About this project
The Earth is an interesting place. Too bad there are so many television shows that obliviously ignore this fact. Houston Wade aims to change that. As a master geologist and gemstone hunter, Houston is the discoverer of diamonds, sapphires, rubies, opals, precious metals, and countless other treasures right in our own backyard; America!
You are about to help Houston embark on a journey of discovery as he takes you on an adventure through the American West searching for treasure never found before. This Summer we will be filming a television pilot for a new educational program called "Get Your Rocks Off With Houston" where our host teaches the audience how the Earth created it's greatest natural treasures, where to find them, and how to dig them up.
Along the way, Houston and his companions meet the unique, rugged individuals that inhabit the wilderness of the West and explore the long lost mines and forgotten boom towns that built this great nation... Oh, and those locals always know how to party!
Combine science with history, add a dash of local flavor, and you have the recipe for a new geological revolution in America.
Houston's exploits have become legendary on his blog (http://noospheregeologic.com/blog). Whether it's driving off of cliffs or discovering some of the largest opals ever found, Houston and his crew know how to make a journey worth taking. His problem rests with the fact that no one is ever filming his death-defying exploits and tubular discoveries.
What we are asking for is the funding to produce a pilot for a new documentary television show about the roots of what it means to be an explorer in the true sense of the word. America is full of treasure that no one ever bothers to look for. Getting people excited about science through their innate curiosity and sense of adventure is our goal, and to do that we need to show them how it its done!
The idea is to produce a show that each week tackles a new rare gemstone starting with how the Earth burped it up, to how it was discovered, where it was discovered, and why people see it as valuable. One week it might be diamonds (yes, there are diamonds in America), then the next week you are learning how to look for emeralds. Then a few weeks later you find yourself an expert on tourmaline, or rarities like bixbite, or black opals. In the process you'll learn about the unique characteristics of each precious stone, how they are extracted, identified, cut and polished, and what ornamental and practical applications they have. Oh, and we'll party down with some awesome rednecks in tiny hill towns (did I mention that part?); science should be fun, right?. There is always something to explore and we intend to do it--Full throttle!
Graphics for the T-shirt are still being designed, and I will post any image(s) as soon as I have it! I will probably have several design options available before then end of this plea. Thank you so much for taking the time to read through this page and for even the consideration of donating your hard earned dollars to this project. I am humbled.
I have decided that if there is any money left over after this project is completed that I will donate the excess proceeds back into other Kickstarter projects: http://kickingitforward.org
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk with any project like this is safety. Risks MUST be taken just to get to the remote regions where gemstones are found. The roads washout and give way (again, I drove off a cliff last year. That was terrifying), machinery explodes and injures the user, rocks fall and smash things/people, rednecks like to point their guns in my face... a lot. There is also sometimes explosives involved, raging rivers, searing heat, wildfires, rock climbing with lots of special and heavy geological equipment, dangerous wildlife... The list goes on.
The great thing is that any turmoil that befalls the cast and crew during filming just makes for even better television!
We are setting aside about three weeks this Summer for just filming the documentary. This means that my regular geological work will be put on hold during this time and devoted only to production. As you noticed from the video above, film is not my strong suit, but as luck would have it, I am a professor at the Art Institute of Seattle, and as such, I have as a resource a very talented group of students who are well on their way to becoming experts in digital film, editing, computer animation, and sound engineering. This will keep costs down. The biggest challenge will be getting the cast and crew to the various remote locations. These will be locations that require hundreds of miles of off road driving for several vehicles. You and I both know that gas ain't cheap and neither are repairs to a truck 300 miles from the nearest auto shop.
Emergency room visits are about as regular as stops at the mechanics, but we are a tough group of unique, rugged individuals. We always soldier on regardless of the peril, or broken bones, or hatchets to the shin, or flesh scraped from the finger tips when a cliff gives way; just so that we can accomplish what no one else ever has. This is the pioneer spirit our documentary is meant to embody.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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