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A film that puts you as close to whales as the rescuers that save them.

A film that will change the way you look at whales forever.

Without the complete funding to make Northern Wake, another great story will go untold. I need to raise $40,000 in only a few weeks. I think we can do it, but this is really going to take a grass roots effort. Perhaps I set my sights too high for Kickstarter. Please understand that this film requires a fraction of the funding many documentaries have had to raise. Why? Because I'm accustomed to producing high quality films with inadequate resources. Want to see an example? Here's the first film, In The Wake Of Giants. As you watch this film, it's important to realize that even though it won several prominent awards and aired on PBS, it was done LITERALLY on a zero budget. 

And now I'm ready to produce the next one, but this time with a small budget. The National Marine Sanctuaries Foundation and the Coast Guard have stepped forward with a Producer size contribution and in-kind support in side-funding. Now it's time for the people of Kickstarter to have your chance to back this film. I'm confident that it can be done. 

Perhaps it helps to understand why its important. When a film like this is seen around the world, people begin to care. When "Wake of Giants" aired, veteran filmmakers and conservationists approached me and told me they never knew this story existed. I'm talking on the level of National Geographic, BBC and PBS natural history producers. I won't publicize their names but would happily put other producer-level backers in touch with them. 

In The Wake Of Giants in part, saved the Hawaiian program from being severely cut this past year. In fact, there are rescuers who will tell you that resources and equipment came to them directly because of this film.

As I said in the Kickstarter video above, "Films like this protect whales". Films like this also save programs that are already running more lean than any startup I've ever seen, and I've seen a few. 

The upshot here, we're running out of time. Please step up and participate in backing this film.

Thanks!

Lou Douros, Producer.

                               ========    More   ========

The humpback whales that migrate between Alaska and Hawaii often find themselves swimming through and getting entangled in marine debris, fishing gear, boat moorings and other gear found in the water column. These entanglements have  involved hundreds of feet of rope, nets and buoys. At times the animals have been found to have carried the gear thousands of miles over extended periods of time. Exhausted, emaciated and otherwise impacted by the gear  that entangles them, many of powerful mammals eventually  succumb to hungry predators or disease

Scar studies show that for some populations of humpback whales in the North Pacific approximately half of the animals  have recently become entangled. With oil exploration and commercial fishing expected to increase  as polar ice recedes, more  gear in the water may increase the threat of entanglement.

Making a positive effort, Federal agencies like NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program and National Marine Fisheries Service are taking leadership roles in rescuing threatened whales and reducing human-generated debris. In the 2011 award-winning film by Lou Douros, In The Wake Of GiantsEd Lyman from the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary leads an intrepid group of ocean managers and private citizens to rescue entangled whales in and around the islands of Hawaii. But there's more to the story.

Lou Douros hopes to produce the sequel to In The Wake Of Giants, entitled Northern Wake, which will delve into the efforts in Alaska to disentangle whales, but also to garner information towards reducing the threat. Commercial fishermen who have borne the brunt of blame are working together with conservationists and managers to free entangled large whales and reduce entanglement threat. Northern Wake will explore the collaboration between ocean managers and fishermen as they prototype better ways to coexist with the environment upon which we all rely.

The sequel...

Lou Douros, a veteran filmmaker, produced the recently successful 2011 documentary, In The Wake Of Giants. The film won several awards, aired on PBS (Natural Heroes) and... was produced without a budget. In other words, nobody was paid to make the 24 minute film. Expenses were picked up voluntarily from Akua Film's executive producers, Mark DiOrio and Mara Kerr, and the production crew themselves. The story was based in Hawaii, at one end of the migration of a group of humpback whales. The sequel, Northern Wake, will be filmed in Alaska, the summer home of the same whales. Here's the backstory from Lou Douros:

       ============ A note from the filmmaker ============

In 2010, Akua Films (www.akuafilms.com) executive producers, Mark DiOrio and Mara Kerr approached me with an idea. They had just come from Hawaii where they had met a small, well-trained, but underfunded group of people who put their lives on the line to rescue humpback whales tangled up in marine debris. 

I agreed to look at the story and make a call to Ed Lyman (disentanglement expert) which started the completely volunteer film project that became In The Wake Of Giants. Ed agreed to narrate and host the film. The small, scrappy Akua Films team worked like dogs to get it done. Mark and Mara lined up hundreds of connections that led to festival awards and distribution on PBS. We've all been "hooked" so to speak. They continue to develop, straight out of their passion, concepts to bring the ocean into people's hearts through Mara's books and new films! 

With no budget to speak of, I called in favors from my network of thirty years of production work. I also called in my son Blaise, a talented composer, whose score was nominated alongside DisneyNature for "Best Original Score" at the 2010 Blue Ocean Film Festival. The film won best Marine Sanctuary Short Film at the Blue Ocean Film Festival, Best Conservation Film at San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, a special jury award at the Pelagos Festival in Rome, was a finalist at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and played on PBS' Natural Heroes in 2011. 

And now... I want to produce the sequel, Northern Wake. Since the whales migrate between Hawaii and Alaska, I thought it would be wonderful to pick up the story where Ed Lyman left off in In The Wake of Giants, to explore what the whales face on the northern end of their migration. More to the point, I want to look at the work being done in Alaska where commercial fishermen and conservationists are working together to address large whale entanglements (or the threat of entanglement in large whales like the humpback whale. 

                                                                     -  Lou Douros

PRODUCTION INFORMATION

BUDGET: (Total = $68,000. Kickstarter = $42,000)  I intend to produce Northern Wake on a small,controlled budget. The kickstarter.com portion of this budget will be supplemented by grants and funds from other sources. As new underwriters come on line, I will list them in the project updates. I'm producing the film for $68,000, which is incredibly tight. I'm planning on the Kickstarter community overproducing and outperforming my goals here. Additional funds will dress up the production and provide a crew slightly larger than the guerilla documentary team I've assembled. 

ASSETS: I have two of the most hard-to-get pieces of the puzzle. First, filming this kind of work requires being listed on rescue permits. To get listed on any permit is a difficulty hard to overstate. I am already approved on state permits for both coasts for large marine mammal rescue, and have a great appreciation and working relationship with the federal offices. The second asset is a commitment from PBS to distribute future films of mine on their program, Natural Heroes. In addition, the production value, quality, and success of In The Wake Of Giants is an indication of success for Northern Wake.

REWARD DETAILS:

Some of the rewards are more interesting if they're seen. So here are a few samples.

OFFICIAL CREW SHIRT ($49 Pledge)

Lori Mazzuca's DEEP PLAY ($75 category)

FAQ

  • National Marine Sanctuary Program (http://www.sanctuaries.noaa.gov) The Sanctuaries Program has taken an enormous leadership role in making people aware of their connection between human life and the ocean. It is because of this very special federal group that Ed Lyman has become part of these films. These films would not be possible without their in-kind support of our mutual mission.

    National Marine Sanctuary Foundation (http://www.nmsfocean.org) The foundation is a philanthropic organization that promotes the work being done in marine protected areas. Specifically in this case, they've contributed significant direct funding to making of Northern Wake a reality.

    National Marine Fisheries Service (http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov) The Office of Protected Resources within the Fisheries Service has committed to help with permitting and making connections as a liaison between me and key stakeholders in Alaska and Hawaii. They work closely with the Sanctuaries Program to ensure we all enjoy and protect the very special natural resource that is our oceans... and its inhabitants.

    More to come... It seems that every day there are other corporations, associations and federal / state agencies who want to help make this film!

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    Five bucks doesn't seem like a lot. But every small action DOES make a difference. It's the same thing when you decide to pick up a piece of plastic bag you see adrift on your sidewalk, and reusing a ceramic mug instead of a water bottle. Five bucks for this film may seem like a drop of water in an ocean, but it may also be the difference between making the film or not. So, the best I can offer you for your five dollar contribution is my hearty thanks. When we choose to do our part, each one of us, we are at once noble and cherished. As for me, I cherish your nobility. - Lou Douros

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    DIGITAL DOWNLOAD OF BOTH FILMS! Here's something for you carriers of screens on portable devices... an MP4 download of the two Wake films. In The Wake Of Giants - 24 min. (mp4) will be available immediately when this project funds. Northern Wake - 24 min. (mp4) Estimated Availability: 10/2/12

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    DISENTANGLED WHALE TRADING CARDS. Get the latest trading cards featuring disentangled whales. These special, limited edition cards show images of the whales that have been cut free, along with their statistics at the time of the effort.

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    11 backers

    AUTOGRAPHED IN THE WAKE OF GIANTS DVD. Get the DVD of "In The Wake Of Giants", the award-winning film that was the predecessor to "Northern Wake". Not only that, but the disk is autographed by the film's crew, executive producers, composer and even... ED LYMAN, the narrator for both films!

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    CREW T-SHIRT. Not everybody on the crew is actually on location. If you're a "Northern Wake" supporter, you are on the crew! This heavyweight cotton black t-shirt will be the garment of choice for everyone who is anyone on this production... and, well if you're on the crew, you should have a copy of the DVD, right? Why not? OK, we'll throw that in too, when it's ready. We'll need to know your size, of course. Men's sizes only S, M, L, XL, XXL. (SEE MAIN SECTION TO SEE THE DESIGN!) DVD available 10/2/12

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    MOVIE AND A PHONE CALL. You'll get a 10 minute phone call from producer and director, Lou Douros. Ask any questions you'd like about the previous film, "In The Wake Of Giants", or about progress on "Northern Wake", or his filmmaking experiences. He'll even give you some tips for making your own film. (Inside tip: Lou has a killer recipe for Sicilian Pizza he learned from Vincenzo, his foreign exchange student. If the conversation stalls, just ask him for the recipe. You won't be sorry!) This reward level also receives a DVD of NORTHERN WAKE!

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    6 backers Limited (94 left of 100)

    AUTOGRAPHED DEEP PLAY POSTER (24"x36"). Marine biologist and wildlife photographer, Lori Mazzuca, has made a limited number of autographed "Deep Play" posters available to help produce "Northern Wake". She says she observed strange behavior between an adult humpback whale and two adult bottlenose dolphins. "It was apparent to me as I looked through my camera lens that it was a mutual 'agreement' between the two species. The whale very slowly--and vertically--lifted the dolphin into the air." Lori has made 100 of these posters available to benefit production of "Northern Wake". To see this amazing poster, click or tap: http://tinyurl.com/7qqfexz

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    1 backer Limited (49 left of 50)

    SOUND DESIGN CREDITS. Is sound your thing? You'll have the opportunity to work with composer, Blaise Douros, on the sound or score for Northern Wake! Play an instrument? Great, Blaise will write you in as needed. Can't carry a tune? NO PROBLEM, Blaise will get you in as a foley artist! Either way, your work will appear in the sound design of "Northern Wake", AND you'll get credits at the end of the film. You'll get your own copy of the "Northern Wake" DVD when it's ready!

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    5 backers Limited (95 left of 100)

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDITS! Your name in lights! You can tell your friends that you're an Associate Producer! As a $200 financier, you'll get your name in the credits at the end of the film under "Associate Producers". Attend any film festival where "Northern Wake" is screening and you can stand proudly in the lobby and tell the world you helped produce the film, to say nothing of bragging rights on your Facebook page. Also includes a copy of "Northern Wake" on DVD.

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    DINNER WITH THE DIRECTOR. Have dinner anywhere in California with producer and director, Lou Douros. Lou will treat you to dinner at a restaurant of your choice in your town! You can even invite your friends (they're on their own for dinner), and enjoy an evening of sharing stories about what went into the makings of the "Wake" films and what's on the table for new projects. If you run out of things to talk about, ask Lou about how he died once. That one will kill some time while you think up new things to discuss! Oh, almost forgot... you'll also get a "Northern Wake" DVD when it's done! (Travel costs for Lou are included. Backer must provide own transportation.)

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    DINNER WITH THE DIRECTOR. Have dinner anywhere in the continental United States with producer and director, Lou Douros. Lou will treat you to dinner at a restaurant of your choice in your town! Invite your friends (they're on their own for dinner), and enjoy an evening of sharing stories about what went into the makings of the "Wake" films and what's on the table for new projects. If you run out of things to talk about, ask Lou about how he died once. That one will kill some time while you think up new things to discuss! Of course, you'll get a "Northern Wake" DVD when it's ready! (Travel costs for Lou are included. Backer must provide own transportation.)

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    DINNER IN MAUI LOU. Enjoy dinner in Maui with producer and director, Lou Douros. (If you're not comfortable choosing a restaurant in Maui, Ed's got the lowdown on great restaurants and can get reservations just about anywhere in Hawaii.). This reward level also includes a tour of the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary facility. Depending on his disentanglement work load, we'll ask Ed to join us and give us a briefing on Sanctuary initiatives and developments. (Travel costs for Lou are included. Backer must provide own transportation.)

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    0 backers Limited (15 left of 15)

    ON-LOCATION! We're a small crew. Get yourself to Alaska during production, and you can be on the crew for a day. Of course you'll get more than the t-shirt. You'll get a job that puts you into the credits! That's right, holding the microphone boom pole makes you an audio engineer, shoot production stills for the day and you're a production assistant. There's a LOT to be done between interviews and beauty shots. (Filming an entanglement effort is not guaranteed, and subject to terms in the permits. Travel and housing is not included.)

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    (NEW) PRIVATE SCREENING!!! Producer/director Lou Douros will travel to your home for a private screening of either (or both) films, In The Wake Of Giants and Northern Wake. Invite your friends for your very own film festival. (Includes Lou's travel and accommodations anywhere in the 50 United States.)

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    PRODUCER / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDITS. You can be listed in the opening titles and end credits as a co-producer with Lou Douros. Travel at your own expense to Alaska and enjoy being on location with Lou and Ed. You may also take in one of the training sessions and become an officially trained marine mammal entanglement rescuer. At your option and expense, if you choose to travel to film festivals where "Northern Wake" is screening, you'll be invited to the parties and to stand on-stage to receive awards! BONUS: If you pick up five or more of these awards, you can take the coveted "Executive Producer" title. Grab all seven and you'll only share the "Producer" title with Lou.

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Funding period

- (40 days)