Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 11, 2013.

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Bring our award-winning, "hilarious," "heart-warming" road movie starring an "astounding" Oscar-nom Griffin Dunne to a theater near you

WE DID IT! Thank You Discoverers!!! 

“A bright, thoughtful indie…it’s great to see Griffin Dunne in a tailor made role”

Leonard Maltin

"The most delightfully offbeat dysfunctional family road trip tale in recent memory"

– Truth on Cinema

"Griffin Dunne's perf is pitch perfect"

Variety

"Incredibly intelligent... Griffin Dunne's astounding and Madeleine Martin matches him step for step... absolute perfection."

Smells Like Screen Spirit

"A wholly unique and outright entertaining road trip film. [Schwarz] works a heart-warming — if occasionally dark and hilarious — sort of magic that tells a story perfectly in sync with the wonders of real life in a modern family.”

Santa Barbara Independent

Join Our Adventure!

I’ve dedicated the last five years of my life to making The Discoverers and had the privilege of working with more than 200 creative collaborators across 5 states to bring this story to life. We premiered at the Hamptons Int'l FF, won several awards, and have been invited to more than a dozen festivals (8 in April alone). We're incredibly gratified by the enthusiastic response to the film and are committed to sharing it in the good old-fashioned cinematic experience - with your support we’ll bring The Discoverers to movie theaters across America by the end of the year.

The Film

3 Generations, 2 Centuries Remixed, 1 Dysfunctional Family: The Discoverers is a bittersweet comedy about a family forced on a Lewis and Clark historical reenactment trek who discover themselves and each other as they make their own passage across America.

The Discoverers stars Oscar & Emmy nominee Griffin Dunne (After Hours), Madeleine Martin (Californication), Emmy-nominee Cara Buono (Mad Men), Emmy-winner Stuart Margolin (Arbitrage), NBR-winner Ann Dowd (Compliance), Dreama Walker (Compliance), Devon Graye (American Horror Story), David Rasche (In the Loop), Becky Ann Baker (Girls), Scott Adsit (30 Rock), and John C. McGinley (Scrubs).

AWARDS: Griffin Dunne has been awarded two acting prizes for his performance in The Discoverers (Sarasota FF & Sedona FF). In addition, Madeleine Martin won a Breakthrough Performance Spark Award (RiverRun FF) and Stuart Margolin was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award (Kansas City FF). The Discoverers also won the Jury Prize for Best Film at both the Kansas City and Oxford Int'l Film Festivals. Other festival highlights include Miami, Dallas, Santa Barbara, Little Rock, and Cleveland film festivals.

OUR STAR: Griffin Dunne has been making movies for more than three decades as an award-winning actor, producer, and director. He's worked with Martin Scorsese, Lasse Hallstrom, David Gordon Green, John Sayles, John Landis, Sydney Lumet, and many more. The Discoverers marks his triumphant return as a leading man and his remarkable performance has been wowing critics and winning awards.

Learn more at the discoverersmovie.com and become a fan on Facebook!

Kickstart The Discoverers to a Theater Near You! 

Hollywood spends millions to market, advertise, and blanket multiplexes with traditional fare. Our amazing cast and crew gave their blood, sweat and tears over several years to realize this film because they believe you deserve stories like The Discoverers. We stretched ourselves creatively, worked long and hard hours (mostly unpaid), and created something we're extremely proud of that we can't wait to share with audiences across America--with your support!

Bringing The Discoverers to a theater near you is a resource intensive endeavor. Your Kickstarter pledge will enable us to fund P&A, including:

  • Create and deliver prints and/or digital assets to project in movie theaters across the country. The film is playing at festivals, but we need to go back to the Lab to make it ready for movie-houses.
  • Hire a team to market, publicize, and promote the film
  • Pay for local and national print and online advertising 
  • Create publicity assets including a movie trailer and poster
  • Pay for events to help promote the film, such as premiere screenings
  • Hire a team of distribution consultants to make the film available on all platforms

Our goal is to bring the film to theaters in over a dozen cities. Should we exceed our fundraising goal, we can expand the number of cities that we bring The Discoverers to across America!

Our Team's Discovery

In case the title wasn't a giveaway, the film's about discovery: discovering family, discovering yourself, discovering history, nature, the road . . . discovering America. As Cara Buono's character says in the film, it's touches on this Thoreau idea that sometimes you have to get lost in the woods to find yourself.

More than 200 creative people came together to make this film, and we all experienced our own personal journeys bringing this story to life. We hiked through deciduous forests, grassy valleys, and pine stands; we drove on highways, through towering cities and fading suburbs; we dressed amazing sets, built lean-to's, wedge-tents and reenactor camps; we put on buckskin and leather and shot black powder rifles, we waded through rivers and got muddy and dirty; we stayed up all night and had ho-downs around a bonfire. We followed the Lewis and Clark trail and finished the film at the jagged Northwest cliffs on the brink of the great and mighty Pacific Ocean.

Our all-star creative team includes Variety’s Cinematographer to Watch Chris Blauvelt (The Bling Ring), production designer Kelly McGehee (What Maisie Knew), editor Geraud Brisson (Big Sur), composer Aaron Mirman, Costume Designer Kim Wilcox (Nobody Walks), sound designer Ron Bochar (Moneyball), writer/director Justin Schwarz, and producers Laura Kleger and Louise Lovegrove. 

With Our Deepest Gratitude

Throughout my travels across the country making The Discoverers, I've been moved by the unending generosity and support of others, without which we couldn't have made this film. I've been humbled by the kindness of friends and strangers who donated their time and resources because they wanted to support people coming together to create something that they believe will mean something to audiences. I'm grateful to the very first readers who gave me script notes; the tireless cast and crew who pushed themselves every day; the reenactors who shared their stories and loaned their gear; the restaurant owners who brought free pizzas to set; the farmer who let us film his deer; the churches and synagogues that let us set up wardrobe and makeup in their basements; the state and national parks who invited us onto their pristine land; the countless vendors who cut their rates for us; the dozens of test-screeners whose feedback helped us hone our edit; the folks who came to our sound house to lend their voices; and the countless Discoverers whose passion and creativity are forever embedded in our film.  

We know that your attention, time, and money could go to thousands of different ends, and we labored to assemble rewards as special and fun as we could. Some highlights include the 1983 Mercedes station wagon picture car that takes the Birch family on the final push to the Pacific, which appears in our kickstarter video. (The car was repainted an original burnt orange to match a William Christenberry photograph reference photo.) You can get tickets to our premiere, have coffee with our actors, or be the first to hear our composer Aaron Mirman's amazing score. Acclaimed artist David Levinthal has made a special Discoverers edition Wild West print for us and artists Molly Smith and Rachel Erin Hudak have made work inspired by the film, our music-maestro Gregory Alan Isakov is giving patrons his new album, and we've commissioned artists to make a hand-screened limited edition poster, embroidered explorer patches and more!

Can donors increase pledges once they have been made?

Yes! If you have already pledged, and are signed in to your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on our page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click that, and you can enter a new amount or choose a new incentive!

JR. DISCOVERER onesie reward (just a rendering, the final product will be even cuter!)
JR. DISCOVERER onesie reward (just a rendering, the final product will be even cuter!)
David Levinthal, Wild West Series, Discoverers Limited Edition Print. Available at THE WILD WEST supporter level.
David Levinthal, Wild West Series, Discoverers Limited Edition Print. Available at THE WILD WEST supporter level.
Erin Rachel Hudak, The Discoverers limited edition commissioned print. Available at the COMMEMORATE THE EXPEDITION supporter level..
Erin Rachel Hudak, The Discoverers limited edition commissioned print. Available at the COMMEMORATE THE EXPEDITION supporter level..
PICTURE CAR reward, an award-winning ride!
PICTURE CAR reward, an award-winning ride!
ADVENTURE PACK: This map Meriwether Lewis brought on The Corps of Discovery journey will be letter-pressed on a notecard + more rewards
ADVENTURE PACK: This map Meriwether Lewis brought on The Corps of Discovery journey will be letter-pressed on a notecard + more rewards
VOYAGER: Artist Justin Helton will design & hand-screen print a Discoverers poster for you + more rewards
VOYAGER: Artist Justin Helton will design & hand-screen print a Discoverers poster for you + more rewards

Special thanks to our friends at Coudal Partners (coudal.com) & Field Notes (fieldnotesbrand.com) and all our fellow Discoverers for their generous in-kind support!

Onward ho!

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

The Discoverers is a fully finished feature film, so although there are a few variables in the distribution process that will impact how we deliver the film to audiences, we are confident we can deliver on our promise to support a theatrical release. We're in the process of figuring out the best possible release strategy for this film, exactly how many and what cities we will release in, and the timing of the opening. As for the promised rewards, we are confident that we can deliver these to you although in many cases we have estimated timing of delivery, and it may vary from our estimate.

FAQ

  • Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform to empower creators. Fans pledge their support and get rewards (like tickets to the premiere, the dvd, movie swag and more). Backers will be charged at the end of our campaign (May 11) through Amazon ONLY IF we attain our funding goal. If we don't reach our goal, nothing happens - no one is charged, no rewards are sent out, and we won't be able to bring The Discoverers to a theater near you.

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    17 backers

    JOIN THE CORPS! Thanks for making our day!

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    33 backers

    ONWARD HO! Get a bugle call-out on Twitter + exclusive film updates!

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    FLAG BEARER! Get a digital version of The Discoverers poster and one rip-roarin fiddle-ditty track download from our soundtrack!

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    DRUM & FIFE SERGEANT! Get a digital album download of composer Aaron Mirman's lyrical early-Americana-inspired score for The Discoverers (including a few fiddle classics), PLUS the digital poster!

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    Private Kickstarter Release! After the film's theatrical release, you'll receive a link to stream The Discoverers online during a one-week private Kickstarter-only patron release. PLUS access to exclusive behind the scenes content & film score download.

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    ADVENTURER! We'll send you an ADVENTURE PACK including: a Discoverers Field Notebook; a custom notecard with the map Merriweather Lewis drew and carried across America, hand-letterpressed by the good folks at campbell raw press (www.brooklynbookbinder.com/); and a limited edition Cinematic Viewfinder art piece from Andrea Zittel’s High Desert Test Sites famous art happening. PLUS the Private Kickstarter Release & film score download.

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    EXPEDITIONER! Haul books, provisions, and supplies around town with a limited edition Discoverers totebag. PLUS the Adventure Pack, the Private Kickstarter Release, and film score download.

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    JR. DISCOVERER! Outfit your baby in a Jr. Discoverer onesie! Sacagawea carried a baby on The Corps of Discovery expedition and our director brought his newborn to the film's premiere, now everyone can be a Jr. Discoverer. PLUS the Adventure Pack, the Private Kickstarter Release, and film score download.

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    DISCOVERER! We'll send you a digital download of The Discoverers when available PLUS the film score download.

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    CAMPFIRE SING-ALONG! Music-maestro Gregory Alan Isakov (whose songs are featured in The Discoverers) will magically beam you a digital download to his upcoming album. Listen to Gregory's music at: http://gregoryalanisakov.com/. PLUS The Discoverers download and film score download.

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    SERGEANT! You'll receive a limited edition t-shirt adorned with a festival edition Discoverers pin! PLUS the tote bag, Adventure pack, film score download, and The Discoverers download.

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    VOYAGER! We'll send you a limited edition hand-screened Discoverers poster (18x24 in) designed by artist Justin Helton, who has designed posters for Band of Horses, Willie Nelson, Wilco, Andrew Bird, and more! PLUS The Discoverers download and film score download. See Justin's work at: www.statusserigraph.com.

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    25 backers

    TRAILBLAZER! You'll receive a signed DVD of The Discoverers (when available) and thank you note from our director! PLUS you'll get: the t-shirt, the pin, the tote bag, Adventure pack, and film score download.

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    1 backer Limited (24 left of 25)

    WEREWOLVES AFTER HOURS! Get a piece of movie history with your choice of 1 of the following Griffin Dunne signed classics: American Werewolf signed DVD, After Hours signed DVD, or 11x17 poster of either! Before there were vampires, Griffin Dunne became a werewolf in the cult classic, An American Werewolf in London. He then teamed up with Martin Scorsese for the award-winning After Hours. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    SLEDGEHAMMER! Get the complete Sledgehammer collection DVD signed by the star, funnyman David Rasche! PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    It's a Mad Mad World! We still can't figure out why Don Draper left Faye Miller in Season 4 of Mad Men. Watch Cara Buono in this signed MM DVD and see why she received an Emmy-nomination for her performance. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    Get A Piece of Rockford Files History! Get a signed headshot from two-time Emmy-winner Stuart Margolin as Angel in Rockford Files and a personal thank you postcard. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    RE-ENACTOR MAKE-OVER! Send us a photo with your best frontier-face and artist Robert Bohn will put you in buckskin and draw you into The Discoverer Corps and send you an original drawing! Robert's work is featured in The Discoverers, he is the artist behind Jack (Griffin's son played by Devon Graye). We found Robert when our production designer worked with him on Fox Searchlight's The Art of Getting By. See Robert's work at: http://robertbohn.tumblr.com/. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    THE WILD WEST! The Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney Museum own them, now you can too! World renowned artist David Levinthal has spent his illustrious career deconstructing history, politics, and popular mythology through his photographic work and is famous for his Wild West series. David's made a special edition Wild West edition (8x10in) for The Discoverers Kickstarter patrons. Learn more about David's work at www.davidlevinthal.com. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    MOVIE TALK! Have coffee with either Discoverers writer/director Justin Schwarz or production designer Kelly McGehee in NYC or DP Chris Blauvelt or editor Geraud Brisson in LA. Cup of Joe on us, transportation not included. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards

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    REENACTOR! Get one of the early-1800s hand-sewn frontiersman shirts that Griffin Dunne wore in The Discoverers! PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    VIDEOCHAT WITH STARS! Either Griffin Dunne, Cara Buono, Madeleine Martin, Stuart Margolin, Devon Graye, Becky Ann Baker, Ann Dowd, or David Rasche will skype with you! Ask Griffin about working Madonna or Scorsese, Cara about Mad Men, chat with Madeleine about Californication, talk to Stuart about winning two Emmy's as Angel on the Rockford Files, talk Dexter with Devon, ask Becky Baker about working with Lena Dunham and Judd Apatow, discuss Ann's National Board of Review-winning performance in Compliance, or laugh with David about Sledgehammer! PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    GET DISCOVERED! Read for Woody Allen's casting director Patricia DiCerto. In addition to casting The Discoverers, Patricia cast Woody Allen films Midnight in Paris, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger, Once More with Feeling, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Cassandra's Dream and more! Transportation to nyc not included. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    RED CARPET! We'll save you 2 seats at the premiere of The Discoverers! PLUS you'll be invited to the after-party where you can mingle with the stars. Travel costs not included. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    COMMEMORATE THE EXPEDITION! Artist Erin Rachel Hudak has created prints inspired by the film for our donors. See more of Erin's work at http://erinrachelhudak.com/ PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    YOUR VERY OWN PICTURE CAR! Become the proud owner of the classic 1983 Mercedes Turbo Diesel 300TD station wagon that Griffin Dunne and Cara Buono drive to Oregon in The Discoverers (it's pictured in the video)! This classic machine is waiting to be converted to a grease car. We've put a lot of money into the car to get her picture-ready, but the car is currently out of commission as the vehicle hasn't been driven since shooting (but we have lots of footage to show that she once purred). The car currently resides in Seattle and you'll be responsible for transporting it and all transfer fees involved. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    Explore nature's wonders from your wall! We've invited acclaimed artist and visual art professor Molly Smith to visit The Discoverers during production and make a unique landscape piece in response to our film. See more of Molly's work at www.mollyvirginiasmith.com PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    PIONEER! Go forth and live like a pioneer with one of the period correct tents our production design department gently aged for The Discoverers. Perfect for backyard hoedowns or living room makeovers, each tent is unique. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    Coffee with THE SLEDGEHAMMER! Have coffee with Discoverers co-star David Rache at his favorite NYC cafe and ask him everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Sledgehammer, In the Loop, and more. Cup of Joe is on us, but travel to NYC is on you. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    Mad Men Coffee! Have coffee with Discoverers co-star Cara Buono at her favorite Manhattan cafe and ask her about Mad Men, The Sopranos, and more. Cup of Joe is on us, but travel to nyc is on you. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    Californication Coffee! Have coffee with Discoverers co-star Madeleine Martin at her favorite Manhattan cafe and ask her all the questions you have about Californication. Cup of Joe is on us, but travel to nyc is on you. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    After Hours Drinks! Have a drink with Griffin Dunne in downtown nyc near where After Hours was filmed. Drink is on us, but travel to nyc is on you. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    Dexter in the Afternoon! Have coffee with The Discoverers co-star Devon Graye at his favorite LA cafe and ask him all the questions you have about Dexter & American Horror Story. Cup of Joe is on us, but travel to LA is on you. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    FILM FEST DIRECTOR! The Discoverers director will come to your house, church, law firm, or school and screen film and have a Q&A for your friends or co-workers. Any travel or lodging costs required are not included. PLUS all TRAILBLAZER level rewards.

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    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    CAPTAIN! Become an Associate Producer of The Discoverers and join the team! You'll get the insider scoop and be listed on imdb as our award-winning film rolls out across America. PLUS VIP tickets to premiere and after-party, drink with a star, and all TRAILBLAZER level rewards. Transportation not included.

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Funding period

- (36 days)