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This account of the Spring Offensive, 1918, is the most arresting and visually compelling of any. William won the DSO for his courage.
This account of the Spring Offensive, 1918, is the most arresting and visually compelling of any. William won the DSO for his courage.
24 backers pledged £2,252 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Our 2014 WWI film 'Tell Them of Us', is the true story of one Lincolnshire family, made to commemorate the outbreak of WWI. Their story was told from the home front and the perspective of those left behind. 'Tell Them of Us' is now available on DVD and will be shown on Estuary TV this Christmas. 

One story remained untold however; what happened to William Crowder at the front which resulted in him receiving the Distinguished Service Order. The DSO was awarded to an officer for acts of gallantry under attack; so what exactly happened to William? Fortunately we have an account of his experience of the Kaiserschlacht and it is one of the most arresting and visually compelling WWI narratives I have read.

Adam Fox as William Crowder
Adam Fox as William Crowder

We plan to make a documentary of William's story and hope to raise enough money to dramatise the events that resulted in him receiving the DSO. Recreating these events will be extraordinary, but costly. The more we can raise the more we can do. 

We have set a minimum of £2,000 to get the basic documentary made with a small amount of dramatisation involving a simple set and two cast. To complete the full dramatisation of events we will require a minimum of £10,000. 

We also plan to complete our WWI commemorative project with a few other small documentaries that cover the research and behind the scenes stories including the story of the Red Cross Hospital in Horncastle. These, along with the drama-documentary on William, will be added to the director's cut / full version DVD of Tell Them of Us for release later this year. William's Story, the drama-documentary, along with the mini-documentaries, will also be shown on Estuary TV.

Who We Are:

Director, Cinematographer: Nick Loven. Nick is an independent filmmaker (Crow's Eye Productions) with over 12 years’ experience in historical films and wildlife film and photography. Nick has worked with the BBC Natural History unit (including Springwatch). He brings high production values to this film and will be recording with broadcast standard equipment. Nick was also the director, and cinematographer for 'Tell Them of Us'. 

Nick Loven, Crow's Eye Productions, Director and Cinematorgrapher
Nick Loven, Crow's Eye Productions, Director and Cinematorgrapher

WAG Screen is a community group who specialise in making films about Lincolnshire’s history and heritage. We are a non-profit making organisation with a strong community ethic. We were founded in 2006 and are Lincolnshire based. We create opportunities for aspiring film crew and actors to gain experience. 

The 'young Crowders' review the footage. Tell Them of Us
The 'young Crowders' review the footage. Tell Them of Us

Period Costumier and Producer: Pauline Loven,  has 30 years experience in researching and reproducing period clothing for museums and ten years of experience in design and making of costumes for film. Pauline is the production manager of WAG Screen community group and runs the wardrobe department of Crow's Eye Productions.  

Pauline concealing microphone and battery pack from the camera.
Pauline concealing microphone and battery pack from the camera.

Composer: Chris Gordon, Over a career spanning two decades he released albums with Union of Knives, Regency Buck, Deckard and Baby Chaos. He now primarily works as a producer/writer and has his own studio in the Southside of Glasgow. Chris composed and recorded the score for 'Tell Them of Us'. 

Photo montage (c) Nic Gordon
Photo montage (c) Nic Gordon

 Pyrotechnics: Should we reach the level of funds to dramatise William's part in the Spring offensive, we will use the same pyrotechnic team, brought together by HDFL.

Nick Loven, Director, discussing pyrotechnics with Simon Mounsey. Tell Them of Us
Nick Loven, Director, discussing pyrotechnics with Simon Mounsey. Tell Them of Us

How you can help

Donate! - Pick a perk that suits you and pledge to help us make this drama-documentary. The perks range from a donation that will hopefully give you a warm, fuzzy feeling inside, right up to being listed as an Executive producer! Other perks include memorabilia from the film 'Tell Them of Us', including WWI replica paper bags, full colour brochure and the film itself on DVD, and most include a listing in our 'Hall of Fame' - a permanent reminder of our gratitude to you.

  • Volunteer! - We need crew and an army of German Soldiers (bring your own uniform)!
  • Share! - Share our story with family and friends and post links on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
  • Buy our DVD Tell Them of Us - and, if you like what we do, come back and donate! 
  • Or just buy the DVD - 100% will go towards the documentary. 

All of our generous backers will receive a special supporter-only serialisation of memoir extracts and updates on the movie development, including behind-the-scenes photos. The Hall of Fame will be a page on the film website which will be released at the time of the film release!

'Tell Them of Us' DVD
'Tell Them of Us' DVD

Some comments on Tell Them of Us: 

  • ‘Well done Nick Loven - such gifted filmmaker!’ ‘
  • What a fantastic film. Beautiful photography, costumes, music, settings. The tension of the story very well held. Terrific acting’
  • ‘Brilliantly done! Get your hankies out, it's emotional, poignant and true.’
  •  ‘it is a masterful position in the WW1 conflict’

Risks and challenges

We have completed filming 'Tell Them of Us' and we overcame the many obstacles thrown our way. We had a brilliant cast, director and crew, but scheduling was complicated by the need to coordinate around our casts' other acting jobs and commitments. This was the trickiest part: we had such a tiny budget and we are able to pay so little that we had to rely on those small gaps in other people's schedules to achieve this film. This time, however, filming will be scheduled over days rather than months and filmed in one go. To film the whole drama sequence will be the most complicated shoot we will have undertaken and will take a great deal of preparation.

We have set a very modest goal and I hope we reach it, but every penny over that will be valued and much appreciated. The minimum of £2,000 will get the basic documentary made with a small amount of dramatisation involving a simple set and two cast.

Interview-based documentary work is, in contrast to filming drama, relatively inexpensive. However, to film the complete drama sequence will be costly. It will involve set building, location filming, pyrotechnics, a large uniformed cast with specialist kit, experienced crew and complex post-production work. Whereas, with the film 'Tell Them of Us', I could (as costumier), cover the costume costs, I cannot do so in this case. For the full dramatisation sequence, experienced reenactors who come with fantastic full uniform and kit will be drafted in, enabling us to do justice to the events that happened. We are very excited to work with them, but securing their participation will be expensive. We are looking at all funding options to enable us to bring them in, but raising our Kickstarter goal will enable us to get going. It really is a case of the more you can help us raise, the more we can do! As a minimum however, we will complete the interview-based part of the documentary and a brief taster of the drama.

Remember, the more you can help us raise, the more we can do! To complete the full dramatisation of events we will require a minimum of £10,000, but will be well worthwhile.

Goodbye-ee and thank you.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £15 or more About $23

    'Sandbags': Pledge £15 or more for the warm, fuzzy feeling of knowing that you're helping to bring this story to life. We will send you a thank you tweet too!

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    Pledge £20 or more About $31

    'Tin hat': Pledge £20 or more and you will get a place on our Hall of Fame!

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    Pledge £40 or more About $61

    'Somewhere in France': Pledge £40 or more and we will send you the beautiful full colour brochure from our premiere of 'Tell Them of Us'. Get a place on our Hall of Fame too!

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    Pledge £55 or more About $84

    'Blighty': Pledge £55 or more and we will send you the current (without extras) DVD of the film 'Tell Them of Us' along with the premiere brochure. Get a place on our Hall of Fame too!

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    Pledge £100 or more About $154

    'Tank Bank': Pledge £100 or more and we will send you the new, Directors cut DVD of 'Tell Them of Us', which will include the drama-documentary 'William's Story', and other extras, upon its completion. You will also get ten replica 'Tank Bank' paper bags as used as a prop in the film, the beautiful full colour brochure from the premiere, and a spot on our Hall of Fame!

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    Pledge £500 or more About $768

    'Pals': Be credited as 'Executive Producer' on the drama-documentary 'William's Story'! We will also send you the new, Directors cut DVD of 'Tell Them of Us', which will include 'William's Story', and other extras, upon its completion. You will also get ten replica 'Tank Bank' paper bags as used as a prop in the film, the beautiful full colour brochure from the premiere, and a spot on our Hall of Fame!

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Funding period

- (30 days)