Deconstructing Dinner host Jon Steinman

Taking food issues to television

Deconstructing Dinner needs to raise $60,000 to produce a tv mini-series

After four years producing his internationally syndicated radio show Deconstructing Dinner, Nelson’s Jon Steinman is raising money to bring his stories on the North American food system to television audiences.

He’s already finished the pilot episode for the series and has a Toronto-based independent broadcaster ready to take on the project. All he needs now is $60,000 — and he’s hoping a campaign on the crowd sourcing website Kickstarter will bring in that money by the end of the week.

“The way I look at it, we just need 1,800 people to pledge $25,” said Steinman, noting that anyone who pledges that amount will receive a digital download of the full mini-series scheduled to be released in March next year.

As of Tuesday morning, 187 people had given money towards the project, including three donations of $1,000. But Kickstarter funding is all-or-nothing, so if the full $60,000 isn’t raised by this Friday at 10 p.m., the people who have pledged are under no obligation to make a contribution.

“I’m still counting on raising the full amount. It might seem like a long shot, but I’ve seen it happen before on Kickstarter where people wait until the last days to contribute and push the project over the top,” Steinman said.

Even if the Kickstarter campaign fails, Steinman is determined to see the series go ahead. He’ll find other ways to fundraise for it if need be.

“Obviously, I’d like to have the funding question out of the way, so we can get on with the important work of filming and producing the show,” he said. “If this Kickstarter campaign doesn’t work, we’ll try something else. We’ll reach out to donors in other ways.”

Steinman said he’s amazed by how much it costs to produce television compared to radio.

“This $60,000 is only about a quarter of what we need to produce the six episodes for television,” said Steinman, noting that the same budget would have been enough for him to put out a year’s worth of radio shows.

“No doubt it’s a lot more work and a lot more funding is needed to produce television, but the impact can be that much further reaching, especially nowadays people watching videos online.

“We’ll do whatever it takes to make it successful.”

To help fund the Deconstructing Dinner television series, go to kickstarter.com and search “Deconstructing Dinner” before Friday.

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