Help us tell the REAL story of Detroit Techno

by Jennifer Washington

Personal campaign Keep it all Los Angeles, CA, US

My name is Jennifer Washington and I am from Detroit, Michigan. Although, I live in Los Angeles, I'm still very proud of my hometown despite what the rest of the world thinks they know about it... See the whole story

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My name is Jennifer Washington and I am from Detroit, Michigan.  Although, I live in Los Angeles, I'm still very proud of my hometown despite what the rest of the world thinks they know about it.  I get it, though.  There is more than enough bad news that comes out about Detroit.  Just yesterday, I read an article about a mass killing that took place in Detroit and the writer was mad because it didn't make national news.  (Shaking My Head)

As long as I can remember, everyone back home has had their own opinions about what needs to happen in order for the city to turn around.  But in my simple opinion, a proper inventory needs to be taken.  There is way more to my city than the "ruined" images we see in the media.  Detroit has and always will be a sacred breeding ground for top notch musical talent.

I came to this conclusion when I traveled home a few years ago and made some interesting discoveries!  I learned that Detroit is the birthplace of Techno music...and that electronic dance music is now a billion dollar industry...and that Detroit has been one of the largest exporters of the purist techno in the world for the past 25 years!

Honestly, I was shocked to learn this myself.  I fell in LOVE with the music when I was growing up, but had NO IDEA that a group of guys from Detroit had created this new sound!   There were no videos back then, and artist names and song titles were not widely publicized.  It was all so underground. 

So, after connecting with some filmmakers from Detroit, we came up with an idea - to tell the REAL story of Detroit Techno from a native's perspective.  I thought surely if we could create an inspiring story, we could finally show the beautiful side of what the world views as one of the poorest and most dangerous cities in America.

For the past 3 years, my director Kristian R. Hill, and I have been traveling the globe following and documenting legendary Detroit DJ/Producers like Juan Atkins, Derrick May, and Richie Hawtin to name a few. It is awesome to see these guys being treated like Gods overseas - unlike here in the States where they have been largely been forgotten.

But we are nearly done with production now, and have an upcoming shoot scheduled in Berlin with one of our stars, Detroit based DJ/Producer/Educator Mike Huckaby to round out our story.

In the edit with Mike Huckaby

Unfortunately, expenses like accomodations, airfare, and transportation are just the tip of the iceberg when filming overseas!  Then there's the post production...let's just say that is the most expensive and least glamorous part of the whole process.  :)

Here is how it all breaks down:

  • Accomodations $1,500
  • Flights - $2,000
  • Lens Rental $500
  • Extra baggage fees $400
  • Transportation $500
  • Meals $500
  • Data Cards $500
  • Travel phone $300
  • Foreign Language Translation $200
  • Interview transcription service $200
  • Editing $2,500
  • Color $500
  • Hard Drives $400

I say all that to say, making documentaries are expensive.  This total doesn't even take into consideration the music licensing fees that all the artists whose music we use will receive.  Yikes!  But,that's another fundraiser.

Finally to be quite honest, this has been nearly a self-funded venture.  We are about 3/4 of the way finished and now we need your help.

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