My Kickstarter campaign to fund The Power of Place has officially launched!
I won’t repeat all of the details of what I’m trying to accomplish with this film (you can read about it on my Kickstarter page, or The Power of Place web page,) but today I thought I’d give you a little more insight into how I came up with the idea to produce this film, and describe in a little more detail how the Kickstarter thing works. The first thing you need to know is that my campaign will run between now and May 16th. I need to receive pledges for at least $35,000 by that date, or I receive nothing. That’s how Kickstarter works and it makes sense. Without reaching that funding goal, it would be very difficult for me to complete this project and fulfill the promises made to my backers.
The idea for this film took a couple of years to germinate. In 2011, I began filming several short videos for the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests about Northern Pass (you can see several of those films here: https://vimeo.com/album/2088928.) It became clear to me relatively quickly that this issue is highly controversial and ripe with stories that are worthy of a documentary. Then last fall, the Appalachian Mountain Club released a report, Northern Pass: Visual Impact Assessment, that describes in great detail how and where Northern Pass will visually impact the New Hampshire landscape. When reading the report, I realized I had been to many of the places that could be affected by Northern Pass and I could easily visualize what’s at stake, but my guess is that only people already concerned about Northern Pass will read the report in detail and that translating the text and numbers into a visual picture of a future with Northern Pass would be difficult for many of them. Thus, the idea for The Power of Place took hold.
My idea for The Power of Place is to use my landscape photography and cinematography skills to dramatically bring to life the numbers in the visual impact assessment, and then strengthen those visuals with the words of people affected by Northern Pass and those who understand the landscape-scale change it will bring to New Hampshire. I want the film to show that not only will some of our most cherished views be altered for the worse, but that 180 miles of steel towers and wires will have a cumulative negative impact on the New Hampshire experience. I believe that a film that accomplishes this feat will have a much broader reach with the general public and the decision makers charged with approving or denying Northern Pass.
About Kickstarter. For those of you unfamiliar with Kickstarter, you really should check it out. It has become the go-to site for “crowd-funding” all sorts of creative endeavors, from films and books to high-tech gear to products such as new camera backpacks. Instead of trying to raise funds from venture capitalists, foundations, banks, etc., Kickstarter lets anyone attempt to raise funds from the “crowd”. Instead of having to find one or two big backers, Kickstarter makes it easy to raise money through hundreds of small donations.
Pledges are made through Amazon Payments. Amazon takes the backer’s payment info, but does not charge the backer’s credit card until the Kickstarter campaign has ended AND the campaign has reached its funding goal. When a campaign is successful, Amazon sends the funds to the creator of the project within two weeks, and then it is the project creator’s responsibility to complete the project and send the promised rewards to the backers. Yes, rewards! That’s the fun part. For my project, these rewards are as simple as a pre-release digital download of the film and computer desktop wallpaper for a $20 pledge. Rewards get more interesting and valuable as pledge levels increase. For $50, you’ll get a signed DVD, an embroidered “Crew” hat, and lots of social media love. Want to join me and the crew for a day of filming and picking our brains ? Just pledge $500.00. There are lots of other rewards at different levels, and I encourage you to check them all out.
P.S. I have been planning this Kickstarer campaign for a couple of months now, and I had planned to write this post yesterday, but after the tragedy in Boston, I had serious doubts about continuing with this campaign. Inspired by the tenacity and spirit of the people of Boston in wake of events there, I realized that I needed to move forward with something positive and this film project is my way of doing that. I hope you agree with my decision. – J