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A documentary short that follows a stand-up paddle board expedition around Bermuda to raise awareness about plastic pollution. Read more

Ithaca, NY Documentary
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on June 8, 2014.

A documentary short that follows a stand-up paddle board expedition around Bermuda to raise awareness about plastic pollution.

Ithaca, NY Documentary
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About this project

Plastic Tides is a film project aimed at engaging everyday people with the issue of plastic pollution through a compelling documentary short.

Our expedition will combine adventure and hard science to capture plastic pollution in stark contrast with natural beauty, while making valuable contributions to the scientific community that is driving positive change.

 Our story will bring you up close and personal with Bermuda's coastline and the Sargasso Sea as we paddle-board around the island to show you the effect of plastics in the marine environment. More importantly though, we will showcase the phenomenal efforts being made to stop it, how we're contributing to the solution, and how you can too. 

Your donations will allow us to outfit our team, travel to Bermuda, and hire the necessary support to make a professional production.

Tax deductible donations are now available for our Kickstarter! Please contact us for more information.

Your donations will allow us to outfit our team, travel to Bermuda, and hire the necessary support to make a professional production.

Meet the Team!

Céline Jennison - London, England

At the age of ten Céline developed an immune deficiency. An herbalist concocted a tincture that restored her balance within a year, opening her eyes to the power of plants. This eventually led her to pursue a degree in Plant Science at Cornell University where she recently graduated with honors. As a windsurfer and Sorbonne University Intern, her passion for terrestrial flora now encompasses marine flora — seaweed.

Julian Rodriguez - Manila, Luzon, Philippines

Philippines native, Julian Rodriguez grew up exploring the 7,107 islands that make up his home country. He has had a visceral passion for film from a young age and has since integrated this passion with his love for exploration and conservation. He worked on the hit TV show Survivor and now hosts the adventure show Game Plan TV in the Philippines.

Gordon Middleton - Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Gordon Middleton’s passion for film is only rivaled by his passion for adventure. He was given the unique opportunity to work on the television show Survivor in 2010, which lead him to realize his true potential as an adventure videographer. He founded Quiet Sun Productions in 2012 with the aim of combining his love for film with his passion for adventure and extreme sports. Frequenting the beautiful North Carolina coast as a child, he has a deep connection with the ocean and looks to positively drive change and create environmental awareness through his work.

Christian Shaw - Ithaca, New York

Christian Shaw is a professional kiteboarder and avid waterman. He recently graduated from Cornell University where he studied sustainability and business. While at Cornell he continued to pursue his passion for watersports and founded the SUP, Surf, and Kiteboarding clubs on campus. His lifelong goal is to combine watersports with environmental education and awareness in pursuit of a sustainable future. Christian is the team leader of the Plastic Tides Project who will be collecting samples for ASC's marine microplastics project this summer.

To learn more about the project and the team visit www.plastictides.org

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Expedition and Production costs include: 

  • Travel 
  •  Lodging 
  • Waterproof Audio and Video Equipment 
  •  Stand Up Paddle Adventure Gear 
  •  Editing 
  • Color Correction / Sound Mixing 
  • Publishing 
  •  Festival Fees 
  • Marketing / PR 
  • Distribution 

To cover these costs, we need a minimum of $19,000 

Because of the way Kickstarter works, we must raise our complete goal of $19,000 to receive any funding, so your contribution is crucial for this to succeed. 

We are teaming up with multiple organizations* to make our expedition, this production, and our scientific contribution possible, including:

 - Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation: Our samples will be delivered to ASC to contribute to their marine microplastics project.

 - The Plastic Ocean Project: Their help directing our use of trawling devices from our paddleboards has been tremendous. This will allow us to test a novel sampling technique that could open the door for many more citizen science efforts. 

- Bermuda Marine Debris Task-force (especially Keep Bermuda Beautiful, BIOS, and Greenrock): These organizations have been invaluable in moving this project forward on Bermuda. We are collaborating to do beach plastic surveys and cleanups. 

 - Burnt House Productions: Our production partner on the Island. Their expertise and knowledge of Bermuda will help us to make this production a reality. 

Special thanks to Bonnie Monteleone, Jason Andre, Michelle Stauffer of 70 Degrees West, and the Bermuda Department of Tourism for allowing us the use of some of their amazing photos and footage in our Kickstarter video. Also, the up and coming band, Aunt Sis, for their mellow tunes. Shout out to Dr. Bruce Monger, J.P. Skinner, Alex Outerbridge, and Anne Hyde, Chris Bashinelli, and Justin DeShields for their encouragement and support. 

Recent Media:

http://www.cousteau.org/plastic-tides-expedition/

http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20140604/ISLAND/140609893

http://www.sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/blogs/news/posts/donate-cals-students-launch-kickstarter-campaign-to-stem-plastic-tides

http://www.ithacajournal.com/article/20140518/NEWS01/305180044/Cornell-grads-paddle-raise-awareness-ocean-pollution

http://www.ithacajournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2014305180044

http://cornellcals.tumblr.com/post/85721134506/cals-students-aim-to-stem-plastic-tides

http://www.adventureandscience.org/blog/expedition-highlight-plastic-tides-stand-up-for-the-environment

http://www.stargazette.com/article/20140507/NEWS01/305070045/Lansing-Town-Talk-Cornell-graduate-spreads-awareness-ocean-pollution

Don't Ride the Plastic Tide! Get a Custom Klean Kanteen.
Don't Ride the Plastic Tide! Get a Custom Klean Kanteen.

 *Although we are partnering with other organizations all funds from the campaign will go towards the Plastic Tides expedition and documentary production. 

Risks and challenges

The Plastic Tides expedition is inherently risky. We need to successfully get our gear to Bermuda, set up, and spend 10 days, living self-sufficiently from our paddleboards, while enduring unpredictable weather conditions at sea. Gear may be lost or damaged, and team members could be injured. However we are all experienced on the water and confident we can overcome any challenges we may face. We are prepared for any emergency situation with the appropriate survival and communications gear (EPIRB, "ditch" bag, strobe, etc.)

Post-production involves many steps: from transcoding and organizing footage, to editing, animating, coloring, composing, scoring, finalizing, and distributing. Due to the creative needs of each process, there is always a chance that our intended release date will be pushed back. We have been working passionately on this project and will push to release the video as soon as possible after a successful expedition.

Thank you for the support!

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    14 backers

    Sargassum Shrimp | You are one of the 10 species found only in floating Sargassum seaweed. Though small, and well camouflaged, you are the backbone of the ecosystem and this project. Thanks for the contribution! You will receive a high quality digital download of the final documentary short before it is released to the public and access to our live stream during the expedition.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    12 backers

    Sargassum Angler Fish | You are the celebrity of sargassum, you blend in perfectly as you prowl for prey. You will receive an email thank you with a photo of yourself (the fish that is) and access to a private photo album of high resolution underwater images that you can use for a digital desktop plus the previous reward.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    7 backers

    Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle | After hatching on the East Coast of the US you frantically make your way to the safe haven provided by sargassum seaweed rafts. Everyone loves turtles! You will receive 2 Plastic Tides biodegradable stickers with a personalized post card from Bermuda, plus the previous rewards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    6 backers

    American Eel | Love is on your mind as you pilgrimage to the romantic waters of the Sargasso Sea. You're bound to fall for your new Plastic Tides tshirt! You will surely attract a mate now! Receive this and 2 biodegradable stickers plus the previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    11 backers

    Bluefin Tuna | Nicknamed the Olympian of the Oceans, you are a highly evolved species. Your streamlined, torpedo-like body makes you an extraordinarily efficient swimmer. You will receive a custom Plastic Tides 27oz stainless steel Klean Kanteen water bottle, plus the previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    5 backers

    Porbeagle Shark | Your threatened species relies on the open ocean abundance of the sargassum ecosystem, just like we rely on your generous contribution. You will receive an original limited edition 8x10 fine art print from the expedition signed by the team and are invited to a live Google Hangout with the team on site in Bermuda, plus the previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    1 backer

    Atlantic Blue Marlin | Growing to nearly two thousand pounds you are unrivaled among blue water fish. Your powerful presence makes a valuable contribution to this project. You will receive a special thanks in the credits of the documentary and receive a limited edition Plastic Tides Klean Kanteen with a bamboo cap as well as the previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers

    Sperm Whale | You are the largest toothed predator and loudest animal on earth. You also have the largest brain on earth, which must be why you are so generous in supporting our project. If you are in Ithaca, NY or Bermuda you are invited to a SUP lesson and tour for two (on Beebe Lake or Cayuga in Ithaca or anywhere in Bermuda). You will also be listed as a sponsor on our website in addition to the previous awards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers

    Blue Whale | You are the largest known animal to have ever existed, and you've made a whale of a contribution! Congratulations! You will be credited as an Associate Producer and receive exclusive access to our raw footage for noncommercial use, plus the previous rewards.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)

    Great White Shark | You are sleek, fast, and powerful, a true master of the ocean and that's how you're going to feel standing on your LIVE 2 FISH expedition edition paddle board! Plus all previous rewards

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (18 days)