This film will create a tidal wave of positive, can-do American spirit.
Here's how your investment of any amount, from $5 on up, will help you, and America, thrive. And reach four million people. Please note: As this campaign winds down, we are moving forward with production of the film, working w/ our creative team to define the scope based on the funds available. Stay tuned for more updates and thanks for your generous support.As Americans, our positive outlook has carried us through many hardships – from wars to depressions. It has also led us to amazing things, including landing men on the moon. Lately, our defiant, can-do spirit is being drowned out by too much arguing and blaming.
Between TV, the Internet and advertising, we get hit with thousands of messages per day, almost all of them negative. The problem is, too much focus on bad news distorts reality and creates a false perception that our problems are too big and complex to solve.
This film is the antidote.
It showcases stories of people who, through their work, heal, connect, create value and live a joyful life. These people bring to our communities:
- Revitalized buildings
- Fresh, organic food
- Energy efficiency
- Clean energy
- Good health
- And more!
It’s the American Way to choose the future we create for our children and grandchildren.
But we can only do that if we stop letting others write the script for us.
Whether it’s the media with its overwhelming focus on bad news or rich corporate interests that want to preserve their status quo. It’s like a contest to see who can shout the loudest and keep us paralyzed in fear.
No wonder we’re still in this endless recession.
So what’ll it be? Are you going to listen to them when they tell you that you can’t change things or make a difference? What kind of future do you want for your kids?
Factory farms that treat animals cruelly?
Or thriving farms that grow healthy food for kids?
Throw-away cities and people?
Or thriving communities?
An environment fouled by rich, powerful oil companies?
Or a thriving economy built on efficiency?
“I Want America to Thrive” can help us bring an end to this recession.
In 1933, after saying “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” President Roosevelt appealed to Congress, newspaper publishers, radio station owners, and church leaders. He charged them with telling more stories of successes rather than failures.
Their efforts produced a wave of positivity that turned the tide of the depression.
Likewise, the people in this film have seen the challenges and rolled up their sleeves in the face of mighty resistance. People like:
- Lauren Abramson of the Community Conferencing Center,
- Keith Losoya of Waste Neutral Group,
- Jackie Carrera of Parks & People Foundation and
- Spike Gjerde of Woodberry Kitchen
The best part is, they love their work. It brings them great meaning, joy and satisfaction – and they touch many lives every day.
To make a film like this costs about $1,000 per minute. We’re going to be resourceful and create a 20-minute film for $15,000 so we can donate the remaining $5,000 to five healing, community-building organizations.
Here’s how our budget breaks down:
The Five Organizations
These people are helping Americans to thrive, often against long odds.
Since their work creates tremendous value in their communities, we're inspired to share what we raise here. It’s our way of acknowledging that we are all connected, that what affects one person affects us all. Success for even one child means success for all of us.
5% of the total amount raised translates to $1,000 each out of the $20,000 goal. If we go over that amount, they will get more. There’s no limit! So far, we have identified four organizations. You can help us choose the fifth by making a suggestion in the comments tab at the top of the page.
Community Conferencing Center – transforming conflict into community
Parks & People Foundation – spreading the green all around Baltimore
Civic Works’ Retrofit Baltimore – saving energy, renovating houses and building high-demand job skills
The Friends of Great Kids Farm – connecting public school students with good, healthy food and hands-on learning
Return on Investment
The completed film will be in two versions: 5-min and 20-min. It will be distributed thru Internet using social media and screened at live local events. We will also seed it in local media in other targeted cities, to perk their interest in doing one in their city.
Let’s say we reach 20,000 people in the first week. So, a $1 investment reaches 1 person. And those people share it to 10 of their friends, so that’s 200,000 in the first two weeks. Now your dollar reaches 10 people. A 10% return is better than any other investments these days.
When another city uses our template to make a similar film, your initial $1 is now reaching 20 people. Ten other cities, that original $1 reaches 200 people.
For an investment of $50, you’ll reach 50 people, then 500, then 1,000, then 10,000.
Which means that this initial campaign can reach four million poeple!
See how quickly this snowballs? Positivity is contagious!
Producing the Film
We have a super-talented team to make a film of highest quality and impact.
Houpla Studio, the filmmakers, combines Brooke McDonald's 20 years of journalism experience working for CNN, Bloomberg, Reuters, and Maryland Public Television, with Michael Brassert's accomplishments as a director and film maker of 25 years’ experience producing commercials, documentaries, special effects, and new media.
Our animator, Flash Rosenberg, is a genius at translating themes and ideas into an appealing visual story.
Our music is by Robert Darlington, the same artist who generously donated the music for this video – to make sure we paint an upbeat, energetic and emotional tone in line with the message.
As an architect, my favorite projects start with this question: how can we create a place that’s good for people and the planet? For an international solar house competition in 2007, I worked with the University of Maryland’s team, which numbered over 200 young people. Our house took the name LEAFHouse, which stands for “Leading Everyone to an Abundant Future,” became the top-placing American entry, and won second place overall.
Our Thanks to You
In addition to the great satisfaction of supporting the work of these five wonderful organizations, you will also receive some fabulous perks.
Everything from Twitter shout-outs, to blog and Facebook posts. We’re also offering your choice some of GOforChange’s best resources – such as our guide for practical green living, our plastic tracker and a workbook to help you get started greening your business.
Higher-level donors will receive limited edition prints or even originals of Julie's watercolors. (Scroll down for a sunrise on the Chesapeake Bay.)
Most tangibly: the more we raise, the more we’ll give to our five organizations. Even if we exceed our target, they’ll still receive 5% of the total amount raised.
I know I’m not alone in seeing a future where every child is safe and thriving in her school; every adult has meaningful work; our homes are powered with clean, renewable energy and built with local, non-toxic, natural materials;
our neighborhoods are walkable and clean; our businesses are aligned and connected with the natural world which is their lifeblood; our food is grown locally without chemicals; our conflicts are settled with respectful dialogue; technology is a tool not a master; and we all look to the future with hope and excitement, knowing that we belong here. This is our home.
This is the new story of belonging, connection, creativity and humility.
Other Ways You Can Help
Even if you can’t contribute financially, that doesn’t mean you can’t help.
You can help our great creative team to tap the power of networks: please get the word out to your networks and make some noise about this project. Vote for a positive future of renewing the American dream.
Indiegogo has great share tools right below the video at the top of this page.
Why Support this film
By supporting this film, you’re joining a movement to reclaim our American optimism.
This film is the first drop of rain on a parched land. Soon, others will take up their cameras and showcase the people in their own communities who are also helping America to thrive.
Let’s create a tidal wave of positive, can-do American spirit. Show the naysayers that we mean business – it’s up to us to create a bright future for our kids. This film and the others that will follow give us the inspiring examples that prove it’s not only possible – it’s already happening.
I will leave you with my deep gratitude and this thought, from Franklin Roosevelt:
“ There are many ways of going forward, and only one way of standing still. ”
With humble thanks,
P.S. If you have any questions, please leave a comment or contact me directly at julie(at)gabriellidesign.com