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$8,083 pledged of $50,000 goal
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$8,083 pledged of $50,000 goal
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About

What's the Film About?

An independent production of Make Your Mark Media, this one-hour documentary will tell the story of one of America’s first international celebrities – Elizabeth Patterson. Her story is romantic, with twists and turns worthy of a spy novel. Like a Shakespearean tragedy, its compelling, flawed characters are caught in a web of high-stakes world politics and driven by powerful human emotions.

The eldest daughter of a wealthy Baltimore merchant, eighteen-year-old Elizabeth met the debonair Jérôme Bonaparte in 1803. Within a few months they were married. In 1805 they crossed the Atlantic to present the pregnant Elizabeth to Napoleon. But the Emperor banned "Miss Patterson" from French soil and soon annulled the marriage - he had other plans for Jérôme.

A woman far ahead of her time, Elizabeth raised her child alone and forged an independent life, investing in stock and real estate and trying to secure a title for her son. Her wit, beauty, brilliance, and fierce drive enabled her to travel in elite diplomatic, social, and literary circles in America and Europe.

To her disappointment, her son and grandsons never entered the European nobility, but her grandson Charles gained prominence as an attorney and served in the Cabinet of Theodore Roosevelt as Secretary of the Navy and Attorney General.

The film will bring Elizabeth’s life and legacy into focus with meticulously researched documents, artifacts, imagery, and period settings.

Maryland Public Television will distribute the program nationally to public television stations, reaching a large general audience.

Award-winning actor Ed Asner will narrate the film.

Why Do We Need Your Support?

The purpose of this Kickstarter campaign is to raise matching funds for grants. (We have applied for a $50,000 grant from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority.) If this Kickstarter campaign is successful, we can begin production in July.

Our total budget for the film is over $350,000. We will be applying for other state and federal grants and are seeking funding from corporations, banks, and other organizations.

Public television does not provide any direct funding. Maryland Public Television will coordinate national distribution and provide other support.

Why Is This Story Important?

Over the past fifty years, feminism has completely reshaped the way women think about their life choices, their families, and their finances. This often results in women and girls today feeling disconnected from historical women, whose options were so limited and whose lives seem one-dimensional. Elizabeth Patterson, a woman far ahead of her time, raised her child alone and forged an independent life. As an astute investor in stocks and real estate, she parlayed her annuity into a sizable fortune of over $1 million. Few and far between are the role models from America's early years who might be seen as suitable inspiration for today's women and girls who wish to make their mark as distinct, successful individuals.

Where Will My Pledge Go?

Your contribution to this Kickstarter campaign will go toward part of the production budget - filming at locations in Maryland and recording Mr. Asner's narration in California.

We had a successful Kickstarter campaign for our first film, Anthem. I know we can do it again!

What Is The Timeline?

Pre-production research and planning for the documentary are already underway. Filming starts in July 2016, running for about one year at locations in Baltimore, Annapolis, and elsewhere in Maryland. We hope to film in Cassel (Germany), Paris, London and Denmark as well. This phase also includes interviews with numerous scholars, curators, and other experts.

Post-production in the second half of 2017 involves editing all the raw footage, as well as incorporating an original music soundtrack composed by James J. Kavinski, to fashion the most compelling narrative. This phase runs through the end of 2017. Once the final version of the film is delivered to Maryland Public Television, broadcasts could begin by early summer of 2018.

The Production Team:

Mark Hildebrand will serve as the film’s producer, director, and editor. His 2012 film Anthem: The Story Behind The Star-Spangled Banner has been aired more than 3,000 times on public television stations across the country. Maryland Public Television aired his latest film Brookeville: Capital for a Day in August 2015. Hildebrand has been executive director of Make Your Mark Media since 2009.

Julien Jacques will serve as director of photography on the film. He was co-editor and cameraman on Anthem: The Story Behind The Star-Spangled Banner and director of photography for Brookeville: Capital for a Day.

James J. Kavinski will compose and record an original score for the film. His music can be heard in the preview video for this project. He composed the soundtrack for Brookeville: Capital for a Day.

Alexandra Deutsch will serve as the film’s lead historian. Chief Curator of the Maryland Historical Society since 2009, she curated “Woman of Two Worlds: Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy.” Deutsch’s book on the life of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte, published by the Maryland Historical Society, will release in 2016.

Other scholars involved in the project for research and potential film interviews include author and journalist Richard Brookhiser, historian and MdHS CEO Mark Letzer, Annapolis historian Jane W. McWilliams, French historian and filmmaker Charles Germain, and Oxford scholar and British maritime historian Justin Reay.

Award-winning actor Ed Asner will narrate the film.

Please Pledge Any Amount

Remember - your pledge will not be collected if our goal of $50,000 is not reached within the 30-day campaign period. Although we encourage large donations, you can still help by pledging $5 or $10. And you can help even more by telling your friends and asking them to give what they can. And if they tell their friends ... well, if 5,000 people pledged $10 that would meet our goal!

Make Your Mark Media, Inc. is a nonprofit organization with tax-exempt status. If you want to make a tax-deductible pledge you can do it through this Kickstarter campaign (but you can't claim one of the rewards) or you can contact me (Mark Hildebrand) through our website - www.mym-media.org.

THANKS!!!!

Mark

Risks and challenges

Fundraising is our biggest challenge. We have a great story, the experts to help us tell it, and the cooperation of the Maryland Historical Society, the Maryland State Archives, Historic Annapolis and the B&O Railroad Museum.

With two documentaries that have aired on public television, we have a proven track record. Maryland Public Television has expressed their support for national distribution, but that also requires funding.

The total budget for the film is over $350,000. We are applying for grants and seeking corporate sponsorship. We will be fundraising throughout production.

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Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    We appreciate EVERY pledge! $1 or more will get you a "Thank You" on our website upon successful completion of this Kickstarter campaign. (But you can afford to pledge at least $5, can't you?) Your name will also be listed in the "Thanks to Kickstarter Contributors" section of the film credits.

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    A DVD or digital download of Anthem: The Story Behind The Star-Spangled Banner.

    Our first feature documentary has aired over 3,000 times on public television stations in all 50 states. Featuring musical performances and interviews with historians and music experts from the United States and Great Britain, this one-hour documentary delves into the people, songs and events that influenced Key to write what would become the National Anthem of the United States of America. DVD is in NTSC format. (Some non-USA machines not compatible.)

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    A DVD or digital download of Brookeville: Capital for a Day.

    Our second feature documentary was first broadcast on Maryland Public Television in August 2015. It tells the story of the only time in our history the President of the United States was on the run, and the Quaker community that sheltered him. DVD is in NTSC format. (Some non-USA machines not compatible.)

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    Original Soundtrack

    A CD or digital download of the soundtrack for the film. Original music by composer James J. Kavinski. (You'll have to wait awhile - he hasn't composed it yet!)

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    Poster

    We will send you a promotional poster of the film signed by the filmmakers. Hang it on your wall and tell your friends you helped make this film possible!

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    Advance Copy of the Film

    Be among the first to screen Patterson & Bonaparte! You will receive your choice of a DVD or digital download of the film before it airs on public television.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Get both of our previous films! DVDs or digital downloads of both Anthem: The Story Behind The Star-Spangled Banner and Brookeville: Capital for a Day. DVDs are in NTSC format. (Some non-USA machines not compatible.)

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    Poster and Advance Copy of the Film

    We will send you a promotional poster of the film signed by the filmmakers. Also, when the film is completed, we will send you a DVD or digital download (your choice)!

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    An autographed photo of our narrator, Emmy Award-winning actor Ed Asner!

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    Poster & All 3 Films!

    We will send you a promotional poster of the film signed by the filmmakers and DVDs or digital downloads (your choice) of our first 2 films (Anthem & Brookeville) on the estimated delivery date. Then, when the new film is completed, we will send you a DVD or digital download (your choice). DVDs are in NTSC format. (Some non-USA machines not compatible.)

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    A signed copy of Alexandra Deutsch's upcoming book - "Woman of Two Worlds"

    Soon to be published, this book is the result of exhaustive research and tells the complete story of Elizabeth Patterson's complex life. In addition, you will receive your choice of a DVD or digital download of the film before it airs on public television.

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    Associate Producer

    You will be listed as associate producer in the film credits! Beef up your resume and IMDB.com listing! In addition, you will receive your choice of a DVD or digital download of the film before it airs on public television.

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    VIP Premiere

    Welcome to the Inner Circle! You and a friend can meet the filmmakers at a special reception before the exclusive premiere screening of the film. (Please note that this does not include transportation or lodging.)

    You will also be listed as an associate producer in the film credits and will receive your choice of a DVD or digital download of the film before it airs on public television.

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

    A guided tour of the “Woman of Two Worlds:” Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte and Her Quest for an Imperial Legacy" exhibition at the Maryland Historical Society led by Chief Curator Alexandra Deutsch, and dinner in Baltimore with Alexandra and the filmmakers after. (Please note that this does not include transportation or lodging.)

    You will also be listed as an associate producer in the film credits! In addition, you will receive the promotional poster signed by the filmmakers and your choice of a DVD or digital download of the film before it airs on public television.

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    Producer Credit!

    So ya wanna be a producer? For a pledge of $1,500 you will be listed as producer in the film credits! You will also receive the promotional poster signed by the filmmakers, your choice of a DVD or digital download of the film before it airs on public television, and an invitation to join the filmmakers at the VIP reception before the exclusive premiere screening of the film! (Please note that this does not include lodging or transportation to the VIP reception.)

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Funding period

- (30 days)