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
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