About this project
Dear FOLLOW THE LEADER Future Backers,
After seven (yes, 7!) years in the making, our political coming-of-age documentary FOLLOW THE LEADER is nearly ready to share with the world. We’re thrilled to invite you to collaborate with us on getting the film finished and released at this critical moment in American politics.
We're here on Kickstarter now because we need YOUR help for the fun but serious effort of getting the film seen and discussed on a national scale. The funds we raise on Kickstarter are for finishing touches like a theatrical sound mix, requirements like insurance for our release, and essential start-up costs for our planned outreach this US Election season. As we move from completion into distribution, we hope it will be a journey that you’ll want to take with us.
A bit about FOLLOW THE LEADER:
At sixteen, high school Class Presidents Ben, D.J. & Nick are all conservatives who plan to continue leading their peers as President someday. Over three life-changing years, they split into Republican, Democratic & Independent camps as they reconsider their lofty ambitions...as each discovers what he truly believes, who he truly wants to be as an adult.
Want an interactive experience? We’re on it with REALITY CHECK:
REALITY CHECK INTERACTIVE is a unique cross-platform social change initiative that combines interactive voting technologies and an episodic presentation of FOLLOW THE LEADER. REALITY CHECK will first exist as a Live Event; then be translated for simultaneous online participation; and will eventually become an on-demand experience for participants on their computers and Apple devices. The goal is to spark a national conversation about American political realities, the millennial generation, and leadership generally.
The basic format for the 2-hour experience breaks the feature documentary into five episodes (Right From the Start; Standing Out; Choosing Sides; Shifting Dreams; and Living History) that alternate with collective interactive experiences of roughly 10 minutes each. Answering questions via provided interactive keypads (or via computer or mobile devices), participants' collective responses – about the film's characters, politics, and other topics chosen by participants themselves – are displayed for everyone, anonymously in real-time. Split along various demographic lines, the reality of what people think can then be grappled with by participants through facilitated discussion.
Here’s what we need to Kickstart our film into the world!
We need your help at this critical moment in funding three main tasks. First, a few expensive finishing touches need to be put on the film so that it has a fighting chance in the crowded & competitive film “marketplace”. Next, we need to pay for things like insurance & some outstanding music clearances required to release the film. And we need to complete the initial launch of REALITY CHECK INTERACTIVE, which is a vital part of how the film can be used to provoke meaningful political dialogue in the months surrounding the 2012 U.S. Elections. (There's a detailed description of REALITY CHECK on our website. And for our detail-oriented friends, a further two paragraphs at the bottom of this page contain more information about our specific funding needs.*)
Who's already involved, and where can I find out more?
We have assembled an incredible and unique team of filmmakers, designers and outreach partners to realize both FOLLOW THE LEADER and REALITY CHECK INTERACTIVE. Our Official Website has also just launched in June, and on our Partner Page you can read more extensively about the film and our plans – and about the team members and organizations nationwide who are making it all happen. If you or your organization wants to become an outreach partner – please contact us here. There are many ways you & your organization can get involved – ranging from small partnerships to large-scale collaborations.
And most importantly: Thank YOU!
We're so grateful to you for taking the time to learn about our project and read about our campaign. We can't wait to share the film with you, and we'd love for you to be involved in our release throughout the year. Hope that you'll choose to join us on this exciting journey!
Jonathan Goodman Levitt & the team behind
FOLLOW THE LEADER &
REALITY CHECK INTERACTIVE
*SOME FINE PRINT FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN MORE INFORMATION ABOUT WHY WE NEED YOUR SUPPORT NOW, AND HOW FUNDS RAISED WILL BE USED...To put the film on-track for a successful independent release, and to put REALITY CHECK in a position to attract further financing quickly, we need your help to support: Further sound mixing and color correction; a few outstanding music licenses; required insurances for public release; essential marketing materials, initial publicity costs and booking fees; format conversions to American standards (the film's only financing has been from foreign broadcasters, so it was originally shot in non-US formats); software and hardware costs related to REALITY CHECK INTERACTIVE; small stipends for REALITY CHECK team members to dedicate time this summer to continuing development; creation and printing of educational guides for colleges and high schools; and travel costs for our film participants to attend screenings and events so that they can engage with audiences directly.
It's worth saying that making this film overlapping in the worst way with the recession has been, shall we say, a “challenge”...our story is actually detailed in a forthcoming book being published by Bloomsbury that comes out in July (please see our Reward at $125, above image)! In short, we’ve witnessed a permanent sea change in the market during the making of this film, and much of our promised funding was either pulled or significantly decreased -- even as our shoot doubled to three years given our characters' compelling developing stories.
But as Americans prepare to go to the polls in less than 5 months, we couldn’t think of a better time to be finishing and releasing the film. You have our endless appreciation for helping us try to make FOLLOW THE LEADER the film of this Election Season! Together, we have the power to spark the more reflective and less divisive conversations we need to have as a country at this important moment in our history. Thank you for your support!
You can visit our website HERE.
"Like" us on Facebook HERE.
And "Follow" @changeworxfilms HERE.
Showing your support through social media really does help us demonstrate to both distribution gatekeepers & potential backers the public's demand for the film!
Even politicians were young once...
We hope you'll agree with us when we say: The most exciting candidates of 2012 aren't even running...yet!
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