$3,416
pledged of $60,000 goal
25
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, December 15 2015 7:00 AM UTC +00:00
$3,416
pledged of $60,000 goal
25
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, December 15 2015 7:00 AM UTC +00:00

About

THE CONCEPT: 

The history of the National Park System in the United States is one of the greatest stories we have to tell. Ken Burns' brilliant and inspiring documentary series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, taught us how close we came, too often, to failing to protect the most precious pieces of our country and keep them in trust for future generations. But we didn't fail, we succeeded! 

Today the National Park Service overseas 409 park units across every state and territory. Next year, in August 2016, the Service will celebrate it's 100th year of protecting the greatest collection of natural, historical, and cultural wonders anywhere on Earth. This is the setting for the documentary I've been laying the foundation for over the last 6 months, the documentary I'm raising funds to create in 2016. 

With each new park I visited this year (and throughout my life), I would constantly encounter the most interesting, insightful, generous, and patriotic Americans as the face of each and every park. Being a Park Ranger is an enormous responsibility, with challenging duties, and amazing rewards; each Ranger has their own story to tell, and these stories craft a phenomenal tapestry of 'serving one's country.' Service isn't simply in their title, it's in their bones and blood, and the common thread of the stories I intend to collect. 

'The National Park Service' will be a collection of actual first person histories, narrated on camera by the Park Rangers who lived them, filmed entirely within the Parks in which they've worked. It will be a brief (90-120min) but powerful snapshot of service within our National Park System 100 years since it was created; an inspiring message for those who'll serve in the next 100 years. 

PREPARATION:

The media you've seen throughout this campaign is but a mere fraction of what I was able to capture in my 15,000 mile road trip across America to lay the foundation for this documentary project. The route I took passed through 43 National Parks and dozens of National Monuments, National Historical Parks, and National Memorials. 

My 6 Month Road Trip Through America's National Park System
My 6 Month Road Trip Through America's National Park System

I met dozens of Park Rangers along the way, setting up the framework for on camera interviews for the documentary. 

BUDGET:

Minimum Budget Numbers
Minimum Budget Numbers

My goal is to compile the best possible documentary in the most efficient and cost effective way; which in many ways is one of the greatest challenges of any filmmaker. The $60,000 goal is the minimum amount needed to produce a product of professional, broadcast quality media to tell the stories of National Park Rangers. Whatever amount you can help us raise above that heightens the bar, allows the crew to gather more compelling stories, and improves the finished work. 

REWARDS:

Key to the success of this campaign are the VERY SPECIAL rewards I've listed to the side, and the concept of first-person funding/participation in the creation of this documentary. 

You are invited to join the filming schedule either as an adventurer or as a part of a photography class, designed to improve your skills with a camera while traveling through America's most majestic landscapes.

Risks and challenges

In preparation for filming this documentary I set out to visit 44 National Parks within six months between May and October 2015. Only one of those parks was unaccessible at the time I'd scheduled to be there (rough seas on Lake Superior prevented me from reaching Isle Royale National Park in Michigan). Having done research within the parks before setting out to create the documentary is invaluable to ensuring its successful completion over the course of 2016.

One of the major challenges, filming a documentary of this type, 95% of which will be filmed outdoors (in nature), is weather (and the seasons). Flexibility in scheduling is a requirement when dealing with Mother Nature, and the experiences I've collected from the last six months will greatly increase my ability to predict when each Park will have ideal windows to film in specific settings.

By giving myself one full calendar year to capture the material I'm able to take advantage of the seasonal changes to film in specific locations that are only possible within certain months. Telling the stories of the Park Rangers also involves filming their environments, as they work, during both calm and difficult times of the year. I intend to challenge myself by recording stories from Park Rangers in times of year when visitation at certain parks is low, but landscapes remain breathtaking (Alaska in December, Death Valley in July, Yellowstone in February, for example).

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A "Thank YOU!" for your support with a personalized POSTCARD sent from a National Park, on location during the filming of the documentary. The postcard will feature my original photography from one of America's 408 parks.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A personalized flashlight keychain with original photography from a National Park.
    ALSO the "Thank YOU!" for your support POSTCARD.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A personalized image coffee mug of original photography from the shooting of The National Park Service.
    ALSO the "Thank YOU!" for your support POSTCARD.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A customized 2016 Centennial Calendar printed using my original photography from 12 of America's most stunning parks.
    ALSO the "Thank YOU!" for your support POSTCARD.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    The very first DIGITAL (or DVD) copy of the completed documentary as soon as the final edits are finished.
    ALSO the "Thank YOU!" for your support POSTCARD.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    5 of the customized Centennial Calendars printed using my original photography from 12 of America's most stunning parks. They'll arrive in time for Christmas and are perfect gifts to spread the news of the upcoming 2016 National Park Service Centennial.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    An autographed copy of an original hardcover photo-book containing images from 59 National Parks. This is a limited edition collection of my photographs taken from every single National Park involved in the production of The National Park Service.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    An 18"x24" canvas print of an image from The National Park Service www.travelisamazing.com contest which contains 43 original photographs, each from 43 individual National Parks across the United States. You pick the photograph you'd like to own as a canvas print and we'll send it to you immediately upon completion of this successful campaign.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $950 or more About $950

    An original 18"x24" acrylic painting commissioned from Brian McCafferty (a member of the documentary crew) of one of the original images from the The National Park Service travelisamazing.com contest. Each of the images on www.travelisamazing.com was taken in one of the 43 different National Parks visited in preparation for this campaign. You pick the image you'd like to hang on your wall, and your painting will be commissioned.

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  10. Select this reward

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

    VERY SPECIAL REWARD: An invitation to join me and the documentary crew on a week long filming/activities adventure personalized for YOU! In the New Year I'll be working with you to plan which week of the filming schedule (including the locations in National Parks you want to visit) is the best fit for you. The project will provide all the planning, ground transportation, accommodations (double-occupancy), and entry fees (you're responsible for to/from airfare and incidentals).
    You'll become a part of the documentary filmmaking process by not just supporting this campaign, but by being involved in the action. Location sites will span the gamut of fitness levels, activities, and the natural beauty found across the United States: Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Southern Florida, Mountainous California, and Washington State. This is a personalized reward designed to maximize your enjoyment of the experience. Write me with any and all questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

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  11. Select this reward

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

    VERY SPECIAL REWARD: A Professional Techniques Digital Photography Class, taught by me over the course of a week spent touring National Parks with the documentary crew. If you've ever wanted to increase your skills as a photographer, gain the ability to generate professional print quality images, or just want to better understand how your camera actually works, then this course and this reward are designed specifically for you. The landscapes of the National Parks across America are the best playground from which to practice the techniques of photography. The course will present knowledge of optics, composition, exposure, subjects, time-lapse, and night (low-light) photography.
    There will be a series of choices on where your photography course will be set (the final selections will be based on your preferences and those of other participants): Alaska, Hawaii, Utah, Arizona, Wyoming, Southern Florida, Mountainous California, and Washington State. This is a personalized reward designed to maximize your enjoyment of the experience, so I'll be working directly with you to plan the best possible trip. The project will provide all the planning, ground transportation, accommodations (double-occupancy), and entry fees (you're responsible for to/from airfare, your own camera equipment, and incidentals). Write me with any and all questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

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  12. Select this reward

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

    VERY SPECIAL REWARD: A Professional Techniques Digital Photography Class for you and three of your friends. If you'd like to travel as a group of 4 friends, all taking the Photography Class together in the National Parks, this reward is for you. Same policies apply as with a single Photography Class reward. Write me with any questions you may have.

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  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    PRODUCER CREDIT -- A donation at this level means you love story-telling, filmmaking, and the National Parks as much as I do! At this level of reward, you're welcome to Rewards #1-#11 PLUS Producer Credit on the completed documentary. Write me with any and all questions, I'd be happy to answer them!

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Funding period

- (40 days)