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The PrEP Project is a short hybrid-documentary web series that's fun, sexy and outrageously frank 21st-century sex-ed for gay adults.
The PrEP Project is a short hybrid-documentary web series that's fun, sexy and outrageously frank 21st-century sex-ed for gay adults. Coming to YouTube May 16
The PrEP Project is a short hybrid-documentary web series that's fun, sexy and outrageously frank 21st-century sex-ed for gay adults. Coming to YouTube May 16
134 backers pledged $15,075 to help bring this project to life.

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The PrEP Project: A Bold New Take on HIV Prevention

$15,075

134

What is The PrEP Project?

Part documentary, part short film, and with a standout cast featuring Eric Paul Leue (Mr. LA Leather, former health & outreach director at Kink.com, and current executive director of the Free Speech Coalition), Leo Forte (gay adult film star), Rock Evans (Miami's Miss Toto, the bodybuilding drag queen—appearing here in male beefcake form), and more, The PrEP Project is sex ed for the 21st century, taking the fear out of the HIV epidemic with fun and outrageous frankness. With Eric as our guide, scenes illustrate the issues at hand with levity and "wow, they went there!" sensibility. Over the course of the four planned 5-minute episodes, we explore the new drug that prevents HIV and the backlash against it, testing, treatment as prevention, fear and stigma.

The Problem: less than 17% use condoms, and only 12% use PrEP

PrEP is a breakthrough in HIV prevention: it's a once a day pill that protects you from HIV with over 99% effectiveness. This is huge! But it isn't catching on as fast as we'd like, the most recent available data suggests that only about 12%* of the gay guys who meet the US Center for Disease Control's risk criteria and should be on PrEP are actually on it. There have been a few education campaigns, especially in places like San Francisco and New York, where as many as one in three gay men are HIV positive. In our opinion, none have been willing to acknowledge, front and center, that using a condom every time doesn't work for everyone. Some people are, and that's great! They also prevent other STIs that PrEP does not, and we're not out to tell anyone to stop. But the fact is, less than 17% of gay men use condoms every single time, so there has to be more than one option on the table.

Adding to the problem is that only one in eight adults in the US have had an STI test, and there's still a lot of confusion about how different versions of the test work. On the other side of the coin, a big of the problem facing the gay community is all the stigma and shame faced by HIV-positive men, who've been historically demonized for the sake of public health.

How do we fix this?

The PrEP Project will spread the word about PrEP through bite sized, sharable (hopefully viral!) videos that are fun to watch and use all the tools of cinema to educate and inform, in language you won't get from your average doctor. We want to explain what PrEP is and how to get it, and tackle head on some of the arguments of those who're against it. We'll make a case for why you should get tested regularly, even if you think you're not at risk, demystify what being HIV+ and undetectable means, explain how Treatment as Prevention and PrEP can finally bridge the divide between positive and negative guys.

Eric (and the filmmakers) firmly believe that knowledge conquers fear. By illuminating one of the most taboo topics in gay culture with humor, fun and a little bit of skin, we hope to write a new chapter in HIV prevention, one where being afraid of HIV and feeling out of control of your own health ends.

Finding an audience

We're taking a departure from the usual filmmaking model of running the festival circuit because we want these videos to be in front of as many eyeballs as possible, as fast as possible, so we can make the biggest impact. Although there will be a theatrical screening, this means the target distribution is an online release and a full court press on social media. Aside from our target audience of gay men, we hope the medical providers who serve them will enjoy the series too!

We think it's important for our target audience to see themselves in the project. The population affected most is young minority men, so we made sure to cast accordingly. We're also proud to include kink-positive and poly-positive scenes.

Why Kickstarter?

Chris Tipton-King, the San Francisco filmmaker behind the project, put up over $10,000 of his own cash to get the project started. There's been an amazing outpouring of support from the SF filmmaking community, from actors working for minimum wage to crew volunteering their time and equipment because they believe in the project. San Francisco AIDS Foundation's Strut community health and wellness center generously donated use of their space to shoot in. If this were a commercially-backed project, it would have to have a budget of over $250,000!

We hope to use this round of funding to get the series to completion: your contributions will fund things like editing, music licensing, motion graphics, color grading, sound design, mixing, etc…. But most importantly, it'll fund the online advertising through Google, Facebook and YouTube to get the videos seen by the people who need to see them.

We hope you share our vision for a sex-positive world with no new infections, no stigma and no shame. Help us make a difference!

Love,

Chris Tipton-King, Robyn Kopp, and the cast and crew of The PrEP Project

PS: Please help us by sharing this page with your friends!

*The number quoted in the fundraising video is 5%, recent data suggests 12%—but that's still too low!

Stretch Goals

We've got some great stretch goals in mind, and we'll announce specifics as we gain momentum. We'd love to expand our ad buys, hold public screenings and more!

Rewards

See the column on the right for how to score one of these sweet rewards created for our awesome backers.

 

Leo Forte poster
Leo Forte poster

 

PrEP Project pillbox keychain-never leave home without it!
PrEP Project pillbox keychain-never leave home without it!

 

Framed 4x6-your choice of characters
Framed 4x6-your choice of characters

 

 

The Kink Special—an actual prop from the film
The Kink Special—an actual prop from the film

 

Hardcover Behind the Scenes photo book
Hardcover Behind the Scenes photo book

**Reward designs and project content subject to change

Filmmaker Bios

Chris Tipton-King, writer/producer/director/editor, is a San Francisco-based filmmaker whose work has been featured at featured at over twenty festivals across the globe. He also co-founded a production company that counts the San Francisco Museum of Modern art as one of its clients. You can watch one of his previous shorts, Boys & Girls, here.

Robyn Kopp, co-producer and co-director, brings her considerable skill in managing talent, time and resources to the project, and collaborates on major creative decisions. She spends her weekdays as an assistant producer and assistant editor at Actual Films, the production company behind the new sequel to An Inconvenient Truth, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, headed to theaters in July.

Director of Photography John Kiffmeyer once played in a well known rock band, but his true calling has been his second act as master of light & lens. We always wanted the project to be well-shot, but John brought it to an entirely new level. Notable credits include the Sundance-premiered, Jamie Redford-helmed doc The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia.

Many others have contributed time and talent so far—look for their names in the credits!

Risks and challenges

The film is already in the can at this point, so the toughest part is over! But it does no good to have the footage sit on a hard drive, and that's where we need your help.

The only possible delay we foresee is if the director's day-job doing corporate filmmaking gets too busy and puts the post production work behind schedule. With enough funding, he can afford to devote more time to the project.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    PrEP Promoter

    For just $15, get your name in the end credits to one episode, regular updates on the project, and the satisfaction of knowing you made a difference!

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits (one episode)
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    17 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Early Access

    Get your name at the end of all four episodes, plus early access a week before they go live and a personal shout-out on the project's Facebook page.

    Includes:
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • 1-Week Early Access
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    Ships to Only United States
    28 backers
    $
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Early Bird Special!

    Only available the first week! Show the guys at the gym you're PrEPared with a limited edition PrEP Project 20 oz blue aluminum water bottle.

    Includes:
    • 1-Week Early Access
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • "I'm PrEPared" water bottle
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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Poster & Bloopers Reel

    Available for the last week only! Get a glossy 11x17 poster featuring a behind-the-scenes shot with Leo Forte. Also, our camera assistant Natalie Tsui made up crazy names for each take that kept the whole set laughing, and we cut them together into a bloopers & slates reel just for backers at this level & above.

    Includes:
    • 1-Week Early Access
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • Bloopers & Slates Reel
    • 11x17 Leo Forte Poster
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    PrEP Pillbox Keychain

    Everything from the previous levels, plus get a useful PrEP Project pill-holding keychain, so you'll never be stuck without it! Free US shipping.

    Includes:
    • 1-Week Early Access
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • Pillbox Keychain
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    Ships to Only United States
    24 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    The Kink Special

    This one is for the kinksters out there—you know who you are! Take home an actual prop from the series: one of the infamous urinalysis cups (clean, never used) that Nurse Yummikochi passes out lemon jello shots in during the party scene. Limit 5!

    Includes:
    • 1-Week Early Access
    • Pillbox Keychain
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Framed Photo

    All the previous rewards and a beautiful framed 4x6 still handpicked by the director featuring the characters of your choice!

    Includes:
    • 1-Week Early Access
    • Pillbox Keychain
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • Framed 4x6 Photo
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    Ships to Only United States
    20 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    SF Screening/All-Episode Early Access

    All the previous awards, plus an invitation to be the director's guest at a private screening in San Francisco* on May 9 (ahead of the online premiere, time TBA shortly) with Q&A, or online access to the festival-format, full-length version of the film including all four episodes of content, before anyone else online gets to see it!

    *Travel cost not included

    Includes:
    • Pillbox Keychain
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • Framed 4x6 Photo
    • San Francisco screening invitation
    • Downloadable, festival-format, all-episode early access or Bluray
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    Ships to Only United States
    5 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Hardcover Behind the Scenes Photo Book

    Get the credits, the keychain, the advance screening, and a 20-page hardcover behind-the-scenes photo book with gorgeous stills shot on set. Free US shipping, also available internationally for a fee.

    Includes:
    • Downloadable, festival-format, all-episode early access or Bluray
    • San Francisco screening invitation
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • Pillbox Keychain
    • Hardcover behind the scenes photo book
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    3 backers
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  10. Select this reward

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

    Lunch with the Director

    Have lunch (anywhere in the SF Bay Area; travel not included) or a video call with director Chris Tipton-King. Limited to the first three backers at this level

    Includes:
    • Downloadable, festival-format, all-episode early access or Bluray
    • San Francisco screening invitation
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • Pillbox Keychain
    • Lunch or video call with the director
    • Hardcover behind the scenes photo book
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    Lunch with a Porn Star!

    Meet director Chris Tipton-King and gay adult film star & PrEP Project actor Leo Forte for lunch. Travel to San Francisco not included; Skype call available instead if you're not local. Limited to one lucky backer!

    Includes:
    • Downloadable, festival-format, all-episode early access or Bluray
    • Hardcover behind the scenes photo book
    • Pillbox Keychain
    • San Francisco screening invitation
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    Less
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Ultimate Experience

    The credits, the keychain, the screening, the photo, the book, a personal thank you message on all our social media platforms, AND a private, exclusive tour of San Francisco tailored to your interests, hosted & photographed along the way by the director for you and a guest. Be the envy of all your instagram friends—even if you know the city inside & out, there's always something new to discover! Travel not included. Limited to one special backer.

    Includes:
    • Downloadable, festival-format, all-episode early access or Bluray
    • Your name in the credits (all episodes)
    • Pillbox Keychain
    • San Francisco screening invitation
    • Hardcover behind the scenes photo book
    • San Francisco tour + photos (of you and a guest!) by Chris
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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Funding period

- (28 days)