Who: Melanin Base Camp & Beast Fingers Climbing
What: Raise $24,051 in order to produce a short film on black Canadian climber Sabrina Chapman
When: October 2019 - May 2020
Where: Red River Gorge, Slade, KY (production) Sacramento, CA (post-production)
Why: Her story is inspirational for womxn who don’t see themselves represented in the outdoors, but who are determined to find their place in it. Our short film will celebrate womxn like Sabrina who climb hard and test their physical and mental limits on the rock! We’re relying on donors like you to help make that possible.
Learn more about Sabrina here: melaninbasecamp.com/trip-reports/2019/8/7/elite-black-climber-sabrina-chapman-on-why-women-of-color-should-take-up-space-in-the-outdoors
Thanks for your interest in helping us tell Sabrina’s story. Here's why her story matters!
Not only is she one of a handful of black women worldwide who are climbing elite grades, Sabrina is a first generation Canadian who didn’t even start climbing until she was 26-years-old. She regularly sends 5.13a/b and her current project, Titan, is a 5.14a—the threshold for elite climbing.
Climbing has empowered her to both reclaim her own story as the daughter of Mauritian immigrants and process the abuse she experienced growing up.
Often times when people of color are portrayed in the outdoors, the lens is either youth, poverty, trauma or education. None of those are bad topics to explore, but they don't tell the entire story of what it means to be black and outdoorsy or what it means to be an advanced rock climber and a woman of color. Sometimes we lose a sense of agency when our stories are not told in ethical ways. And sometimes our stories simply aren't told at all. Let's change that!
The Titan film project is a means of telling Sabrina's story through her eyes. Her story matters, especially when the stories of so many other Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are not viewed as relevant or marketable.
We need to raise $24,051 to shoot the film and complete post-production (and pay taxes!). Anything we raise beyond that will go towards distribution at film festivals or towards our next film. Titan Project is envisioned as the first in a series of short films highlighting people of color in the outdoors, including climbers, hikers, mountaineers, paddlers and environmentalists.
Let's talk about costs! The 2 min 45 sec teaser (scroll up if you haven't viewed it yet) cost $2,819 to produce. We hope you enjoyed it! It was filmed in Slade, KY. If our Kickstarter is fully funded, we'll be returning there in October 2019 to film. Here's a copy of our budget:
TOTAL COST: $24,051
Production Crew $4,500
Fixed Line Camera/Lens Rentals $2,500
Kickstarter Fee (estimated) $1,041
Processing Fee (estimated) $1,041
Taxes (estimated) $4,305.36
We believe in bringing you stories about members of our community told by members of our community. Because of that, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be working with Sacramento based African-American film-maker Shane Smith (who shot the trailer/teaser).
Shane Smith (he/him) is an independent film-maker and a member of Scene Alive Inc. in Sacramento, CA. He fell in love with cinematography as a young adult before studying filmmaking at Hartland College. One thing Shane enjoys about production is the opportunity to work with like-minded people from all around the world.
Danielle Williams (she/her) is the Founder of Melanin Base Camp, LLC and the Founder of Diversify Outdoors, LLC. She graduated from Harvard in 2008 and spent 10.5 years in the U.S. Army & Special Operations before transitioning to digital media marketing. She currently leads a team of eight bloggers at melaninbasecamp.com. She's been featured in Vice, SELF, Backpacker and Outside Magazine.
Aman Anderson (he/him) is the CEO of Beast Fingers Climbing. Founded in 2015, the brand focuses on designing data-driven climbing products that stimulate strength and recovery, adaptability and progress. He also coaches a youth climbing team.
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Risks and challenges
We’re keeping our budget tight by filming in Slade KY instead of Ontario. Our producers, Danielle Williams and Aman Anderson and talent, Sabrina Chapman, have also generously donated their time to the project.
Park closures are a potential obstacle. If they occur we will adjust our filming schedule as we have already. Initial plans to film in Toronto were scrapped due to the breach of trust trial between the Saugeen Ojibway Nation and the Canadian government. We’re supporting the SON legal efforts to reclaim their land by staying off of it!
There is always the risk of injury. We are fortunate to be working with such an experienced, talented athlete. We’ll be following her lead to make sure that we support her physical, mental and emotional requirements in our efforts to tell her story.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)