CAPPS - Avocacy and Communication Professional Development

California Association of Private Postsecondary Schools

PlattForm Films Launches Kickstarter Campaign for Reconstructing the Dream, a Documentary About the Crippling Skills Gap in America

02/19/2013

YAHOO FINANCE.  FEBRUARY 13, 2013.  LENEXA, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PlattForm Films has announced the launch of a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for the distribution of Reconstructing the Dream, a documentary that examines the growing gap between the skills today’s companies demand from their workforce and the willingness of America’s higher education leaders to provide those skills to students.

We all know them: talented, well-educated people working in jobs beneath their abilities. Despite the hard work and dedication it took them to achieve a college education, they find themselves at dead ends, with even bleaker prospects than if they hadn’t attempted to pursue a degree. What’s startling is that there are jobs available – if they only had the right skills. This, in essence, is the crux of the “skills gap.” Millions of people are following a path they believe will lead to the American dream and ending up without a job and deep in debt.

Hosted and narrated by Dr. William Bennett, former U.S. Secretary of Education under President Ronald Reagan, Reconstructing the Dream shares the stories of graduates from every sector of higher education in their quest to find work and realize their version of the American dream. Featuring interviews with prominent educators, political leaders, students and graduates from all walks of higher education, Reconstructing the Dream’s purpose is to challenge the nation's political leaders, the U.S. Department of Education and education stakeholders across all sectors to offer solutions for how we, as Americans, might work together to reconstruct our education system.

With a successful fundraising effort through Kickstarter.com, Reconstructing the Dream can be distributed to a broader audience – and substantially increase the number of people who are exposed to its important message. However, the Kickstarter campaign is an all-or-nothing effort, which means if the project fails to secure the total funds required, it doesn’t receive any of the funds pledged.

Donors through the Kickstarter campaign will receive a variety of items depending on the level of support: film crew T-shirts or fleece jackets, bumper stickers, an early release copy of the DVD, signed copies of the film script, recognition of support on the film’s website and social media outlets, a sponsored local viewing of the film, and sponsorship of the film’s premiere party.

Reconstructing the Dream’s concept was devised by Executive Producer Michael Platt, the founder of PlattForm, an education communication company in Lenexa, Kan. Platt wanted to expose the negative consequences the skills gap imparts on our nation and the role educators, employers, and others can play in narrowing the gap.

“As the CEO of an education marketing agency, I knew I had the resources available to me to take action,” Platt said. “My choice was to make a documentary to address the challenges of our education system and labor force. And while this film is everything I hoped it would be, my efforts alone are not enough to bring about real change. We need your contributions so more people can see the film, understand the message, and insist on reform.”

The film is directed by Jack Swearengin, who has more than 30 years of experience in video production and has developed creative strategies for Fortune 500 companies such as FedEx, 3M Corporation, Sprint and Hallmark. Production began on Reconstructing the Dream in February 2012, and photography is scheduled to wrap this month. Editing on what is expected to be a 75- to 90-minute feature length film is already underway. The scheduled release for the film is March 2013.

“Over the last year, we’ve found some remarkable student stories and sat down with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking individuals in education,” Swearengin said. “We’re excited about the prospects for this film, and that’s why we want to show it to as large of an audience as possible.”

Donations can be made to Reconstructing the Dream by visiting the project web page on Kickstarter.com: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2136272120/reconstructing-the-dream-us-education-documentary

For more information about Reconstructing the Dream, contact Kevin Kuzma at 913-396-5316 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Social Media Links:

Follow the film on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rtdfilm?ref=stream

Join the conversation on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=4685059&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr

Follow along on Twitter: https://twitter.com/rtdfilm

ABOUT PLATTFORM FILMS

PlattForm Films is an independent documentary film company based in Lenexa, Kan. Concerned with all issues related to higher education, the company focuses on addressing issues relevant to the American education system – specifically those issues involving the labor force. The company’s creative team includes two-time Emmy award-winning producer Jason Kerschner.

ABOUT DR. WILLIAM BENNETT

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. William J. Bennett, the host and narrator of Reconstructing the Dream, is one of America’s most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and educational issues. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Bill Bennett studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree (J.D.) from Harvard. He is the author of 20 books, including two New York Times No. 1 best sellers and two of the most successful books of the 1990s; he is the co-founder and served as the first Chairman of K12, Inc., an online education company; and he is the host of the seventh-ranked nationally syndicated radio show, Morning in America. Dr. Bennett’s latest book, The Book of Man: Readings on the Path to Manhood, is a New York Times best seller. Thanks to his governmental positions, writings, speeches and thousands of media appearances, William Bennett has extraordinary influence on America’s political and social landscape. In many surveys and publications, he has been named one of the most influential individuals in America. He is the recipient of more than 30 honorary degrees. Dr. Bennett and his wife, Elayne, live in Maryland and are the parents of two sons.