Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
"Chasing Shadows" is a documentary, taking you on a behind the scenes journey as we stand in the shadow of the Moon.
"Chasing Shadows" is a documentary, taking you on a behind the scenes journey as we stand in the shadow of the Moon.
"Chasing Shadows" is a documentary, taking you on a behind the scenes journey as we stand in the shadow of the Moon.
135 backers pledged $30,516 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Chasing Shadows project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$30,516

135

Chasing Shadows is a documentary, that will let you follow Australian astrophotographer Geoff Sims as he chases his passion of documenting solar eclipses in remote corners of the planet.  It is a story of passion, science, travel and education.

Total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 in Svalbard, successfully captured by Geoff Sims.
Total solar eclipse of March 20, 2015 in Svalbard, successfully captured by Geoff Sims.
Annular Solar Eclipse - Western Australia 2013
Annular Solar Eclipse - Western Australia 2013

Geoff is well known for his landscape solar eclipse photography, having been chasing solar eclipses for over 12 years. The aim of this project is to bring you into the story behind the imagery; giving a personal and seldom-seen behind the scenes view of what it takes to plan and execute dedicated solar eclipse photography expeditions.

In Chasing Shadows, we bring to you the experience of "totality" as we travel to two exotic and remote locales: Ethiopia (in November, 2013) and Svalbard in the high Arctic (March, 2015).

Solar Eclipses

So what is a solar eclipse, anyway?!  A total solar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes through the shadow of the Moon.

To witness a total solar eclipse, you must be in the "path of totality", a narrow, typically 100-200 km wide strip, where you'll be fortunate enough of see the Moon completely eclipse the Sun, resulting in a fleeting moment of darkness of a few minutes.

Left: Geometry of solar eclipses (courtesy Wikipedia Commons). Right: Path of the 2015 total solar eclipse.
Left: Geometry of solar eclipses (courtesy Wikipedia Commons). Right: Path of the 2015 total solar eclipse.

While solar eclipses are relatively common (every ~18 months), from any one location on Earth, you would have to wait ~300 years to see one.

Progress

Over the past two years, we've gone to extraordinary lengths at considerable cost to film and document our eclipse chasing experiences:

18 months ago we ventured to Ethiopia to film the first portion of Chasing Shadows. It was an amazing adventure: camping in remote villages; watching the Milky Way from a hilltop while listening to laughing hyenas; and witnessing the total solar eclipse from a desolate mountain top.

Village life in Ethiopia
Village life in Ethiopia

Editing of the Ethiopia portion has been completed, as well as some preliminary proof of concept motion graphics & animations.

In mid-March, 2015 we finished travel to Svalbard (at 78 degrees North latitude) in the high Arctic, secured logistical arrangements in order to access remote and scenic vistas and successfully captured the total solar eclipse!

And it was beautiful -- just the climax to the film we needed!

In between chasing these two eclipses we attended the Solar Eclipse Conference (SEC) in the USA, to record a number of interviews with high-profile NASA astrophysicists and eclipse chasers. These interviews provide additional context to the film as well as insight into the eclipse chasing culture.

Interviews were conducted at the 2014 Solar Eclipse Conference with prominent chasers.
Interviews were conducted at the 2014 Solar Eclipse Conference with prominent chasers.

Interviews include: 

- Fred Espenak, NASA's 'Mr. Eclipse', is an American astrophysicist who has had a long and prolific career at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. As well as pioneering eclipse photography automation techniques, Fred has also been instrumental in providing eclipse predictions, maps and weather information to the public.

- Xavier Jubier, creator of the Solar/Lunar Eclipse Google Maps/Earth architecture, is a pioneer in extreme solar eclipse chasing from his 2003 Antarctic expedition to his precision airplane intercept eclipse over the Atlantic in 2013!

- Jay Anderson, Meterologist: Anderson's work in eclipse-meteorology is crucial in the planning of any major eclipse expedition.  

- Michael Zeiler, Cartographer: Michael has revolutionized eclipse mapping, using the latest advancements in GIS technology to convey astro-spatial information in ways never before possible. 

- Shadia Habbal, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Hawaii, is a leading solar physicist, regularly contributing solar eclipse related research into the scientific literature.

We need your help!

We are passionate about science and astronomy outreach, as well as total solar eclipses.  We endeavor to do everything we can to travel to these rare and unique events, capturing them as best we can, for the enjoyment of everyone and for future preservation.

While travelling and photography trips of this nature are inevitably a huge financial burden, stretching this time & money to produce even a modest behind-the-scenes documentation of these journeys is quite simply beyond our reach.

We are seeking assistance, predominantly in the form of a digital pre-purchase, to enable the final touches to put on this film when we return from the Arctic in April.

In return, we will take you, the viewers, with us on these extraordinary journeys to the far reaches of our planet. You'll experience the months of planning, the airports, the wildlife, the travel, the frustrations, and importantly, the passion. 

Educators

Please consider the education package to aid lessons in your science classes. There will be enough material to help supplement your courses! Imagine showing them in detail what a true total solar eclipse is, then having them watch parts of or all of the movie to share with them two remote areas of the world to learn about new cultures and how science can bring us together.

Where will your money go?

The production of Chasing Shadows will be a non-profit process, with all money raised going directly to post-production costs, including (but not not limited to):

  • Editing
  • Color grading
  • Original soundtrack
  • Original motion graphics & computer animations

It is anticipated that I will spend around 3-5 months full time working on this project, and while my time is donated free of charge, I will still have to eat :)

Risks and challenges

Like any project, "Chasing Shadows" has it's own unique set of associated risks. However, given we have already invested nearly two years of work into this venture, our final barrier is merely a financial one.

Having worked in professional film production for over 10 years, I am confident of the timeline and processes required to make this project a reality.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thanks for your support! We'll keep you posted on our adventures at: http://www.eclipsechasing.com

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Armchair astronomer! For your generous donation:
    - A digital download of "Chasing Shadows"

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    13 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Amateaur astronomer: At this premium reward tier, you'll receive:
    - A digital download of "Chasing Shadows"
    - Original soundtrack to "Chasing Shadows"
    - Digital Poster of "Chasing Shadows"
    - Special time-lapse videos of the night skies in Ethiopia and Svalbard.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    30 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Umbraphile (noun. 1. One who loves eclipses, often travelling to see them):
    - Everything from the previous tiers.
    - Special Thanks in the credits
    - Digital download of Desktop Background Portfolio of Geoff's eclipse works.
    - Digital copy of specialized eclipse maps for the next two total solar eclipses.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    49 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Eclipse Education Package!
    - You will receive everything from the previous tier AND
    - A special "How to Chase Eclipses" video from experts in the field.
    - Animation Video Package (For educators)
    - 2 Chasing Shadows Eclipse Glasses

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    23 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Shadow Package:
    You will receive everything from the previous Tier includinge
    - Associate Producer End Credit to the film.
    - Physical DVD of Chasing Shadows
    - Physical copy of the Movie poster
    - Physical prints of Geoff's previous eclipse works
    - Personal video from Geoff and Nelson on how to get ready for the 2017 Eclipse in the USA.
    -On top of the 2 Chasing Shadows Eclipse Glasses, we will also provide you with 2 just released new plastic eclipse shades from Rainbow Symphony!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

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

    Eclipse Chaser: Receive all previous tier rewards (with signed DVD, signed movie poster)
    - Be apart of the filmmaking process, we'll send you early release of the film and get your feedback!
    - Executive Producer End Credit to the film.
    - Invited to attend a special Q/A webinar by Geoff and Nelson to help you plan and get ready for the next eclipse chase.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Reward no longer available

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

    Premiere Eclipse Chaser:
    - All previous tier rewards.
    -Receive "Presented by" opening credit, along with all the previous reward tiers.
    - In addition, you can join us on the next total solar eclipse chase! March 2016 in Indonesia or August 2017 in the USA (air, travel and accommodation at your own expense, we will provide the planning)

    It's a priceless experience!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)