Of One Blood - Trailer
Of One Blood Project
(A Short Film, Book, Soundtrack Album)
Created by Jason Makwein Nkwain.
My name is Jason Makwein Nkwain, and I am a 25 year old creator and educator based in Bowie, MD. I was born in Cameroon and moved to the United States when I was 13 years old. I received my Associates of Arts degree in General Studies from Prince Georges Community College in december of 2012 and my Bachelors of Arts in English and Bachelors of Science in Geographical Informations Systems from The University of Maryland College Park in May 2015. I am a spoken word poet with performances at over 15 Universities across the United States and have also competed as part of the University of Maryland’s Slam Poetry team at the College Union Poetry Slam Invitational in 2015. I was invited to the White House in April, 2016 to partake in The White House Workshop and Panel Discussion on Access and Inclusion in the Entertainment Industry, with the creator and cast of Scandal. I am currently an English Educator at Bladensburg High School where I also Coach football: Defensive linemen.
Objective of Document
I would like to give you the opportunity to become a part of a project that I believe will change the tide of not only entertainment, but will inspire a movement towards Freedom, Unity and Self-love in the Black Body. I am seeking a $500,000 investment for a 2510% stake of the Of One Blood Project.
The ‘Of One Blood’ Project critically examines the relationship between Africans and African Americans through the artistic disciplines of Film, Song, and Literature. The title Of One Blood stems from a novel written by the brilliant Pauline Hopkins. The novel tells the intricate and extremely complex stories of three Siblings (Reuel, Aubrey, and Dianthe) who born by way of rape through the institution of slavery, were separated from birth and grew up passing so as to survive the real and immediate threat of white supremacy.
The ‘Of One Blood (A Short Film)’ explores the psychological state of a man enduring the trauma of being ripped from his family, land, culture and most importantly, from himself. Told through minimum dialogue, poetry, song and gripping imagery, the Experimental short film takes you on a pivotal journey through time, place and space.
The ‘Of One Blood – Soundtrack Album’ features six originally created songs for and inspired by the Project. Each song seeks to explore a crucial element in this severed relationship. Themes in the songs include but are not limited to love, fear, racism, unity, white supremacy, and triumph.
The ‘Of One Blood – A Memoir’ written as a letter to the African American family tells the story of the creator Jason Makwein Nkwain, as he grew up in Africa. It travels to specific points in his life both in Africa and eventually America as he comes to the realization that from birth, he had been conditioned, sometimes consciously and other times subconsciously, to think himself inferior. He also comes to the realization that this same conditioning was also seared into the minds of his blood (African American brothers and sisters). We find him questioning his way to his true identity in the hopes that finding himself will help him find his ‘blood’ – African American.
The Creator Speaks
I moved to the United States at the age of thirteen and immediately wondered why my African American brothers and sisters looked at and treated me with disdain, as if I was not a part of them. This was the initial spark to my long and grueling dilemma to try to figure out how this relationship had become so strained. In March of 2015, I wrote a poem about this relationship and as I began to determine how to shoot the poem, the ideas kept growing and that is when I decided to make a short film. What started as the making of only a short film immediately turned into creating a whole album with songs. Then also eventually writing a memoir. My rationale for expanding the project this way is because as an educator, I believe in diversifying how I teach so that it reaches everyone. I believe the film will be better suited for Visual learners, the Songs for auditory learners, the book for Reading/Writing learners, and if all works well, the EXPERIENCE will be for the Kinesthetic Learners. I am also a firm believer that we as artists should always push the boundaries of art so that creativity continues to strive.
We completed principal photography back in July of 2017 and have been blessed enough to raise funds for editing and finalization of film. We are almost done with the film and due to the traction that we have received from the trailer alone, we believe that we have something truly amazing on our hands. To be able to bring the project in its entirety to the world, we would need some major funds to get this project to where it needs to be. I will do my best to address exactly what I propose and how the funds will be used to produce results that will be beneficial to you as the financier. I will try to be as detail and as possible and also present the vision and path of the project.
- Film should be completed and ready for film festivals by the end of February. Start sending film to festivals in March.
- Book should be fully completed (Final draft) by March 20th, 2018.
- Album of songs are already completed.
- Put songs on all streaming platforms latest beginning of May.
- Micro-school tour for private screenings of Of One Blood Project.
- Of One Blood Experience – June (Tentative)
- Full school tours begin in August.
- Industry Landscape
We are living at a time where the demand for short films is at an all time high. According to the article titled The Future of The Short Film Amid New Distribution Options by creators.vice.com(https://creators.vice.com/en_us/article/78w55g/the-future-of-the-short-film-amid-new-distribution-options), “Trillions of logged views are showing that shorts are the way to go and it is no longer unusual when an explosive short film leads directly to a Hollywood sized deal.” The article further details how this rise in demand for Short films, the world’s leading distributor of Short films, sent letters to filmmakers asking them to take down their films. We can thank the internet for all of this.
There has been a massive surge in the consumption of black art and black intellectual writing in the past eight years and I suggest that this is a direct result of the ascension of Obama to the post of president. It is important to note that Obama’s presidency unmasked the deeply racial society that we live in. Due to this, we saw a spike in racism that wasn’t covert anymore but was as open and as present as it could be. As a reaction to this, we saw and continue to see black writers dive into the analysis and exploration of this mess and to address the masses. This hunger to understand America’s racial history and present caused a surge in the consumption of Black literature. The emergence of Black writers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Jesmyn Ward, Michelle Alexander, Colson Whitehead… etc showed America’s thirst for the knowledge of self and of this country. Books written in similar format like my book like Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between The World and Me and James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time have gone on to receive critical acclaims (National Book Award for non-fiction, PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay, NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Biography / Autobiography) and sold millions of copies with each aforementioned titled selling over 3 million copies and even winning Ta-Nehisi Coates a MacArthur Genius Fellowship. Other notable works that address the Black body in same manner and have risen to be critically acclaimed are Men we reaped by Jesmyn Ward, The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander and Negroland by Margo Jefferson. According to the African American Literature Book Club article titled Black Writers Dominate The 2017 Pulitzer Prizes, three black writers have won half of the awards in the Letters and Drama categories alone. This is significant because prior to this, only 19 black writers had won in any category during the first century the award was given and especially noting that of the 22 total awards given in the entirety of the Pulitzer Awards, Almost half were given in the last 10 years.
The success of every facet of this project is dependent on the success of all other facets of the projects. Similarly, as we have seen over time, soundtracks have driven projects to stardom. We’ve seen this with Celine Dion’s Titanic My Heart Will Go On and with Childish Gambino’s Get Out Red Bone. More recently, we have seen the soundtrack and inspired by album of the critically acclaimed Black Panther film immediately shoot to the top of the charts a weeks after its release.
Over the past few years, there has been a few number of projects that I can say are similar to this particular project. The first being Beyonce’s Lemonade. This visual hour long film premiered on HBO and raked in an unprecedented 787,000 viewers on its first weekend ranking top 30 in demo for the day. This also propelled the album which it was made out of to go platinum less than two months into its release. We have also seen Jay Z take this multi-disciplinary route with his 4:44 album, releasing a short film to accompany each song. The Of One Blood Project does this and more. It weaves together song, poetry, and storytelling into a three dimensional Masterpiece aimed at addressing the deep divide in the black body. The complexity and what I consider the greatest strength of this project is its malleability: ability to be molded and shaped to meet the mission of the project. The complexity of this project also greatly align with the representation of the blood body, which is highly diverse and not a monolith.
Most recently, the release of the Black Panther film has rejuvenated this discussion about division in the Black body especially the relationship between Africans from the continent and Africans around the diaspora. In the movie *spoiler alert* the villain Killmonger is the son of T’Chaka’s brother the Prince of Wakanda and an African American woman. Killmonger is abandoned after his father (who has been disturbed by the horrible treatment of African Americans in America and who as a result has started devising strategies to help free African Americans) is killed. This disconnect with home and with his inability to go back to the land of his father causes killmonger to detest and to hate T’Challa and Wakanda’s unwillingness to help liberate Black people across the world. This theme drives the movie and has now put this conversation center stage.
- Target Audience
My target audience will be Black people between the ages of 16 and 45 with a primary focus on college aged students. So you might be thinking how I made this decision? The criteria was as follows;
- The primary and obvious reason for this choice is because the subject matter is meant to address the black community as a whole.
- According to the Nielsen report titled Black Dollars Matter: A Sale Impact of Black Consumers, “Black consumers with a yearly buying power of 1.7 trillion dollars are speaking directly to brands in unprecedented ways and achieving headline making results.” also “African Americans make up 14% of the U.S. population but have outsized influence over spending on essential items” and “38% of African Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 and 41% of those aged 35 or older say they expect the brands they buy to support social causes.” Due to these buying powers, “there are millions, sometimes billions of dollars in revenue at stake. According to another Nielsen Report titled Young, Connected and Black, “African Americans are making impressive gains in high school and college achievements. Fully, 89% of African Americans millennials ages 25-34 completed high school, compared to 77% of those who are 55 and older. 21% of Black millennials ages 25-34 have an associates degree or higher versus 17% of those 55 and older.” This increase in graduation rate as the article proofs, directly correlates to higher income rates which in turn adds to the aforementioned buying power. We have seen this buying power recently propel works such as Get Out which was the directorial debut and breakthrough film by Jordan Peele which grossed an astounding $255 million on a $4 million budget and which has now been nominated for four oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. We have currently experiencing this buying power with the recent release of Black Panther which is shattering records with a 3 day income of $201.8 million and a 4 day estimate of $235 million.
- According to the Nielsen report (a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide. Nielsen marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this knowledge. Nielsen is also an S&P company with operations at over 100 countries.) titled Multifaceted Connections: African American Media Usage Outpaces Across Platforms, “African Americans have a diverse approach to receiving content and information. – they fully engage and connect through various mainstream and niche media outlets and platforms, and they consume more content than other groups on all fronts.” The direct data from this table can be seen in the image below.
From this chart, we can see that not only do African Americans prefer entertainment that is multi-faceted but also out-consumes everyone in all the different mediums through which entertainment is provided.
- According to a Variety article titled African Americans Went to More Movies in 2016, the number of frequent African American moviegoers nearly doubled to 5.6 million from 2016. This is a direct reaction to Hollywood understanding the market and making more movies that are directed at and curated by the Black body.
- Analysis of competition
There is a great amount of competition in regards to the multidisciplinary style of the project. As stated earlier, the field of multi-disciplinary creations is rapidly expanding and is the future, but very few have ventured even close to create a project as diverse and as impactful as mine. I outlined in the Industry Landscape section projects that are similar and can be potential competition but i strongly believe that the fact that every part of this project can be individual stand alone projects makes it extremely unique. To have a film that can stand alone, an album that is powerful enough to be its own project and a book that can inspire movements will go a long way to to diversify and meet the demands of a vast audience, not forgetting the power to present art that can be digested in many ways.
- Road Map & Goals
- Film Festivals
- Send film to as many eligible and prominent festivals as possible starting Second week of March.
- Win at every film festival all way to Oscars.
- Create Project website
- Website should curate all facets of projects and should be an online embodiment of the Of One Blood Experience.
- Journey Log – Interactive Journey from Africa to different places where slaves were taken.
- White Supremacist ideals that we as the Black Body conform to and at each end, a part that says, I resist.
- Video log of Black experience all around world after Of One Blood Experience to be shared here.
- Suggestions on how to build and grow the Black body page.
- Hire Public Relation (PR)
- Make sure project reaches its full designated potential.
- Create and curate all events around project
- Project Branding
– Project Image
– Cover Art for all facets of project
– Merchandising: T-shirts, hats, apparel, stickers
- Social Media Campaign
– Run consistent ads of film with target audience being the designated, i.e. google ads, facebook ads, instagram ads and others as needed.
– Secure interviews on shows and blogs. At least 100 articles written about project.
– Create a movement.
- Privately screen entire project with prominent individuals to solicit endorsements and co-signs while film makes rounds at film festival. Starting mid March.
- Secure enough endorsements to scale up on project.
- Get songs streaming on all streaming services and also entered into film festivals for Film music.
- Goal is to have over 1,000,000 streams for entire album within 6 months of release.
- Create limited edition vinyls for sale.
- Sell Limited rights of songs.
- Of One Blood campaign
- Tell your own story about your black experience with other black people. This will typically happen after the Of One Blood Experience and will be shared through the projects website.
- Hire book editor – Immediately
- Create cover art for book
- Sample reading for feedback
- Reach for possible book deal through publisher. c
- Of One Blood Experience
- Plan and execute the Of One Blood Experience where audience will watch film, get a full orchestral performance of entire album, and a brief reading and dialogue on book.
- Include honesty booth for audience to confess after show. Could be saved and shared on website of project.
- Slowly expand to theatrical show.
- Of One Blood Experience TOUR
- School Tours
- Push for school tours centered around dialogue on the relationship in the black body. School tours will bring school BSU’s (Black Student Unions) and ASA’s (African Student Association) together to journey through project and discuss this relationship. This should galvanize students and youth to action and start a movement.
- Push for curricular and possible classes with study of book at center of topic for study, Art and Activism. Invite experts and Black intellectuals to partake in the conversation.
- Create room for dialogue about other relationships in the black body. Cc Afro Latina and other elements.
- Of One Blood To The World
- World Tour Of One Blood Experience
- Screenings of the entire project especially in Africa, Caribbean, and Europe (focus Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa)
- International seminars as well
- Get film on netflix platform
- Hire Agent
- Pitch not only movie but show idea around project and get a show deal.
- Making Money
- Film Festival wins
- School Tours, visits and speeches.
- Purchased rights of project by University for study.
- Of One Blood Project Merchandise
- Sell Film
- Album Sales
- Book Deal or sale
- Of One Blood Experience
- Netflix Deal, show deal.
- Project Worth
After the careful consideration of the type of project, the analysis of the target audience and its buying power, the incredible success of like projects over the last few years, and the gripping relevance of the subject matter, I place the value of this entire project at approximately 25 million dollars.
- Accomplishments (so far)
- So far, we’ve been able to raise $10,000 from 65 donors through kickstarter. That’s an average of $154 per donor meaning the audience values the an item (film, album, book) of the project at $154.
- Feature on Afropunk’s website. Afropunk is a website that celebrates African Americans through the melding of activism, music, and style often appealing to an audience that do not quite co-sign to mainstream black culture and fashion. Afropunk has a massive following on social media; Instagram – 837,000 followers, Facebook – 1,835,578 followers, Twitter – 77,000 followers and boast an international festival that has been hosted in Paris, France, Atlanta, Georgia, London, England, Johannesburg, South Africa with the main festival happening yearly in Brooklyn, New York. The Afropunk Festival boast about 70,000 followers every year. http://afropunk.com/2017/11/short-film-explores-relationship-africans-african-americans-film-song-literature/
- Invitation to speak and present project at St. Bonaventure University this Spring.
- Cost Analysis
- Film festival fees – $20000 (Goal is to enter at least 40 film festivals Worldwide)
- School Tours and visits – Schools will cover cost.
- Of One Blood Experience – $100,000
- Merchandise – $15,000
- Album – $10000 (Paying for distributor and uploading cost. Also physical copies and Special edition Vinyls as needed.)
- Of One Blood Project Website and maintenance – $20000
- Of One Blood Project Artwork and Images and Advertisements – $20,000
- Public Relations – $100,000 (Cost for all facets of projects for year)
- Marketing – $35,000
- Travel and lodging as needed – $40,000
- Book editor – $10,000
- Media Crew – $30,000 (Will document every facet of project and its proceedings)
- Miscellaneous – $100,000 (Of One Blood Experience World Tour)
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