One woman's 15 year journey to discover her ancestor wrote the first fugitive slave narrative in American history.
You can make this project happen by clicking the green “Back This Project” button on the right side of this page. Pledge any amount between $1 and $10,000 and receive rewards for your support. Please help us reach our goal! Help Regina tell her story.
Gina's Journey: The Search for William Grimes, directed by filmmaker Sean Durant, is an intriguing film about one woman’s quest to reclaim her ancestor, a runaway slave, who wrote the first fugitive slave autobiography in American history.
WHY WE’RE MAKING THIS FILM
In 2008, Oxford University Press published a pathbreaking edition of Life of William Grimes, the Runaway Slave edited by scholar William L. Andrews and William Grimes’s direct descendant, Regina E. Mason.
Regina Mason (called Gina as a child) has told the story of how she reclaimed her forefather’s narrative to riveted audiences primarily on college campuses across the nation, and now she’s bringing her remarkable story to a broader audience through the docudrama, Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes. This film will resonate with all who have struggled to expose truths and find meaningful connections to their own past and America’s past too.
ABOUT THE FILM
This docudrama tells what happens when Regina Mason decided to research her past only to discover that her great, great, great, grandfather, William Grimes, wrote a precedent-setting, yet historically neglected, slave narrative. Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes retraces Mason’s steps to recover this man’s history and the identities of key people purposely concealed from the original narrative.
In the careful blending of two stories, this film will feature special visual effects that bring vivid historical reenactments to the screen. Viewers will be transported to Grimes’s world of the 1800s when he was enslaved in the South to his daring escape North, and the unthinkable sacrifice he was forced to make for so-called freedom.
Regina Mason’s path will be retraced in live action documentary style as we visit historical locations and repositories in three different U.S. states, and other key points of interest along her journey. The two storylines will be interspersed with narration and interviews featuring scholars, relatives, Mason’s coeditor, William L. Andrews, and others who took part in the unfolding of her journey and the publishing of the new edition of her ancestor’s book. The film celebrates Mason’s success in fulfilling her great, great, great grandfather’s desire to get his story to a mass audience and a rightful place in American History.
Separated by time and generations, yet through their own personal struggle and sacrifice, Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes further illustrates how two ordinary lives pushed through the barriers of their times to write and publish their stories. It informs us all that the story of who we are—past and present—is central to our survival.
A PLEA TO POTENTIAL SUPPORTERS
Since Kickstarter is an all or nothing endeavor, we’ve decided to aim for the more obtainable (but ambitious nonetheless) $35,000 of a budgeted $125,000. Our hope is that generous folks who see the importance of this project will support us well beyond our set $35,000 goal. So please dig deep, be generous, and TELL YOUR FRIENDS. Our goal is to go into production this fall.
HOW THE FUNDS WILL BE USED
•Hire our crew and actors for reenactments.
•Rent camera, lighting equipment and production design elements.
•Provide transportation costs and meals for the film crew.
•Secure green screen stage studio, locations and permits.
•Provide insurance for the entire film production.
•All post production including: editing, music score, and color-grading for the film.
•Festival fees, DVD copies, and BluRay discs.
Funding will also go toward travel, fees for talent participation (transportation to/from interviews, makeup, etc.), equipment to digitally store documentary footage, legal services, and licensing movie clips, photos, music, and Kickstarter fees.
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
Share this Kickstarter link with your friends and family!
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•Official Website for the movie: www.ginasjourney.com
HOW PAYMENTS THROUGH KICKSTARTER WORKS
Your credit card is charged only when we reach our fundraising goal of $35,000. If the project does not reach its funding goal, your card is ultimately not charged. So, please help us reach our goal.
About the Director
SEAN DURANT is an independent filmmaker who developed a love for both films and visual effects while growing up in Oakland, California. After seeing The Matrix in 1999, he decided to fulfill a dream by getting involved in the independent film industry. He started out producing 2D animated short films and later, after gaining experience on film projects in Los Angeles, he produced his first independent feature film Straight Out in 2002.
After filming the documentary One Mission, One Hope in 2005 about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, he eventually began producing music videos and commercials. During 2009 and 2010, as part of Prime Zero Productions, he produced over 15 music videos, 3 of which appeared on MTV Jams and 1 on BET 106 & Park. In 2010 he began focusing on producing and directing Comcast Spotlight commercials. At the end of 2010 he produced a short film and music video called Runaway Love (click link to view) that had over 90 visual effects shots for which he was also post-production supervisor. In April of 2011 he formed Your Media 2, LLC to focus on creating television commercials and feature film productions. Sean holds a B.S. degree in Business Administration from California State University, East Bay.
To review some of his work, go to:
(Sean Durant also directed the film trailer at the top of this page)
*Restrictions on creation of Web commercial reward:Web commercial production for United States only and subject to approval by the Producer and strict conditions including: The web commercial must be a VERY basic web commercial and reasonable in production value (no special FXs or exploding cars, or flying actors, or transforming robots, etc.). Producer may create commercial exclusively over the Internet and not film on location at his discretion and may contract a local cameraperson to get necessary footage. All digital production elements including logos, graphics, pictures, voice-over script, music, etc. will be provided by the client (or can be sampled from client's website). Client must sign and abide by the standard video production agreement of Your Media 2. The web commercial you request as a reward MUST BE A FAIR and REASONABLE production to be approved. Producer guarantees excellent broadcast quality production similar to the sample videos on www.yourmedia2.com.
pledged of $35,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on September 11, 2012.
Jul 13, 2012 - Sep 11, 2012 (60 days)
Pledge $10 or more
No contribution is too small and we really appreciate them all. If you feel what we are doing has importance, please help jumpstart our efforts! Become part of an important project and have your name placed on the Thank You Wall of Fame for donors on the Official Gina's Journey website.Estimated delivery: Nov 2012
Pledge $25 or more
If 5,000 people donate just $25, we would have the funding to produce this movie! This is the POWER of crowd funding. It is a simple way to show your support by voting with your dollars for projects that you feel are important. $25 gets you all of the above plus a signed DVD of Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes. (Free shipping in the U.S. $10-extra for international shipping)Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $50 or more
$50 will be a tremendous help to getting this film made! You will receive all of the above plus a striking nylon drawstring sport pack with the Gina’s Journey movie logo.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $100 or more
If only 1,250 people step up and contribute $100 each, we can meet our goal to make the film and bring the story to audiences around the country and even abroad. For $100 contribution, we will give you all of the above, plus a signed Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes movie poster.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $250 or more
When people give with passion, big things happen! For your wonderful contribution you will get the above, plus the 2008 edition of Life of William Grimes, the Runway Slave signed by Regina Mason.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $500 or more
You get all of the above, plus your name added to the film's credit list under Kickstarter Backers, plus a production photo book filled with behind the scenes pictures, plus concept art from the movie to give you an insider’s view into the world of movie magic!Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $750 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
Want to hear the story told live by Regina Mason? In addition to all of the above, if you or your organization are based in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can schedule Regina for a special two-hour appearance and open conversation at your home, school, club, church, association, group or social gathering. She’ll share her riveting journey of historical recovery and answer all your questions! (This Reward is exclusive to residents, groups and schools in the S.F. Bay Area only. Engagements will be calendared from Sept. 2012 through May 2013 to coincide with most school schedules.)Estimated delivery: Sep 2012
Pledge $1,000 or more
If 125 people bless us with this level of support, we could make movie magic right away! For this contribution you will get all the above, plus your name in the “Special Thank You” area, on-screen in the film credits, and a personal thank you phone call from Regina Mason and the Director.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $3,000 or more
0 backers Limited (10 of 10 left)
You are really a moviemaker! You will get all of the above, plus 4 tickets to the screening and reception of Gina’s Journey: The Search for William Grimes with VIP seating in San Francisco, Bay Area. (Travel and accommodations not included.)Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (7 of 7 left)
You are a movie producer now! You get all of the above plus you will receive an Associate Producer credit in the film and a prestigious award presented to you at the film’s premiere screening.You will walk the red carpet and have your photo taken with the Regina Mason and the Director. If you are unable to attend, the award will be mailed to you. (Travel and accommodations not included.)Estimated delivery: Jun 2013
Pledge $10,000 or more
1 backer Limited (3 of 4 left)
You are a Hollywood BIG SHOT! You will be invited to visit the set and watch the behind the scenes action in either The San Francisco Bay Area or Los Angeles. You also get all of the above and the screen credit Executive Producer plus a basic 30 second Web commercial created for your business or non-profit by Your Media 2. If you do not have a business or non-profit, you may donate it to one of your choice. (Travel and accommodations not included. Certain restrictions apply to commercial production.) *Please see restrictions in the FAQ section at the bottom of the page.Estimated delivery: Jun 2013