X= a generation defied

Topics: POLITICS, Generation X
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Funds Needed for Completion: $ 175,000.0
Estimated Completion Date: 01/02/2009


The politics of Generation X.

X = a generation defied is filmmaker Rakeda Lashae's report on the politics of her own Generation X. This groundbreaking documentary gives a voice to an overshadowed generation and will explore Generation X's impact on the 2008 presidential election.

The documentary addresses the filmmaker’s burning question: What role will Generation Xers play as future leaders? The presidential election is here and Generation Xers have a chance to make an impact. In discovering the role Gen X is playing, the filmmaker will also discover who the heroes of Generation X are… what values are important to this generation and what influence Gen Xers will have on the world.

Generation Xers were raised in the 1970s and 1980s. During the early 1990s when Gen Xers came of age, they were characterized as slackers by previous generations. Generation X was also criticized in the media for being politically disengaged. Today’s Gen Xers are approximately 28 to 42 years old. Are they still viewed as apathetic? Baby Boomers are starting to retire and Generation X is next in line to carry the torch.

Join the filmmaker as she gives a riveting report on her generation. This high definition documentary features conversations with Generation X journalists, entertainers, activists and entrepreneurs. Rakeda takes viewers on a journey across the nation as she documents Gen X participation in the presidential primaries and caucuses. In addition, people from other generations give their opinions about Generation X. And Davey D of Hard Knock Radio uses his radio show as a platform to discuss Generation X’s political history and future.

The filmmaker strives to define the politics of Gen X and in doing so invigorate the 50 million plus members of this group. The viewers of X = a generation defied will hopefully gain a better understanding of a misunderstood generation and a positive outlook on the future with Generation X as leaders.

X = a generation defied will premiere in the winter of 2009. We look forward to reaching people through film screenings, festivals, television, online channels and DVD distribution.



Project's Financial Needs

The funds will be used to complete shooting. Currently, we are half way through production. Since we are documenting Generation's participation in the 2008 presidential election, we strive to raise funds soon to continue shooting. In addition, some funds will be used for post production and clearances for music and film clips.

Other financial Support

- Individual donors and sponsors

- Grants

Current stage of production


Estimated Completion Date





X= a generation defied is filmmaker Rakeda Lashae’s report on the politics of Generation X. This is a documentary film shot in high definition. The story will be told in three segments within a 60 minute program.

Part I

Part one begins with the 2008 Presidential Election primaries and caucuses. This election represents a significant moment in US history when Generation X, a group characterized as being apathetic actively participated in politics. Rakeda Lashae takes viewers on a journey across the nation as she documents Gen X participation in primary season. Viewers will see Rakeda’s interviews with everyday people as they vote and rally for their candidate of choice. Rakeda introduces the notion that Generation Xers are in a pivotal position to step up as leaders with Baby Boomers retiring. Prominent Gen Xers such as journalists, entertainers, entrepreneurs and experts then explain why they are motivated to make their voices heard. Some of these interviews are conducted in casual settings like parks and coffee shops and the others are formal setups. Rakeda’s coverage of the 2008 election continues throughout the film. But in order to understand the politics of Generation X, we flash back to the mid 1960’s; the era which marks the birth of a generation then called Baby Busters. Rakeda gives a thorough depiction of the conditions in which Gen Xers were raised. Viewers will learn about Generation X as latchkey children, raised in a world drastically different from that of previous generations. We’ll show how the changing society produced a generation with different views on the world and politics. And Davey D of Hard Knock Radio is featured throughout the documentary, using his radio show as a platform to discuss Generation X politics with in studio guests and callers.

Part II

Part two continues with coverage of Gen X participation in the 2008 election. Rakeda gives us an inside look at Gen X participation in election caucuses and conventions. The history flashback starts with the 1990s time period. In this section, we examine the media’s negative depiction of Generation X upon coming of age. Rakeda explores three myths commonly associated with Generation X: slacker, cynical and apathetic. We will explain the origin of Generation X’s negative perception. We’ll also show Gen Xers reaction to the criticism through current interviews and archival clips. During this time, Generation X was also criticized in the media for being politically disengaged. Several organizations like Rock the Vote and MTV’s Choose or Loose made an effort to reach Generation X. Bill Clinton appealed to many Gen Xers by tapping into pop culture. But many Gen Xers remained distant from politics. The generation felt a closer connection to pop culture. Hip-hop and Grunge produced prominent figures like Kurt Cobain, Tupac and many others. These Gen Xers used music to express political opinions. But it never translated into a political identity for the generation. Part two features interviews both casual and formal with Gen Xers on the street, prominent figures and experts.

Part III

Part three takes viewers through the final stages of the 2008 Presidential Election. Rakeda reports on Gen X participation in the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in this section of the documentary. Throughout the primary season, the media reported a high percentage turnout from voters under the age of 45. Rakeda reveals the outcome of Gen X participation in the general election. The history flash back in this section begins with the late 1990s and early 2000s. During this time, technology exploded and Gen Xers seized the opportunity to create successful businesses like Google, YouTube and MySpace. Other prominent Gen Xers found success in pop culture and became industry moguls. Despite all of the success, Generation X failed to make a political impact. Rakeda takes viewers through the significant 2000 and 2004 presidential elections. The 2000 presidential candidates did not inspire participation from Generation X. The results of this election contributed to the generation’s cynicism. Diddy, a prominent entertainment figure, encouraged Generation X to Vote or Die in the 2004 election. The turnout amongst voters under the age of 45 increased in this election. But Generation X was criticized for not being informed on the issues. Rakeda brings viewers back up to date with the current 2008 election. At this point, we capture Gen Xers reaction to the election results. We end the election coverage in this film with footage of the presidential inauguration. The newly elected president may or may not represent a new generation of leadership. Regardless of the outcome, Rakeda and the filmmakers achieved their goal of putting Generation X back on the radar through this documentary. X= a generation defied ends with a glimpse into the future with Generation X leadership. Viewers will see footage of Gen X political leaders making their voices heard in the community. Rakeda revisits the negatives myths associated with Generation X through conversations with all generations. In conclusion, the true face of Generation X is revealed.

Visual and technical overview:

The documentary is being shot with HD and HDV cameras. We’ve used the Panasonic Varicam, HDX 900, HVX 200 and Sony ZIU cameras. We are using the 16:9 aspect ratio to achieve a more cinematic quality for HDTV and theatrical distribution.

The aesthetic approach of the photography is mainly single camera, with some interviews shot from opposing angles. Images like 80’s paraphernalia, is being projected in the background with the formal setups. We are also shooting interviews in casual settings like parks and coffee shops. These interviews are being shot using HD cameras with close angles on the faces of our subjects and high color saturation. The election footage is being shot handheld allowing Rakeda Lashae mobility to cover a variety of angles with events like political rallies and caucuses.

Rakeda will narrate the entire documentary. Since she is also shooting the interviews in most instances, we will use photographs of her as coverage and transition purposes. In addition, some text on screen will be used throughout the film.

In the flashback sections, the filmmakers will use archival clips and photographs for visual coverage. And popular music will help us tell the story of Generation X in addition to score.

Target Audience

 As members of Generation X, the producers are part of the 50 million people nationwide targeted as the project's core audience. We were born roughly between years 1966-1980. Despite criticism, we are emerging leaders demanding an accurate description in history. Generation X is the core audience- BUT the entire viewing population is anyone interested in learning about Generation X's political history, what our contribution to society has been and what we hope for the future.

Production Personnel



Rakeda Ervin, a Gen Xer, has produced and directed VH1 documentary specials, such as Behind The Music, Ultimate Albums, Hip Hop Babylon and Driven earning several award nominations. Another documentary on her resume, The N Word, received a Peabody Award in 2005. Rakeda has additional credits with Warner Bros., A&E, BET, NBC and the E! network. In between producing for major networks, she's directed independent music videos, promos and a short film. X= a generation defied is Rakeda’s first independent documentary. She is excited to examine the culture and politics of her generation with this project. Rakeda founded R. Concepts, a television and film production company in 2006.


Blake Swerdloff is a member of Generation X. He’s produced shows for the VH1 documentary series, Driven, I Love the 70s and I love the 80s, both 10 hour docs highlighting the best and worst of pop culture for each decade. Blake later became a show producer, overseeing touching episodes of Driven on Tyra Banks, Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Foxx and a two hour special True Hollywood Story on Michael J. Fox for the E! network. He currently produces shows for NBC in New York. Blake is dedicated to helping define Generation X not only in what it means to the future, but what role it plays in today’s political climate.


Barry ZeVan is a member of the Silent Generation. He’s garnered three Emmy nominations for documentary series and individual documentaries. He’s listed in The International Authors and Writers “Who’s Who” published in Cambridge, England. Barry wrote, executive produced, produced, production designed and directed the 2006 Telly Award-winning documentary, AMERICAN INDIAN HOMELANDS, featuring host/narrator Sam Donaldson and Senators John McCain and former Senator Tom Daschle discussing issues concerning American Indians. Barry heads The ZeVan Corporation, a consulting firm.

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