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Discover the wonderful world of the Federal Duck Stamp contest—the only juried art competition run by the U.S. government.

WE DID IT!

Thank you to all 380 backers who have pushed us up and over our goal! It has been a long month but I am overjoyed at the showing of support for this film. There is a dedicated group of people surrounding the duck stamp and I hope this film will do justice to what the stamp and the artists have achieved throughout its history. THANK YOU!

Any money received in the next few hours of the campaign will be applied to our editing budget for next year. So if you like the project and want to support it please continue to pledge.

UPDATES

As we enter the last hours of this campaign please check out the movie's Facebook page for ongoing updates on backers and new media coverage. 

WHAT IS A DUCK STAMP? WHAT IS THIS PROJECT?

Every year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service puts on the only juried art competition run by the U.S. government. Wildlife artists from around the country submit their best paintings of ducks in the hope that the artwork will grace the following year’s Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the “Duck Stamp.”  The stamp is used for hunting licenses and for entrance to any National Wildlife Refuge. Revenues from the stamp have bought, leased and maintained over 6 million acres of waterfowl and wetland habitat in the United States. Since 1934 the stamp has generated more than $2 billion (adjusted for inflation), and has been described as one of the most successful conservation programs ever created. 

At the center of the Duck Stamp world are the artists and the competition that exposes the ambitious and competitive nature of the participants. To win the contest is a life-changing event that can jumpstart an artist’s career overnight.  Although the federal government does not provide any prize money, the artists are able to generate lucrative deals from the re-licensing of the their winning image for special-edition prints and other merchandise.  Such deals can generate millions for the winning artist, which is how the stamp earned its nickname, The Million Dollar Duck

The film delves into the history of the stamp and its role in wildlife conservation while following seven characters as they design and paint their entry for the 2013 contest. The film culminates in a two-day juried art competition where the winning duck is chosen for next year’s stamp.

WHY NOW?

Currently the stamp and the wetlands it protects face an uncertain future. Traditionally the stamp has been primarily bought by hunters, although stamp collectors and birders also buy the stamp. A decrease in the overall number of hunters in the U.S. raises concerns over what will happen to the stamp and where conservation dollars will come from in the future. Birders are often hesitant to buy the stamp because of its association with hunting, and because of the economic downturn, funds from stamp collectors have also dwindled. Rising land costs along with the recent rejection of a congressional bill, which proposed an increase in the stamp price from $15 to $25 to adjust for inflation, place the program at further risk. 

The best way to continue this vital conservation program is to create a new, wider audience for the stamp.  My hope is to create an entertaining film that illuminates this great tradition and exposes it to a broader audience.

WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES

100% of the money raised through this Kickstarter campaign will go directly towards the cost of making this film. The money will specifically go towards finishing the film's production and provide a jump-start to the post-production editing process. 

Even though the film is 80% shot we want to film the stamp's first day of sale event in VA, the stamp collection at the Smithsonian Institution, as well as celebrity interviews (we hope to get The Duck Dynasty cast, David Sibley -  author of The Sibley Guide to Birds, The Coen Brothers, and interviews with leading Duck Stamp collectors and dealers). Traveling around the U.S. with film equipment costs money and your pledges will be used to make the final 20% of the film possible.

WHO WE ARE

The creative team is filled with award-winning collaborators who are dedicated to getting the story of the Duck Stamp out into the world. Our work has been shown on HBO, PBS, AMC, and has garnered Academy Awards and nominations.

Brian Golden Davis (Director) - Student Academy Award winner, Film Independent Fellow.

Mark Jonathan Harris (Executive Producer) - Three-time Academy Award winner.

Derek Boonstra (Editor) - Academy Award-nominated film "The Invisible War." 

Christian Bruno (Director of Photography) - HBO Documentary Fellow, Film Independent Fellow.

REWARDS

We have some amazing rewards ranging from digital downloads of the film all the way to original paintings by the world's only blind painting dachshund. Author Martin Smith has been kind enough to offer 10 signed copies of The Wild Duck Chase book, which the film is based on. In addition many of the wildlife artists profiled in the film have been generous enough to donate prints of their original artwork for this campaign!

And perhaps the most unique award ever is that wildlife artist Dee Dee Murray and her dog Hallie (both characters profiled in the film) have agreed to have Hallie paint 10 original paintings for you! 

THE MOVIE POSTER designed by Zoe Zoe Sheen. We're tweaking the poster a bit more, but this is close to the final image -  11x17".

Rebekah Nastav's "Morning Swim" limited-edition print  - to learn more about Rebekah.

Tim Taylor's "Tranquil Waters" limited-edition print - to learn more about Tim and his work.

Adam Grimm's 2014 - 2015 Federal Duck Stamp - collector's edition print - find out about Adam and his talented daughter Madison. image size 6.5 x9.

 Hallie - The world's only blind, painting dachshund - original painting- 8.5"x6" - to read more about Hallie and her art.

Rob McBroom's "Metro Mandarin" - Giclée on canvas hand-embellished with glitter, rhinestones, flock & holographic Mylar -16"x20" - each Giclée on canvas print is hand-embellished so there are variations in the glitter, Mylar & rhinestone accents making every print unique. 

Autographed copy of The Wild Duck Chase by Martin J. Smith, which the film is based on.

Robert Bealle's Executive Edition print of the 2010 - 2011 Federal Duck Stamp winning image. A retail value of $1,075 offered at only $600. To learn more about Robert and the specifics of  this print please visit his website

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Independent film, in and of itself, is a huge risk. But the biggest risk is starting a film believing that you can raise the funds to get the film completed, which is where this Kickstarter campaign comes in. The great thing about Kickstarter is that it empowers the audience to fund the projects that they want to see get made. This Kickstarter campaign is ALL OR NOTHING—if we don't meet our goal, we get nothing.

Without further funding we will miss out on filming the remaining critical events and interviews, and, well, frankly we won't be able to complete the film.

Thank you for taking the time to view this project and please help us make it across the finish line. By pledging and letting others know about this project we can finish this film and bring the story of the Duck Stamp to a wide audience.

THANK YOU!

FAQ

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    14 backers

    A BIG THANK YOU on our Facebook page!

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    17 backers

    A LETTERPRESSED POSTCARD of the film's poster image printed on a vintage press in a very cold garage with a personal handwritten thank you note from the director + all preceding rewards.

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    46 backers

    STREAMING COPY OF THE FINISHED FILM - A private stream of the finished film after our worldwide festival premiere. You'll be able to watch the film before it's televised or released on DVD + you'll be thanked in the film's credits! + all preceding rewards.

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    179 backers

    AN AUTOGRAPHED DVD OF THE FINISHED FILM + inclusion in the film's credits + all preceding rewards.

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    21 backers

    SOME GREAT DUCK MUSIC - Get the original score for The Million Dollar Duck sent digitally + all preceding rewards.

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    4 backers

    A BLU RAY - Signed by the Director and everything above (excluding artist prints). See the film at the best possible quality in stunning HD.

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    19 backers

    ORIGINAL POSTER - A lovely hand-printed poster designed by Zoe Zoe Sheen and printed by the director himself in a very cold garage. Also includes all preceding rewards (excluding artist prints).

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    10 backers All gone!

    AN ORIGINAL HALLIE PAINTING - Dee Dee Murray has offered 10 original prints by her long-haired dachshund, Hallie, the world's only blind painting dog + all preceding rewards (excluding artist prints).

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    THE TIM TAYLOR SPECIAL - Get Tim Taylor's 2010 CA state winning limited-edition print, "Tranquil Waters" depicting a pair of redheads + all preceding rewards (excluding artist prints).

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    5 backers All gone!

    REBEKAH NASTAV's JR. DUCK STAMP WINNING PRINT- Get Rebekah's "Morning Swim" limited-edition print featuring a Redhead Drake which took top honors at the 2006 Jr. Duck Stamp contest + choice of DVD or Blu-ray + movie poster + all preceding rewards!

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    10 backers All gone!

    AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF "THE WILD DUCK CHASE" from author Martin J. Smith + choice of DVD or Blu-ray+ digital download of the movie + movie poster + all other preceding rewards (excluding artist prints).

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    4 backers All gone!

    TIM TAYLOR'S "Tranquil Waters" PRINT - Get Tim Taylor's 2010 CA state winning limited-edition print, depicting a pair of redheads + all preceding rewards (excluding artist prints). The print usually sells for $189.00 and there are 4 available at this discounted price. Print only - does not include CA stamp - or framing.

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    5 backers All gone!

    ADAM GRIMM"S 2014 - 2015 FEDERAL DUCK STAMP collector's edition print featuring a pair of Canvas Backs. Plus all preceding rewards (artist prints and book not included).

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    4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)

    Rob McBroom's "Metro Mandarin" print. A print edition of 15 with 5 available on Kickstarter. Plus all preceding rewards (other artist prints and book not included).

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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    DINNER and a MOVIE! 2 TICKETS TO THE PREMIERE along with a dinner with the director (Brian will get the tab - limit 2 guests) at the premiere festival location! Thank you, this is a huge contribution and a big part in getting the film completed. When the film is finished you'll get two tickets to our world premiere festival screening (travel and lodging not included). Plus all preceding rewards (artist prints and book not included) + our eternal gratitude!

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    ROBERT BEALLE'S AMERICAN WIGEON PRINT - This is the Executive Artist Proof that includes a gold medallion, mint stamp, along with a hand drawn pencil Remarque and personal message thanking you for donating to the film. The Executive Edition usually retails for $1,075 and this is a great deal. Does not include framing.

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    PRIVATE SCREENING - Host a screening of The Million Dollar Duck in your home, school or community center. Brian will attend the screening and do a Q &A afterward, (within the continental U.S. only - this reward also covers travel and lodging for the director). Plus everything up to the $100 incentives.

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    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT - Welcome to the team! This huge contribution will be rewarded with an AP credit in the film's credit roll + inclusion in 2 work in progress screenings + all preceding rewards (artist prints and book not included). We have a really small team working on this film so far and we would love some company.

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    C0-PRODUCER CREDIT - Welcome to the team! Having a huge contribution to the film at the time when we need it most will be rewarded with a co-producer credit in the film's credit roll + inclusion in all work in progress screenings where you can give notes in the film's direction (travel and lodging not included) + two tickets to the world premiere and after party + all the preceding rewards (artist prints and book not included).

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Funding period

- (30 days)