The solution was to just start shooting, on the theory that once we could show people what we were after it would be easier to raise money. This required extraordinarily committed producers who believed in the project (both financially and creatively), Jen Chaiken and Sebastian Dungan.
They put in some seed money to shoot a kind of "trailer". From there, the other notable thing was using Kickstarter. This allowed people to invest even if they only had 25 dollars or 5 dollars -- whatever they had to spare. We listed the funders in the film in the end credits, and said "we'd like to thank the many in the 1% and the 99% who helped fund this film". There are over 1000 names listed there. We put that there because the fundraising felt like everyone was throwing in to help in whatever way they could.
factoid demonstrating income inequity by "Inequality for All"
JB: I like that you did that, Jake. It really was a grassroots effort. You got some great coverage with your interviews with Bill Moyers; in fact, he devoted an entire show to his interview with Bob. Moyers called your film film "marvelous, informative, exhilarating, fun and frightening" which about sums it up. How did you grab his interest?
JK: I know that he cares deeply about income inequality, and that he has known Reich for a very long time. But the truth is that I don't know how we grabbed his interest -- maybe he just saw and liked the movie!
Bill Moyers, to me, is one of the great warriors and a true American patriot. It was a tremendous honor to meet him and get to talk with him for a while. It was inspiring to me that -- as a guy who had been thinking about this topic of widening income inequality for so long -- he thought that the film made a real contribution to the national discussion about income inequality.
picture worth 1000 words by "Inequality for All"
JB: He's absolutely right! Anything you'd like to add before we wrap this up?
Just a few things: For me, this is a project that, in many ways, I've been waiting my whole life to make. The big idea was to take an idea-driven story and make it personal. This topic is very personal to me, and I'm extremely proud of taking the concept and finding a way to communicate it in a way that reaches audiences in a personal, emotional way.
That was the product of a collaboration with an amazing group of film artists -- producers Jen Chaiken and Sebastian Dungan, Editor Kim Roberts, the whole group of DP's who worked on this -- Svetlana Cvetko, Dan Krauss, Andy Black and slew of others... the folks who worked with me to help make it a film story, that collaboration was one of the most inspiring of my life. They all brought so much of themselves to the film, and the film is as much a product of their work as of mine.
But in every Q&A I get asked about the collaboration with Bob. I started out with a tremendous amount of respect for him, and if anything, my admiration for him grew. His ideas, integrity, and warmth aren't just obvious when you see the movie -- they really came across in the day to day grind of making a movie over a couple of years.
All those people, all that work and time -- all because we collectively felt that this was the biggest story of our times and people needed to understand it. It was a passion project in the best sense of the word.
Reich on Moyers & Company by Moyers & Company
JB: I urge all of our readers to watch this film and get involved. What we have going now is simply not sustainable. Whichever percent you're in, this affects YOU! Thanks so much for talking with me, Jake. It was fun and informative. I predict that Inequality for All is destined to become a classic!
Is this what income inequality feels like? by Open Salon review, "Inequality for All"