As appearing in The Rocky Mountain Collegian
Photos from the shooting of the Blue Shoe Media documentary “Without Color.” Photos courtesy of Blue Shoe Media.
A group of Colorado State University students and alumni set out on a mission to make an impact through documentary films, which allow audience members to walk in the shoes of another person.
BlueShoe Media, a CSU-born production company, recently released a trailer for the first phase of a full-feature documentary titled “Without Color.” Over the summer, six members of the BlueShoe Media team traveled to India to film the documentary.
The documentary is a story focusing on the struggles of widows and the empowerment and hope for women in India, said Kyle Rasmussen, founder and owner of BlueShoe Media and graduate of the CSU journalism program.
Filming as a foreign production company in India raised some challenges for the BlueShoe Media team, Rasmussen said. For the second phase of the project, BlueShoe Media is looking for a production company in India to complete the film in a way which allows for a global impact to be made for widows.
Rasmussen said “Without Color” has not been made fully public due to the sensitive subject matters documented in the film. Keeping the film private will also to help create an atmosphere where this film can successfully be accepted in India, Rasmussen said.
“Our goal is to have this make an impact,” Rasmussen said. “We want them to see that we are there not to point fingers at the issue, but to give hope.”
BlueShoe Media is relying heavily on grants and donations from patrons to fund the filming of their documentaries. Rasmussen said the first phase of the production cost about $24,000.
Rasmussen said the BlueShoe Media team is planning the second phase of the project and will be traveling back to India next summer. However, with the second phase of the project, the team needs to raise at least $300,000 in order to complete the production. Donations to the project can be made on the “Without Color” website.
The idea to travel to India for this documentary came shortly after forming his own business in August of last year, Rasmussen said. He was inspired to start his own company after he was deeply moved by a documentary titled “Blood Brother.”
“This documentary was so powerful to me that I was in love with the people in the documentary,” Rasmussen said. “It was told in such a unique way that it opened your heart up for those people and in that moment I saw the power of what we do and the kind of impact that we can make on somebody, not just to point out an issue, you are also allowing people to empathize on a very personal level. I think that is where change comes from. When you are able to understand people who have completely different circumstances than your own but you can understand them like they are your own. That is empathy.”
The entire BlueShoe Media team is either attending or has graduated from CSU, Rasmussen said.
“I took digital video editing with Kyle my sophomore year,” said Ben Ward, BlueShoe Media editor and domestic liaison. “We were all students in that class and he came up to us after class at different points. He just said I like your style and I like your attitude and basically told us he wanted to go produce a documentary and he wanted our help, that’s pretty much the extent of what the agreement was. It was a far out dream, maybe it would happen and maybe it would not.”
Will Baker, the co-producer of “Without Color,” said the BlueShoe Media team is a group of motivated individuals who will stop at nothing to get their message out there.
“Granted, you have professional companies that have resources, but we have will,” Baker said. “We aren’t getting paid, we are juggling school and life, but the drive for the project is what keeps us afloat because we all really believe in it.”
Rasmussen said his experience and education at CSU has contributed greatly to his success.
“I can’t forget to recognize and thank CSU,” Rasmussen said. “Especially for the support of the professors from department of Journalism and Media Communication. They have been tremendously supportive to me as a dreaming student and really made me believe that I could take on a project this big.”
Collegian Reporter Megan Braa can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @MeganBraa.