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A travelogue film riding Amtrak rails stopping at regional hubs: a search of honest values, investigating Americas "melting pot".

A travelogue film riding Amtrak rails stopping at regional hubs: a search of honest values, investigating Americas "melting pot". Read More
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This project's funding goal was not reached on September 11, 2013.

About this project

Defining America's Present: MANIFEST DESTINY

The project was born for Kickstarter. Kickstarter was conjured through the doctrine of MANIFEST DESTINY. We need your help to investigate the nation's personal relationship with the U.S. and Manifest Destiny. 

Manifest Destiny (man-i-fest Des-ti-ny)                                              

1. The belief or doctrine held in 19th century America that it was the destiny of the United States to expand over the entire North American continent, extending its political, social, and economic influence, thus remaking the world in the image of America.

2. An idea that once thrived on physical expansion of the American Dream but is now a calling for every American to be unique according to their own individualized interpretation. Ironically, this conjures another collective doctrine for the American people.

3. A future event accepted as inevitable.

Quicky Plot (for the investor on the go)

In the Fall of 2013, a documentary crew will embark on an exploration of the United States by riding the vessel of Manifest Destiny, the railway. Comprised of a handful of 20-something-year-old Americans, the crew will travel through the continental United States to explore American history in a way that no textbook or teacher ever could. The film will explore the cultural implications of the routes being traveled, including the historical context in which we live.

Personal interviews with passengers, by day, and revealing reflections from the crew, by night, will capture the meaning of Manifest Destiny and its pioneering mode of transportation into modern times, revealing its effect on the myriad of American types to this day. 

Manifesto (for the investor in the know)

Manifest Destiny: A Search for U.S. is a travelogue documentary film: a journey through the negotiations between America’s present value system and storied history by exploring the ideological theory of “American Exceptionalism” (the theory that the United States is "qualitatively different" from other nations) through riding the train and thruways that preclude it, the old vessel of Manifest Destiny.

This country is sectioned through hundreds of geographical miles, yet still these sectioned populations tend to resemble each other in culture, ideology, and hopefulness. However, due to geographical separatism and individualistic tendencies, many of this country's citizens attempt to disregard this reality. Groups of people, including this crew, believe this country, despite a contrast in cultural and physical landscapes, is built upon a commonality of beliefs and interests.

The goal of Manifest Destiny: A Search for U.S. is to prove that this country is a conglomeration of individuals that shape a collective ideal of mental and physical freedoms with inalienable rights endowed to the individual people.

To read more about the purpose of Manifest Destiny: A Search for U.S., see our Facebook page.

A Call to You

Manifest Destiny: A Search for U.S. is an opportunity to take a look at the present state of America while keeping a self aware record of the Americans filming the project. A project that has been in the making for years. The planning  phase for months. It is an interactive community effort to chronicle a trip that meanders through scenic backgrounds, speeding along the tracks that crosses the diverse landscape of the U.S. The crew will give the audience a sense of how our American life is intimately connected to the moods and rhythms of nature, geography and historical context.

Along the way we will record the hopes, interests and depressions that preoccupy the present American experience juxtaposed to historical ideologies. We hope to show in this film America’s unique way of being, with compassionate listening, then asking questions in conversation. Revealing Americas mechanism that allows its citizens to evolve in a way that has never been seen anywhere else in the world. It is both a unifying theme that we are all unique individuals as well as an ever present notion that we must all fit into a preconceived notion of “unique or different”, this makes us the same.

The political and social experiment set in place by our forefathers and ancestors abroad is in play, proving America's ability to live harmoniously as one collective, physically distant yet unified in one mind, body, and soul. The funding will go to the exploration through the visual medium of how differently we are the same, with utmost care in regards to historical context and aesthetically pleasing troupes of story, plot, and theme.

Are You Sure?

There is no doubt that the crew who has volunteered to dedicate their time and talents to Manifest Destiny: A Search for U.S. is more than capable. In case you, dear investor, still has doubts though...

WHO? No one is more equipped to embark on a self aware journey of "American exceptionalism" then proprietors of the Millennial generation. At a crux in life that requires young people to make a choice about how they will live their lives, the crew will bring a new perspective to exploration of us, U.S. history and the choices that are still affecting us today.

Turner Fair- Director
Turner Fair- Director
Davis Macks- Director of Photography
Davis Macks- Director of Photography
Josh Hicks- Production Director
Josh Hicks- Production Director
Lenny Parsons- Best Boy/ Multimedia supervisor
Lenny Parsons- Best Boy/ Multimedia supervisor

WHY? As Y Generation cohorts we have recently graduated from Ball State University with various storytelling degrees and are ready to encounter the individual collective that is the U.S.A. As American storytellers we should know our country thoroughly.

WHEN? Now is a great time in our country’s history for fresh young people to engage America. We will set out on our journey in September of 2013 with a completed documentary on DVD and ready for distribution by summer 2014.

WHAT? The jury is out on this generation, but we hope to uncover evidence by looking at our nations past, in retrospect to our current condition. Are we that Me Generation we keep hearing about, possibly the community centered civic minded generation, or simply the same generations as the ones before us, with more stuff.

HOW? We will have the ability to approach people with the right amount of ignorance and bliss that comes with being young and restless, but with strong ground work of historical and regional context. We will board the trains with book learning and ask our fellow passengers as well as those we meet on our stops to share their infinitesimal bits of amiable life experience. We know the changes in U.S. history only from books and papers. We have not felt the country in all our 90+ years combined, smelled the grasses and trees and sewage, seen the hills and water and quality of light and light pollution the way those we meet on this journey have.

There are hundreds of reasons to take this journey with us through our documentary. Perhaps you want to connect with your fellow American despite being separated by miles of country. Perhaps you want to see us discover a family like yours who helped shape America through their work on the railroads. Perhaps you want to learn more about your nation’s expansive history. We know where to go, what to take, how to get there, and how long to stay. All we need is a little help from you.

What's This Money For?

  • $4,500 - AMTRAK tickets, travel fees, and taxes - AMTRAK is also charging filming fees on top of the ticket prices
  • $300 - Public Transportation - While in regional hubs we will need to get around easily and freely in order to capture the true nature of the particular metropolis
  • $1,200 - Production Equipment - We have most of our own equipment, but will need to acquire: a shoulder rig, batteries, adjustable LED light panel, lapel mic(s), hard drive, CF cards, and rental fees in some cities
  • $500 - Basic Necessities
Any left over funds will go towards the distribution of the final product.

Can I See Where You Are Going?

The route that we will be taking.
The route that we will be taking.

Regional Hub Stops &Rail lines 

  • Chicago The start of the trip, a mega city made so by the west - Lincoln Service
  • St. Louis Home of national expansion - Missouri River Runner
  • Kansas City Last gateway to Western Passage along Missouri - Southwest Chief
  • Raton Wild West, biggest NRA gun range - Bus to Denver
  • Denver Mile High City, at the foot of continental divide - California Zephyr
  • Salt Lake City Mormon Freedom, Exodus Peace, serenity - Bus to Spokane through Boise
  • Spokane Actively conscience of environment - Empire Builder
  • Seattle Most literate, culturally aware, native entitlements - Coast Starlight
  • Portland Lewis and Clark State Park - Coast Starlight
  • Bay Area Technology, culture exchange, economic booms BART - Coast Starlight
  • Los Angles City of displaced peoples and transplants - Texas Eagle
  • El Paso Emigration-annexation, migrant workers, Border Wall - Sunset Limited
  • New Orleans Port of melting pot, culture, music, and superstition - Crescent
  • Atlanta Race relations, MLK, Civil War/Sherman's March, Coca-Cola - Crescent
  • Washington D.C. A mass of irony for all the world to see - Northeast Regional
  • Philadelphia Birth of a nation, City of Brotherly Love - Northeast Regional
  • New York The Big Apple, mirror to the world, pinnacle of commerce - Northeast Regional
  • Boston The start of a Revolution - Lake Shore Limited
  • Buffalo Niagara Falls a great divide, "Forget Me Not Annie" - Lake Shore Limited
  • Detroit The begging of the end - The Wolverine
  • Chicago End, Just in time for giving thanks to giving

THANK YOU for caring and may your God bless you


Risks and challenges

Once a journey is designed, equipped and put in process a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has a personality, a temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in its self; No two are alike and all plans, safeguards, policing and coercion are fruitless. We do not take a trip: a trip takes us. In this a Journey is like a Marriage or a social contract. Much like in life and America, a certain way to be wrong is to think you control it.

That being said, I want to give credit where due, to a great American storyteller, John Steinbeck, for this well put piece on what an American story, journey is, but in all honesty, the only thing that can stop this sojourn from happening this fall is a lack of funding and or an act of GOD.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • 30-45 days, the length of a U.S.A. rail-pass dependent on delays on the amtrak service and content gleaned in cities requiring extra attention.

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  • Interviewing people along the esthetic of the geographical and historical context of the region and city.

    check out updated notes of the itinerary on the facebook page in the notes section.

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  • Promote the kick starter and the facebook page. Feels good.

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  • Support this great American project, have faith in patriotism. To know if the Y generation has it in them to engage America in a properly unique and respectful way.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more
    About $1.00 USD

    1 backer

    Thank you for supporting us. You're a beautiful American and world citizen. Every single dollar counts, and it is assured that it will be put to great use. Thank you.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $2 or more
    About $2.00 USD

    0 backers

    You will be given a Special Thanks in the movie credits for believing in us. Thank you so much for supporting our vision.

    Estimated delivery:
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $7 or more
    About $7 USD

    10 backers

    This is no small sum. You will be updated via the inter web every time we move to a new city. You will also be accepted on all social media sites that project manifest destiny is involved with, so you can stay up to date on the projects total progress. Thank you

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships to: Ships anywhere in the world
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more
    About $15 USD

    1 backer

    If you come within 10 miles of the train station while we are there, we will come to you and interview you for the documentary. Then, we will send you the raw footage of interview if you desire.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more
    About $20 USD

    20 backers

    We'll send you a postcard made by our hands from your region of choice. With a hand written message personally thanking you for helping bring our dream to fruition. Thank you bo$$

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    Ships to: Ships anywhere in the world
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more
    About $40 USD

    1 backer

    We will plant a seed in your honor in any city of your choice. Or at Lewis and clark national park, This will be filmed and put into the final film. Thank you mythical donor

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more
    About $75 USD

    12 backers

    You will receive a beautifully packaged DVD of the film months before it is contending for film festival screenings along with all the previous rewards. We'll personally sign each, with personalized thank you message thanking you for your contribution. Thank you, you are a treasure.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships to: Ships anywhere in the world
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more
    About $250 USD

    0 backers

    If you can find $250 in your heart, On top of the above mentioned rewards, you will receive a hand written thank you card/note, created personally for you just before the journey takes place this fall. Plus a place in the special thanks in the credits Thank you for your participation and support. Love ya

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    Ships to: Ships anywhere in the world
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more
    About $500 USD

    2 backers

    This will give you the opportunity to send a question or two that will be included in our interviews during the production. This can be anything that you would like to hear answers to. Seriously, ANYTHING!!!!. We will send you the response while in postproduction. Also, you will receive the above mentioned rewards. Plus a very special thanks in credits. Thank you so much, benefactor extraordinaire.

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  10. Select this reward

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

    0 backers

    If you believe in our vision enough to donate $1,000, we would want you to be involved with the project as much as possible. We will credit you as an Executive Producer, which, if desired, would allow for us to stay in close contact during the production. You will also receive all the above mentioned perks. Thank you so much

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more
    About $2,500 USD

    0 backers

    If you donate $2500, you will receive an Executive Producer credit and we will give you a visit, if you live within 50 miles of a stopping point, and cook you the best dinner you've had in a long time and spark up some great conversation along with all of the previously mentioned rewards. Beverages included. Thank you, you are a great person in the world. We love you

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,000 or more
    About $5,000 USD

    0 backers

    If you believe in us enough to donate $5,000, you're coming with us friend! This would be a once in a life time opportunity to travel this beautiful nation with a whacky group of young guys. We could meet you along the way, or we could fly you out to our starting point. Thank you, I am indebted to you master

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Funding period

- (30 days)