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Three gay seniors navigate the adventures, challenges and surprises of life and love in their golden years.

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT 

Thanks for checking out the BEFORE YOU KNOW IT Kickstarter page. We are raising $50,000 to bring our feature length documentary to communities across the country, and we need your help. So, why should you support our Kickstarter campaign? Maybe you have seen BEFORE YOU KNOW IT and want others see it too, or you have heard about the film and want to bring it your town. Maybe you support independent filmmaking, or you believe the stories of our LGBTQ elders are important and must be shared. Whatever your reasons, please watch our video and read below for more information about our fundraising campaign and how you can help. And don’t forget to check out the rewards for our awesome backers. 

With gratitude, 

PJ, Sara & the BEFORE YOU KNOW IT Production Team 

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, visit us at beforeyouknowitfilm.com

What is BEFORE YOU KNOW IT about? 

The subjects of the feature length documentary BEFORE YOU KNOW IT are no ordinary senior citizens. They are go-go booted bar-hoppers, love struck activists, troublemaking baton twirlers, late night Internet cruisers, seasoned renegades and bold adventurers. They are also among the estimated 2.4 million lesbian, gay and bisexual Americans over the age of 55 in the United States, many of whom face heightened levels of discrimination, neglect and exclusion. 

But BEFORE YOU KNOW IT is not a film about cold statistics and gloomy realities, it’s a film about generational trailblazers who have surmounted prejudice and defied expectation to form communities of strength, renewal and camaraderie – whether these communities be affable senior living facilities, lively activist enclaves or wacky queer bars brimming with glittered trinkets and colorful drag queens. 

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT focuses on the lives of three vibrant gay seniors, and reminds us that while LGBT elders face a specific set of issues, aging and its challenges are universal. An affirmation of life and human resilience told with refreshing humor and candor, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT confirms that you are never too old to reshape society. 

"A crucial addition to the LGBT doc canon" - IndieWIRE

What has happened with the film so far? 

We have been overwhelmed by the positive response the film has received. BEFORE YOU KNOW IT had its World Premiere at SXSW this spring, where it received a standing ovation from a visibly moved audience. The film has gone on to screen at festivals across the globe, including San Francisco International Film Festival, OUTFest in Los Angeles, Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland, InsideOUT in Toronto, and Art of the Real at Lincoln Center in New York City. 

This September we screened in Russia at the Saratov Sufferings International Documentary Film Festival, despite the controversial anti-gay propaganda laws that prohibit positive depictions of lesbians and gays. If BEFORE YOU KNOW IT can screen in Russia, there is no reason we should not be screen in cities and towns across the US! 

In the next few months, the film will continue to screen in places from Tampa to Taiwan, but our festival run in winding down, so the BEFORE YOU KNOW IT team is looking to the next steps, which is where you and Kickstarter come in. 

World Premiere of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, SXSW 2013
World Premiere of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT, SXSW 2013

What now? 

The film sounds finished, right? In one way, it is. We have completed shooting and editing, and we have screened at some great festivals. But our work is not done. We want to bring BEFORE YOU KNOW IT to audiences across the country through a theatrical and community screening campaign. 

It’s important to us to share BEFORE YOU KNOW IT with larger audiences for several reasons. First, the stories of our LGBTQ elders are often ignored. Born before the Civil Rights era, this generation has witnessed unbelievable change: from the Stonewall Riots and gay liberation to the HIV/AIDS pandemic and Queer Nation to gay marriage and Lady Gaga. By telling the story of three members of this unprecedented “out” elder generation, BEFORE YOU KNOW IT honors this unique history. 

Additionally, audiences want to see the film. Since premiering the film in March, we receive almost daily requests from individuals, LGBTQ organizations, colleges and universities, and churches that want to see the documentary. Through a theatrical and community screening tour, we will be able to show BEFORE YOU KNOW IT in big cities like New York, San Francisco and LA but also in small towns and places with underserved LGBTQ communities. But distributing a film is expensive, which is why we need your help. 

How Kickstarter works… 

$50,000 is the minimum we need to distribute BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. Kickstarter is an all or nothing fundraising platform, which means if we do not raise our goal of $50,000 in thirty days, Kickstarter returns all the pledged money to our backers and we will receive NOTHING. So, please give what you can, spread the word about our campaign & help us reach $50,000.

FAQ

I’m excited about BEFORE YOU KNOW IT! Other than donating to your Kickstarter campaign, how can I help?

Thanks for asking! The best way to help is to spread the word to your friends and family and ask them to contribute to our Kickstarter campaign. Tell them why its important to you that BEFORE YOU KNOW IT screens in theaters. ‘Like’ our Kickstarter video at the top of this page and tweet it out to your friends. Post about us on your Facebook wall and encourage your friends to as well. Make announcements to your school, community group, church, book club or other social organization. Join our newsletter on our website and forward it to friends with a personal note from you.

How will the money be spent?

Good question! The Kickstarter funds will go to the distribution of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. These funds will be used for, among other things: 

- Hiring a theatrical booker and an outreach coordinator
- Making exhibition copies of the film for theaters
- Shipping the film to theaters
- Advertising in newspapers, on Facebook and other online sites so people know our film is screening in their community
- Paying for marketing and publicity materials

Can you exceed your fundraising goal?

Yes! The more money we raise the more places we can screen.

When will I be able to see BEFORE YOU KNOW IT in theaters?

We hope to be in theaters in June 2014, just in time for PRIDE Month. But like any film, there are many factors that go in to determining a theatrical release so we will keep you updated on our progress and let you know when we confirm our dates.

How can I contact the BEFORE YOU KNOW IT team?

You can contact us at info@beforeyouknowitfilm.com. Feel free to send us comments and questions. Just know that we receive a lot of emails so we it may take us a few days to respond.

Can backers increase their donations once they have been made? 

Why aren't you nice? Of course you can! 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 award!

When can I expect my digital download or DVD of Before You Know It?

Digital downloads and DVDs of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT will not be available until after we have secured our distribution. We promise to keep you updated, and you will definitely have them before they are available for purchase by the general public! Please note, while we are currently projecting October 2014 for your DVD and digital download, you will receive many of your perks before then as noted in the estimated delivery date.

We appreciate your support! 

BEFORE YOU KNOW IT Poster. Check out our cool rewards to see how you can get your hands on one!
BEFORE YOU KNOW IT Poster. Check out our cool rewards to see how you can get your hands on one!

"BEFORE YOU KNOW IT is an extraordinary film and an outstanding achievement! I have no doubt that this film – with its nuanced and loving depiction of three vibrant older gay men -- is going to make a critically important contribution to increasing understanding of the lives of LGBT older people." - Michael Adams, Executive Director, Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE)

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

RISKS & CHALLENGES

Production of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT is complete. The film is screening at festivals to sell out crowds and receiving great reviews from critics. We are confident that people will want to bring BEFORE YOU KNOW IT to theaters across the country. That being said the film industry is often unpredictable and distribution is very costly so we cannot guarantee commercial theatrical distribution. But we have worked tirelessly on this project for five years and are determined to share the stories of Dennis, Ty and Robert with others.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    THANK YOU! Our eternal gratitude and a special thank you on our Facebook page and website (optional) and exclusive email updates from the BEFORE YOU KNOW IT team.

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    IN THE KNOW! Get a behind the scenes look at BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. Dennis, Ty or Robert (you choose) will send you a special video message to thank you for your support. You will also receive access to digital photo album with pics from production and the festival tour. Plus the above.

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    IN THE KNOW & MORE! Get a download of the film's soundtrack with all original music by Jimmy LaValle & The Album Leaf, including never before heard tracks. AND Get a behind the scenes look at BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. Dennis, Ty or Robert (you choose) will send you a special video message to thank you for your support. You will also receive access to digital photo album with pics from production and the festival tour. Plus the above.

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    MOVIE DIGITAL DOWNLOAD GIFT PACK! Own a digital download of the feature-length version of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT before all of your friends. Plus, you will receive all three special video updates from Dennis, Ty & Robert and everything above.

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    MOVIE NIGHT DVD! We’ll send you a DVD of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT signed by director PJ Raval! Plus everything above.

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    OUT OF RETIREMENT- DIGITAL GIFT PACK PLUS! A never before seen video exclusive to Kickstarter supporters: Gary & Ose Tie the Knot. We created this special video for Gary & Ose, and they have generously offered to share it with our Kickstarter supporters. Watch Ty, Stanton and other Harlem friends celebrate with the lovebirds on their special day. Plus everything above.

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    NEW GIFT! $80 for 80 years! In honor of Dennis turning 80 this year, you'll receive this surprise gift of "Dennis' Gardening Tips" straight from his home in Rainbow Vista. Get your green thumb on by watching Dennis give you the ins and outs of home gardening! Plus the above.

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    COLLECTORS ITEM- POSTER! A limited edition 12”x18” BEFORE YOU KNOW IT poster designed by the talented Yen Tan and signed by director PJ Raval and subjects Dennis, Ty and Robert. It would look lovely hanging in your office or living room. Check it out at the bottom of our FAQs. Plus everything above. Or check out the other awesome collector's item below.

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    COLLECTORS ITEM- PORTRAIT! Get one of the famous faces of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT for your wall. These beautiful 8”x10 character portraits are printed on high quality, gloss photo paper and signed and numbered by cinematographer Mike Simpson. You get to choose Dennis, Ty or Robert! Plus everything above.

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    POSTER PLUS! Get the full size (27”x40”) movie poster of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. It will be just like the ones you see at the theater, except this one will be signed to you by director PJ Raval and subjects Dennis, Ty and Robert. You will also receive a signed copy of PJ ‘s previous documentary Trinidad. Plus you receive one of the above collector’s items and everything in the Digital Gift Pack Plus.

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    ONE ON ONE! A half hour Skype session or phone call with PJ and one of the subjects of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT (Dennis, Ty or Robert- you choose!). Chat about the making of the film, find out what’s happening with them now, discuss issues of aging in the LGBTQ community, or just talk about your favorite movies! You pick the topic, and we’ll give you the inside scoop! Plus you receive everything in the Poster Plus package.

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    WALK THE RED CARPET! Put on your best dress & fancy pants and come walk the red carpet with director PJ Raval and the cast & crew at the theatrical premiere of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. We can’t cover travel, but we will reserve you two seats with us. Be prepared to have your photo taken and join us at a private reception to follow. We’ll keep you updated and make sure you have all the details as the premiere gets closer. In the meantime, enjoy all of the perks of the Poster Plus package.

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    ROBERT'S LAFITTE VIP EXPERIENCE! You’ll be the guest of honor at Roberts LaFitte in Galveston, TX. You will have a reserved table for a special performance by the Ladies of Lafitte, and Dixie Monroe herself will give you a special drag makeover (optional) before the show. Dance the night away at the oldest gay bar in Texas! Plus you will receive everything in the Poster Plus package (airfare and accommodation not included).

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    DOCUMENTARY WORKSHOP WITH PJ RAVAL! Want to learn the ins and outs of documentary filmmaking? Come to the Lone Star State for a daylong workshop taught by PJ Raval and the crew of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. Learn about cinematography, editing, budgeting and writing grant proposals. You can pitch your ideas and receive feedback. Plus, you’ll be in Austin so breakfast tacos and barbeque are sure to be part of the experience! You will also receive everything in the Poster Plus package (airfare and accommodation not included).

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    HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS! Host a private screening of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT for you and your friends with director PJ Raval in attendance. He promises to do an amazing Q&A about anything you would like to know about the project or filmmaking in general. PJ will travel anywhere in the continental US during 2014 to share his film with you. Travel expenses are on us. It will be like film festival in your living room (or wherever you chose to show it), and PJ can’t wait to attend. Plus you receive everything in the Poster Plus Package.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER/OUR HERO! You will be credited as an Associate Producer on the feature-length version of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. See your name on the big screen at the theatrical premiere and on the DVD of BEFORE YOU KNOW IT. Plus you will receive all of the above. And of course, our undying gratitude!

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