Trans voices need to be heard. It is time for us to speak for ourselves. Storytelling is powerful and will change perceptions. Storytelling will change the world.
TransGeek Movie brings together the stories of transgender people working in the tech industry and playing within geek culture. These are the stories of people that risked their careers and their lives to be their authentic selves. These are the stories of people that persevere in an industry that undervalues women, LGBT folk, and people of color to pursue their passions. These are the stories of people that found themselves in the pages of science fiction and fantasy, and when they didn't they wrote themselves into the story. These are the stories of people that turned to the Internet to build communities that transcend geography and bigotry, and then found themselves again the target of hatred and harassment.
At the intersection of our identities and what we love is the opportunity to claim our truth and live authentically, while holding steadfast to the passions and work that define us.
TransGeek Movie is making the the space for these stories to be told by the people who live them.
We have been collecting stories for the last 3 years. We have interviewed scientists, engineers, software developers, game designers and critics, gamers, cosplay enthusiasts, science-fiction authors, avid fans―all manner of geek. We have traveled across the country and across the ocean. So far we have collected more than 60 hours of interviews. We have self-funded thus far: now we need help. We want to be able to go where the stories are. Trans identified geeks live everywhere. We only have a few key interviews left to conduct, but they entail a considerable amount of travel. Once we have secured those interviews, we will be ready to begin post production.
TransGeek Movie is a frugal production. We don't believe it is necessary to have the most expensive gear to tell great stories. We do believe that telling those stories well takes the talent of many devoted professionals: transcribers, editors, sound engineers, graphic artists, narration talent, production assistants, and interns, to mention a few. We also believe that it is important to compensate all the members of our team fairly. This allows people to participate in this film that might not have the financial means to donate their labor to a "worthy" project.
Our costs go beyond just the finished documentary. We have gathered amazing and important interview material, far beyond what we could possibly include in the film. Our hope is to make the majority of our footage, sound recordings, transcripts, and research materials available to academics and others studying gender identity and geek culture. Preparing this material and providing for proper rights management will require considerable curatorial effort.
Cost should never be an impediment to people seeing TransGeek Movie. These are important stories, and they should be heard and seen as widely as possible. Film distribution, even in this digital age, requires substantial resources. By covering as many production costs as possible through this campaign we can put TransGeek Movie before the widest possible audience.
Here is a an estimated breakdown of how we anticipate using the funds we raise through this Kcikstarter campaign:
There are many ways to support TransGeek Movie.
For those that can support us financially, we have rewards:
Check out the details to the right.
Financial support is only one way you can help.
Publicity is key to getting these stories told. By helping to make this campaign a success, you are not only moving us towards our financial goals but you are demonstrating that you value this type of storytelling. You help to get the word out that the experiences of trans people matter.
Not everyone who would like to is in a position to contribute to the TransGeek Movie through this campaign. There are other ways to that you can help:
Kevin McCarthy, Producer/Director:
Kevin McCarthy is a filmmaker, IT professional, parent, and husband. It was through his work in IT that he became aware of the important contributions of so many transgender people to the field, and the substantial challenges that they face. He hopes to bring a better understanding of the role gender identity plays in our culture to a wide audience through his work. Kevin is a straight, cisgender man, who believes we can all learn from the stories of people living their genuine lives.
Sayer Johnson, Producer/Assistant Director:
Sayer Johnson is a parent, partner, social worker, activist, and artist. He is co-founder of the Metro Trans Umbrella group in St. Louis Missouri and has served on the board of the LGBT Center of St Louis. He believes storytelling is a vital part of the Trans Revolution and works to empower others to share their narratives with each other and the world. Sayer is proud to work with Kevin on his film TransGeek Movie and looks forward to helping share positive stories about the intersections of geek culture and gender with a wide audience. Sayer's narrative film about chosen queer family and intersections of identity and family, Intentional, will be casting soon.
We have the commitment of some amazing talent to help us craft a compelling film. From producers to composers, editors to sound engineers, many talented professionals have come forward to offer their help.
We are assembling a strong team. Diversity within the team will be a vital asset. This project is built on the principle of listening to people tell their own stories. Without the varied perspectives that diversity brings, we won’t hear the whole story, regardless of our best intentions. We are engaging with people who identify as transgender to both participate in the production and offer criticism and advice.
Risks and challenges
Film-making is a risky business. Many productions never make it to the screen. TransGeek Movie has the potential to be a powerful tool for education and justice. We are taking every step to ensure that we are able to deliver this production to our audience.
Nobody working on this film is in a position to make TransGeek Movie their sole project. Occasionally other demands take precedence over their work on the film. This will inevitably lead to delays. Already, we have seen health issues and a cross-country move delay production. With the funding we get through a successful Kickstarter campaign, we will be able to expand the team and avoid such delays in future.
Depending on the timing of the completion of production, key people who have agreed to be on our team may be unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with other productions. Our network of professional contacts and our shared vision for TransGeek Movie ensures that we can move forward even if we need to replace key team members.
The core of TransGeek Movie is the collection of stories that we are gathering. These stories are stored as digital audio and video. As with all digital information, our files are subject to loss through equipment failure, error, or malicious actors. We have gone to great trouble and expense to backup and secure both our raw footage and work product. We regularly make both local and off-site backups. We also take great care to mitigate any security threats to the digital and physical assets that go into making this film.
The safety of our team members is even more important than the assets of the production. Recently there has been considerable hostility directed at women and other marginalized groups that have spoken out on subjects that are addressed in TransGeek Movie. Due to the subject matter of TransGeek Movie, as well as the overt advocacy expressed by the film, it is conceivable that people identified with the production may receive unwanted attention. We will work with all team members to make them aware of the risks and provide resources to help them stay safe and avoid potential harassment.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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