About this project
CHALK – THE MOVIE - what its all about
The chalkstreams of the south of England may not be the mightiest rivers in the world: they’re not raging torrents, gouging their way through mountains; in places they look almost narrow enough to hop over; they’re not especially long. But they have exerted far more influence on the way that rivers, lakes, seas and oceans worldwide are fished than their size might suggest.
60 million years ago retreating seas left enormous chalk deposits in a great band across the south coast of England. Rising from this rolling landscape are 85% of the world’s chalkstreams, fed from groundwater aquifers and filtered by the porous rock. The alkaline nature of the chalk provides a clarity and nutrient mix of water that, when combined with the rivers’ gravelly beds, make them precious habitats for invertebrates and the animals that feed on them – including the legendary chalkstream brown trout.
It is hardly surprising then, that it was on these waters that the art of fly fishing was perfected. These techniques, the dry fly and the nymph, are used the world over to target a wide range of species, but it was here that Halford developed his theories and that Skues created nymph fishing.
Although many fishermen and women have heard tell of the chalkstreams of southern England – those evocative names like the Test, the Itchen and the Avon - many may not be aware of just how rare these ecosystems are, and the importance that these accidents of geology have played in the history and development of the sport and the art of fly fishing.
CHALK – THE MOVIE aims to change that, as we explore the very streams and rivers that Halford and Skues once fished, learning what makes them so special. We visit grand estates, following in the footsteps of Royalty and heads of state; meet the people working to maintain and preserve these unique ecosystems; witness the fabled mayfly hatch; and fish rivers that flow past picturesque villages and their pubs, cathedrals and monasteries, a 600-year-old school and its cricket fields, pastures and water-meadows, and attract anglers from all over the world.
We have decided to use Kickstarter to create a community around the film that can help in its development not only from a financial point of view but also from an editorial point of view.
With chalkstream fishing, traditionally seen as an exclusive activity, we want to dispel some of those myths by also showing some lesser-known, more accessible chalkstreams. We have also released some rewards that would enable you to be in the film and be involved in the creative process of its production.
How we plan to use the money?
We'll purely be using these funds for the production of CHALK, including scriptwriting, narration, location fees, filming, editing, music, post production. Our budget is based on the minimum amount we would be able to produce this project for.
Exceeding the budget would allow us more shoot days, and give us more post production budget, allowing us to really go to town on the quality of the finished film. We want to make a film that stands the test of time so the more investment we have the better job we can do.
Who we are
Chalkstream Fly are a talented young filmmaking Duo with a shared love of fly fishing, Leo Cinicolo and Chris Cooper.
Having provided high-end photography and film-making to world renowned clients, Leo loves to combine the quality expected from these projects with his own life-long passion for fly-fishing. He does it all, from stalking trout with a split-cane rod to chasing after salmon.
Chris trained as a graphic designer and specialising in brand identity and has worked for some of the UK's leading names, as well as being an experienced steadicam operator and film-maker. After spending years clinging to a surfboard, he traded his wet suit for waders, and hasn't been out of the river since. If there's water around, Chris will be in it.
The Producer - Simon Cooper
Simon has been a lifelong fly fisherman, with a particular passion for the chalkstreams of Hampshire and the surrounding counties. He runs the popular website Fishing Breaks which specialises in helping anglers to buy fishing on these amazing rivers. He set out to make the best beats accessible and bring a new level of professionalism to the whole business, but never losing sight of the fact that the chalkstreams are some of the most precious and unique trout fishing rivers in the world. By building relationships with the river owners he gained their trust to sell day rods on their behalf, the income helping to make the rivers pay their way.
He now hopes to use his expertise and contacts to bring the chalkstream story to as wide an audience as possible.
FishingTV is a UK based, Video on Demand service for anglers. We have a wide selection of quality fishing films and TV shows from around the world. The service is available on web, IOS and Android apps, Amazon Fire Stick, and via Smart TV apps on Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Sony, Phillips.
Fishing TV are actively seeking to support fishing filmmakers by providing support and expertise, as well as a ready made platform for them to distribute their film. In addition to offering advice and guidance to Leo and Chris, we will also be help with the practicalities of arranging the shoots, booking locations and talent, marketing and, of course, distribution.
Risks and challenges
We are uniquely placed to make this film. The project is a joint venture between Fishing TV, a video streaming platform aimed at anglers; Simon Cooper, author of Life of a Chalkstream and owner of Fishing Breaks, who provide fishing on these pristine waters, Chalkstream Fly, a young filmmaking duo with a passion for fly fishing and a track record of making high quality, sensitively filmed and edited fishing films.
This means that we can overcome many of the challenges that might normally face a production of this type. We have unrivalled knowledge and contacts within the fishing industry, meaning that we can, relatively easily, get access to the people and places that we need to. In particular Simon Cooper's connections will afford us access to some amazing locations and characters.
FishingTV and Chalkstream Fly's experience of filming fly fishing means that our team are used to coping when the fish are not playing ball, or when conditions are not perfect.
Kickstarting this project means that we will have the freedom to persevere, to take the time to wait for the right conditions, for the mayfly to start hatching, for the fish to rise - we *will* get that shot.
Our unique pedigree means that we hope to make *the* iconic film about the English chalkstream - one that stands the test of time.
While some fly fishing films are all about visiting far flung places and battling nature to get there, CHALK carries none of the risks, apart from the dangers usually associated with fishing - we will do our best not to fall in the rivers.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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