YES! We've made our goal but there are some AMAZING female players we want to highlight, and every penny raised beyond $25,000 here on KICKSTARTER will go directly toward telling their stories. So don't let us acheiving our goal deter you from contributing. We promise you'll love this story!
This is the world of ULTRA Senior tennis - where the players actually look forward to getting older every 5 years, when they age into the next bracket and have relative youth on their side.
We've identified characters and storylines and have about 20% of the footage we need in the can - we need your help to bring the rest of our vision to life!
We plan to follow these seasoned warriors for one full championship season, focusing on the humor and drama that takes place on and off center court. We'll celebrate and suffer along with them as they attempt final goals on their bucket lists, and experience with them the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
It's a world that few know about. But it's time to change that.
Aging is inescapable. And quality of life is largely determined by health. Through the power of example, this story will ignite broader questions including: What might be the unexpected power of a goal?
But don't just take our word for it. Meet some of the players we're following for yourself.
The players we will profile in Gold Balls are all devoted, passionate, resilient professionals who have been on the courts for decades and are still excited for that next championship match.
If we achieve our goal of raising $25,000, we'll be able to tell a story about grit and engagement. We'll be able to...
- Film 80 year old #1 in the world and “most eligible bachelor” John Powless at home in Madison, WI
- Film 94 year old Men’s gold ball recordbreaker Bob Sherman in Santa Barbara
- Film the WA state Indoor National Men's 80's, 85's and 90's Tennis Championships
- Film the Laguna Outdoor National Men's 75's, 80's, 85's and 90's Tennis Championships
- Film 80 year old "Traveling Tennis Man" Ron Tonidandel on the road
And if this is where we cap out, we will edit what we have into a short documentary. But, check out what we can do if we meet our stretch goals below ….
Help us share these stories...
Remember, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal; if we don't make our goal, we don't get to bring this movie to life. We are deeply grateful for your support at whatever level you can pledge.
Some of the great rewards include:
Stay tuned for even more perks!
If we make it to $35,000, things start to get exciting!
The filming and story will expand to include sport as a tool for life as we profile a player who has broken barriers in the sport and mentored hundreds of children who never otherwise would have picked up a racquet:
- We'll travel to Dallas to film Marcus Freeman, a new 80+ Nationals contender, founder of Black Tennis Magazine and recipient of the 2014 USPTA Diversity award
If we make it to $50,000, things get crazy!
What will it be? Travelling to cover all four Nationals, including the amazing grass courts at South Orange, NJ? Profiling the most amazing woman in tennis that you've NEVER HEARD OF? If we make it to $35,000 we'll unveil this challenge, and with your help we'll push things to the limit!
We got a request for a layout of our perks - here you go!
Why Are We Here? We've spent years identifying characters, storylines and developing relationships. Everything to this point has been self-funded. We've got about 20% of the film in the can but to travel to the tournaments and players' homes this year, we need your help.
What is Kickstarter anyway? Kickstarter is a dynamic way to fund creative ideas and ambitious endeavors. Projects must be fully funded or no money changes hands. In other words, if we don’t achieve our goal of $25,000, we don't get anything. And, incidentally, our goal of $25,000 is a bare minimum to get our boots on the ground filming at tournaments and players' homes in California, Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida and Texas.
Where does my money go? Whatever we raise here on Kickstarter will be used for:
• Travel expenses: Getting our small crew to tournaments and our player's hometowns adds up quickly. We hope to include all 4 tournaments (grass, clay, indoor and outdoor) and between 5 and 7 players, but the budget will ultimately determine how many locations and stories we're able to include.
• Gear: Our goal is to shoot the most visually delightful film about tennis we can. We will mostly be using gear we already own, but we'll need to rent or ship some specialty items and portable lighting gear, and we'd like to provide cameras for our players to record some footage on their own.
• Hard Drives: We will be shooting a LOT of great footage - and therefore requiring a lot of space to store it.
• Boring Stuff that adds up quickly. Like production insurance, car rentals, hotel accommodations, food, fuel, shipping costs.
If you’re ready to back us, just click the green button at the top right corner of this page! If you’d like to learn more, read on...and be sure to check out our rewards!
How do I pledge? It’s easy. Just click the green “Back This Project” button in the upper right-hand corner or on the little green icons in each pledge box. You will be asked to input your pledge amount and select a reward. From there, you will go through the Amazon checkout process. You must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. It is fast and easy.
What if we don’t reach our goal? This is an all-or-nothing platform. If funding fails, all pledges are canceled and that's that. Your card is not charged, it’s like nothing ever happened. We hope this doesn’t happen!
Can we exceed our goal? Most definitely - and we sure hope to! Our goal of $25,000 is literally the bare minimum of what we need to cover a few players and a couple tennis tournaments! Exceeding our goal will enable us to film in more locations, include more amazing people and create the kind of feature that will really get people talking.
What about those cool rewards? Some will be fulfilled and sent to you pretty quickly - and some, next year. We've put a later date on some deadlines - the reason for this? For one, we need to finish the film in order to have a DVD to send you or have you attend a screening.
Can I donate outside the United States? Yes! Just click on the Amazon Payment Button and you will see that you can pay with a credit card from any country! But you must finish the Amazon checkout process for your pledge to be recorded. If you have any problems just contact us and we will gladly walk you through it. For shipping to destinations outside the US, we will add on the appropriate shipping costs.
There are full Executive Producer credits available at the $50,000 level. Please contact us directly with queries about participating at this level.
And finally, a special shout-out to Clatter & Din Sound Studio and Tom Skerritt for their tremendous contributions to the teaser trailer, and graphic designers Jenna Sylvester and Courtney Witter (PaperCourt Press). Thanks go to Rob Witmer as well for the music in John's piece above. We all share a passion for bringing great ideas to life and are dedicated to seeing this film get made.
Thanks so much for checking us out and remember, every little bit will help bring this project to life!
Risks and challenges
Making a movie is a challenging process and there are many issues that could complicate this project. There could be challenges that arise due to the age of the cast. There could be crew staffing changes, particularly as filming a documentary takes a very long time. And as with any project there could be unforeseen fulfillment, funding, story or legal complications. The length and breadth of the story we are able to tell will depend heavily on funding. That said, we are tenacious people and are determined to bring this story to fruition.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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