Feature film takes you on a fun & insightful journey to understand the "deuce" - the forgotten son of paper currency. Read more
This project was successfully funded on November 9, 2013.
About this project
We recently completed an amazing shoot at the Bureau of Engraving & Printing in Fort Worth, Texas. We had access to every stage of production and have footage of $2 bills that no one has captured before! Backers receive updates with select clips from the raw footage, which are not guaranteed to be in the film. So in addition to all the other great material we have been accumulating, backers will have access to this rare footage as well. Pledge today and you can already see the first two videos from this shoot.
ABOUT THE FILM
You've had a two dollar bill before, right? What did you do with it? Most people believe them to be unique collector's items, so they save them. The thinking is that they're extremely rare, that they're good luck, or that they're more valuable than they actually are. When cashiers get them, there's always a reaction. When special interest groups want to draw attention to themselves, they'll start a campaign to spend them. Basically, they're treated as anything but the normal pieces of paper currency that they are. Why is this so, and how do the bills really fit into our culture?
Welcome to The Two Dollar Bill Documentary, my feature-length film exploring everything about this unique bill. The genesis of the idea came from my own experiences with them. I've had many curiosities and questions about two dollar bills for many years, and I finally researched it enough to discover just how much there is to share about them. From a history that includes incredible craftsmanship and popularity, to its time where superstitions about the bill ran rampant, to its discontinuation, reinstatement, and limited print runs, all the way to the numerous ways the bill is perceived and used, the film will be a fun and enlightening journey to understand this truly unique item. It's the first and only film of its kind, and you can be a part of it. In fact, I'm asking you to please be a part of it!
Many of you know how Kickstarter works, but if you don't, here's the lowdown: If I don't reach my funding goal, I receive nothing! So I'm asking for your donation - no matter how small - so I can secure the funding I need to cover all the travel and film finishing expenses. There is a lot of great material out there that I'd like to include, and your contribution will help make that happen. Additionally, sharing the news about this project would also be greatly appreciated, so whether you can donate or not, please spread the word so that others can consider making a contribution. As a thank you, I've come up with many great rewards, a chance to preview and give feedback to the film, and even opportunities to appear in the movie itself!
For more information or to just stay in tune with the project, connect with me on the film's Facebook page and/or on Twitter. Share your $2 bill stories, photos and more. But if you make a donation to the film, you'll get even more access through our ongoing Kickstarter updates.
WHERE YOUR CONTRIBUTION GOES
I'm happy to report that the film is already well into production. I have all the necessary equipment - from camera gear to high-end editing software. I've been to several states and have already recorded a number of interviews and segments. But there are a lot more stories and people I'd like to include in the film, and costs are rising. Thus, your donation will allow me to make the film better by allowing for any or all of the following:
- Travel: I've been given permission to film the latest print run of $2 bills at the Bureau of Engraving & Printing in Fort Worth (but that's done now!) I have several people booked in the New York area - consumers and vendors who use $2 bills exclusively who will share their insight, as well as a fascinating story involving $2 bills from the 9/11 museum; Clemson University has invited me to cover their use of the deuce at football games, and in February (2/22 to be exact), gun rights activists in Virginia spend $2s to support the Second Amendment. I will also be visiting Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson, where truths about how he became the face of the bill - and other hidden secrets - will be revealed; These and other trips are necessary to cover all of the film's content
- Film finishing costs: this includes final color timing, sound mixing and more. It's the last, most important step in giving the film its look and sound
- Music licensing and stock footage: Rights have to be purchased to use any song, popular or otherwise. Same with stock footage. I will need both, especially to have appropriate material for the various time periods and locales featured in the film.
- Graphics/animation: Some portions of the film will feature enhanced graphics packages to help communicate a point or even add to something humorous. Custom work like this needs to be paid for.
- Transcription: We've done lots of interviews with many more to come. Having them professionally transcribed helps the editing process, as clips can be marked and selected on paper for easy reference and access.
- Incidentals: Insurance, props, permits and don't forget film festival submission fees! I want you to see the movie, but the festival near you charges for the application.
All donations are greatly appreciated and will earn you some great rewards. AND you can say you were instrumental in helping complete the film.
WHAT WE'VE COVERED SO FAR
The film is coming together extremely well. We've had a superstition expert share all sorts of lucky / unlucky lore about the $2 bill throughout history; we've been to a numismatic convention to see rare bills up close and learn the collector angle; a Presidential Historian told us the bizarre stories of how Thomas Jefferson ended up on the $2; and Wired feature writer David Wolman gave us insight about how the $2 bill is looked at in a society that may someday end up cashless. And as you read above, on October 28 we had a full day of footage from the Bureau of Engraving & Printing, where we documented the entire production process. You won't believe what it takes to fulfill an order of 45 million $2 bills! The video below was originally for backers only, but I'm sharing it here in the final days of the campaign so you can see some of what we captured.
And that's just a partial list! The scope of the film is expanding and the narrative grows stronger with every shoot; Your contributions will only make the film better. I'd love for you to be a part of it!
If you've ever had any experience with a two dollar bill, you'll want to see this film - it will further (or debunk) any perception you've ever had about it. You'll have a greater appreciation of the bill, which means you'll either save more of them, or you'll start spending them! Plus you'll sleep well knowing you were a big part of the film's production.
Please click the green donation button to contribute, which uses your Amazon account to charge your credit card (you won't be charged until the film is funded). Check back often for project updates as well as additional rewards that may be added at a later date. You can always up your pledge to advance to another reward level.
Risks and challenges
My mission is to complete the film, as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality, to produce an end product that everyone can enjoy. To that end, I will tackle any problem head-on and adjust as necessary to continue moving forward. But as the film keeps evolving, so too may the budget, and there may also be some new discoveries that I'll want to film, even after I think the shooting is complete. So it's possible a delay in the film's completion could occur. But it would all be for the better good.
I'll also be publishing a book on iTunes about the two dollar bill. Video content not used in the film can be used there, along with photos, quizzes and other interactive materials. As soon as the film is complete, it will be time to tackle the next phase of the production! You can get a copy of this book for free through many of our reward perks, and more importantly, most of the rewards will also earn you a chance to download the finished film right away.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $2 or more
Donate the film’s namesake and receive a Thank you on our Facebook and Twitter pages, and we’ll follow you on Twitter. PLUS get exclusive project updates that only our backers receive.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $12 or more
Your name will appear on the film's website on a special page to acknowledge backers. With it, submit a max-15 word $2 bill bio (how many you own, where you got your first one, etc.) and it will accompany your name. You also get the Facebook and Twitter thank-yous (which are given at all subsequent levels)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $12 or more
4 backers Limited (11 left of 15)
NEW REWARD! Get the other $12 donation package PLUS receive a handwritten thank you note from the director of the film, on a postcard from the Bureau of Engraving & Printing. (this reward is only available at this level)Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $15 or more
HAVE A TWO! You love $2 bills, so get one BACK for this donation. We'll send you a crisp two dollar bill, autographed with a thank you from the director. This insures you'll never spend it. (this reward is only available at this level).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $22 or more
DOUBLE DEUCES! Your name will appear in a SPECIAL THANKS TO section of the film's credits. Plus all previous rewards.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $32 or more
Receive a digital download of the final film PLUS a digital download of our forthcoming eBook about $2 bills, which goes beyond the movie to include additional info & video clips not found in the film. You also get your name listed higher on the website AND higher in the credits. Throw in the Twitter & Facebook stuff and this may be the best reward yet.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $42 or more
Prefer a DVD instead of a digital download? How about both? Get an autographed copy of the DVD along with the eBook, digital download of the film and the same elevated position in the credits.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $42 or more
15 backers Limited (15 left of 30)
The official T-shirt for the $2 bill documentary, the eBook, the digital download of the final film and an elevated position in the film’s credits. The T-shirt will be available in January, 2014Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $52 or more
ALL ACCESS PASS You’ll get on the email list which entitles you to receive exclusive video content others won’t see. See outtakes, extended interviews & footage and more. Also includes the digital download, the eBook and an elevated position in the film's credits.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $62 or more
ALL ACCESS PLUS. Everything in the $52 pledge PLUS you'll receive PDF transcripts of full interviews with 5 prominent participants from the film. We can't use everything they said in the movie, but you can read all of it. Interesting stuff from a presidential historian, superstition expert, someone from the Treasury Dept., and 2 more to-be-determined. Cover page includes a signed thank-you for your pledge, from the director.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $82 or more
SNEAK-A-PEEK: Receive an advance preview of a 5-7 minute section of the film before it is complete. This is an added bonus to the All-Access pass as it allows you to see a finished sequence from the film before anyone else. And it comes with an intro clip from the film's director. Then you’ll get the autographed DVD, a digital download of the film AND the eBookEstimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $102 or more
BE IN THE TEST AUDIENCE: Receive a link to watch an early edit of the full film. Along with it, complete the survey sheet so YOU can provide feedback to the film's director. As part of this test audience, your comments and suggestions will help shape the final edited version of the film. Then receive a digital download of the finished product (so you can tell your friends, "see that edit right there? MY idea").Estimated delivery:
Pledge $122 or more
8 backers Limited (22 left of 30)
3 SECONDS OF FAME Here’s your chance to be IN the film! Submit a pic of you and a two dollar bill (or your entire collection) and we’ll include it in a photo montage that runs during the film’s credits. Digital download of film, eBook and your choice of T-shirt or autographed DVD as well.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $252 or more
2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)
Get a one-hour, insider Q&A session with the director, John Bennardo. Hold it after a public or private screening of the film, as part of a class or group, or just as some quality one-on-one time. Session held over Skype or phone (or in person, if local). Get a digital download of the film too.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $502 or more
4 backers Limited (1 left of 5)
10 SECONDS OF FAME Submit a short video of yourself and your $2 bills (per our specific guidelines!); a portion of the footage will appear in the eBook AND either the film’s credits, or if really insightful and wonderful, in the body of the film itself! Download of movie, eBook, T-shirt AND autographed DVD are all part of this package, as well as your credited role in the film.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $1,002 or more
0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)
JOIN AN EDIT SESSION. Be a part of the creation of the film by joining the director/editor live as a section of the film is edited. Simultaneously be on a Skype call as the editor's screen is shared on your system. Watch cuts be made live and even have them explained to you throughout - it's an open-dialogue process. You can choose two 45-minute sessions or one 90-minute session. THEN get the test audience reward, the eBook, T-shirt AND a signed DVD personally thanking you for all of your your help.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $2,002 or more
1 backer Limited (2 left of 3)
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT Instantly become an Associate Producer of the film; your name will appear in the credits as such, as well as on the movie poster and the film’s IMDB page; Admission and “VIP” status at any of the film’s screenings too (travel & accommodation expenses not included).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $5,002 or more
1 backer Limited (1 left of 2)
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT. Receive this credit on all film literature and of course, in the film itself. Access and VIP status to all film screenings and events (travel & accommodation expenses not included). And use it to further your film career, since you'll now have the same credit Steven Spielberg had on all three Back to the Future filmsEstimated delivery:
0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)
THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE. Start by having a great $2 bill story or experience; with this reward, we will travel to you anywhere in the U.S., interview you or members of a group, and capture any other footage related to your story. Then we'll work it into the film! Contact me directly if you want to discuss your story before you pledge at this level.Estimated delivery:
- (35 days)