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The story of an enigmatic species – the pacific gray whale – and what humans can learn from the past in order to change the future. Read more

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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on February 24, 2012.

The story of an enigmatic species – the pacific gray whale – and what humans can learn from the past in order to change the future.

About this project

Soul Migration is a film project of Finding the Good Traveling High School Semester Program. Students learn documentary filmmaking and the power of story to reach and teach others about solutions to the world’s problems. Soul Migration tells the story of the California Gray Whale, and what humans can learn from the past in order to change the course of the future.

Please watch the video for a sneak preview

THE STORY

Halfway down the Baja California peninsula lies the largest gray whale breeding and calving lagoon on the planet. Part of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On most maps it is called Scammon's Lagoon.

In the 1800’s, whalers hunted the gray whale to the brink of extinction, led by Captain Charles Melville Scammon. In the twentieth century, massive conservation efforts helped the species to make a remarkable recovery, becoming the first marine animal to be removed from the endangered species list in 1994. The brutal hunting tactic of harpooning the babies to lure the mothers earned the gray whale the name "Devil Fish" as they fought back to protect their young, destroying boats and killing crew members. Today, gray whales actively seek out human contact, exhibiting “friendly” behavior toward people. In the warm water lagoons of Baja California, these extraordinary creatures demonstrate acceptance toward humans. But what will the whales do when Chris Scammon, direct descendant of the Captain, arrives on the scene? Will they know? Will they care?  How will Chris Scammon be affected by this experience?  Can a bloody and brutal history be redeemed?

Join the expedition! Follow along on our journey as the Finding the Good film crew brings Chris Scammon and his wife Janet to Scammon’s Lagoon for their very first time. Along the way, students and crew interview researchers, historians, biologists, and conservationists – all who tell a portion of the gray whale’s story. Our directors have traveled to the lagoon annually since 1994, but never before with so unusual a guest. Come on board for the adventure, the learning, and the drama. Come find the good!  

THE EDUCATION

Young people have the capacity to effect change and to teach others if only given the chance. At Finding the Good, youth study and research working models of sustainability and then make media to educate others. Today’s young people are on the edge of new awareness that takes us from thinking of Nature as property, to respecting Nature’s right to exist, thrive and evolve. The education is not simply about whales, or history, but about a turning point in our relationship to natural communities, and to each other. We will be collaborating with other great organizations, Wild Coast, Campo Sirena, and Campo Archelon.

Message in a Bottle

In a bygone era, centuries before anyone would even imagine writing on someone’s Facebook wall or “Tweeting”, messages were placed in bottles and tossed into the ocean currents. Stories of remarkable and inexplicable connections and recoveries are found throughout history. Sometimes the message is a tragic farewell thrown from a doomed vessel, others a lonely sailor’s cast for a wife. The nostalgia and romance of tossing a message to vast ocean currents, knowing that the message may never be found by another, and yet, maybe…..somewhere…….

One of our Kickstarter rewards is a Message in a Bottle, sent out to sea in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Baja, California. Write your vision of the kind of world you want for your descendants, with your name and address and the date. We will transcribe your message by hand, seal it in a bottle, and offer it to the sea. Who knows who might find your message or what may come of your intentions. 

Your generous support

Will help to fund the production cost of the film and a unique model of education. In addition we will be creating curriculum materials about the Rights of Nature to distribute to schools.

Film Dedication

Soul Migration is dedicated to the memory of Carol Weisheimer Bearden, who always wanted to see the whales, and to Morgan Decker-Stone, whose eyes lit up like no other when he first encountered a friendly gray.

FILMOGRAPHY

Dude, Where’s My River? 2004

Best of the Entries Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival 2005

A group of high school students and their mentors follow the controversial Hetch Hetchy water system from the headwaters high atop Mt Dana in Yosemite, all the way to San Francisco, to document the only municipal water system that has its source in a National Park.

Cache Creek Wild and Scenic  2005

Official selection Wild & Scenic Film Festival

An international team of high school and college students and their teachers set out to document what has since become an environmental victory: the state Wild and Scenic River designation of Cache Creek in Northern California. This film was instrumental in convincing policy makers to pass the legislation.

Awakening the Bear River  2006

Official Selection Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Fourteen students and their mentors are thrust into the complex world of water politics and river 'management' in a remote area of Northern California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Clair Tappaan  2007

This short film helped to educate the public and save an historical Sierra Club lodge in the Sierra that was threatened with closure.

Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area Campaign documentary 2009

The BSMNCA is a landmark conservation effort in N. California. This short was taken to congress and shown to policy makers to help them see the value in preserving this remarkable area.

Meetings with Remarkable Filmmakers: the Young Filmmaker’s Documentary Project  2009

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Watch what happens when a group of young change-makers comes face to face with some of the most courageous environmental activist-filmmakers working in the world today.  

Defending a Livable Future 2011

Official Selection Wild & Scenic Film Festival

A story of Tim DeChristopher and civil disobedience.

Profile of a courageous climate activist.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    11 backers

    Our eternal thanks and your name on the film website.

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    14 backers

    The above rewards, and a hand written thank you card from Finding the Good.

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    23 backers

    All the above rewards, and a signed 11 x 17 movie poster and a digital download of the film.

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    Pledge $35 or more

    9 backers

    All the above rewards, a copy of the film on DVD or digital download, and your name in our "message in a bottle project" (see project description for details).

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    4 backers

    All the above rewards, and your personal message in addition to your name in the "message in a bottle".

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    1 backer

    Above rewards, and a signed, limited edition framed print from the trip to Baja California.

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    10 backers

    All the above rewards, and 2 tickets to one of our screenings, and your name in the credits of the film. Plus choose a DVD of any of our other films.

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    2 backers

    All the above rewards, and 4 tickets to one of our screenings of the film, and a signed photo book with behind the scenes stories from the filmmaking adventure. Personal email updates from the expedition in the field.

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    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    All the above rewards, and Associate Producer title in the credits of the film.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (3 left of 5)

    All the above rewards, and Executive Producer title in the credits of the film.

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Funding period

- (30 days)