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Bear Down is a feature-length documentary giving a glimpse into the exciting world of NFL Superfans. Read more

Chicago, IL Documentary
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25
backers
$1,081
pledged of $70,000 goal

Funding Canceled

Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on February 12, 2013.

Bear Down is a feature-length documentary giving a glimpse into the exciting world of NFL Superfans.

Chicago, IL Documentary
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About this project

Bear Down is a feature-length documentary looking at the phenomenon of Super-fandom from the perspective of Chicago Bears Super-fans.  Over the course of two seasons, Bear Down traces the public and private lives of a handful of Chicago Bears fans to whom commitment translates to anything from tattoos, DIY museums and customized school buses decked out with grills and karaoke machines. 

Over the course of two years, we see into the personal lives of each fan and how their fandom parallels their everyday existence.  From Chicago’s unofficial bear suit wearing mascot “Bearman” and his dedication to forest preservation to Tim “Da Bus” Shanley’s tribute to his father through large-scale tailgating, each person’s relationship to fandom reveals a deeper understanding of the human experience and each individual’s stumblings and triumphs.

Bear Down investigates not only the personal stories of its main characters, but also the social history of the phenomenon of tailgating, the history of the NFL and its Chicago roots as well as the socio-economic obstacles to fandom.  From the perspective of fans, we see the evolution of the NFL and its players from groups of weekend hobbyists with working-class jobs to a class of highly-trained athletes earning astronomical salaries. 

Was Walter Payton a milkman? Did William “The Refrigerator” Perry work in a factory?  Who started the rivalry between the Chicago Bears and the Green Bay Packers, a rivalry dating back nearly 100 years?

Bear Down has all the answers and more!

Bear Down is a story of love and commitment not only to a sport but to the diverse and deeply-rooted social connection that can form around even a team that doesn’t often win.

HOW WE WILL USE THE FUNDING

From Day One, Bear Down has become a reality through the dedication of a small dedicated group of people mostly volunteering.  With your support, we will be able to support our team with and expand the story by covering production at away games (travel, lodging and stadium tickets), purchasing a few pieces of much-needed equipment and helping to fund the early phases of distribution for the project.  Other hidden but very serious costs (estimated at $30,000) will come through licensing archival footage from football games past and present, covering legal fees and obtaining location releases so that we can get the best access to tell the story we want to share with our audience.

Beyond that, we’re anticipating the cost of expanding the film’s impact by paying for physical and digital distribution and promotion in order to share this story with audiences around the world.

On a day-to-day basis, we’d like to provide our production team with creature comforts like food, travel costs and the occasional cup of coffee.

Risks and challenges

As we look ahead, with the Chicago Bears out of the playoffs, we will begin looking more deeply into our characters. We are thankful to have a handful of kind individuals who have so far generously invited us into their homes to watch them as the work, cook and relax with their families. With our limited budget and with the volunteered time of a lot of individuals in front of and behind the camera, we’ve relied on the stars aligning with every weekend shoot. Despite the limited schedules of our production teams, we’ve been able to get access to enthralling and moving footage thus far. With some of our major costs covered, our production team will be able to devote more time away from our day jobs and slow the pacing of our storytelling in order to get to know our characters even more deeply. With the opportunity to spend many weekdays documenting their day-to-day lives at work and at home, we hope to depict and relate to our characters with the kind of measured empathy and understanding that only time can afford. Your contribution will enrich this film in many ways, material and emotional.

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Rewards

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more
    About $5 USD

    1 backer

    For supporting the project, you will receive a personal thank-you phone call from the Bear-Down Team expressing our gratitude for your help.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more
    About $10 USD

    2 backers

    For supporting the project, you will receive a personalized thank you card from the Bear-Down Team expressing our gratitude for your help.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more
    About $20 USD

    1 backer

    For supporting the project, you will receive a personalized thank you card from the Bear-Down Team and one "all-you-can eat & drink for 1" from "Da Bus" tailgating Bus during a Chicago Bears Tailgate (Chicago Homegames only.)

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    Ships to: Only United States
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more
    About $25 USD

    7 backers

    
For supporting the project, you will receive a Bear Down DVD, a thank you video from the Bear Down team. The DVD Includes special bonus footage from the film. Be the first to get the DVD!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more
    About $50 USD

    3 backers

    
For supporting the project, you will receive an AUTOGRAPHED Bear Down DVD, from the filmmaker, Joseph Martinez, and a thank you video from the Bear Down team.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more
    About $75 USD

    0 backers

    For supporting the project, you will look fabulous in your Super Fan t-shirt plus Bear Down DVD with special bonus footage along with thank you video message from Joe and the team.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more
    About $100 USD

    3 backers

    For supporting the project, you will receive a 
Limited Edition Bear-Down movie poster, SuperFan t-shirt, Bear Down DVD with bonus footage, and a thank you video message from the Bear Down Team.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more
    About $250 USD

    1 backer

    For supporting the project, you will receive a 
special thank you in the credits of the film, a 
limited edition Bear-Down movie poster, SuperFan t-shirt, Bear Down DVD with bonus footage, and a thank you video message from the Bear Down Team.

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    Ships to: Anywhere in the world
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more
    About $500 USD

    0 backers

    For supporting the project, you will receive a 
limited edition Bear-Down movie poster, SuperFan t-shirt, Bear Down DVD with bonus footage, and a thank you video message from the Bear Down Team.

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    Ships to: Anywhere in the world
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  10. Select this reward

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

    0 backers

    For supporting this project, you will receive an Associate Producer credit in the film, all of the above, plus an invitation to our first official screening in 2013. (Transportation and lodging not included.)

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  11. Select this reward

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

    0 backers

    For supporting this project, you will receive a Chicago Bears Football jersey, a 
special thank you & Executive Producer credit in the film plus all of the above, including a seat at our first official screening in 2013. (Donor is responsible for Transportation and lodging.)

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000
    About $10,000 USD

    0 backers

    YOU ARE A SUPERFAN - You will receive dinner for two at the World Famous Mike Ditka's restaurant, two tickets to a Chicago Bears Home Game, plus a VIP tailgating experience on the world famous "Da Bus," plus all of the above.

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Funding period

- (54 days)