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A 35-foot long FILM CAMERA will travel 20,000 miles to document our Vanishing Cultures for a national exhibit...help us build it!

Over 10 Years In The Making...Vanishing Cultures will be an audacious 20,000-mile mission to capture the uncommon beauty and individuality that define our people in a way that has never been done before.  This is an artistic mission that will reflect the true essence of our nation by capturing the unique spirit of our people...on a very grand scale.  Vanishing Cultures will include the following highlights:

  • Dennis Manarchy, world-renowned photographer, has spent 10 years constructing by hand a prototype 35-foot long traditional FILM camera that produces 4.5-foot by 6-foot negatives with unbelievable visual detail
  • Once we construct the new traveling version of this amazing camera, we will set off on a 20,000-mile journey around the country to photograph and commemorate our Vanishing Cultures in their own environments (see list of featured cultures below)
  • As we reach the 200th anniversary of the camera, the new version (shown below) will be an archival tribute to Vanishing film photography and our hope is to donate it to a museum upon completion of our mission.

RECENT PRESS: NPR | UK Daily Mail | ABC News | CNN / HLN TV |Slate | CS Magazine | Film's Not Dead | Gizmodo | Engadget

What cultures will be featured on this nationwide journey? Here's a working list...and we're always looking for suggestions!

What's it like shooting with a 35-foot camera?

"Two days of preparation results in 1/1000th of a second flash exposure and I have only one chance to get it right.  I literally focus half-way down an eyelash.  If the subject moves, it's out of focus...if they blink, it's a disaster...and if their expression is off the portrait suffers.  I must say that the length of time it takes with the subject creates a special bond that I would never want to lose...and that moment is captured in every one of these portraits." 

--Dennis Manarchy

The existing prototype is shown in the photo below...and it works in spectacular fashion.

The negatives, measuring 6 feet by 4.5 feet, have 1,000 times greater detail than an average digital photograph.  This camera will be a monumental achievement for photography and it will be an unprecedented tribute to a dying art.

 The size of the negatives allows us to enlarge the photos to over 2-story tall prints (24 feet x 16 feet) with such pristine detail that you can see the fleck of an iris, the weight of an eyelash on a child's face or the individual pores on our skin.  They provide a true and unaltered look at the faces of our nation.


WE MUST TRAVEL with the camera in order to visit and document these incredible cultures in their natural environments and surroundings, which is why we need your help to build the version of the camera in the video below.  

The Trip…Phase II

Once we build the new version we will embark on a 20,000-mile journey across America to capture representative subjects of Vanishing Cultures in their own environments. A documentary team will capture the stories surrounding each destination and culture that we visit.


The Result…Phase III

As a result of the detail and scale of the big camera, 24-foot photographs will be produced and displayed in stadium-sized outdoor exhibitions along with the negatives and the stories behind these spectacular people. Educational materials and text books will capture history and cultural background; documentaries will provide intimate views of the folklore, stories and environments surrounding these people in imaginative, cinematic ways; and the photographs will provide a timeless and artistic capture of our cultures.


A Historical Mission...

The scope of Vanishing Cultures reaches far beyond the art of photography. This is an opportunity to ensure a place in history for these amazing cultures and people before they are gone forever.  This project is both a tribute to these unique people and an amazing era of traditional film photography. 

About the Photographer...

Over the past 30 years, Dennis Manarchy has ranked among the world's top photographers.  After growing up in Rockford, Illinois he graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology and apprenticed with Irving Penn.  After serving as Lieutenant in the Vietnam War, he returned home disillusioned and met a Lumbee Indian Chief at a local book store in North Carolina.  The Chief invited Dennis to live with his tribe and Dennis spent months readjusting to post-war life while refocusing on photography.  His experience with the Tribe changed him forever.  

Dennis has won countless awards for photography and commercial directing and his works are included in permanent collections within the Museum of Contemporary Photography and the Museum of Modern Art, among many others.  He has shot major advertising campaigns and celebrities and has twice been rated Best Photographer by Graphis.  Yet despite his achievements, Dennis maintains amazing humility and deep concern for humanity, and his love and appreciation for cultures and real people are evident throughout his work.  His wife, Mary Beth, and his daughter, Molly, are two incredibly gifted and talented spirits and I have been blessed with the opportunity to become friends with their family over the past 4 years as Dennis' vision for Vanishing Cultures has finally come to fruition...we are now just steps away from making this dream a reality.  Thank you for your support! 

IN THE PRESS: ABC News |Slate | UK Daily Mail | CS Magazine | Film's Not Dead | Gizmodo | Engadget

Special Thanks To: Our amazing volunteer team, Bob Coon & Mark Schwartz at PDT (www.pdt.com), Arturo Cubacub at i-cubed media (i3hypermedia.com), Jon Scott (jsg676.com), JR - Print Lab (printlab.com), Ted Lichtenheld, Jim Shearer and Jules Tomko at Essanay (essanay.com), Mikey Shimer (mikeshimer.com), Peter VanVliet (petervanvliet.com), Bill Sosin, Sven Asmus, Cleatus Murdaugh (distortiondesign.com)

REWARD LIST 

For higher rewards, including corporate or foundation sponsorship opportunities  please email chad@thefpac.org).

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Project Flyer: 8 1/2" x 11"

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Designer Vanishing Cultures T-Shirt by Dennis Manarchy & Peter Van Vliet (petervanvliet.com/)

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Exclusive Vanishing Cultures Poster - Design by Dennis Manarchy

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"Exposed" book by Dennis Manarchy: describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission (Making its debut on Kickstarter!)

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Gold Sponsor Reward: Limited Edition (only 50 produced!) 18" x 24" Giclee Fine-Art Print from our Super-Sized Camera Signed by Dennis Manarchy:

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Platinum Reward: Limited Edition (Only 20 produced!) 30"x40” Giclee Fine-Art Print from our Super-Sized Camera Signed And Numbered by Dennis Manarchy:

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Diamond Sponsor Reward: "Autumn's Eye" - Right: 48" x 60" Giclee Fine Art Print

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Diamond Sponsor Reward: "Autumn's Eye" - Left: 48" x 60" Giclee Fine Art Print

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Daguerreotype Random Drawing Reward: One-Of-A-Kind 4.5-foot by 6-foot Original Negative, Signed & Dated by Dennis Manarchy (Winner of negative below will be randomly drawn from Daguerreotype Reward Contributors)...this is one of our first test images from the big camera (over $25,000 estimated value):

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Big Camera Reward: 5-foot x 8-foot Giclee Museum Quality Fine Art Print of "Christina In Distress" from Dennis' award winning "Metal" series, signed and numbered By Dennis Manarchy (limited edition of 15)

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Super Big Camera Reward: Limited Edition (only 10 produced) 16-foot "Autumn" print from the big camera, signed and numbered by Dennis Manarchy:

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Super Sized Negative Reward: Example Original Negatives (4.5 feet x 6 feet):

FAQ

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    26 backers

    Calotype Reward: Be a part of history and join our mission! You'll be added to our mailing list to receive regular updates on our progress, the camera, the 20,000-mile trip, featured stories from our amazing subjects and interviews with Dennis along the way!

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    Cyanotype Reward: Calotype Reward (above) + a personal email of appreciation from Dennis Manarchy with exclusive behind-the-scenes digital photos from the project.

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    Ambrotype Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards (above) + a Vanishing Cultures color printed flyer, signed by Dennis Manarchy (see reward images below). Please add $2.50 for S&H (U.S.) and $7.00 (international)

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    Autochrome Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + a Designer Vanishing Cultures T-Shirt (see reward images below). Please add $6.00 for S&H (U.S.) and $14.00 S&H (international)

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    ******Added 2/24******** NEW PORTRAIT PRINT REWARD: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + 11" x 17" Portrait Art Print (Black & White) from the BIG CAMERA. We've been busy shooting new portraits and now you can see what we're creating! We'll also be sure to include the background and the amazing story behind the subject! Please add $2.50 S&H (U.S.) and $7.00 (International).

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    Daguerreotype Reward: All of the above rewards (Mailing List, Personal Email with Project Images, Signed Project Flyer and Designer Vanishing Cultures T-shirt). Please add $8.00 S&H (U.S.) and $18.00 (international).

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    Bronze Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Exclusive Vanishing Cultures 18" x 24" Designer Poster with image from the Prototype Camera (see reward images below). Please add $7.00 S&H (U.S.) and $21.00 (international).

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    Silver Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Exclusive Vanishing Cultures 30" x 40" Designer Poster with image from the Prototype Camera Signed and Numbered By Dennis Manarchy + Designer Vanishing Cultures T-Shirt (see reward images below). Please add $19.00 S&H (U.S.) + $76.00 (international).

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    Titanium Reward: Silver Reward + Signed "EXPOSED" book by Dennis Manarchy (making its debut on Kickstarter!) describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission (see reward images below). Please add $26.00 S&H (U.S.) and $92.00 (international).

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    Engraved Sponsor Reward: You share our love for the project and you just want to see this mission succeed. Your name will be engraved on a plaque that will be affixed to the new version of the camera as soon as it is constructed. Your name & photo/logo will be listed on our website and you will forever become a cherished VIP of the Vanishing Cultures mission. It is our intent to donate the archival new camera to a museum upon completion of our journey/exhibits. You will be a permanent part of history and it's our way of saying thank you for helping to make this mission possible.

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    Gold Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Engraved Sponsor Reward + Limited Edition (only 50 produced!) 18" x 24" Giclee Fine-Art Print from our Super-Sized Camera Signed (over $1,500 value) by Dennis Manarchy + Designer Vanishing Cultures T-Shirt (see reward images below). Please add $14.00 S&H (U.S.) and $31.00 (international).

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    Platinum Sponsor Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Engraved Sponsor Reward + Limited Edition (Only 20 produced!) 30"x40” Giclee Fine-Art Print from our Super-Sized Camera Signed And Numbered by Dennis Manarchy (over $3,000 value) + Signed "Exposed" book by Dennis Manarchy (making its debut on Kickstarter!) describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission (see reward images below). Please add $26.00 S&H (U.S.) + $96.00 (international).

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    Diamond Sponsor Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Engraved Sponsor Reward + Limited Edition (only 10 Produced of each!) 4-foot by 5-foot "Autumn's Eye" (Left and Right) Giclee Fine-Art Print from our Super-Sized Camera Signed And Numbered by Dennis Manarchy (total value over $5,000) + Signed "Exposed" book by Dennis Manarchy (making its debut on Kickstarter!) describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission (see reward images below). Please add $33.00 S&H (U.S.) and $98.00 (international).

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    Big Camera Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Engraved Sponsor Reward + 8-foot x 5-foot Limited Edition (only 15 produced!) Giclee Museum Quality Fine Art Print of "Christina In Distress" from the award-winning "Metal" collection signed and numbered By Dennis Manarchy (total value over $10,000) + "Exposed" book by Dennis Manarchy (making its debut on Kickstarter!) describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission (see reward images below). Please add $58.00 S&H (U.S.) and $128 (international).

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    Super Big Camera Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Engraved Sponsor Reward + Limited Edition (only 10 produced) 16-foot print from the big camera on weatherproof canvas (valued over $15,000) + "Exposed" book by Dennis Manarchy (making its debut on Kickstarter!) describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission (see reward images below). Please add $410.00 S&H (U.S) and $640.00 (international).

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    Super-Sized Negative Reward: Calotype & Cyanotype Rewards + Engraved Sponsor Reward + ONE-OF-A-KIND ORIGINAL, FULL SIZED 6-foot by 4.5-foot Project Negative (Valued at over $25,000), signed and dated by Dennis Manarchy + "Exposed" book by Dennis Manarchy (making its debut on Kickstarter!) describing the evolution of Vanishing Cultures and the giant camera behind the mission + Private Studio/Camera Tour (see reward images below). Please add $64.00 S&H (U.S.) and $135.00 (international).

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