Project image
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$6,452
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
92
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, November 14 2014 7:40 PM UTC +00:00
Root House StudioBy Root House Studio
First created
Root House StudioBy Root House Studio
First created
$6,452
pledged of $20,000pledged of $20,000 goal
92
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, November 14 2014 7:40 PM UTC +00:00

About

 We know science documentaries can be painfully boring, so Redefining Human will use a variety of new techniques to turn this complex science into an informative and entertaining documentary series. In addition to standard documentary interviews, our animation team will bring to life scenes which would be nearly impossible to film, such as interactions between microbial species and the human body. Just as the series Cosmos featuring Neil deGrasse Tyson uses film and animation to explain complex theories on the world beyond, Redefining Human will showcase the complexity of the world within.

 We've already mapped out the first episode (see below), but would like feedback on what microbiome topics you want to see covered in subsequent episodes. Please reach out to us on our Twitter using #redefininghuman or share your suggestions, ideas, and comments on our reddit page:

http://www.reddit.com/r/microbiology/comments/2jcbq8/were_making_a_microbiome_documentary_series_and/

Episode One- Pro-Biotic: Cultivating a Healthy Gut 

Like an organ, our microbiome helps us digest foods, regulate our metabolism, and fight off infection. A poorly functioning microbiome has been linked to allergies, obesity, diabetes, and immunodeficiency. Through in-house animation and interviews with American Gut scientists—taking place at the University of Colorado-Boulder—our team will explore how the microbiome and our health is affected by the diet we choose to maintain, such as gluten-free, Paleo, and the Western Standard Diet.

Crowdfunding relies on viral marketing, which is why it is so important for you to spread the word about Redefining Human via social media sites, word of mouth, and email. Even if you cannot pledge funds, you can help us a great deal by sharing this campaign on Twitter and Facebook using #redefininghuman and sending it along to anyone who might be interested.

Launched in 2008, the Human Microbiome Project is a NIH-sponsored study to determine how the human microbiome impacts disease, food allergies, and neurological issues within the human body.

 An offshoot of the Human Microbiome Project is the American Gut Project, a collaboration between CU-Boulder and the University of Chicago. The American Gut Project hopes to map the human microbiome and provide open-access data analysis so scientists the world over can begin to study the microbiome and how it affects us.

American Gut has been featured by The SmithsonianNew York TimesNPR, and championed by Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma (click each link to view the articles). A short overview article of their mission and impact can be found in Scientific American.

NPR's Rob Stein writes about getting his microbiome analyzed
NPR's Rob Stein writes about getting his microbiome analyzed

Make Crowdfunding a Model for Science

The exploration of the microbiome is a new science, meaning not much of the research surrounding it has been widely shared with the public; very little grant money or government funding goes towards science communication. Although budget cuts threaten to slow the pace of science, the contributions of Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt, Lawrence Ellison, and many others show that private sector funding is picking up the slack and helping to push science research forward. (Check out a NY Times article on the privatization of science here.)

Click to read the full New York Times article
Click to read the full New York Times article

Despite our pockets not being as deep as those of Bill Gates, we can all advocate for science by making crowdfunding a model for financing scientific research and communication. By taking matters into our own hands, everyday citizens like us can fund the research that has a direct impact upon our lives. Starting with the microbiome we can widen the reach and scope of science by translating current research into an accessible, compelling documentary series. Let's share this revolutionary project with the world and inspire the next generation of scientists.

Backer rewards include (but are certainly not limited to): film credit as Executive Producer, a copy of the film, a Redefining Human t-shirt, and a case of Upstart Kombucha—a project collaborator who will be featured in the film and who is part of our team. Check out the right hand column for more details.

Choose from four shirt styles
Choose from four shirt styles
                 


Budget 

$20,000 will allow us to fully film and produce Episode One. Travel costs are pretty straight forward—the transportation of our crew/equipment to shooting locations and accommodations. Production costs are salaries for the crew, food per diem, and any equipment rental costs (cameras, sound, lighting, a green room). Post-production is the cost of animation, editing, and sound engineering. 

Confused? Check out the convenient graphic below:

Budget breakdown
Budget breakdown

How Will the Film Be Distributed?

We estimate the first episode will be completely filmed, edited, and animated by June 2015. 

Once completed, an HD download link to Redefining Human: Episode One will be sent to all those who contributed $20 or more. Once HD copies have been sent out, Episode One will be uploaded to YouTube, Vimeo, Amazon, and a few documentary sites so that Redefining Human can be shared for free all around the world.

Once it's out in the world, please help us by subtitling the episodes in as many languages as possible. This science should not be exclusive to only those who speak English since it affects everyone in the world. We considered paying for subtitling services ourselves, but did not want to drive up production costs. 

Check out our Twitter for more links to microbiome articles
Check out our Twitter for more links to microbiome articles

How Can I Help?

Reaching our initial goal of $20,000 will allow us to produce the first episode in the series, "Pro-Biotic: Cultivating a Healthy Gut”. We will keep on producing episodes so long as you guys keep donating and helping us source content.

Any funds we raise over $20,000 will lead to a longer and better produced Episode One. Once our goal is met, we'll post up stretch goals.  

In addition to donations, it would be an enormous help if you could share our goal via word of mouth, emails to friends and family, and reaching out to us on Twitter @redefininghuman using #redefininghuman.

If you have any suggestions about the series or would like help us in a deeper way, please reach out to redefininghuman@roothousestudio.com.

The American Gut project itself has successfully crowdsourced both funding and data—it is the largest crowdfunded science project in the world. Check out their Fundrazr if you are interested in having your microbiome analyzed.

Risks and challenges

Our company, Root House Studio, is a full time digital communication company with several animators, designers, and a creative team, meaning we have the entire crew we need in-house. We already have immediate access to the CU-Boulder American Gut team (they're just up the street) and are ready to begin filming as soon as the Kickstarter is fully funded.

Throughout filming we plan on posting short social media videos and pictures that detail the filming process and show we are on track for completing the first episode.

Updates, pictures, and short videos will be uploaded to our Twitter page, so please stay in touch!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Microbiome Ebook:

    An ebook written by American Gut explaining our current understanding of the microbiome and how it affects our health. Perfect for those just now learning about the microbiome.

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    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    Twitter Shoutout:

    We’ll give you a shoutout on Twitter for contributing to Redefining Human. We can email you if you want, but that’s not as cool, right?

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Mama Song’s Secret Family Kimchi Recipe:

    Make your own probiotics with this original Korean recipe. Seriously, she would kill us if she knew we were giving this out...

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    Pledge US$ 20 or more About US$ 20

    Above Rewards + ADVANCE HD Digital Download:

    Use the link we send you and be the first to stream or download Episode One in HD! You'll have to hire a bouncer to fight off all the eager friends who want to crash your viewing party! (Bouncer not included)

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    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    Above Rewards + THE NATTO CHALLENGE!

    Our team will film themselves eating natto: soybeans that have been fermented for hours at 100 degree heat. One gooey, smelly spoonful for each backer. As we cringe and gag on the fermented treat, you can follow along at home with the natto recipe we will send you! Includes an HD download of Episode One.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Above Rewards + Our Very Own "Gut Gourmet" Cookbook: We will send you an ebook which includes lots of probiotic recipes such as kimchi, natto, sourdough, pickles, and more. Includes an HD download link to Episode One.

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    HD DL + your name in the film credits:

    Immortalize your name with a "special thanks" listing at the end of Episode One! Of course, we will send you an HD copy of the first episode.

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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Redefining Human T-shirt:

    Take your pick from one of our limited-edition designs & up your swag game with an extra-soft, premium shirt, blending science with style. We'll also send you an HD download of Episode One.

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Case of Upstart Kombucha:

    Upstart Kombucha (teammates featured in Episode One) will overnight a case of their probiotic kombucha right to your door step. Each bottle will have a custom Redefining Human label, making it a limited edition collector's item. Fancy.
    (US Customers only, since shipping internationally would be way too expensive)

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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    **PICK 5**:
    Take your choice of any 5 perks from $0-$150!
    (Don't forget that kombucha can only be shipped within the US)

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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Need help crowdfunding?

    Sign up for this perk and our social media team will set up two 30 minute sessions to discuss your project and how to fund it via Kickstarter. You will also receive a download of the episode, the kimchi recipe, the ebook, and a Twitter thanks.

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

    Receive ASSOCIATE PRODUCER credit for Episode One! And of course, we will send you a HD copy of the completed series.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Receive EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit for Episode One and in the final stages of production you can give your input on soundtrack, editing, voiceover, and animation. As always, we will send you an HD copy of the completed first episode.

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    Pledge US$ 10,000 About US$ 10,000

    BE OUR OFFICIAL TITLE SPONSOR:
    Be our official sponsor & we'll put your name or company logo at start credits and give you EXECUTIVE PRODUCER credit for Episode One! If you're lucky we might just send you an HD copy of the first episode.

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Funding period

- (30 days)