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We reached $10,000! Thanks to all our supporters! Check out our stretch goals so that we can improve the quality of our documentary!
We reached $10,000! Thanks to all our supporters! Check out our stretch goals so that we can improve the quality of our documentary!
162 backers pledged $12,463 to help bring this project to life.

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$12,463

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Every donation past our funding goal will go towards making a better quality documentary. We will upgrade to better film equipment in the areas of cinematography, sound, and editing.  Let's keep this momentum going!

Three students, passionate about documentary filmmaking, wildlife conservation, and marine biology, are setting out to South Africa to make a film about Great White Sharks. Their goal is to spend 2-4 weeks in Cape Town – Great White Shark mecca, participating in an eco-conservation program that aims to help with the conservation of marine life in the area.

They will film their time assisting scientists with shark tagging, beach cleanup, and eco-tourism, recording the entire process in order to reduce the stigma surrounding this threatened species. The documentary will focus on changing the misconceptions regarding these sharks, the journey that the filmmakers endure, and the overall experience as a whole, placing an emphasis on their growth as conservationists and filmmakers. 

The ultimate goal of this film is to shed light on the struggles that sharks face, such as poaching, finning, and habitat loss; and through this, garner sympathy and interest for the animals and their conservation. Most importantly, they hope to inspire the modern generation to ditch technology and dive into wildlife conservation. 

Why Sharks?

Since Jaws came out in 1975, sharks have had a horrible reputation in society. The lack of care for these animals has made the species decline in numbers. In reality, sharks only kill about 4.2 people a year and out of the 500 species of sharks, only 12 are dangerous to humans. Today many Asians cultures eat shark fin soup because they believe the fins taste good and have healing properties. This demand for fins has caused some species to nearly go extinct. More than 70 million sharks a year are killed for their fins. The process of finning is inhumane as well. Fisherman bring a shark onto the boat, cut off all of it's fins while it's still alive, and then kick the body back into the water because it has no value to them. Sharks have to keep moving to survive so they eventually drown because the lack of oxygen through their gills. If we continue these acts sharks will soon go extinct. They are keystone species so without them there will be terrible consequences in our oceans. We hope to give sharks a voice through our documentary.

*Limited Edition Shark Finning T-Shirt
*Limited Edition Shark Finning T-Shirt
  • SONY A7S RENTAL - $500
  • SONY FE-28-135MM LENS - $300
  • GOPRO HERO 4 SILVER/SURF - $400
  • MEMORY CARDS - $300
  • HARDRIVES - $1,000
  • 2 BATTERY BACPAC - $100
  • HEAD STRAP - $100
  • TRIPOD - $100
  • ADAPTERS - $100
  • RED DIVE FILTER - $80
  • GO PRO CAMERA GRIP/TRIPOD - $70

Jordan Durham - Producer/Director

Jordan’s passion for wildlife started at a young age with yearly trips to the Pittsburgh Zoo. In high school, Jordan started a wildlife conservation club, where students, rebuilt nearby habitats, spread awareness, and volunteered at the local exotic bird rehabilitation center. During the summer of his first year of college, Jordan worked full time at the zoo by cleaning the park, delivering food to the exhibits, and setting up events. Jordan now attends Point Park University in downtown Pittsburgh studying Cinema Production and hopes to merge both passions together in this documentary. With his film degree he wishes to give wildlife a voice. His dreams are to someday work for Nat Geo, Animal Planet, or a major film studio.

Jaz McKibben - Director/Editor

Jaz scuba diving in Indonesia
Jaz scuba diving in Indonesia

Jaz is a 19-year-old sophomore film student at Point Park University. She lives in Pittsburgh and currently serves as an assistant editor on the feature length documentary Fursonas. During the summers, she works as a whitewater rafting guide and adventure photographer in Ohiopyle State Park. She was born and raised overseas, living in Indonesia, Bolivia, and China. During her 8 years in Indonesia, she developed a passion for scuba diving and marine conservation, assisting in bio-rock reef restoration projects and beach cleanup. Her love for diving led to an interest in turtles and sharks, and she aims use her film degree to one day work with National Geographic or Discovery in order to provide conservation for marine life.

Blaise Kepple - Production Manager

Blaise Kepple is a student at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Derry Pennsylvania native is currently majoring in Global Cultural Studies with a minor in Intelligence and National Security. She hopes her major will help eliminate the sex slave industry and hunger throughout the world. Blaise also hopes her minor will lead her to a career with The United Nations or The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). In her spare time Blaise enjoys reading, especially National Geographic magazines. She also enjoys writing, one of her works titled “World Traveler”, was published in a book. Blaise loves spending time with her family and friends.

Risks and challenges

Getting people interested and concerned about this species is going to be tough. It’s hard to get people to care about this animal because of it’s bad reputation, but in our documentary, we hope to change that negative stigma. One of the challenges we face is filming underwater for the first time. We plan to use top of the line underwater camera gear to produce the best looking film we can make.

You never know what might go wrong in the field of documentary filming so we hope to combat possible errors by planning out everything in advanced. We are backed up with extra equipment and other resources in the event something goes wrong.

Safety is also a concern when filming dangerous animals. Our guides are experts and know exactly what to do in any worst case scenario. We expect this process to go very smoothly, but in the event something does go wrong, there are more than enough resources to fix the problem.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    <>< COLLEGE SPECIAL

    A little goes a long way. Thank you for supporting our project! You will receive a personal thank you in the credits of the film and good karma for your virtuous deeds.

    -College Students from Universities in Pittsburgh will also receive a ticket to the film premiere.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    <>< LEMON SHARK

    We love you and we thank you for your support!

    You will receive a DVD COPY of our film to share with family and friends! Along with a credit at the end of our film!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    <>< BLACK TIP REEF SHARK

    We greatly appreciate your contribution to our project! You'll receive a postcard from South Africa signed by the crew and a personal thank you in the credits of the film.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    <>< MAKO SHARK

    Your support is greatly appreciated! Thanks to people like you, sharks are receiving more positive attention. You'll receive a container of sand from Cape Town, South Africa, along with a signed postcard, a personal thank you in the credits of the film, and a link to the finished documentary.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    <>< BULL SHARK

    Thank you for your wonderful support! Sharks everywhere benefit from your generosity. You'll receive a SPECIAL EDITION photo book from the trip and an electronic download of the film.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    <>< TIGER SHARK

    Wow, you ROCK! Thank you for your incredible generosity, it means the world to us.

    You'll receive a black LIMITED EDITION anti-finning t-shirt made from 100% organic cotton and a ticket to the premiere in Pittsburgh, PA. (Travel Not Included.)

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    <>< BASKING SHARK

    Thank you for your profound generosity and appreciation for this project and shark conservation!

    Your generous donation will allow us to make the best possible film. You'll receive and a special edition DVD with deleted scenes from the trip and a VIP ticket to the premiere and after party in Pittsburgh, PA. As well as a personal thank you in the credits, postcard, jar of sand, and a photo book from our trip. (Travel Not Included.)

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

    <>< WHALE SHARK

    The world needs more people like you!
    You'll be credited as an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER of the documentary, and receive a "SPECIAL UNDERWATER THANK YOU" during the film. As well as a postcard, jar of sand, hard copy of the film, vip ticket, and a photo book from our trip.

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

    <>< GREAT WHITE SHARK

    Words cannot express the depth of our gratitude. You'll be credited as the EXECUTIVE PRODUCER and receive a "SPECIAL UNDERWATER THANK YOU" in the film.

    You will also receive the DIRECTOR'S PACKAGE, which includes production stills, download of original soundtrack, never-before seen footage, and a photo book of the film's artwork and posters.

    As well as a postcard, jar of sand, copy of the film, vip ticket, and a photo book from our trip.

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Funding period

- (39 days)