Our world is moving at an astonishing speed. In the past two centuries, humanity has countered almost every deadly infectious disease, engineered a vast food supply chain and thwarted almost every attempt by nature to curtail our skyrocketing population. Yet, despite all the good we’ve done to improve man’s life on Earth, the damage we’ve done to the planet is becoming more and more apparent everyday.
Today, humanity’s demand for resources vastly exceeds nature’s ability to supply them. Food, water, climate and extinction emergencies are unfolding before our eyes. 8 Billion Angels dares to tell the truth about the conflict between our population and the sustainability of our planet. It dispels the myth that technology can save us, that reducing consumption is possible and that the problem lies solely in the developing world.
8 Billion Angels addresses overpopulation honestly and compassionately. By clearly depicting the problem and empowering the audience to take actions that can start to heal the planet, we can give humanity the best chance of living in a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.
Overpopulation is always in the news but is never named. It impacts all of us, from the loss of green space to urban sprawl, from gridlocked traffic to beaches strewn with plastic or closed due to water pollution.
Overpopulation is the single fundamental upstream cause of every environmental crisis and many social injustices. By addressing overpopulation responsibly, compassionately, and humanely, we hope to inspire others, including members of the environmental community, press and government, to address the affect of family size, women's education and healthcare and family planning on the health of our planet. If we are successful in that paradigm shift, we can reverse the damage we have done to our natural world more effectively than all other "green" solutions combined.
Terry Spahr - Executive Producer
Terry Spahr was a successful businessman in Ardmore, PA with three kids, two dogs, a cat and 10,000 bees. But one day, his concern for the environment and the world his children might inhabit became too much to bear. Spahr left the real estate industry to become an ecologist, activist and documentary filmmaker. Nearly three years later, Spahr is accomplishing his goal of refocusing our conversation about the environment to include ecological overshoot and our population crises .
Victor Velle - Director
Victor Velle is the director of several documentaries, including Nomad, an award-winning feature-length documentary and Four, a documentary short about an orphanage in Zambia. After studying Visual Media Arts at Emerson College, Victor co-founded CQ Studios and has worked on popular television shows including Bones and at Hollywood production companies including Silver Pictures.
Katya Alexander - Producer
Katya Alexander got her first taste of the film industry at an early age, actively working on sets (The Great Gilly Hopkins and A Rising Tide) while studying film at Emerson College. While in college, she produced a large variety of films, one of which, was accepted into seven film festivals. Alexander co-founded CQ Studios, a Los Angeles-based production company. Her work includes a documentary filmed in Zambia, Africa with The African Education Program and a documentary entitled Nomad, which takes place on a boat, and was filmed 60 miles out in the ocean. Nomad has been accepted into The New York Short Film and Screenplay Competition and The Amsterdam Lift-Off Festival.
Doug Emerson - Producer
Doug Emerson is the founder of Los Angeles-based c49 production company. Through his company, Emerson has cultivated many clients from the tech start-up community, including Tekuma, Humon, and TruEnergy, as well from more established organizations such as the Massachusetts Institute for Technology. For this work, c49 has received 5 Telly Awards, which showcase the best work created by the world’s most respected advertising agencies, television stations, production companies and publishers.
Jake Mitchell - Director of Photography
A recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus’s Visual Arts scholarship in 2015, Jake Mitchell is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Media Studies at Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts. He has studied extensively under his mentor, Producer Ryan Hartsock, including working on his film, Everyday Yeti, which screened at Cannes and won the 2015 Nashville 48-Hour Film Project. Most recently, Mitchell won the 2016 “Outstanding Cinematic Achievement” award for his film, Zoo at Emerson’s Evvy Awards.
Darianna Cardilli - Editor
Darianna Cardilli has over two decades experience as a documentary editor. Her credits include several TV series and specials, which have aired on A&E, AMC, the Biography Channel, the History Channel and Bravo, as well as numerous independent documentaries. She has edited for World of Wonder’s Fenton Bailey & Randy Barbato, Oscar-nominated producer Stuart Sender, and Academy Award-winner Morgan Neville. She is a graduate of the American Film Institute, where she received an MFA in Editing. She is also a Contributing Editor for Documentary, the magazine of the International Documentary Association. When not editing or writing, Darianna enjoys organic gardening and plein-air painting.
8 Billion Angels makes the issue of overpopulation understandable and relatable. By bringing a narrative style to this genre of documentary, we intend to expand the audience for its message well-beyond the typical environmental movie devotee. 8 Billion Angels connects with the audience by focusing on human emotions instead of solely on scientific facts. We convey beauty and hope through images, even when covering a serious subject. The film tells the stories of individuals around the world, painting a tableau of the larger issue of overpopulation. We follow our mosaic of characters as they tell us, on a personal level, about the impact of overpopulation on their lives. By showing our characters as they go about their day-to-day routines, the same ones we all perform, the audience feels a shared connection. Ultimately, 8 Billion Angels shows that the larger issue of overpopulation is really a diverse collection of many individual experiences.
8 Billion Angels was created to inspire international dialogue and provoke action about population's role in our global humanitarian and environmental crises.
To do this, it outlines 4 key action steps: supporting organizations that improve women's access to family planning and education; adopting measures to reduce our global carbon emissions, promoting a small family ethic among all people; and advocating for governmental policies that slow and reverse population growth.
By partnering with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) with a track record of advocating for these initiatives and addressing them directly "on the ground" the film will inspire programming that will help students, community activists, business leaders, and government representatives learn about ecological overshoot and direct them to a path leading to a more sustainable, peaceful and prosperous future.
We have covered our production costs and have completed the filming. We are now in post-production and in our last phase of funding to finish the film and make sure it is seen.
We've established a variety of tiers for fundraising for post-production. We don't want to put all of our eggs in one basket (it would be overpopulated anyways!). We need to complete a first edit of the film regardless, beyond that, we've created separate tiers of fundraising as stretch goals to supplement any additional fundraising we'll need to do. Once we know we can edit the film, we'll hone in on other professional services and distribution. However, that can't be done if we don't hit our initial goal.
Our Post-Production Budget:
At 34,000, we'll be able to professionally cut together the months of footage we have, and have something to show for it.
At 61,600, we'll be able to fully mix and master all of our sound and our original score. Sound is incredible important for the experience of watching a film, and we can't have a finished product without it.
at 84,200, we'll be able to finalize our visual effects and color grading to make 8 Billion Angels look and feel like every other cinematic environmental documentary. It will fit in along the most venerable films in this topic.
at 154,700, we'll use these final funds to make sure this film is shown, anywhere and everywhere, to anyone, to everyone. This film needs to travel to film festivals so dedicated film-going audiences know the stakes. Beyond that, we'll need to negogiate distribution with streaming services and other exhibition formats. At this level, we're confidant people will see this film no matter where they are.
To show our appreciation for your contribution, and our dedication to environmentally conscious production, we have curated a selection of sustainable rewards in gratitude for helping us finish this film.
You can check out all of our rewards in the column to the right, but here are a few images for you to consider.
Pledge at the Hollywood Mogul Level and earn a stay at the Sea Ledges Estate on Mt. Desert Island, Maine
Risks and challenges
Since production is over, most of the risks involved with producing a global documentary have already been taken. That’s not to say that no challenges remain - not by a long shot.
Being a first-time filmmaker and due to the nature of the story, as well as not having any big name attached, getting exposure in a film community teeming with a steady stream of new arrivals will be tricky. That is why we need your help in putting the finishing touches on the film so that it can be the best it can be. The addition of original music and sound design will not only enable the film to be heard literally, but it will allow its message to resonate and be remembered by the audience.
Confronting the truth can be messy. We are certain to be challenged by those who stand to gain financially from perpetual growth, those who are misinformed, and those who seemingly take moral umbrage from any attempt to challenge the status quo.
I am making this film because I am genuinely worried for my children and the planet they will inherit. I believe that we have a chance to save our future, and the future suffering of billions around the world, by having an honest and civil discussion before it’s too late.
This growing threat has been so obvious to me and to some others, yet overpopulation and ecological overshoot are not being discussed. Everyday, the political and environmental leaders talk around the problem for various reasons. They are misinformed, it’s not as exciting as the newest technology, or it’s just too controversial and they are afraid of the blowback from those who stand to gain financially from perpetual growth.
I invite you to join our movement. Every dollar you give now will help us finish our film and truly make a difference in expanding our message and impact across the globe.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)