What we’re doing
We’re installing a remote-controlled HD camera at one of the most awesome otter-spotting locations on the planet. Ok, who are we kidding... it IS the most awesome otter-spotting location on the planet. Then we’re going to stream all that cuteness LIVE to otter lovers around the world via seaotters.com for a year.
Wait, there’s more! Using recorded highlights from the live stream and additional footage and photography we acquire, we’re going to produce a short film celebrating California’s most iconic and endearing species, and a very special place they call home. Wild for Otters will take the viewer on an intimate, visual journey of the Elkhorn Slough, truly one of California’s last great coastal wetlands and home to the largest concentration of southern sea otters on the California coast.
Where we’re doing it
Elkhorn Slough harbors the largest tract of tidal salt marsh in California outside of the San Francisco Bay.The slough and wetlands provide critical habitat for hundreds of species, including sea otters, sea lions, harbor seals, great egrets and brown pelicans. At the mouth of the Elkhorn Slough sits the Moss Landing Harbor, in which lies a one of a kind spot where otters love to hang out together to play, groom, eat, and nap (Watch the video!). All of this otterly adorable action takes place directly in front of our camera installation site -- a location that we’ve been granted exclusive access to.
Oh, and did we mention that the otters hang out here every day of the year? Seriously, we’re not kidding. 365 days a year of otter raft antics awesomeness! Pretty cool, huh?
Why we’re doing it
Well, for starters we love sea otters and we feel super lucky to have the Monterey Bay in our backyard so we can watch them whenever we want. Once we launch the live stream, you’ll be able to enjoy their cute and fuzzy faces too, no matter where you live!
Raising awareness for California's sea otters is something we’re pretty passionate about. With your help we’ll give kids, parents, classrooms and otter lovers of all ages around the world an amazing front-row seat to watch and learn more about this threatened species in their natural habitat. Can’t make it out to California to see the otters? No worries. We’re going to bring them to you - LIVE!
Why we need your help
In addition to the live stream, we plan to host several live researcher/naturalist-led special events online for our fans on social media, schools, aquariums and other seaotters.com education and outreach partners (see FAQ below for more info). All of this, along with our need to record live video, will require staffing a remote camera operator so we can zoom in and follow the action up close as it’s happening. The Wild for Otters video will require a substantial production effort as well.
The bottom line is that streaming live video to a lot of people is expensive. Throw in live special events, a remote camera operator and video production, and things really start to add up. That’s why we want to let you know that even if we reach our goal, please keep those pledges coming! The more support we receive, the more live action we can bring you each day, and ultimately, the more production value we can bring to Wild for Otters.
Thanks for checking out our project! We hope you’re as excited about it as we are. Remember, Kickstarter campaigns are only funded if they reach their funding goal; otherwise they get nothing. Every dollar counts so pledge what you can and please tell your friends and family about us. We hope you’ll join us!
Thank you for your support!
What exactly will my pledge be used for?
The support we receive from you guys will allow us to purchase the necessary hardware, software and services to get the live stream up and running. Your contribution will help cover the costs of camera installation and maintenance, high bandwidth internet connectivity, video encoding/transcoding, live streaming, remote camera operation and management, recording and storage, and live special events management. Your support will also help fund the production/postproduction of the Wild for Otters video.
After the goal has been reached, is there any reason to pledge more money?
Yes, absolutely! The more money we raise above and beyond our goal, the longer the live stream can stay on the air. More money = more hours of daily live coverage, more hours of remote camera operation, more live special events, and the more production time that can be allocated for Wild for Otters. So again we ask you to please keep those pledges coming and help us spread the word on Twitter and Facebook!
Can I become a sponsor?
Yes please! Check out the reward levels starting at $500. We're only offering a limited number of sponsorships so you better act fast!
How long do you plan on keeping the live stream up and running long-term?
We hope to raise enough money to keep the camera on the air for one year, but that all depends on how much support we receive. We want sea otter lovers around the world to be able to enjoy watching these amazing animals for as long as possible, and together we can make it happen! The bottom line is the more money we receive, the longer the live stream can stay on the air. By supporting our project, you can help us fulfill that vision.
When will it launch?
We expect to go live 60-90 days after receiving funding.
I could watch otters 24/7 but what other wildlife will I be able to see?
Lots of sea lions and harbor seals! Other visitors include brown pelicans, great egrets, great blue herons and double-crested cormorants, just to name a few.
When will the Wild for Otters video be released?
We'll be archiving shots from the live stream and acquiring additional footage and photography through the first half of 2014. Post production for Wild for Otters is currently scheduled to begin in late summer with a September 2014 online release. Don't worry, we'll keep you posted!
Hosting live special events online is an awesome idea. What's the plan? Once the live stream is up and running, we plan to host several live researcher/naturalist-led special events online for our fans on social media, schools, aquariums and other seaotters.com education and outreach partners. Each online event will be planned in collaboration with a partner organization, such as an aquarium, who will help promote and coordinate the event. Researchers and naturalists will discuss a variety of related sea otter topics. We even plan to live tweet the events so you can ask questions and interact with the speakers.
Can you tell me more about the personal message and sponsorship reward levels? Are there content guidelines, policies that I have to follow? We’ll provide you with details on scheduling and submission, ad specs, content regulations and guidelines shortly after the Kickstarter campaign has ended. Ads and personal messages must comply with our Advertising Content Regulations and Guidelines. Inappropriate content will not be accepted. Personal message limited to 140 characters. Ad unit sizes: Small Sidebar = 300x60 pixels, Medium Sidebar = 300x250 pixels, Large Sidebar = 300x600, Leaderboard = 728x90 pixels. Static images only. No Flash/animation or video.
Do you ship internationally and how much does it cost?
Sure do. We're asking for a few extra bucks and, in some cases, we might wind up asking for a bit more depending on the final cost (it’s difficult to calculate international shipping costs in advance as shipping costs vary by country and Kickstarter doesn't tell us where you are until after the funding period has closed). International backers will also be responsible for all applicable tariffs and customs fees.
Risks and challenges
We’ve spent the last year laying the groundwork and ironing out logistics to ensure the success of our project. We’ve already selected our Internet Service Provider, camera, encoder and streaming platform. Our digital media team is in place and our camera installation and network specialists are ready to roll as well. We are confident that should any setbacks arise, we will be more than qualified and capable to handle them.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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