THE HERD GATHERING is a stylized and poignantly constructed feature-length documentary, featuring the lives of artists living in a small village high in the San Jacinto Mountains called Idyllwild, also known as “The Hill.” Idyllwild has been named One Of The 100 Best Art Towns In America and is climbing to the top, thanks to its high concentration of artists and art-lovers.
Multi-faceted filmmaker Scott J. Foster, still fresh to this magical destination, guides us through and introduces us to myriad fascinating characters one could only find in this mile high mecca in the sky, just over a two hour drive away from Los Angeles, California. With magical realism and bold, unconventional storytelling, The Herd Gathering draws the viewer into this unique world, where most residents don’t embody the “get ahead by any means” mentality of the bustling metropolis, but live simple lives based on passion, vision and a deep love for both nature and their fellow man.
The Herd Gathering documents the The Hill’s latest collaborative creation of public art, the "Idyllwild Deer Sightings,” where 22 life-sized recycled aluminum sculptures of deer were transformed into acrylic-painted works of art by 22 local artists. The visionary behind the project, bravely coordinating the debut unveiling of the deer only hours after her father’s death, is an amazing story in itself. It also documents the Mountain Fire of 2013, which displaced the entire community of Idyllwild, California.
One of the most beloved symbols of Idyllwild and its environs are the roaming families of deer. Protected under the cover of the towering pines of the San Jacinto Mountains, deer often emerge and pass through the properties of the residents of Idyllwild. Many of the local deer population were run off from their habitat by the human caused 2013 Mountain Fire, which laid waste to over 27,000 square acres of pristine forest. In the Spring of 2014, thousands of surviving deer will migrate back to the higher altitudes, to feed on the early successional vegetation that grows back in the first years after fire. We want to ensure that the deer are able to return safely and repopulate the area by petitioning for the suspension of all big-game hunting in and around the burn areas within the Northern sector of the D19 Deer Hunt Zone for the years of 2014 and 2015.
On the third Sunday of September 2014, one year after the Idyllwild Deer Sightings, the village of Idyllwild will unite for a historic event, featuring a multitude of painters, actors, writers, singers, dancers, musicians, photographers, poets and anyone who loves art. "The Herd Gathering Festival" will be a joyous celebration of our resilience, creativity and compassion, taking place on The International Day of Peace 2014.
By blending elements of both tradition and myth, the documentary evokes curiosity, creating an atmosphere of mystery and intrigue. The film follows the story of the town’s narrow escape from a fiery death through its repopulation and a hopeful return to normalcy. The villagers’ interesting lives come into focus through interviews with this tight-knit group of artists, art-lovers, hippies, shamans and hermits. Dramatic moments in their lives are animated with theatrical reenactments, bringing a truly unique style of storytelling to documentary film.
We all have so much to be thankful for this holiday season, especially the residents and visitors of Idyllwild, California having a village to return to. This holiday, please contribute to this film, this community and this wonderful cause. THANK YOU!
"WHERE DOES MY CONTRIBUTION GO?"
We are transparent, here. This is exactly how the funds are spent:
￼￼PRE-PRODUCTION ￼ - Research, initial interviews, story consultants, networking, trailer/advertising, press releases
PRODUCTION ￼￼ - Travel, crew lodging, craft services, fuel, car and truck rentals, equipment rentals, hard drives, hardware, software, misc. supplies, director, producer and crew salaries, insurance
POST-PRODUCTION ￼ - Digital and video editing, post-production sound, titles, visual effects, festival submissions and marketing, DVD manufacturing, editor and sound mixer fees
BACKERS: Our salaries have been greatly reduced/deferred until after distribution because of our belief in the project, allowing us to increase the production value of our vision. Just another example of how much we believe in this film AND this community.
President of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild Gary Kuscher presents a $1,000 pledge to The Herd Gathering. Thanks to the AAI and the amazing community of Idyllwild!
"HEY, WHAT DO I GET FOR MY CONTRIBUTION?"
So glad you asked. Besides that tingly, warm feeling inside from being part of such an awesome film experience that will INSPIRE YOU and everyone around you, there are some SWEET REWARDS that are COMING YOUR WAY!
From invitations to cool parties, elegant dinners, FREE All-Access Passes to the IDYLLWILD INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF CINEMA...
VIP ACCESS to the exclusive RED CARPET FILM PREMIERE, deluxe LODGING in Idyllwild's coolest places to hang your hat...
A Collector's Edition DVD of the film YOU helped create and...
We'll even sing for our supper! YES, I will bring a live music and art exhibition to your house, followed by a Q & A about the film with the director, even a 5 piece guitar-driven ROCK BAND to gig right in your living room to rock out songs from our film's soundtrack!
I mean, WHO EVEN OFFERS THAT?
At the next party, don't tell your friends you got a new alternator for your Jeep, tell them about the wonderful movie YOU made. ARE you AWESOME for being a part of it?
Y O U A R E S O A W E S O M E !
LET'S START REWARDING YOUR AWESOMENESS RIGHT NOW!
Bonus: Click below & enjoy original music written and recorded by Scott J. Foster.
The film's original soundtrack will be part of your REWARDS PACKAGE sent to you for contributing only $25 or more!
This one above is called "Sundown," a poetic ballad laced with a beautiful piano.
"Musical Wave" is a futuristic uptempo jam with lyrics about a utopian village, not too unlike Idyllwild, the setting of The Herd Gathering.
And finally, for those of you who enjoy positive dance tracks by artists like Bob Sinclar, have a listen and enjoy "Be Free With Your Love."
Risks and challenges
First and foremost, funding is ALL OR NOTHING. That means, if we don't reach our BUDGET GOAL by the deadline, no one is charged and this film doesn't get made. To avoid this from happening, we give YOU awesome rewards, plus the satisfaction of being an IMPORTANT BACKER of this film, no matter the size of your contribution.
Like any feature film, this will be no walk in the park to produce. We're filming at an altitude of nearly 6,000 feet, we'll get snowed on, we'll travel across some serious terrain and work around the artists' availability. But, our team's "ain't no mountain high enough" attitude will see us through. Yeah, we'll be singing that one a lot.
SJF Productions will be submitting “The Herd Gathering” to the very best domestic and international film festivals including Sundance, South by Southwest, New York Film Festival, The Tribeca Film Festival, DOC NYC, The Festival de Cannes, Toronto...
La crème de la crème.
Rest assured that your tasty perks and rewards for being a backer will be delivered to you on time, that's our promise. As a contributor to the project, you will continue to receive updates on "The Herd Gathering," to attend events and parties and have the opportunity to remain a part of our team for as long as you like. It's people like YOU who will make it happen and we can't thank you enough, so...
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