Documentary Blog #17 – Overall costs and why I’m asking for $.

As many of you know I have been asking (repeatedly) for money to be donated to this project.  And, I can openly admit that it has been hard to raise additional funds for this project.  A friend of mine warned me that it would be difficult to raise funds for this project because most of society doesn't find anything remotely related to senior citizens to be "sexy."  At first, I thought he was wrong and I was going to prove him wrong.  After several attempts to raise money and failing I am starting to see that he is right about it.  I guess this topic isn't as appealing to the masses as I had thought and must seen more as a niche project even though this topic is one that will affect ALL of us.  This confounds me. Recently, I have been really trying to promote my donation page on in an effort to raise money to tell this entire story of Senior Hunger and Ageism in America.  With any documentary, one needs money for travel, production, post production, food, etc.  So, I want to share the cost of a trip I am trying to make to Washington, DC just to show how the costs break down and why getting additional funds is so important.  Please understand that really good documentaries FIND the story and don't just TELL the story.  That's the difference between a news program and a documentary.  Most news programs just tell the story, travel to a city and are gone the next day.  With a documentary it's important to stay in an area, talk with the people, discover what's happening and determine what is the best story to share with the viewer.  You can't do that with a phone call or an email.  One has to immerse his/her self into that area or situation to find the story. That said, I just want to show what the breakdown of costs will be for a videographer and me to travel from Los Angeles (me) and Indianapolis (videopgrapher) to Washington, DC for a three day interview with the Administration on Aging and the United States Department of Agriculture.  We will not use a rental car or have parking and gas costs.  But we will have other expenses like taxis and subway tickets.  Here is the breakdown of costs and this is just a snapshot for going to 1 of 6 cities in my overall film:
  • Videographer Day Rate: $500/day x 3 days = $1,500
  • Roundtrip Airfare for Seth to DC = $330.10
  • Roundtrip Airfare for videographer to DC = $246.30
  • Hotel in DC (3 nights) = $1.267.51
  • Per diem for Videographer: $50/day x 3 = $150
  • Taxi to/from airport, baggage fees for all gear, subway tickets, food for Seth = $400
  • Total Cost = $3,893.91
The money I am scheduled to get from (as of today) is $2,671.00 (minus 5% fee from Amazon - about $131.00).  That leaves a difference of $1,400 that I need to come up with to actually get to DC and I have no idea where I am going to get those additional funds.  These costs listed above are minimal  and I am working very lightly.  Most documentaries/film productions have much larger crews than just two people (as I am using here).  So I am already working as efficiently and frugally as possible.  Also, please keep in mind that I have given up my photography business until this documentary is made, therefore, I have no income and have already spent around $3000 of my own money on this project. Lastly, I am wearing many, many hats to make this documentary.  I am the producer, director, editor, audio engineer, photographer, on-camera guide, voice-over and researcher.  I don't have a production staff working on this with me and need all the help I can get.  Those of you reading this blog - if you know anyone who can help then please pass along my website, email address and page (as of today there are only 10 days left to donate). I just don't want this great documentary fall short in sharing this incredibly important message because of a lack of funding.  PLEASE HELP IF YOU CAN! - Seth

Like what you see? Why not share it?

Share your thoughts on this post.