets to finance the movie: the travel, the equipment, the legal, all of it. Our two-year journey in location filming alone was highlighted by serendipitous events like the first ever international World Cup of Roller Derby, held in Toronto in December 2011. And as the universe would have it, the resulting feature length “Derby, Baby!” attracted “Whip It” actress and champion of girl power Juliette Lewis, who narrates and appears in the film.
True to the DIY nature of women’s roller derby, our team, including producer/promoter Ron Patrick, employed a grassroots social media campaign to talk about the film. And true to the spirit of love and community that defines the roller derby culture, we quickly garnered support and excitement from around the world. People everywhere wanted to know: Will I be able to see “Derby, Baby!” in my part of the world?
The answer - we hope - is a resounding yes! Indeed, we did fund the production, editing, travel, etc. ourselves -- and completed sound and color correction with support of some wonderful sponsors. But the task of distributing this film is still at hand.
"We changed what it is to be a beautiful woman"
The Film’s Current Status
”Derby, Baby!” is now complete and is currently on the film festival circuit. The film premiered on the East Coast at the Atlanta Film Festival on March 31 and on the West Coast at the Sonoma International Film Festival on April 14. But that’s only two towns and there are folks from Asia to South America, from New Zealand to Germany, who want to see this film as well. There are women and girls everywhere who need to know about this thing called derby. You can help!
CLICK HERE TO READ SOME RECENT PRESS FROM THE ATLANTA PREMIERE OF "DERBY, BABY!": http://doobious.org/derby-baby/
Distribution for “Derby, Baby!”
We have been approached by various companies with distribution models offering us theatrical distribution within the the U.S., but found that traditional distribution models didn’t work for “Derby, Baby!”, for several reasons:
- These distribution models were favorable to the other guys - the distributors. They did not benefit the roller derby community.
- These distribution models only addressed U.S. theater distribution, and our audience goes much further than the U.S. We need to bring this film to the entire U.S. and the world!
We envision this film being shown in all types of venues around the world, to all kinds of audiences. This includes smaller venues and halls secured by roller derby leagues and other organizations globally.
We want our film’s message of women’s empowerment and sisterhood to be heard everywhere around the world. More international exposure of our film will place the sport of flat-track roller derby front and center globally, and will inspire women and girls everywhere.
"This is more than a movie about a sport. This is a movie about a social movement" - Atlanta Film Festival March 31, 2012
What We Need & What You Get
We invite you to support this film message by saying, “Hell, yes, I’ll pledge!” No amount is too small.
Specifically, your support will enable us to:
- Bring “Derby, Baby!” to venues big and small throughout the U.S., Canada, and the world
- Convert the film to PAL standard for foreign markets
- Translate and subtitle the film into multiple languages for non-English speaking markets
- Produce, author and replicate DVDs/Blu-ray discs (BDs) for U.S. and foreign markets
In turn, at varying levels you get packages of hip, bonus edition “Derby, Baby!” DVDs/BDs and swag including t-shirts, posters, and more. DVDs and Blu-ray discs are chock-full of bonus features: nearly 45 minutes of bonus scenes, interviews and deleted material featuring skaters and fans from around the world. And Kickstarter backers will be the very first people in the world to receive "Derby,Baby!" DVDs & BDs in October 2012.
And ponder this: once you reach a pledge level of $350, you and your roller derby league can screen "Derby, Baby!" at your very own film event in your own hometown! At just $350 for a one-night premiere, anyone seeking empowerment and inspiration will thoroughly enjoy and can benefit from presenting this film.
"$350 gets you a one-night screening in your hometown."
Our thinking is this: There is power in numbers. Let's say you have 70 girls in your league or organization and they all pitch in $5 to bring Derby Baby to your town. After that, just find a screening place... and - unlike typical commercial movies - that place can be ANYWHERE: a Town Hall, a Rec Center, a large house... and yes, even a theater. Big or small... it doesn’t matter, you choose. Then notify us of the movie format required by your chosen venue. We will FedEx the movie to you in the required format (DVD, Blu-ray.. just let us know). Additional formatting cost may apply for any unusual formats or specifications.
A few helpful movie event promotion ideas:
- Hold a screening before or after a bout.
- Host a special movie night - an evening showing, or a Saturday matinee before the bout. Sell beer, sell food, sell derby stuff!
- Invite a special guest speaker. Throw an after-party. Maybe free beer... or not!
- Hold a seminar after the movie. Or a Q&A for new recruits.
The ideas and ways to wrap this event are endless, limited only by your imagination.
A $450 pledge gets you the “two-fer.” (Two Film Screenings)
Not everyone will be available to see the movie on the same day or same night. So, offer them a choice. Instead of "Yes or No" ... let them choose "Friday night or Saturday night." More nights means more derby love within your community.
Or go for the $550 “Quad!” (Four Film Screenings)
That’s four (4) movie screening dates for your audience to choose from. Fill up a weekend with screenings, or spread it out over a month or more. More options means a wider reach. You can engage and impact your local community, the press, new roller derby fans, and new skaters. This is a great option for small venues like your local community center, warehouse, practice space, gym or Town Hall. Make a splash by engaging your local community over a period of weeks.
"They're driving the bus. Question is, "where they gonna drive it to?"
Other Ways You Can Help
Distribution is the OTHER half of the equation. Kickstarter is designed to help filmmakers start... and complete projects. As you know, we’ve already made our film, using a lot of time and mostly our own money. But what good is a movie if nobody sees it?
Our film was seen by several hundred folks in its first two screenings, accompanied by live events that captivated and thrilled our growing derby audience. “Derby rocks stars” leading Q&A sessions and derby training camps, exhibition bouts in the streets, after-parties... these are the kinds of events that have ALREADY sprung up around the couple of screenings we’ve held. How did this all come about? It’s D-I-Y in action: the talented, energetic women and men who play and support roller derby are making it happen. Very simply, the audience has already made this film event their own. But there are many more miles to travel and oceans to cross to give this story -- this movement -- its due homage and optimize the spread of “derby love” around the world. We’re blessed to have a global audience of women and girls in every corner of the world who are not only eager to see this film, but to actually SHOW this film, and participate in screenings and live events. So, let’s do this thing!
Please help us spread the word about “Derby, Baby!” You can use the share tools to link to your Facebook or Twitter. “Like us” on Facebook, email friends and family, tweet us up, but help us to spread “Derby, Baby!” and its message of female empowerment roller derby around the world.
- Tell your friends about us and our project at: www.DerbyBabyTheFilm.com
- "Like", tweet, and share our movie trailer
- Post a link to our Kickstarter page on your Facebook and Twitter
- Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/DerbyBabyFilm
- Follow us on Twitter: www.twitter.com/DerbyBabyFilm
- Support your local roller derby league. Go to bouts. Buy merchandise.
- Tell others about roller derby.
- Support this movie, and empower the women and girls in your life!
IMPORTANT to REMEMBER: If we don’t reach our goal of $30,000, no money changes hands and we don’t receive a dime! That also means our movie reaches no one. So after you pledge, please help us get the word out to ensure we reach our goal.
Why is Derby, Baby! on Kickstarter? So the film is done, right? Yes! Now it’s time to bring the film to the public around the world. Your donation will help us get this film into venues - big and small - around the U.S. and around the world. (That includes foreign standards conversion and subtitling.) Plus, we’ll be able to produce DVDs and Blu-rays to distribute around the world.
How much are you trying to raise? $30,000 is the minimum that we need in order to distribute “Derby, Baby!” The more support we receive, the further we can distribute the film around the world. And please note: if we don't reach the full amount of $30,000 within the 30 days, you keep your money and NOTHING will go to “Derby, Baby!” So please pledge what you can, and help us reach our goal of $30,000.
Can I still get a screening after this Kickstarter campaign ends? YES, you can... but not at these low pledge rates. These aggressive pledge rates will go away when our Kickstarter campaign ends.
Will pledging a certain amount guarantee that the film comes to my hometown? Yes! By pledging at a level of at least $350 or more, you can bring this film to your hometown. No matter how small. No matter how far... Sweet!
When will I be able to see the film in a theater? With your help and your pledges, as early as mid-June 2012.
What happens if you raise more than $30,000? Funds raised above and beyond our goal will enable us to bring the movie to even more theaters / venues around the globe. We plan to incorporate derby events and derby “rock stars” into those events whenever possible. The idea is to include panel discussions, live roller derby demonstrations, exhibition bouts, derby training camps, and more.
How will you decide which towns will have those screenings? Of course your pledge of at least $350 gives you a one-night screening of "Derby, Baby!" in your hometown. The locations for additional screenings to be held -- if we exceed our $30,000 goal -- will include the geographic areas where we have the best chances of filling the theaters. The "market data" we use includes your communication to us on the "Derby, Baby!" Facebook page, our knowledge of the most "derby-centric" towns and countries in the world, and the places where we believe this film will attract the greatest number of moviegoers.
Can contributors increase pledges once they have been made? Absolutely! If you have already contributed, and are signed in to your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on our page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click that, and you can enter a new amount or choose a new incentive!
How can I contact you? You can reach us by sending us messages directly through this Kickstarter site. Or email us with questions or happy thoughts at email@example.com Please be patient. We get a lot of emails, so please give us at least three (3) days to respond.
Please help us spread the word about this Kickstarter campaign and "Derby, Baby!"
More info on "Derby, Baby!"
- Westword (Village Voice Affiliate): http://bit.ly/I5jJJ3
- Examiner Interview with Robin & Dave: http://exm.nr/HKc7nY
- Review by: Priscilla Boksan of ACDG: http://bit.ly/H9l7YL
- Brazilian Review by Fernanda Ezabella SLDG: http://bit.ly/IHzxwN
- Live Radio Interview from Colorado: http://bit.ly/HVKnOy
- Note specific to screenings: Format fee may apply if additional formatting is required by your venue. FedEx charges will accessed, cost-only. No shipping mark-ups whatsoever.
- Note specific to availability: Robin Bond, Dave Wruck and Derby Rock Star availability for screenings is subject to schedule availability. Additional travel / airfare costs may apply outside of the Continental U.S.
After June 18th if you are inside the USA. And after June 22nd if International. No need to be in a hurry. You will have all the way until March 31, 2013 to schedule your screenings.
Anywhere where there is a way to project the movie and have accompanying sound.
Local Theatre, Hall, School Auditorium, College conference Center, Church Hall, Rec Center, Town Hall, Outside on one of those inflatable screens, Someone’s home with a home theater. ANYWHERE! You are only limited by your ability to be resourceful.
There’s no limit. As many as you can safely fit into the venue.