Why is the fate of a species dependent upon whether or not mankind benefits financially from its existence?
'The Price of Existence' asks the question "Why?" a lot. Why is a protected species not actively being protected by the very laws that are support to save it from poachers and fishermen? When an attack occurs at a beach where sharks are known to inhabit, why are the sharks hunted and nets put up instead of simply choosing not to swim at that beach? Why are TV shows allowed to treat a threatened species like a lab rat when no one else is allowed to touch them? In the case of the white shark, it all comes down to money. 'The Price of Existence' seeks to tell this story of life, death, money, and the white shark through film.
I’ve always found it interesting that the fate of many species depends upon whether or not mankind benefits financially from that animal’s existence. No other animal personifies this theme more than the great white shark. For the story I want to tell, I’m going to South Africa where the livelihood of the local residents and the lives of the sharks is the most directly interconnected.
White sharks were nearly wiped from the face of this earth by mankind until countries began declaring them a protected species, starting with South Africa in 1991. I acknowledge the positive action such countries have taken, but the reality is that simply declaring an animal as protected is not enough. Being protected on paper is not the same as being protected in reality; actual enforcement and the funding needing for this enforcement are lacking, leaving the fate of the white shark in the hands of those who financially benefit from this animal, whether this means the animal’s best interest is in mind or not.
There are those who blatantly break the law because the payload for landing one shark negates the consequences, while these consequences for being caught seem to exist in theory more than in reality.
Sometimes the laws seem to bend when television networks are involved, another highly controversial debate. In this film I'll be interviewing both those in support of and those who are against controversial television programs involving the white shark to tell a balanced story.
The ecotourism industry rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars annually thanks to the sheer existence of the white shark...in this case the white shark indirectly benefits by incidentally having a watchful set of eyes present to drive away would-be shark assassins. As long as the sharks are alive they can keep charging tourists to come and see them. But what about when the ecotourism boats aren’t there? And what if ecotourism and all the associated money went away? Who would be left to watch out for the sharks?
My plan is to interview the local residents, biologists, fishermen, authorities, and ecotourism operators to examine the triangle of life, death, and money that has come to define the white shark’s very existence. I greatly appreciate your support documenting this story.
The rewards delivery dates is a little tough to say. Once funding has been secured and the project is a go, any reward that can be fulfilled immediately, such as the postcards, will be fulfilled right away. This should be in September.
Next my crew and I prepare for the trip, get our camera equipment together, buy our tickets and make arrangements in South Africa.
While on location many project updates will be sent as well as the second set of thank you postcards.
Delivery of promised DVDs and entrance to the film's premiere, etc. are estimated for early 2013. Since the has not been made yet it is difficult to book a date at a venue for the premiere.
All rewards will be fulfilled! Your help is greatly appreciated!
pledged of $7,989 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on August 18, 2012.
Jun 29, 2012 - Aug 18, 2012 (50 days)
Pledge $5 or more
Thank you! You will receive an official contributor Postagram postcard (thanks to Sincerely.com) in the mail featuring the poster art for this project, not to mention backing a good film.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $10 or more
You are an official shark advocate and will receive recognition on the film's website as well as the previous level's awards.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $20 or more
Thank you for helping me tell this story! With this level you receive a free download of the movie as well as the awards from the previous level. Thank you!!Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $35 or more
Sweet. At this level you will be sent a postcard with a still image from the on-location filming, a status update, and the free movie download. Your name also moves to the $35 contributor section on the film's website.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $50 or more
Fantastic, I love your enthusiasm for the white shark. You get to see your name rolling in the film's credits. You also receive the rewards from the level above.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $100 or more
All the above, as well as a signed copy of the film in DVD format including a special "thank you" recorded just for the DVD and entrance to the film's local premiere and after party.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $200 or more
Wow! Thank you. You will receive a phone call from me and a "Price of Existence" t-shirt. Also, from the previous levels, you will get the free download and entrance to the film's local premiere.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $500 or more
All of the above, reserved seating with cast and crew at the local film premiere, an email introduction to a shark dive operator to set up your first time seeing a white shark in the wild.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
Producer listing in the film's credits as well as on IMDB, brief appearance in the film expressing your feelings toward the subject, and all of the above awards.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $2,000 or more
Your name added as a special thank you at the beginning of the film, executive producer credit in the film as well as on IMDB, and A COMPLIMENTARY dive trip with blue sharks in South Africa.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $2,500 or more
All of the above and a complimentary dive trip with GREAT WHITE SHARKS in South Africa, after a personal introduction from me to the dive trip operator.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
Your name appears in the opening credits of the film, and you can join the film crew as we travel across South Africa's southern coast in search of the story. And yes, you will appear in the film.Estimated delivery: Dec 2012