The Race To Save The
a new documentary film, from the Emmy-winning producers of American Winter and Taxicab
Confessions, that follows the unwavering commitment and determination of four
groups of scientists who are working on alternative energy solutions.
I am making THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD because I am worried about what
will happen if we don’t take action to combat global warming as quickly and
aggressively as possible. As I see it, climate change has already battered our planet a
couple times in the last few weeks alone. And there is a tremendous
amount of personal tragedy, on an enormous scale, coming down the pike if we
don’t all come together to fight the continued use of fossil fuels. We must do everything we can to turn back the tide of this carbon-spewing,
profit-over-people, world of ours.
are millions of people out there who don’t believe that our planet is in
danger, and millions more who can’t bear to wrap their mind around the
frightening future that scientists are predicting. But if we are going to
have any hope of solving the climate change crisis, we need to find a way to
reach those people.
specialty is capturing life-in-progress, creating authentic, personal stories.
And by personalizing this subject, and telling the story through the
experiences of four scientists – without making the film preachy or political—I
think we will be able to reach people who have tuned out this issue and help
bring folks together to start seriously addressing climate change.
RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD is about scientists struggling against long odds to
create alternative energy solutions that can move our planet towards a
sustainable future. Viewers will be
drawn to these stories of technical innovation and single-minded passion, and
they will get inspired to think about what they can do. And that’s the goal, for everyone to come
together to make the profound changes necessary to save this blue, green
precious world of ours from the chaos and tragedy of global warming. Because there is no second option and there
is no time to waste.
Warm regards and thanks for any help you can give, Joe
Many experts believe that the technology exists today for the world to power itself 80 to 100 percent with renewable energy, and that if we built the infrastructure needed, the cost of using alternative energy would be the same price or cheaper than fossil fuels. What is missing, unfortunately, is the will to make the changes necessary to create this sustainable future.
are many doom and gloom environmental documentaries about the destruction of
our planet. These films are completely accurate in their portrayal of the effects of
global warming, but they often end up preaching to the choir. The Race To Save The
different from other environmental films because we are following these
scientists from a personal perspective, showing how their journey to find
solutions to our world's greatest challenge affects their relationships and
The Race to Save the World will show the scientists perfecting
their technologies, raising the huge amount of funds needed to get their alternative
energy solutions out there,
and the film will explore the personal issues that arise when someone in the
family is obsessed with developing a technology that can have enormous
consequences for the future of our planet.
Over the past few months I made three trips around the country interviewing scientists for the
film, and we are now ready to begin production on The Race to Save the World. We are anxious to
Here is some information about the four scientists/teams we will be following, and their alternative energy technologies:
Gia & Abe Schneider (Natel Energy) – LOW IMPACT HYDROPOWER
Gia & Abe are on the
verge of commercializing a revolutionary hydropower concept invented by their
father, that can create energy in hydro environments where there are relatively
short drops, like smaller rivers and even irrigation ditches that are in every
state and in every country. Founded by the MIT alumni brother and sister
team, Natel Energy is launching a new hydropower product that enables cost-effective
production with low impact on the environment,
distributed baseload energy from existing low dams, irrigation canals, and
other waterways. How much energy could their hydro technology create at full
scale with full funding? They estimate 7GW just with existing infrastructures,
100GW more with new builds on existing waterways, and through other means, the
total high-end estimate is 300GW. To put that in perspective, the US uses
about 100GW of power, so you could power the whole US with just hydro alone.
Dr. Leo D. DiDomenico (Giant Leap Technologies) – CONCENTRATED SOLAR
Leo left his government
job at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs where he worked on projects like solar lasers
for deep space communications in 2005, and dedicated his life to creating a
breakthrough concentrated photovoltaic technology. Leo’s concept
radically changes the physics behind solar power, focusing on using optics and
mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto a very small area of photovoltaic cells,
eliminating large tracking systems (the systems with solar panels that are
based on solar concepts from decades ago). His technology would generate
twice the electricity for half the cost.
Rob Lamkin (Cool Earth Solar) – INFLATABLE SOLAR COLLECTORS
Rob is on a quest to provide
a highly efficient, low-cost solar energy system out of very inexpensive thin
film plastics. Most of today's solar energy systems take the form of flat
panels or heavy mirrors focused on solar collectors, and these require
significant amounts of heavy, expensive materials. Rob’s company has
developed inflated solar concentrators that are made of inexpensive materials,
a design that radically reduces cost and manufacturing time. The
innovative design of the tube-shaped concentrators made of plastic film—similar
to that used commercially for packaging products such
as potato chips— are key because when inflated with air, the
concentrator naturally forms a shape that focuses sunlight onto a PV cell
placed at the focal point. A single cell in his inflatable concentrator
generates up to 30 times the electricity of a solar cell without a
Gary Spirnak (Solaren, Inc.) – SPACE SOLAR POWER
Gary is working on sending
solar panels into Earth's orbit where they can collect energy from the sun 24
hours a day. A satellite would
convert energy into radio waves and beam them down to a receiving station on
Earth for terrestrial electricity usage. The company has a contract with
Pacific Gas and Electric Company of California to deliver 200 megawatts of
power for at least 15 years starting in 2016. The plan is to
provide at least 200 megawatts of continuous power, estimated as the average
usage of 150,000 homes. If Gary can raise the large amount of funding required
to successfully build and launch into space the patented satellites his company
has developed, this project would be the first implementation of space-based
Each of these scientists
is working day and night to create clean, renewable energy that is cheaper than
energy from fossil fuels, so that the dominoes of this carbon-spewing world of
ours will begin to fall. By
focusing on these very driven characters and
strong, personal story arcs, The Race to
Save the World has the potential to draw a new audience into believing in
and working towards a sustainable energy future.
HOW KICKSTARTER FUNDS WILL BE USED
We need your help to get the
cameras rolling! We have finished
pre-production and are ready to start filming.
The funding of this campaign is essential to enable
us to begin principal photography. $50,000 is the minimum that we need to cover early production
costs. We plan to start
shooting before the end of 2013 and we expect to shoot for 10 to 12 months.
NOTE: If we can go
beyond our minimum $50,000 goal, it would put us in an even better position to
cover ongoing production costs as we produce this film.
Crowdfunding makes sense
for this project because we want to raise the funds needed to start shooting,
but we also want to connect with a strong community of folks who are concerned
about the environment and climate change issues and are actively engaged in the
fight to create a safer, more sustainable, world for our families and future
generations. We believe it takes everyone working together to achieve the momentous
shift necessary to solve climate change.
contribution helps, and we appreciate each and every one of you for assisting us to make a film that will inspire folks
to do their part to move this planet towards a renewable energy future.
OUR TRACK RECORD
last film, American Winter, was
funded entirely from grants, individual donations, and crowdfunding. American Winter follows eight families
struggling in the wake of the economic crisis and highlights the human impact
of rising poverty and wealth inequality, and the disappearing middle class in
America. This film was completed in January 2013 and aired on HBO in March,
followed by broadcasts in a number of countries around the world to date. The film has won several awards and
most recently was nominated for a prestigious Ridenhour Prize, recognizing acts of truth-telling
that protect the public interest, promote social justice or illuminate a more
just vision of society. In June, the families
featured in American Winter were
invited to testify at a U.S. Senate Hearing about the shrinking middle class and the state of the American Dream,
moderated by Senators Jeff Merkley and Elizabeth Warren. The nationwide outreach efforts for American Winter –including hundreds of screenings of the film in
communities across the country-- are ongoing as we work together with partners
to promote economic justice for families.
ONE OF THE REWARDS WE ARE OFFERING TO BACKERS IS THIS “THE
RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD” T-SHIRT DESIGNED BY KRISTYN HUME, THE AMAZING ARTIST
WHO CREATED ALL OF THE GRAPHICS USED IN AMERICAN WINTER.
GET INVOLVED IN THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD
a donation, spread the word through social media, and please help us tell the
world about the incredible work these men and women are doing to try to find
the desperately needed solutions to global warming.
THANK YOU for joining us on this journey to make THE RACE TO SAVE THE
We have been making documentaries for many years and for our last film, American Winter, we ran two successful Kickstarter campaigns. So we have a track record that people can trust. However, we know that making a documentary film --especially one that is life-in-progress-- is filled with uncertainties and challenges that can't be predicted. That's where our experience can really help. We hope our backers will come along on this journey with us, and we will do our very best to make a powerful film that can open both hearts and minds to creating a sustainable energy future. So come on board, and help us make this film happen!
Get a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, plus exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production. AN EMISSION-FREE REWARD! No Paper, No Trees, No Plastic, No Stamps, No fossil fuels for Postal Trucks.
Get your name emblazoned on our DONOR WALL on The Race to Save the World website - BECOME A VIRTUAL BRICK IN OUR BRIDGE TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE. Plus you’ll get digital streams of AMERICAN WINTER and THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD, and all updates and trailers.
Receive a limited edition full-size THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD movie poster, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, plus exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Receive a limited edition THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD T-Shirt, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Receive a limited edition full-size THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD movie poster AUTOGRAPHED by the director Joe Gantz, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished and exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Receive an invitation to an online three hour class on documentary filmmaking, taught by Joe and Harry Gantz, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Get a free screening of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD for your organization or community group, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Get a free screening of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD for your organization or community group, followed up by an online Question and Answer session with Emmy winning filmmakers Joe or Harry Gantz, a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, plus exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
2 tickets to THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD PREMIERE or to the closest early-release screening happening near you. Plus a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, plus exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Receive a PRIVATE QUESTION AND ANSWER CALL from Emmy-winning filmmakers, Joe or Harry Gantz, plus 2 tickets to a RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD premiere or early release screening, a DIGITAL STREAM of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD when it’s finished, plus exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Join filmmakers Joe or Harry Gantz for a special Internet ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION with environmental leaders as we all discuss ways to increase awareness and action around creating a sustainable energy future, plus 2 tickets to a RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD premiere or early release screening, a DIGITAL STREAM of the film when it’s finished, exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Get “Special Thanks” in the FILM’S END CREDITS, a THANK YOU CALL from Emmy-winning filmmakers, Joe or Harry Gantz, plus 2 tickets to a RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD premiere or early release screening, a DIGITAL STREAM of the film when it’s finished, plus exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Get a free screening of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD for your organization or community group and Joe or Harry Gantz will attend and participate in a Question and Answer after the film, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of the film when it’s finished, plus exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
Get a free screening of THE RACE TO SAVE THE WORLD for your organization or community group, with Joe or Harry attending and participating in a Q & A after the film –AND we’ll host a dinner with you and four friends, plus a DIGITAL STREAM of the film when it’s finished, exclusive updates and work-in-progress trailers throughout production.
You get to come to Los Angeles and watch us edit the film for two days, and learn our approach to documentary filmmaking. You will hang out with Devon and Harry and Joe, receive a dinner with the producers, 2 tickets to a premiere near you, the digital stream of the film, work-in-progress trailers, and exclusive updates.
You will get a PRODUCER CREDIT in the film’s end credits, to show we couldn’t have made this film without you. You will also receive a dinner with the producers, 2 tickets to a premiere, the digital stream of the film, work-in-progress trailers, and exclusive updates.