Contribute to the Making of “Uncle Frank’s House: An American Dream”

As I hunker down to edit my new short documentary film, “Uncle Frank’s House: An American Dream“, I’ve come across one of those things you might describe as a “good problem”. While my Indiegogo campaign has come to a close, I am still being asked by people if they can contribute to the making of this film.

Short answer: Yes, you can!

Fund This Film

The perks I offered with the Indiegogo campaign are still the same, you can take a look at them here. Or, for a quick recap:

  • $10 – gets you a social media shoutout and “thanks” in the film’s final credits
  • $25 – gets you a look at some behind the scenes video, plus the $10 perks
  • $50 – gets you some “Top Secret Detroit” tips, “Special Thanks” in the credits and everything else $25 buys
  • $100 – gets you a 5″ x 7″ signed photo print of Detroit, everything the $50 buys and – this additional perk has just been added for the most popular contributor category – Sneak Preview of the Finished Film! (all $100 donors will be receiving this special link, later this summer).

Simply pull down the menu until you see the amount you’d like to give, then click “Buy Now”.

All contributions are put toward paying off the costs incurred on a 10-day trip to Detroit in April, as well as toward the Final Cut bells and whistles needed to enhance the editing and film festival submission fees. For independent filmmakers, the film festival circuit is our best chance to get people from around the world to see and share our work. Your help in getting “Uncle Frank’s House: An American Dream” into the film fests that we qualify for cannot be underestimated!

Watch the trailer “Voices of Detroit” now. This was put together to highlight some of the interviews we did on our recent trip to Detroit, as well as to showcase the music of Detroit’s own John Greasy, who is providing original music.


I’ll continue to update you throughout the summer on the progress of this film. As those of you who have been following this project since its inception know, it began when my father, Mike Drasky, suggested that I try to find his uncle’s house in Detroit’s Nortown district back in 2015. My great uncle Frank had moved to Detroit in the 1920s, worked for the Ford Motor Company and bought a house – the American Dream – in the late 1940s. Detroit has certainly had an interesting history since that time, as has the concept of the American Dream as a whole. No one really expected Uncle Frank’s House to still be standing, but there it was – looking virtually unchanged since he proudly sent photos of it back to his brother (my grandfather) in the 1950s. I wanted to know what transpired there, what kept one block in Detroit vibrant and intact, while the next was abandoned and leveled. Why did some dreams live and others die?

The film’s tagline describes my journey – and what I hope to show in the finished film best: “I went looking for my uncle’s house. I found so much more.”

WATCH: Behind the scenes footage, “Voices of Detroit” here.

CONTRIBUTE to the making of “Uncle Frank’s House: An American Dream” by clicking the “Donate” button below. I am grateful for your support!

Fund This Film

New Short Documentary in Progress

I’ve been hard at work on a new short documentary film project about my great uncle, Frank Drasky, and his quest to achieve the American Dream as a worker for the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, Michigan, starting in the 1920s. The first two parts of work on this film have been rather fun. They included a few visits to Detroit to learn about what Anthony Bourdain has dubbed “our most American city”. I did the “ruin porn” route, but quickly discovered there was so much more here. To quote a Detroit street artist Fel3000ft, “it takes heart to fight for something that so many consider a lost cause”.

The second part of this project included interviews with my father, who was Frank’s nephew (Frank was my grandfather’s brother). My mother, our venerable family historian, who pieced together a family tree – had some information on Uncle Frank – including the address to his house in Detroit’s Nortown neighborhood. While Google’s street view showed a house was still there, a drive past it on one of my trips yielded a pleasant surprise. Not only was the house still standing – the entire block was one of the few that had not just survived all that has happened in Detroit, it appears to thrive.

Now I start the third leg of this film, the search for the narrative that will bring together past and present and tie my family’s 20th century history to modern-day Detroit. I’ll be making another trip to the Motor City, April 13-21 – and am seeking funding to help defray the travel costs, as well as to see me through the arduous editing and post-production phases that will follow.

To see a trailer of the work so far, and to make a donation (or simply just help out by sharing on social media), please visit my Indiegogo page.

Jeanne & Mike: Original Art Wins Best Short Film at Direct Short Online Film Festival March 2016


My short independent documentary, Jeanne & Mike: Original Art has just won “Best Short Film” in the Direct Short Online Film Festival for March 2016. I love that this festival recognized this as a short film, not solely a documentary. I also love that there are so many opportunities for independent filmmakers to get our work seen. The rise of mobile plays a huge role, as more entertainment is consumed on smartphones and tablets. Online film festivals are simply the next step in helping people like me reach a wider audience than we could have ever dreamed.