Migrating whales entangled in man-made debris will die without help.
A film that will change the way you look at whales forever.
Without the complete funding to make Northern Wake, another great story will go untold. I need to raise $20,000 in only a few weeks. I've now raised side-funding to cover part of the production of this film. I think we can do it, but this is really going to take a grass roots effort. Please understand that this film requires a fraction of the funding many documentaries have had to raise. Why? Because I'm accustomed to producing high quality films with limited resources. Want to see an example? Here's the first film, In The Wake Of Giants. As you watch this film, it's important to realize that even though it won several prominent awards and aired on PBS, it was done LITERALLY on a zero budget.
And now I'm ready to produce the next one, but this time with a small budget. The National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation has stepped forward with a Producer size contribution and in-kind support in side-funding. Now it's time for the people of Kickstarter to have your chance to back this film. I'm confident that it can be done.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE OPTION
One other thing, The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has offered to manage a 501(c)(3) portion of the budget. THAT IS A HUGE PLUS. If you want a tax deduction, contact me directly and we will run it through the foundation and return a tax documentation for next year's reporting.
Perhaps it helps to understand why its important. When a film like this is seen around the world, people get an honest look at the impacts and concerns of entanglement to large whales, like the humpback whale, and what managers, scientists, fishermen and other ocean users are doing to reduce these impacts for the animals and to the people who try and make their living from the sea. This is not just a film of a few people cutting entangled whales free, but of a community working together to gain information and minimize the impacts while trying maintain a way of life. When "Wake of Giants" aired, veteran filmmakers and conservationists approached me and told me they never knew this story existed. I'm talking on the level of National Geographic, BBC and PBS natural history producers. I won't publicize their names but would happily put other producer-level backers in touch with them.
In The Wake Of Giants in part, greatly assisted the Hawaiian program this past year. In fact, there are rescuers who will tell you that resources and equipment came to them directly because of this film.
As I said in the Kickstarter video above, "Films like this help protect whales" without over-dramatizing the issue. Films like this also save programs that are already running more lean than any startup I've ever seen, and I've seen a few. With additional budget cuts on the horizon, things are not likely to get better soon.
The upshot here, we still have time. Please step up and participate in backing this film and help protect animals that have gotten entangled and may become entangled in the future.
Lou Douros, Producer.
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The humpback whales that migrate between Alaska and Hawaii sometimes find themselves swimming through and getting entangled in marine debris, fishing gear, boat moorings and other gear found in the water column. These entanglements have involved hundreds of feet of rope, nets and buoys. At times the animals have been found to have carried the gear thousands of miles over extended periods of time. Exhausted, emaciated and otherwise impacted by the gear that entangles them, even these powerful mammals may eventually succumb.
Scar studies have shown that for some populations of humpback whales in the North Pacific approximately half of the animals have recently been entangled. With oil exploration and the range of commercial fishing expected to increase as polar ice recedes, more gear in the water may increase the threat of entanglement.
Making a positive effort, Federal agencies like NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program and National Marine Fisheries Service are taking leadership roles in addressing the threat of entanglement. In the 2011 award-winning film by Lou Douros, In The Wake Of Giants, Ed Lyman and David Mattila from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary who help coordinate a dedicated group of government agencies, NGOs, tour operations, fishers and other ocean users to rescue entangled whales in and around the islands of Hawaii. But there's more to the story.
Lou Douros hopes to produce the sequel to In The Wake Of Giants, entitled Northern Wake, which will delve into the efforts in Alaska to disentangle whales, but also to garner information towards reducing the threat. Commercial fishermen who have borne the brunt of blame are working together with conservationists and managers to free entangled large whales and reduce entanglement threat. Northern Wake will explore the collaboration between ocean managers and fishermen as they prototype better ways to coexist with the environment upon which we all rely.
Lou Douros, a veteran filmmaker, produced the recently successful 2011 documentary, In The Wake Of Giants. The film won several awards, aired on PBS (Natural Heroes) and... was produced without a budget. In other words, nobody was paid to make the 24-minute film. Expenses were picked up voluntarily from Akua Film's executive producers, Mark DiOrio and Mara Kerr, and the production crew themselves. The story was based in Hawaii, at one end of the migration of a group of humpback whales. The sequel, Northern Wake, will be filmed in Alaska, the summer home of the same whales. Here's the backstory from Lou Douros:
============ A note from the filmmaker ============
In 2010, Akua Films (www.akuafilms.com) executive producers, Mark DiOrio and Mara Kerr approached me with an idea. They had just come from Hawaii where they had met a small, well-trained, but underfunded group of people who put their lives on the line to rescue humpback whales tangled up in marine debris.
I agreed to look at the story and make a call to Ed Lyman (disentanglement expert) which started the completely volunteer film project that became In The Wake Of Giants. Ed agreed to narrate and host the film. The small, scrappy Akua Films team worked like dogs to get it done. Mark and Mara lined up hundreds of connections that led to festival awards and distribution on PBS. We've all been "hooked" so to speak. They continue to develop, straight out of their passion, concepts to bring the ocean into people's hearts through Mara's books and new films!
With no budget to speak of, I called in favors from my network of thirty years of production work. I also called in my son Blaise, a talented composer, whose score was nominated alongside DisneyNature for "Best Original Score" at the 2010 Blue Ocean Film Festival. The film won best Marine Sanctuary Short Film at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, Best Conservation Film at San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, a special jury award at the Pelagos Festival in Rome, was a finalist at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and played on PBS' Natural Heroes in 2011.
And now... I want to produce the sequel, Northern Wake. Since the whales migrate between Hawaii and Alaska, I thought it would be wonderful to pick up the story where Ed Lyman left off in In The Wake of Giants, to explore what the whales face on the northern end of their migration. More to the point, I want to look at the work being done in Alaska where commercial fishermen, managers and conservationists are working together to address large whale entanglements (or the threat of entanglement in large whales like the humpback whale.
- Lou Douros
BUDGET: (Total guerilla production = $40,000) I intend to produce Northern Wake on a small, controlled budget. The kickstarter.com portion of this budget will be supplemented by grants and funds from other sources. As new underwriters come on line, I will list them in the project updates. I'm planning on the Kickstarter community overproducing and outperforming my goals here. Additional funds will dress up the production and provide a crew slightly larger than the guerilla documentary team I've assembled.
ASSETS: I have two of the most hard-to-get pieces of the puzzle. First, filming this kind of work requires being listed on rescue permits. To get listed on any permit is a difficulty hard to overstate. I am already approved on state permits for both coasts for large marine mammal rescue, and have a great appreciation and working relationship with the federal offices. The second asset is a letter of intent from PBS to distribute future films of mine on their program, Natural Heroes. In addition, the production value, quality, and success of In The Wake Of Giants is an indication of success for Northern Wake.
As soon as my funding reaches critical mass... it's looking like I'll be leaving within a few weeks of Capitol Hill Oceans Week (Sponsored by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation). I'm appearing on a panel there with other filmmakers, moderated by the brilliant and ever-controversial Chris Palmer!
As soon as that even wraps (which coincides with this project end date, by the way), I'll be re-packing for Alaska and joining Ed Lyman who will be there conducting trainings and on standbye for entangled whales.
The National Marine Sanctuary Foundation has stepped forward with a generous financial grant ($10,000), and now is providing in-kind support of the project by opening up their 501(c)(3) to larger donors. They are a fully accredited tax exempt organization and have been VERY supportive of my work in the past - and obviously even now. Contact me directly with your opportunity and we'll make arrangements with the Foundation.
Tell everyone you know about this opportunity.
HERE IS THE SHORTCUT TO THIS PROJECT: http://www.northernwake.com. Share it!
I know that with the right amount of backers, we can hit the goal. $10,000 here means I will have access to a small crew while in Alaska. We exceed this goal, and post-production begins sooner... and, we get an extra few days of production on the ground in Alaska.
Without this raise, I'll be winging it solo. (Not the first time for that), but I'd prefer to bring one other person, fellow producer and all-around overachiever - director of photography, John Northrup. (Bio available on request). Your influence in your networks matter a LOT. Could be the difference between some thing great... and something truly magical! (Not that I have overly high expectations of John or anything...).
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DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF BOTH FILMS! Here's something for you carriers of screens on portable devices... an MP4 download of the two Wake films. In The Wake Of Giants - 24 min. (mp4) will be available immediately when this project funds. Northern Wake - 24 min. (mp4) Estimated Availability: 11/2/12Estimated delivery:
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Twenty-five bucks may not seem like a lot of money. But if it's the last push to make the film possible, it's the most important contribution of all. For $25, you'll get a copy of the finished DVD.Estimated delivery:
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TWO DVD SET!! You'll get both DVD's, In The Wake Of Giants and Northern Wake (when complete).Estimated delivery:
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CREDITS: SPECIAL THANKS. That's right, if you've ever wanted to be listed in the credits of a film, this is your big chance. At the end credits, there will be a section listing all of the backers who made the film possible. This award level reserves your place in the "Special Thanks" section.Estimated delivery:
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CREDITS: ASSOCIATE PRODUCER! That's right, for this small contribution, you can receive a coveted "Associate Producer" credit to be listed at the end of the film. This reward level, and the $125 level, both receive a copy of the film when it's finished. After all, only seems right that you have a copy of a film where you're in the credits, right? I think so too.Estimated delivery:
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CREDITS: PRODUCER. Not only will you appear in the credits at the end of the film, but you'll also appear in the opening sequence and share the Producer credit with Lou Douros. And of course, you'll get a copy of the film when it's finished.Estimated delivery:
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CREDITS: EXECUTIVE PRODUCER. There are only two slots available for this special mention. All press releases and screenings will include your name as one of the Executive Producers who made Northern Wake possible. As you would expect, you'll have a copy of the finished film.Estimated delivery:
- (19 days)