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Dogs or Killers? The return of the Wolf has split America, but is this trouble even about the wolf?
Dogs or Killers? The return of the Wolf has split America, but is this trouble even about the wolf?
113 backers pledged $35,000 to help bring this project to life.

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The Trouble With Wolves - Documentary Film

$35,000

113

 

WHY THIS MATTERS

This Documentary aims to affect the future of the American Gray Wolf, but we need your help get it out there. 

Since their return in 1995, a red and blue type of political stalemate has grown around wolves, making compromise over their management incredibly difficult. It's clear that the iconic animal has come to represent something bigger than itself, an ideology about the world we live in and to what extent we're willing to share it. Both for the future of this iconic animal and to bridge the poisonous divide this country is experiencing, we need to find some common ground.

This film is an important and timely opportunity to let those on all sides of the issue make their case, to show what’s really going on, and help people decide what exactly they should be fighting for. Without the proper information, we are doing damage to the possibility of progress and beneficial compromise that is necessary for co-existence with wolves. 

We're at a critical moment here as wolves make their way into other states around the country, if people getting involved aren't educated on the issue, it's very likely to be a disaster and a tragedy for both people and wolves.

We’ve already captured moving stories from captivating characters and put it together into an artful narrative that breaks this issue wide open. However, if we don’t raise this money we will not be able to show it. We must clear the rights for some crucial elements that allow us tell this story properly.

 

THE STORY

 

Once exterminated from the lower 48 states, wolves have made a triumphant return to Yellowstone and the surrounding states. Hailed as, ‘the greatest animal conservation success in human history,’ to many others living in the areas affected the story is dramatically different. There is after all, a reason wolves have been, and continue to be, the world’s most controversial predator. But the question remains: Do they deserve a place on this landscape? 

From hunters without game and ranchers afraid of losing their family business, to the biologists who personally brought the wolves back and wildlife managers struggling to find the perfect population count, The Trouble With Wolves is a rich character study revealing what's really going on in the West, and it probably isn't what you've been told by agenda-driven environmentalists or rabid anti-wolf groups.

 

THE CHARACTERS

Since filming them in 2013, many of the individuals we interviewed for this film have appeared in stories on NPR and are prominently featured in National Geographic's recent Yellowstone Park issue. There is no question, we captured perspectives from some of the most important people involved in the wolf controversy. 

Doug Smith - Yellowstone Wolf Program
Doug Smith - Yellowstone Wolf Program

 

Bill Hoppe - Rancher & Outfitter
Bill Hoppe - Rancher & Outfitter

 

Nathan Varley - Ecologist & Wolf Tracker
Nathan Varley - Ecologist & Wolf Tracker

 

Malou Anderson-Ramirez - Sustainable Rancher
Malou Anderson-Ramirez - Sustainable Rancher

 

Abby Nelson - Montana Wolf Manager
Abby Nelson - Montana Wolf Manager

 

Andrew Anderson & Hilary Zaranek - Rancher/Ecologists
Andrew Anderson & Hilary Zaranek - Rancher/Ecologists

 

And of course, Wolves
And of course, Wolves

The wolves seen here, we filmed at Wolf Haven International in Washington, a sanctuary for rescued wolves. 

ABOUT THE FILM 

The Trouble with Wolves has been a work in progress for over 3 years and it’s just about finished. What began as a short film concept funded by a smaller initial Kickstarter campaign of about $5,000, has grown into a feature length documentary based on interviews and adventures filmed in, and near Yellowstone Park.

The Trouble With Wolves Crew
The Trouble With Wolves Crew

Our initial budget was just enough to capture the people telling the story, it didn't allow us to stick around for months trying to find and film wolves in the wild. We figured if the story turned out to be worth telling, we could always license that material to finish the film. 

On Location at Yellowstone Park, Lamar Valley, & Tom Miner Basin
On Location at Yellowstone Park, Lamar Valley, & Tom Miner Basin

And that's what happened. We have an incredible story that came together person by person, piece by piece, and now we need more wolves!

Wolf Footage 

I’ve already lined up the footage we need from a number sources including Bob Landis a famous wolf videographer who has worked with National Geographic and PBS, and it has really brought the film to life. The footage is amazing and so hard to come by, that it’s really worth every penny. As you'll see in the film, wolves in the wild are very hard to come by, so even seeing them, let alone capturing a perfect moment is an achievement. That right there, is a big portion of the money we’re going to raise.

Music 

On the other hand, having made much of the original music for the film ourselves, (you heard one piece in the video above), there is also a group of songs from some very talented musicians that have been carefully selected for the film. Many of these songs helped influence the film along the way and have already been approved to be used in the film. 

Music from Lord Huron, Mutual Benefit, Bon Iver, & Sea Wolf
Music from Lord Huron, Mutual Benefit, Bon Iver, & Sea Wolf

I’m so grateful the artists have decided to be a part of this project for the artfulness and impact that their work brings to the story. The film would not be the same without them.

Artwork, Graphics and Animation 

Additionally, I enlisted the help of a few very talented local artists to create original artwork for the film, which is currently being animated and incorporated into the documentary. (Note: these beautiful watercolor prints by Jennifer Bates are among the rewards for backers!) 

Custom paintings for animation in the film
Custom paintings for animation in the film

I’m really excited about all of it finally coming together!

THE COST

If the film is almost done, then what exactly are you paying for? 

Good question! It breaks down like this:

Extra Footage (Mostly Wolves): $16,000

Again, wolves in the wild are difficult to capture on video as they often keep their distance from humans. It's a very time consuming endeavor, so in our case the more affordable option was to license great footage already in existence from experts in the field.

Music Licenses (4-6 songs): $12,000

We've got some amazing musicians involved, lending their work to the cause. We're going to pay them a very reasonable fee to use their songs.

Original Custom Artwork, Animation, Design: $5,000

Kickstarter Fees, Prizes and Taxes: $2,000

*Distribution: $0 - $35,000 (needed for reaching a greater audience)

TOTAL: $35,000 Minimum ($75,000 for full distribution)

At the minimum price here, the film gets shown in festivals and to the people who helped back the project, but to get the film out into a run of theaters or up streaming online through platforms like Netflix or Amazon, we will need closer to $75,000. The more people that see this, the better. 

_______________________________

What's Already Paid For (or a list of the amazing amount of work that has already gone into this project for FREE):

7-day production schedule (3 person crew): $15,000

6 months of editing time: $60,000

Color Correction and Sound Mix: $20,000

Soundtrack Composed and Recorded: $14,000

Note: Feature documentaries generally cost at least $200,000 minimum to make, so $35,000 is an absolute steal! 

We can do this! But we need your help!

 

Risks and challenges

The risk is very small for this project.
The film is nearly finished and agreements are already in place for the materials we need to license. So when we reach our goal, every backer will get to watch this film within the next few months when it's finished.
Unless of course you want to wait for the film’s festival premiere near you… (it's already been submitted to Sundance and South By Southwest so far).

We are going for the MINIMUM amount needed to get this film onto the screen at festivals, which is a great start, but the more money we raise the better distribution we can afford, which will allow the film to be widely available. The more people this film reaches, the more information gets out there, which is so beneficial to creating key compromises for the wolves, and for the people of this country.

Thank you SO much!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Backer

    You've helped us bring this film into the world, now you get to watch it.

    Includes:
    • Online Screening of "The Trouble With Wolves"
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    Estimated delivery
    26 backers
    $
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Backer 2, Or Gift Pack 2

    Give a donation to this film as a gift for the holidays, we'll get you an official card you can give them.
    Or you just keep it for yourself...

    In addition to watching the final film,
    You'll receive a watercolor print from Artist/Biologist Jennifer Bates.

    Includes:
    • Online Screening of "The Trouble With Wolves"
    • Wolf Watercolor Art Print by Artist Jennifer Bates
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    32 backers
    $
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Backer 3, Or Gift Pack 2

    Give a donation to this film as a gift for the holidays, we'll get you an official card you can give them.
    Or you just keep it for yourself...

    In addition to watching the final film,
    You'll receive three watercolor animal prints from Artist/Biologist Jennifer Bates.

    Includes:
    • Online Screening of "The Trouble With Wolves"
    • Wolf Watercolor Art Print by Artist Jennifer Bates
    • Animal Watercolor Art Prints by Jennifer Bates
    • Your name in the credits of the film (or name for gift)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    $
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Backer 4, Or Gift Pack 3

    Give a donation to this film as a gift for the holidays, we'll get you an official card you can give them.
    Or you just keep it for yourself...

    In addition to watching the final film,
    You'll receive three watercolor animal prints from Artist/Biologist Jennifer Bates.
    As well as a downloadable copy of the soundtrack created for the film.

    Includes:
    • Online Screening of "The Trouble With Wolves"
    • Wolf Watercolor Art Print by Artist Jennifer Bates
    • Animal Watercolor Art Prints by Jennifer Bates
    • Download the Soundtrack to the film
    • Your name in the credits of the film (or name for gift)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    9 backers
    $
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Backer 5

    Still could be a gift...

    You get to watch the final film,
    You'll receive three watercolor animal prints from Artist/Biologist Jennifer Bates, as well as a full Watercolor Ecosystem Poster from the film.
    Get your name in the credits and
    listen to a downloadable copy of the soundtrack created for the film.

    Includes:
    • Online Screening of "The Trouble With Wolves"
    • Wolf Watercolor Art Print by Artist Jennifer Bates
    • Animal Watercolor Art Prints by Jennifer Bates
    • Download the Soundtrack to the film
    • Your name in the credits of the film (or name for gift)
    • Watercolor Ecosystem Poster from the film
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Backer 6

    Thank you, you're amazing!
    You get to watch the final film,
    and if you'd like to give us some feedback we'll take it into account.
    You'll receive a bunch of cool stuff, and if you live in Washington or visit, we'll get you tickets to Wolf Haven.
    Yes, get your name in the credits too, (close to the top).

    Includes:
    • Online Screening of "The Trouble With Wolves"
    • Wolf Watercolor Art Print by Artist Jennifer Bates
    • Animal Watercolor Art Prints by Jennifer Bates
    • Download the Soundtrack to the film
    • Your name in the credits of the film (or name for gift)
    • Watercolor Ecosystem Poster from the film
    • Ticket to Wolf Haven in Washington, (where we filmed wolves)
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    Backer 7 - Executive Producer

    Thank you doesn't even do it.
    Truly indebted!
    Ok,
    Watch the final film,
    give us some feedback, we'll take it into account and join us at the festival world premiere early next year.
    Yes, the bunch of cool stuff is yours with tickets to Wolf Haven.
    Your name is in the credits as an Executive Producer.
    You're the best!

    Includes:
    • Online Screening of "The Trouble With Wolves"
    • Wolf Watercolor Art Print by Artist Jennifer Bates
    • Animal Watercolor Art Prints by Jennifer Bates
    • Download the Soundtrack to the film
    • Watercolor Ecosystem Poster from the film
    • Ticket to Wolf Haven in Washington, (where we filmed wolves)
    • Executive Producer credit in the film
    • A Seat at the World Premiere of the Film
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
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Funding period

- (20 days)