Same Difference is a feature length documentary that presents the lives of two adolescent boys who identify as gay from a young age. Graeme Taylor, now 18 and off to college, grows up and goes to school in a supporting environment that allows him to thrive. Justin Aaberg (1995-2010) unfortunately grows up and goes to a school filled with intolerant backwards policies and scandal. Justin was just one of nine teens that took their lives while attending the Anoka-Hennepin School District between 2009-2011. This resulted in state health officials declaring the school district a suicide contagion, leading to a department of justice investigation. The role the school played in these deaths is explored through Jefferson Fietek, the only openly gay teacher in the district at the time. Additionally Mellisa Thompson, a parent in the district, highlights the shortcomings of the school board and the administration. Dr. Dorothy Espelage, Ph.D, Dr. Antoine Douaihy M.D., and Dr. Liz Winter PhD, LSW, examine the current research on anti-bullying and offer solutions to handling gender issues among adolescents within schools.
- Joshua Sweeny and Kyle Wentzel met in graduate school where they earned their Master's Degrees in film. Since the beginning of this project they have dedicated everything they have to finishing this important film.
- This film began with a similar crowd funding campaign more than three years ago.
- We've finished filming and have all our material. We need the resources to pay for the remainder of work- editing, scoring, recording, sound mixing and mastering, color grading, animation, and VFX. After that we also will need funds for clearances for usage of news footage, festival fees, attorney fees and many other costs. If we reach our goal we can get to a final cut of the film but after that we'll have more fundraising to do before an international festival or theatrical run. It is our hope that we can surpass our finishing post funds and have the resources to get the film's promotion, marketing, distribution, and other final steps completed as well.
- Lots of information can be found in the press kit at www.samedifferencefilm.com
$135,000 to finish Post-Production
Here's how it's spent: The film is in post production. All the interviews are done and all principle filming has been completed. We are nearing the end of editing and need these funds to have a final polished version of the film.
$15,000 - Scoring - We need to score the 90 minute film. Justin Aaberg was the only freshman in his high school's concert orchestra. Everyone who met him was amazed at his natural gift for music. Before passing away, he recorded several of his own original compositions. We are taking themes from his videos and using them to score the film. We then need to hire musicians and a recording studio.
$25,000 - Post Sound Editing, Mixing and Mastering - We have a generous offer from a prestigious sound studio in Burbank, California. They have agreed to do our post-sound work for a fraction of the typical costs, simply because of the importance of this film's message.
$20,000 - Post Visual Work - Color grading, Animation and VFX will take a dedicated team of many skilled professionals.
$15,000 - Attorney fees - A variety of legal services will be needed before reaching theaters.
$10,000 - Beginning Clearances - We need to clear rights to use prominent news and television footage we use in the film from CNN, NBC and other large broadcasters.
$10,000 - Director/Producer- Approximately four months of work to bring the film to completion
$10,000 - Post Supervisor/Producer- Approximately four months of work to bring the film to completion
$10,000- Editor - Approximately four months of work to bring the film to completion
$10,000 - Indiegogo Fees/Incentives - The costs of Blu Ray discs, posters, and shipping, etc., Also, Indiegogo charges between 4-9% depending on whether or not we meet our goal.
= $135,000 - Completion Of Post Production
- We chose Flexible funding. If we don't reach our goal of $135,000 we will still complete the film but it may take a long time before we have all the needed funds. So far, Same Difference has been a four year journey and everyone involved is 100% committed to completing this film and bringing this story to the world.
- In the last year we have received grant funding from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), and American Eagle Outfitters. We have also received endorsements from many LGBT organizations in the city of Pittsburgh.
- We also have a panel of physicians who are helping to a create a separate institutional version of the film that can be presented in schools and other community settings for the betterment of the current social climate regarding LGBT youth issues.
- Between 2009-2011 the news throughout the U.S. was inundated with stories of LGBT youth suicides, many of which were connected to stories of intense school harassment and bullying. Almost 50% of middle school bullying is homophobic in nature. Regardless of these two realities, 93% of anti-bullying campaigns in the U.S. make absolutely no mention of homophobic bullying or gender related harassment issues.
- Hundreds of millions of dollars (approximately $400,000,000/year) are being spent on programs that don't explicitly address one of the primary problems of bullying, homophobia. This silence has an adverse effect, current legislation and policy prohibit teachers from discussing LGBT issues or offering support to LGBT students. There is a way to reduce homophobic bullying in our nations schools, and that's by addressing it and responding to current research. Please help Same Difference Film get out these important messages by donating today.
Making a film is very difficult work. Getting an independent documentary into theaters takes persistence and dedication from many individuals. Luckily, we've lined up some amazing professionals to see this project reach the highest standard possible, we just need to have the resources to follow through.
Other Ways You Can Help
Some people just can't contribute with money, but that doesn't mean they can't help:
- The entire future of this film is in now in your hands. Sharing this project in person and online with as many people as possible will help more than you might know.
- Encouraging prominent people in the LGBT world to share our film, write about our film or promote it in any way could get thousands, tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of people to view this page. If even a fraction of those people are able to donate, we can certainly reach our modest goal of $135,000. Every dollar beyond our goal will continue to get us closer to theaters, as we will have other costs even once we have a completed final cut of the film.
Please share our page's link: igg.me/at/samedifference on all your favorite social media sites. Links to all our social media pages can be found below, or visit www.samedifferencefilm.com
For those needing a tax deductible option, please see our websites donation page at http://www.samedifferencefilm.com/#!donate/c199t for tax deductible donating through our 501(c)(3) fiduciary.
We can't do this without your help, so please get involved and help complete this important film for LGBT youth.
Our Sincerest Gratitude,
The Same Difference Film Team
The film will have subtitles (ideally in many languages) and closed captioning will be available for those who are hearing impaired.
There will be both an NTSC and a PAL version of the film to ensure play-ability worldwide.