Project image
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$21,674
pledged of 46.000 $pledged of 46.000 $ goal
179
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 19 2014 6:03 PM UTC +00:00
$21,674
pledged of 46.000 $pledged of 46.000 $ goal
179
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Fri, December 19 2014 6:03 PM UTC +00:00

About

Joshua Norton, an adventurous businessman born in England, and raised in South Africa, made his way to San Francisco during the Gold Rush of 1849. After years of building a successful business and becoming a prominent member of San Francisco society, Norton lost everything on a risky business deal. 

Towards the end of the 1850s, Norton struggled to stay out of debt by selling off his assets, eventually filing bankruptcy, and disappearing from the city altogether. After being gone from San Francisco for a year or two,`Joshua Norton walked into the San Francisco Bulletin on September 17th, 1859 and gave them a proclamation declaring himself, Norton I, Emperor of the United States and the Bulletin decided to print it.

Despite his madness, Norton was coherent and intelligent on nearly any topic, including politics and current events. Norton was eccentric but charismatic enough to warrant the amused interest of San Franciscans. He became famous across the nation, a tourist attraction and a much beloved figure within the city. He was also a visionary, decreeing among other things, that a suspension bridge connect San Francisco to the East Bay sixty-four years before it was completed. The Emperor created and sold his own currency to locals and tourists, was said to have single handedly stopped a race riot in Chinatown, and by order of the police chief was saluted in the streets by police officers. When he died, thirty thousand people paid him homage in the city streets, making his the largest funeral in San Francisco history. 

To learn more about Emperor Norton, visit the website of The Emperor's Bridge Campaign, a nonprofit organization that fosters public awareness, understanding and appreciation of the life and legacy of the Emperor.

Emperor Norton’s spirit is still very much alive in San Francisco today. He not only helped build up this great city, but played a central role in creating its whimsical, inclusive nature. 

In many ways the ups and downs of San Francisco mirror Norton's own experience. Our film sets out to tell the story of a magnetic and complex man, through recounting the history of the city that shaped his life. His unusual tale is still mostly unknown outside of the Bay and should be shared with the world. 

We already have a large amount of interviews shot with a variety of people including historians, authors, local business owners, and Emperor Norton aficionados, but many more interviews are needed. We also need funding to pay for illustration, animation, audio mixing, and a musical score to help re-create the world of 1860s San Francisco.

The Crew so far:

The Budget:

 

 The T-shirt:

 *T-shirt color subject to change

Great original currency from Richard Petersen
Great original currency from Richard Petersen

Risks and challenges

Since there is no video and few photographs from this time period, it's been a challenge finding interesting visuals to complement our speakers and narration. Currently, we plan to supplement assets we find through research with animated hand-drawn illustrations.

Post production is full of expensive steps involving illustration, animation, editing, administrative and legal. We have the talent to create an amazing film about the Emperor but now we need your help to tell it to the world.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    His Imperial Majesty thanks you!

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    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Receive a postcard featuring the original Mike Gray/Dave Stevenson illustrated film logo of the Emperor, thanking you for your support! Perfect for framing!

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    A digital copy of the film! We are much obliged to you.

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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    A digital copy of the film and a quality-made t-shirt with an original illustration of the Emperor from talented illustrators, Mike Gray and Dave Stevenson.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 67 or more About US$ 67

    Limited Edition Reward! Receive a complete set of New Norton Dollars from the Emperor's Exchequer, Richard Petersen. Beautifully designed by professional Bay Area artists, New Norton Dollars is a modern update of the Emperor's currency.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 75 or more About US$ 75

    A digital copy of the film and a quality-made t-shirt with an original illustration of the Emperor from talented illustrators, Mike Gray and Dave Stevenson.

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    8 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    A digital copy of film and a private tour of downtown San Francisco with the Emperor himself! Thanks to Emperor Norton's Fantastic San Francisco Time Machine. (Must already be in San Francisco, travel not included.)

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 200 or more About US$ 200

    A digital copy of the film and tickets to the premiere in San Francisco! (Travel not included.)

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    All of the above! Get a t-shirt, tour with the emperor, digital copy of film, tix to premiere, and a special thanks with your name in the film credits!

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  10. Select this reward

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

    Be part of the creative process! Sit in on a rough cut screening of the film before it's finished. Plus a digital copy of film, tix to premiere, and your name in the film credits!

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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Receive everything listed above and an associate producer title in the film! You are one generous individual and His Imperial Majesty is much pleased.

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About US$ 5,000

    The whole enchilada, everything above PLUS dinner with the film creators! (travel not included) You will also receive front row seats at the film premiere. Your generosity is much appreciated!

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Funding period

- (35 days)