Organizing a week long theatrical run in Manhattan for my short documentary film, The Lookout.
THE GOAL: A one-week NYC theatrical run to share my short documentary film The Lookout with the public at-large AND qualify it for Academy Award consideration!
As many of you know, my short documentary film The Lookout is currently enjoying a successful run on the North American film festival circuit, and after much encouragement from friends, family and other fans, I have made the decision to take this project to the next level - a one week theatrical run at IFC Center in New York City! This is both a great opportunity to share my work with a wider audience AND a required step towards qualifying the film for Academy Award consideration in the documentary short subject category.
Obtaining theatrical distribution is an ambitious endeavor for any independent filmmaker, especially for the makers of short films. In addition to needing to be screened in an Academy-compliant format and print advertised, qualifying short documentaries must be commercially screened once a day, for seven consecutive days, in a theatrical venue in the borough of Manhattan or LA County. Big surprise, just like the cost of a small popcorn and soda at the movies (!) all of that is extremely pricey, BUT, surprise again, here is where I’m humbly asking for your assistance in getting it all done!
I’ve run the #’s - $5,500 is the minimum cost (including one-week theatre rental, film conversion and required print advertising) of this qualifying theatrical run, and I’ve set-up this Kickstarter campaign as a means of helping me cover it. For those new to this fundraising process, please note that should I not reach this goal within the next 30-days, contributors will not be charged. If, however, I am ever so fortunate to meet and exceed it, the matching premiums to the right are yours and you’ll know that The Lookout’s audience has grown...and that it will certainly now include the eyes of Academy members considering films for this year’s awards.
Having said all of this, I would never ask anyone to support a project I wasn’t so passionate about. I have dedicated much of the past two years making this self-funded documentary, and I truly believe that it is time for The Lookout to reach an audience outside the film festival circuit. Please help me get started and consider pledging whatever you can to bring The Lookout to a New York City theater, and who knows, perhaps even the Oscars!
Thanks to everyone for your continued encouragement and support.
PS - The Lookout's New York City theatrical run will take place at the IFC Center from July 27 - August 2, 2012. Please stay tuned for further details regarding screening times.
PPS - Since The Lookout’s world premiere at this year’s Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, many of you have taken/continue to take the time to check out and ‘Like’ the film’s Facebook page, but if you haven’t yet had a chance to yet: Facebook.com/TheLookoutMovie.
PPPS - Links to newspaper articles and interviews can be found to the right. Also, if you would like to read more about the rules to qualify a short documentary for an Academy Award, click on this link: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/rules/rule12.html
The Lookout has screened at the following 2012 film festivals:
Slamdance Film Festival, January 2012
Big Sky Documentary Film Festival (Winner Big Sky Award), February 2012
Durango International Film Festival, February 2012
Florida Film Festival, April 2012
Independent Film Festival Boston, April/May 2012
MORE TO COME
Imagine living alone for five months, perched high upon a mountaintop with an open window to the world and spectacular panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains. Your commute to work is a one-way, four mile hike up a mountain ridge, and once you reach your office, you are 7,104 feet above sea level. Suddenly, the pop and sizzle of a remote radio interrupts the tranquility and reminds you that your job is to vigilantly scan the forest floor for potentially destructive forest fires that could destroy the rugged, yet paradoxically fragile, and beautiful landscape which surrounds you…
The Lookout is a short documentary film profiling the working life of Leif Haugen, a fire lookout stationed in a remote outpost of Montana’s Flathead National Forest. The inspiration for this project was conceived in the summer of 2006, while I was backpacking through Glacier National Park. After a strenuous hike to the saddle of mountain pass, I spotted a small structure on top of the peak. After making a side trip up to the top for closer inspection, I learned that the structure was a fully-equipped fire lookout, and that the individual working there, also called a ‘lookout’, lived in this small hut searching for forest fires for the entire summer. The lookout’s job left an indelible impression on me, and I decided that I wanted to capture and profile the remote and solitary lifestyle of a lookout as well as understand his or her individual role in fire management work for the national forest system.
After several emails and phone calls, I was eventually put in touch with the Hungry Horse/Glacier View Ranger District. The management and staff at the District are proud of their fire management program and were eager about the opportunity to share their work and story. It was suggested that I profile a fourteen-year lookout veteran named Leif Haugen; and while the upcoming season was to be Leif's fourteenth year serving as a lookout, it would be his first at the Thoma Fire Lookout which I have profiled in the film. Perched atop a mountain facing GlacierNational Park, Thoma lookout was built in 1928, and after thirty-seven years of inactivity had recently been restored into a functional, fully-operational state in the summer of 2010.
To accurately capture the remote and solitary nature of Leif's work as well as the natural beauty of the surrounding terrain, I deliberately kept the pacing slow so that the viewer could absorb the environment and experience the isolation and working life of a lookout. The Lookout is a quiet film, with only the sounds of nature and Leif’s voice as its soundtrack, that invites the viewer inside this unique world and to experience the same sights and sounds: the rush of the wind, birds chirping and the crackle of the remote radio - Leif's only connection to the outside world.
As one would expect, with the proliferation of more advanced technologies, fire lookouts have dwindled in numbers, and aircraft are quickly taking over the fire detection duties that were traditionally assigned to these manual outposts. Like many of the lighthouse keepers before them, the job of a fire lookout may eventually fall victim to such advancements; however, with this short film, I hope to shine a light so to speak on one remaining individual in this critical line of forest fire management, his relationship to his work, the environment and the relatively primitive structure that he calls home each summer.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $5,500 goal
seconds to go
Jun 20, 2012 - Jul 20, 2012 (30 days)
Pledge $15 or more
A promotional carabiner and postcard, signed by the filmmaker, of "The Lookout."Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $25 or more
All of the above, plus a DVD of "The Lookout" signed by the filmmaker.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $50 or more
All of the above plus a filmmaker autographed print of "The Lookout" movie poster.Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $100 or more
All of the above plus two complimentary passes to see "The Lookout" at the IFC Center in New York City in July/August.Estimated delivery: Jul 2012