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Almost 4 years since I pledged for the documentary... 4 YEARS. Now you've completed two fundraising campaigns and still nothing to show for it.
The original page said:
"We are asking for the bare minimum amount of money we need to finish this film. If we can exceed our goal then we will use those funds to create an even better and more comprehensive documentary."
From that wording, the documentary was already underway and you needed funds to complete it. So was this scope creep, or complete mismanagement of an entire project? You haven't given an update in over two months, and no updated delivery timeline.
I'm all for doing a good job, but this is absolutely ridiculous.
I like this exercise. Since August 2012: I finished my PhD, had two kids, started my first career job, quit my first career job, moved across the country, and started my second job. I'll probably find a third job and buy a house within a year, so that'll likely happen before this KS is done.
I am really looking forward to seeing the final product. While it has taken quite some time to finish, I think that like anything worth while doing, its worth waiting for.
I happened to sign into Kickstarter today after having given up on supporting Kickstarter projects anymore. I realized that since backing this in 2012: I got engaged, got married, finished undergrad, applied/accepted/started and graduated graduate school, and began my first career job. I'll check back after my next life milestone in a year so I can reflect on all my accomplishments done before this KS is completed.
Thank you for your latest update and working so hard on getting this project out! I've been very excited for this documentary and am rooting you guys on from the sidelines. I know it's been a difficult road, but know that there are people cheering you on.
Any updates ??
copy/paste from the second kickstarter...
Update #17 For backers only.
August 30th 2015 Update
A lot of people have been asking for updates recently as things have been silent. I apologize for the recent silence and will try my best to update you on what has been occurring over the past few months.
The reason for this silence is that the production company producing the film is currently involved in a complex legal battle on an issue related to the Kickstarter funding. Beyond that explanation, I would prefer not to go deeper into the issue. It is not a topic I prefer to go into at this time so please do not ask. Unfortunately, this has meant that production of the film has basically been frozen for about a month which has put us further behind schedule.
What I can tell you, is the film is moving forward and I am still committed to delivering on the film, all rewards, the orchestral score, the giveaway of the archival material, sending the film to congress, and the rest of the promises that were made. I will say this again, I will deliver on all promises made to you, the backers of this film.
Last month I traveled to Washington DC for 3 days to do additional research at the National Archives. I got to a point at the end of the film where it was absolutely necessary to obtain additional archival footage that simply could not be accessed online or by hiring remote researchers. In 3 days I was able to accomplish what would have been weeks if not months of work by local DC researchers.
From that trip, I have ordered 23 additional film reels for scanning. These films are currently at the lab as we speak undergoing the scanning and telecine procedure. As mentioned previously, this is a terribly slow procedure and all I can do is wait. I expect the film will be arriving in the next 1-2 weeks. I will post an update as soon as I receive and catalog the footage.
Just to give you a scale of what will be coming in, I estimate that these films in their uncompressed form will take up somewhere between 8 and 12 terabytes of hard drive space.
Concurrently with my research at the film lab, additional research personnel were hired to sift through the photographic records at the National Archives, specifically researching photographs and illustrations of the Westward Migration, the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, the Oregon Trail, and other events that illustrate the idea of building a frontier. In this case, how the frontier on earth relates to the frontier in space.
I put together a short and not very exciting video that I shot while I was at the archives. None of the footage is for film use and was basically shot to show you the process of going through the footage at NARA.
I will update again as soon as I have more production news. Thank you all for your patience.
The backers of the second Kickstarter received an update on 8/30. Can someone let the rest of us in on it?
This is getting a bit ridiculous don't you think? Almost 2 years overdue! By the time your documentary gets out it might be outdated :)
Could you please post an update on things?
Apparently Russia will be on the Moon and Americans on Mars by the time this movie is released.
It has been almost 4 months without an update on this project. Can you please let us know the status?
So what is going on?
Please post the August 30th 2015 Update from second fundraiser here so original backers know whats going on.
Would appreciate some updates.
It has been 3 months since the last update... gettijg a bit concerned.
NOW would be the time to release this film to get the most bang for the buck off the success of The Martian and NASA's recent announcement of water on Mars. When can we expect to get a final product?
Ditto to Boyd's comment. If we could get an update, even just a paragraph every couple of weeks, it would make me feel a lot better.
Whoops, 2 years. :-) Okay, maybe there's still hope.
I was talking with some friends today about Kickstarter. Everyone has a story of a project that was successfully funded and then then was never realized. Some of them went back a looooong time. It's crazy to think back to where I was 5 years ago when I donated to this. 5 years! Since this time, humans launched another Mars rover, landed on a comet, and took selfies with Pluto. Amazing. The $10 was almost worth the trip down memory lane. Almost.
Paul, I'm feeling like my pledge was wasted a long time ago. I'm not looking for a refund. I don't want the whole thing canceled.
What I want is some assurance. We've been waiting nearly two years with sporadic updates. I don't want to sling some low-brow guilt trip, but I'm feeling a completely unappreciated as one of your backers.
What gives man? When am I going to see this thing come to life?
PLEASE REFUND MY $10.00
Can't wait to see the finished project! :) May I ask what's gonna happen to the rewards if people moved addresses?
Guys I'm starting to think we got screwed
The backers of the second Kickstarter received an update on 3/20. Can someone let the rest of us in on it?
A month has gone by since you've gotten your extra $100,000. Any updates?
Presidential libraries, and NACA records.
Tim, KSC did supply a large amount of footage, as did HQ. However, all in-space tape and film is housed at JSC. Also, it's more than just NASA footage. Historical materials have to be acquired from the air force, NASA records, prudential libraries, and other non space related historical footage that ties the story together.
Also, perhaps my message was misunderstood. We start over on fundraising, not the film.
The media center at JSC closed down four months ago--significantly after you were supposed to have finished the film. This is a poor (and convenient!) excuse. JSC is also not the only place to pick up footage from NASA. The KSC Media Center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern U.S. time, Monday through Friday. I have used them to get plenty of digital copies of NASA archive footage. You can find contact info here: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/news/mediaresources/media-contacts.html
If KSC is too far away, you can try HQ or any of the other centers. Contact info here: http://www.nasa.gov/news/media/contacts/index.html
And, Paul, it isn't the $10 that matters. It is the fact that you've been dishonest. You promised a film for $65k that you didn't deliver for $105k. Now you're asking for another $85k. Your latest plea says we either pay up or you "will have to start over again" when your new campaign page clearly states that "If this Kickstarter is not funded our film will still be released."
This is not how to build confidence in your backers nor build credit with a larger audience for your film.
Tim, I'm well aware of the issues with ITAR. I'm not complaining about SpaceX. Someone asked a question, I answered it. If you don't have anything constructive to say, I'll send you your 10 dollars back.
And by the way, as I mentioned the media center at JSC is gone, so there is no access to film reels at NASA anymore. You can thank budget cuts for that.
For the record: almost no one is allowed to film on a SpaceX tour. They take visitors through the factory itself where rockets and spacecraft are being assembled. Any imagery of that area may be subject to export control, ITAR restrictions, and could expose proprietary company information. Expecting SpaceX to allow an unknown self-styled documentary filmmaker to record the tour is absolutely naive. Complaining that SpaceX that does not want to be a part of your film that potentially bashes one of their clients is unprofessional. I'm confident that more than one company or person declined to participate in your documentary.
I concur with the previous comments that laud your initial efforts and harshly criticize your over-reach. As a financial backer of your endeavor, I feel *cheated* by your behavior.
I am not a documentary film maker and I could tell you that a $65k documentary on something as expansive as the space program was not going to win many awards for thoroughness.I did not expect perfection: I expected a film with the 12 interviewees you proposed. That was it. That was what you promised and did NOT deliver!
It seems that this has been an eye-opening learning experience for you. Learning how to nag SpaceX into giving you a tour, how to get expensive footage via the National Archives instead of using free footage from NASA... all of those are informative experiences (both for you and for us as your backers). I'm glad you have learned so much about how to make an expansive documentary and wish you luck in utilizing that knowledge in the future. For now, please focus on the film you agreed to deliver.
Paul, I certainly appreciate what you're trying to do here, but you must realize that you're in way over your head. Your first kickstarter was funded to 160% of the goal. Now, more than a year past your delivery date, you're asking for more money than the first kickstarter goal. I really wish I didn't feel this way, but it seems clear that your second kickstarter will not reach its goal because a lot of your original backers are disappointed. Your best course of action is to cut your losses and just release a film that shows you care. It doesn't have to be perfect. We all really appreciate your drive and completely sympathize with how you must feel right now. Sticking your neck out and pushing for something you believe in takes a lot guts, and we thank you for trying.
"In 5 days, we will either have enough funding to complete the film and get it onto the big screen, or we will have to start over again."
No, you will not have to start over, you will just have to:
1) figure out how to work with the budget you have; perhaps distribute in a different medium than originally planned (YouTube, etc.)
2) find other investors outside of Kickstarter
3) fund the remaining balance yourself
What I would like to hear from you is that the documentary WILL be released, in one form or another, no matter what. That should be a definite that everyone knows.
With no way to delete my previous comment, i'll just say I read the answer in the second kickstarter. Also, too bad about the lack of SpaceX contribution to the project.
What happens if the second kickstarter goal is not met?
I can appreciate what you're trying to achieve here and I have contributed a second time on the Kickstarter, at a higher tier because I'm a sucker for blu-ray, as this is a very important subject that does need that element of professionalism so I can understand why the money is required but unfortunately it still does not look like it will reach it's goal. While disappointing, people do have very valid claims and concerns and even though you've clearly mentioned why the money is needed and what it will go towards it's not unreasonable or unexpected to think that it might not get funded a second time over.
I want to see this film succeed, though unfortunately I can't afford to contribute more at the moment. I can promise to pester those I know however. I wish you luck, this needs to be seen by as many people as possible.
I feel that I have communicated well with the backers. Regular updates were always posted from interview trips, both on Kickstarter and Facebook, emails have always been answered, and comments responded to. As for the money. I have tried to explain multiple times why we need additional funding to complete the film, the same, I will do another email in a day or two explaining the reasons more clearly.
Sorry, I'm underwhelmed. The general lack of communication up until more money was needed has been discourteous, at best. The first kickstarter was to finish the film. I still don't have an understanding of what went so wrong that this much more money is needed. No sense in throwing more money into the pit.
I still think Fight for Space is a great idea, but I gotta be honest -- this is the first kickstarter donation I've made that I really fear for.
I understand that many movies on kickstarter need additional funds to polish them up and get them ready for release. No argument there. If it was some fraction of the total cost of the project, I would certainly pony up some more cash. But here, you're asking for MORE money than the original kickstarter! I'm no expert in film production or financing, but from a layman's perspective, this is concerning. I really hope you're still able to finish the doc, but I just can't justify another donation. I'm sorry.
I imagine they would be concerned to lose contracts if they comment.
Thanks for the support Ryan! I chased SpaceX for two years and got nothing but false hopes, unfortunately they won't be part of the film. I went as far as standing in the SpaceX parking lot talking on the phone with their PR person, who eventually gave us a tour but wouldn't allow any filming. Elon walked right by us.
Can I add also that I would also like to see an interview from Elon Musk.
Second time backer here. The irony that people here are complaining about funding the second gap on a movie that deals with the lack of funding for Space Exploration makes me laugh. It concerns me that I watch both my young sons pick up model space shuttles or watch video footage of launches and that someday I have to tell them that there will be no more shuttle launches because those in power thought that our tax dollars would be better spent fighting conflicts in foreign lands.
I am keen to see the documentary and more importantly to lobby those in power to think long term about the future of humanity.
I think we should notify Elon Musk to see what he thinks. Maybe he will chip in a little bit to make it happen.
Sorry, but this is all becoming a bit of a joke.
Chris, it's a valid question. I too thought that when we got started, we would never need that much money. Consider that Inside Job, a documentary made in 2010, which was basically a research style film with only interviews and archival footage, had a budget of 2 million dollars. We are doing this film for a fraction of that. Much of our archival footage has to be licensed from major networks. Unfortunately, it's the only way to get it. This archival footage is billed by the second, not the minute, or the hour, the second. Each second is astronomically expensive. We arn't making a youtube documentary, we are making a documentary for television broadcast and to show on the big screen, so there is a certain level of standards that have to be followed, otherwise the network will not show it. As for additional expenses, the music and mixing cost as much as a fancy car, and if we want a film that is worthy of the subject we are talking about, it needs to be done right. A lot of this goes back to doing it right. Sure, we can make a film with one piano track, and steal footage from YouTube, but it won't be any good. And for me, it's about doing it right, not just doing it. Those are just a few examples of the expenses that go into the film. I'll outline additional expenses in a later post.
No offense, but how was 100k not enough to make this film? I've seen others make films farrrr more intricate than this with a quarter the funding. It's a documentary for crying out loud.