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[A feature film] - What does the future hold for Alaska? One family walked and packrafted over 3 months and 800 miles to gain insight.
[A feature film] - What does the future hold for Alaska? One family walked and packrafted over 3 months and 800 miles to gain insight.
170 backers pledged $13,567 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$13,567

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From March through July of 2013 Hig, Erin, Katmai and Lituya walked and packrafted over 800 miles of Alaska coastline, around the edge of Cook Inlet. They fastidiously documented their adventure and have returned home with beautiful images, video and journal entries. I have been tasked with translating this collection of raw ingredients into a feature length film but in order for this to happen we need your support.

In a way, this film has been seven years in the making, beginning when Hig and Erin stepped out of Seattle to walk to the Aleutian Islands. This 13-month expedition was not their first massive wilderness undertaking but it was their last without children. The family continues to push through the boundaries of the improbable and come out the other end with lessons and insights to share.

The family enjoying lunch in front of Mount Douglas.
The family enjoying lunch in front of Mount Douglas.

Outreach and education are important components to this family and ‘Heart of Alaska’ – the movie, will be an opportunity to share, with a broad audience, the conversations, chance encounters, agony and pure joy of adventuring with small children in an ancient land with an uncertain future.  

My filmmaking and storytelling journey is closely tied to this family and their nonprofit, Ground Truth Trekking. Over the past several years I have worked closely with them on a number of projects. Love of adventure is the spark that brought us together but sharing with others is what keeps us perpetually inspired.

Hig and Katmai racing the tide.
Hig and Katmai racing the tide.

With your help I’ll be able to travel to the communities, cities and villages the family passed through and interview people the family encountered. Since I live in the region much of this will be straightforward but some of the communities are accessible only by air or water and the expense can become prohibitive. I will also hire musician Mark Teckenbrock and graphic illustrator Skyler Kline to mold these components into a beautiful and inspiring film.

Editing, color correction, writing and eventual promotion of the film all require a tremendous amount of time and effort. Our team is used to long hours and little pay, but nothing is free, and we hope our hard work is appreciated.

A page from Erin Mckittrick and Valisa Higman's upcoming children book about the families adventure.
A page from Erin Mckittrick and Valisa Higman's upcoming children book about the families adventure.

We’ve put together a wide array of rewards for our backers; chief among them is the finished film. We want to include you in this project and process. Crowd-funding blurs the line of producer and audience and joins them in a way previously unheard of. When you contribute you become a member of the team and move from the passive viewer into the active participant.

This film has much to say. We hope you’ll lend us your voice to help it get said.

Heart of Alaska
Heart of Alaska

Risks and challenges

We are moving forward, as though this project is already funded. Skyler Kline has been designing graphics, Mark Teckenbrock has been scoring music and I've begun filming interviews and shooting b-roll. We know we can create a moving and visually striking movie, with your help

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You'll get a hearty thank you and a post card when the film is funded.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    You'll receive a digital download of the film, a shout out on social media and a postcard signed by the crew.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    You'll receive a digital download of Heart of Alaska, or if preferred a DVD, a signed postcard and a DVD of Journey on the Wild Coast (feature film about Hig and Erin's 2007 expedition from Seattle to the Aleutians).
    Please state whether you'd like the download or DVD version.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    You'll receive a digital download of Heart of Alaska, or a DVD, a signed postcard, a copy of Journey on the Wild Coast and a limited edition Heart of Alaska tee shirt.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You'll receive everything within the $50 reward plus your name in the credits and a poster signed by the family and crew.

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    34 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    You'll receive everything within the $100 reward plus a copy of Erin Mckittrick's book 'Small Feet Big Land'.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    You'll receive everything in the $200 reward package plus Erin Mckittrick and Valisa Higman's children book about the families adventure, published by Sasquatch Books and due out in early 2016.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You'll receive everything in the $250 reward package and a custom 25 x 20cm photography book from our extensive library of Alaskan images.

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

    You'll receive everything in the $250 reward package plus a large 30 x 30 cm photography book from our extensive library of Alaskan images.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    You and a guest will join Hig Erin and the kids for a overnight adventure in Kachemak Bay Alaska. Round trip water taxi from Homer to Seldovia included.

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Funding period

- (21 days)