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A satire developed by Xavier Ruffin, and inspired by Mad Men, looking at the 1960’s ad industry from the eyes of three black ad workers.
Xavier Ruffin
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
United States
1 Team Member

Short Summary

Matt Weiner is lying when he says Mad Men is accurate with its portrayal of blacks in the 1960s and that there were no black people working in the Ad Industry in the early/mid/late 1960s. The facts show differently. Mad Black Men is a dramatic comedy that shows the alternate perspective of a few African Americans who live in a parallel universe where black people get genuine camera time and story lines.

We are raising money to help with achieving an authentic 1960s look on film.

Long Summary

My name is Xavier Ruffin and I am a filmmaker, a writer, and a designer. I developed the idea for Mad Black Men as a 3 minute sketch for a comedy show 2 years ago and some how it’s snowballed into an entire web series. Now what I need is a little help to make sure the aesthetics of our pilot episode are authentic early 1960s and up to par with its AMC counter part, Mad Men.

Mad Black Men is a show about 3 black creatives and their struggles to in an overwhelmingly white and racially insensitive advertising business while balancing their own lives, set in the 1960s. The idea came to mind after all my design colleagues fell in love with Mad Men, but I couldn’t get into it. I was torn. The designer side of me loved the glamorization of my own profession. However, the black guy side of me couldn’t get past the way African American were portrait in the show and their lack of representation in the office. Many fans of the show choose to accept Matthew Weiner’s version of the 1960s ad industry as true but it isn’t. What I’d like to do is provide an alternate storyline that includes the multitude of real black men and working in the field as they interact with these fictional characters.

I want to push the idea of minorities in advertising passed the tokenized and trivial roles depicted in the first 5 seasons of Mad Men. I remember feeling like the token black kid from the ghetto. The son of two struggling drug addicts, I was homeless at an early age and my prospects looked slim. I owe my escape from that token existence to someone who decided to introduce me to the world of creativity as a profession.

This opened the door to a seemingly endless amount of possibilities. Unfortunately most of them were too expensive and impractical for me to afford. However, for some reason, whenever I didn’t have the means to fund my own creativity I was blessed to meet someone else who did. I’d cross paths with altruistic angel who decided that believing in my dream was worth a few dollars from their pockets. So now, I’m asking for help once again. However, this time the help isn’t for my own mental escape or creative growth. The help is bigger than just me. This time I need help paying forward what I owe to everyone who has supported me in the past. I’ve been given an opportunity and a platform to share an alternate but equally valid version of history that incorporates the marginalized black figures of advertising in 1960s New York. Can you help an underprivileged black boy from the nations most segregated city share a vision of diversity in marketing?

Could you help me make something super funny look freaking awesome?

What We Need

We were honored to be accepted into the inaugural Motionmakers Fund program done by Dailymotion.com, the worlds second largest online video-sharing platform. They have a viewership of over 110 million, so when we hit their front page we want to do it right! Being a period piece our project will have a lot of money going into getting the look right so we are raising additional funds for the following:

  • Set Dressings
  • Vintage props (some of which we’ll be giving away in our perks)
  • Costumes
  • Hair and Makeup
  • Craft Services
  • Transportation

And some of the funds will also go to the following to help with exposure”

  • Promotional Photos
  • Online Advertising for the premier of the pilot

The Impact

The purpose of this project is to inform people about the real life black and brown people working in the advertising industry throughout the 1960s with a bit of humor. I like to call it the gummy vitamin approach. Give people a little bit of what they need in a package they can enjoy. What fans of Mad Men need is to know that Matt Weiner isn’t being accurate with his portrait of blacks in Mad Men. They should have the opportunity to be exposed to the number of noteworthy blacks working in the industry and the type of lives they led.

Raising this money will help us create our vision of the 1960s with accuracy and authenticity to help support what we know is a great story.

Other Ways You Can Help

If your pockets are too thin to help us financially just spread the word about our project. Tell all your friends about what we are trying to do. Follow us twitter and retweet everything we say… EVERYTHING. Ok not everything but at least most of it.

Find This Campaign On
raised in 24 days
47% funded
No time left
$3,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 9, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $25USD
    Clarence LeRoy Holte

    1 free ticket to the theatrical premiere in Milwaukee Wi and receive a personal thank you from the creator/director and producer.

    11 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $50USD
    Caroline R. Jones

    2 free tickets to the theatrical premiere in Milwaukee Wi.

    5 out of 50 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $50USD
    Archie Boston

    Get one of our Limited edition "Mad Black Men" T-shirts. Chose from the selection we will revel over the course of the campaign. (hint they will all be named after our perks)

    2 out of 30 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $100USD
    Roy Eaton

    Limited Edition "Mad Black Men" T-shirt and 2 free tickets to the theatrical premiere in Milwaukee Wi. Visit the set during filming.

    4 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
  • $200USD
    Gordon Parks

    Walk on extra in a scene from one of the first 2 episodes. And a black and white photo of your self on set.

    0 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $500USD
    Georg Olden

    Walk on extra in a scene from one of the first 2 episodes. And an original autographed script and booklet of concept art painted by creator and director Xavier Ruffin. Plus all previous perks.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2013
  • $1,000USD
    Vince Cullers

    Earn a Associate Producer credit in the animated title sequence. Plus all previous perks.

    0 out of 3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2013
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