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A tribute to small town high school basketball by revealing how one Michigan high school tried to "win it all" in the 1980s.
A tribute to small town high school basketball by revealing how one Michigan high school tried to "win it all" in the 1980s.
122 backers pledged $11,000 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$11,000

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UPDATE TO OUR UPDATE (8/12/12): WOW! Thanks to your outpouring of support, we've now reached $10,500. Thank you to the Kickstarter community!

UPDATE (8/12/12): We would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped us reach our goal! We officially crossed the $10,000 mark this morning and we are so thankful for all of the help and support. We've received several kind words of support throughout the funding drive, and it's great to see it all come together. We couldn't have done this without you.

If we can reach $11,000 in the coming hours, we are planning to include a special animated short film depicting the craziness of River Valley fans from the time period. This would be shown on the night of the premiere and also included as a special feature on the DVD copy of the film.

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Mustang Magic is not simply a story of wins and losses, but of a small community rallying around its team.

For residents of Three Oaks, Michigan, March recalls the wildly successful basketball teams of year’s past. Playing in the area known as Harbor Country and led by Hall of Fame coach Jerry Schaffer, the River Valley Mustangs would play in three state championship games during his 32 years at the helm. The Mustangs would capture the 1979 Class C State Championship, as well as two Runner-Up finishes in 1981 and 1997.  There were not many back-to-back campaigns better than his 1987 and 1988 Mustangs, who captivated the attention of the entire area during a 47-5 run across those two seasons.

With this look into the impact high school sport has played in quintessential small town America, Mustang Magic explores those Friday nights that did matter -- when nearly the entire town showed up for home and away games, often outnumbering the opponent’s supporters two-to-one. It also considers what changed that and whether it can be recaptured.

The effect of the film should be to not only showcase the spirit of small school sports, but to consider how it has changed in the past 20 years, and the positives it would create for a community if it could capture that spirit again.

What are you funding?

So far, Mustang Magic has been a labor of love for Mark and his production team. Funds received from this project will help to offset the costs of production and to help cover the costs of the movie premiere on April 13, 2013.

Some of the specifics:

  • Production Costs: Mark logged over 4,200 miles collecting the more than 30 interviews for the film.
  • Final Sound Correction: Every sound clip must be evened out and cleaned up by a sound professional.
  • Musical Score: Chicago-based musician Chris Bryan of Counter Point Music is writing and composing an original soundtrack for Mustang Magic.
  • Photography: River Valley graduate Kevin Harrington and his studio have done AMAZING work, including the photographs you see above and below.
  • B-Roll footage: Much of the B-Roll footage was shot and edited by River Valley graduate and Los Angeles-based editor Jason Honeycutt.
  • DVD Replication: We are producing a minimum of 1,000 DVDs to be distributed on Kickstarter and at the premiere.
  • Film Marketing: This includes newspaper ads, radio ads, movie posters and other marketing materials.
  • Premiere Weekend: We are in the final stages of securing a location in Southwest Michigan for the April 13, 2013 premiere. In addition, we will be holding three fundraising events for River Valley High School on the night before and the morning of the film.

Who are you funding?

Mark Behnke - Mark is the owner of MB Video Productions and is the executive producer of Mustang Magic. He is a River Valley graduate and currently teaches video production at Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Mich.

Kevin Weed - Kevin is the lead writer of Mustang Magic, and he has contributed the vast majority of the film's narration. He worked four Olympic Games as a writer for NBC Sports, ESPN and IMAX Films. Currently, Kevin teaches journalism at Hamilton High School.

Cody Eding - Cody is the communications director for MB Video Productions and acts as the webmaster for markbehnkevideo.com. An award-winning sports writer, Cody has been published in the Denver Post and spent the summer of 2010 as a public relations intern for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. He is a 2007 graduate of Hamilton High School.

What is Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is a crowd funding website that enables the general population to fund creative projects that interest them. If you make a donation to Mustang Magic, you will receive the reward(s) listed under your donation range at or after the premiere on April 13, 2013.

If we do not reach our goal by August 14, we will NOT receive any of the donations.

How else can I help?

Please spread the word about both our Kickstarter campaign and Mustang Magic. We greatly appreciate all of the help we have received already. Tell your friends and family to stop by our Kickstarter page and website, and to Like us on Facebook!

We cannot do this without your help!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Every little bit helps. You will be thanked on MarkBehnkeVideo.com at the conclusion of funding.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Receive a DVD copy of the finished film, be mentioned as a supporter in the film credits, and be thanked on MarkBehnkeVideo.com.

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    Receive all of the above, plus a souvenir program from the night of the premiere.

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    Receive all of the above, plus a movie poster.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Receive all of the above, plus recognition by name at the movie premiere on March 23, 2013.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Receive all of the above, plus an autographed basketball of the six highlighted players and Coach Jerry Schaffer.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    Receive all of the above, plus an autographed River Valley jersey of the six highlighted players and Coach Jerry Schaffer.

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

    Receive all of the above, plus a 16x20 autographed picture of the six highlighted players and Coach Jerry Schaffer.

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Funding period

- (59 days)