“The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated” -Mark Twain
For many generations, stamp collecting was a right of passage, a portal to exotic lands, strange languages and unknown cultures, but, the past 30 years hasn’t been kind to the hobby. As digital methods accelerate communication, postal systems fail and young generations are inundated with alternative entertainment, stamps and their collectors are facing an uncertain future with seemingly irrelevant hobby.
Our film opens up the quiet world of stamp collecting, to show just how action-packed it is. We are searching to find out who collects stamps and more importantly.. why? We will reveal some of the rarest legends in the hobby, both the eccentric people and fabled stamps. The film uncovers the common influences that connect all stamp collectors and whether nurture, nature or both is the driving force triggering the collectors “gene”. In addition, we’ll unveil the global world of philatelic business, including astronomically-valued auctions, anonymous collectors, mysteries and scandals.
From general accumulators to niche collectors and everyone in between, Freaks & Errors: A Rare Collection, looks at the stamps, the people and the business. We want to find out if the hobby is still relevant in an age of instant information? What motivates these collectors to hunt and discover new treasures? What connects these people in spite of varied interests, locales, cultures and geography? We will try to define stamp collecting’s place in an increasingly technological world and rapidly changing entertainment model. We’ll also follow collectors, dealers and auctioneers to reveal a little known billion-dollar-a-year industry. What has been the influence that stamps have had on popular culture, art, literature, politics, television and film.
Freaks & Errors is a quest to discover if the “Hobby of Kings,” is in danger of extinction or if a new breed of collector will take the throne.
WHY STAMP COLLECTORS?
When anyone asks what we're working on, the answer "...a documentary on stamp collectors... " usually garners a perplexed, but curious response. After a few minutes of stamp talk, some people will admit that they were once collectors themselves and most have a father, mother or grandparent that collected at one time. Without fail though, ALL want to know more about this fascinatiing hobby. Some of the questions they ask: who's collecting MARIA SHARAPOVA!? What they're collecting, and of course the big question... HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH!?
The fact that there has never been a feature-length documentary on stamp collectors is motivation enough to get out the cameras, but once we did, it became so much more. Even before the first collector breaks into his or her story, the philatelic world is filled with awe and wonder. Stamps are time capsules, they represent a country’s people, culture, geography, history, past and often times they carry the future with them from person to person, one side of the world to the other.
This film is an investigation into love, devotion and a collective reverence.
HOW WE GOT HERE
Up until now, we have completely self-funded this film. From LA to Monaco we have been traveling and shooting, uncovering legendary collectors, following leads on mysterious stamps that come in and out of the public's eye once a generation and most importantly, connecting with collectors and harvesting their stories. We've found that the stamp collecting bond is strong and universal, regardless of age, race, or interest... for the most part, stamps are all that matters.
We have gotten some amazing interviews, stunning philatelic imagery and have begun the process of weaving our story together. Editing has begun, but we have quite a bit of shooting to complete, as well as final edits and finishing. We have exhausted our funds and hope that this is a story that you find as riveting as we do.
HOW WE CAN MOVE FORWARD
We will use all funds to finish the film, any remaining funds will be used for distribution, marketing and promotional material.
Reaching out to the Kickstarter community is a first for us, we hope that people see themselves, one of their family members, friends or favorite people in these collectors and find it a community that they want to be a part of.
They call stamp collecting, "The Quiet Excitement," we are making an exciting film about a quiet world and we want YOU to be a part of it.
Risks and challenges
Our goal is to complete the film by October, 2013. The big question about completion has to do with one, elusive, legendary stamp... the philatelic "Holy Grail," the Penny Magenta. The Penny Magenta is by far the most famous and infamous stamp in the world and currently, its future is a mystery. There has been rumors that it might come out of hiding and up for sale, but these rumors have surfaced before. We have an ending in mind, one that we are shooting for now, but if the stamp does go to auction or transfers ownership, we have an alternate ending that will fit perfectly with the story we are trying to tell, the mystery we're trying to solve.
Another risk we see after the film is done, is that no one will watch it. We're approaching this the only way we know how, using our experience (20 years+) in advertising and marketing, as well as bringing artists, musicians, writers and others together for a combination traditional, social and grass roots campaign of spreading the word .
We have been in commercial production for many years and are all too familiar with set-backs, obstacles and the occasional mishap. We are also familiar with constant communication, we know that anyone investing in this film, wants to know the what, when and where and we are dedicated to provided constant updates on production, post-production, release, screenings, etc. If successfully funded, we will set up updates on our yet-to-be-completed website and will let everyone know where we stand.
In addition, we're pretty sure that we will have the majority of the 40,000,000+ stamp collectors in the world jumping at the chance to see their hobby on the big screen, this is an incredible motivator and we are boiling over with excitement to finish the film!
Thank you so much for taking the time to check us out and we hope we can count on you for support. -Mark & JonLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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