In 1972, yachtsman John Ritter set sail in search of raw moments of solitude and serenity. Six years later it would lead to one of the greatest discoveries in surf history – the now-famed wave Cloudbreak in Fiji. Nakuru Kuru: Discovering Cloudbreak documents Ritter’s untold story by retracing his original passage throughout the South Pacific; along the way providing this true pioneer the opportunity to give back to the ocean environment that has given him so much. Viewers are immersed in this extraordinary journey of inspiration, risk and exploration, as past and present are connected in a modern-day expedition like no other.
We are honored and humbled for the opportunity to tell John Ritter’s incredible story. The wave, the discovery, and the culture surrounding it demand respect, and we feel an obligation to tell this story authentically and objectively. This ground-breaking virtual reality experience has taken a year and a half of development to get to this point, and our window to produce it is closing. In hopes of securing the necessary funding to see it through, we have decided to launch this campaign and are inviting contributors to join us in bringing it to life.
Located off the remote island of Tavarua, Fiji, Cloudbreak boasts some of the most awe-inspiring, powerful, and consequential waves on the planet. In 1978 John Ritter anchored here alone for roughly a month, paddling from his boat on a 7’6" Bruce Jones single fin to surf one of nature's great wonders. Today, Cloudbreak is widely considered to be one of, if not the best, waves in the world and a favorite of some of the most accomplished surfers.
The pursuit of perfect, empty waves has spanned decades and pushed John Ritter to the ends of the earth. While his yearning for exploration and passion for surf has never wavered, Ritter’s true aim has always been contributing to the well-being of the environment and those around him. With a Master’s of Environmental Education, John relies heavily on his learnings from the natural world to inspire and educate others.
John has spent a lifetime in and around the water and witnessed drastic environmental changes first hand. As our oceans continue to rapidly deteriorate, there is no better time to share a positive message of stewardship, and no one more qualified to tell it. Nakuru Kuru recounts John's entire voyage leading up to Cloudbreak, with stops in Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji. Each location serves as a 10-12 minute chapter of the story, examining critical challenges facing these locations and some key objectives aimed at solving them.
CHAPTER ONE - AMERICAN SAMOA
Challenge: Ocean Plastics
Objective: Reconnect with youth at Matafao Elementary (where John taught during his original voyage) to completely restore one designated beach or mangrove.
CHAPTER TWO - TONGA
Objective: Showcase Tonga's leading efforts to preserve marine life in hopes of expanding on this success throughout the region.
CHAPTER THREE – FIJI
Environmental Challenge: Coral Bleaching
Objective: Demonstrate how coral gardening and removing invasive species can greatly benefit and restore reefs.
The core production team consists of Jiva VR and Panogs. Collectively we've won prestigious industry awards such as People's Choice at Banff Mountain Film, and placed VR cameras on top of Everest for Sports Illustrated. Along with us is an extremely talented and diverse team of specialists and support crew with various backgrounds and skill sets. They are prepared to take some of the most technologically advanced camera equipment into some of the most remote, challenging, and breathtaking locations on the planet.
For those who have ever wondered what it’s like navigating a trimaran under the stars, free-diving in pristine turquoise ecosystems, or gliding through a mind-bending wave, this is your opportunity. Virtual reality is the absolute best medium for transporting people to incredible experiences and locations, from anywhere on the globe. In addition to providing visual excellence, VR allows audiences to connect with a story on a much deeper level.
How to Watch
A VR headset is definitely recommended for the most immersive experience, however most VR content can also be viewed through a browser. Scenes can be navigated simply by click and dragging:
Drawing inspiration from John’s legacy of pushing beyond limitations and breaking boundaries, our team has come together with the common goal of pushing the limits of what is possible within the medium of VR storytelling with this project.
GOAL ONE: $40,000
The Low Down | This funds the production of one five-minute VR Pilot where it all began for John: Baja, Mexico. This pilot will be critical to securing remaining funds for full production (if not raised here) while meeting major film festival submission deadlines.
GOAL TWO: $175,000
The Low Down | This funds all field-production for Nakuru Kuru, including payment for all crew, equipment, transportation and logistics for three-plus weeks sailing and filming throughout the South Pacific.
GOAL THREE: $335,000
The Low Down | This funds the entire production of Nakuru Kuru from start to finish, including the most time-consuming elements of the project related to post-production.
Through this campaign we are offering a unique VR headset not available to consumers anywhere else! Featuring Jiva VR's simplified software, VR content can be accessed INSTANTANEOUSLY. These headsets will include a copy of Nakuru Kuru pre-loaded, with numerous options for viewing additional content. These headsets are a versatile, easy-to-use, and un-intimidating way to fully enjoy this amazing technology- at half the price of similar devices on the market!
OTHER WAYS YOU CAN HELP
If you are unable to contribute financially, but still interested in helping we would certainly appreciate your support in the following areas:
Outreach: Please feel free to spread the word to any friends or people you know who may be interested in this project. The Kickstarter share tools make it easy to quickly share the project!
Airline miles: This is one of our most significant expenses. Donations of extra airline miles, or introductions to people in the airline industry who could potentially help out would be much appreciated.
Connections in the South Pacific: Know anyone in Fiji, American Samoa or Tonga that could help assist our efforts? If so put us in touch!
Partnerships: If there are any sailing, outdoor, surf, or ocean conservation, or other organizations interested in getting involved with the project we would love to chat! Feel free to email us directly at email@example.com.
Gear: Additional swag or rewards items to add the campaign would be amazing.
Production Donations: Camera gear, boat rentals, accommodations in the South Pacific are all areas of need.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT AND INTEREST IN MAKING THIS PROJECT COME TO LIFE!!!
Risks and challenges
Virtual Reality: Producing content in VR is inherently more challenging than traditional 2D format. The overall amount of time, complexity of equipment, and troubleshooting involved is significantly greater, and the room for error much smaller. Our technicians have been in the industry since its infancy and are well prepared to tackle any issues that may arise.
Weather: The environments we are shooting in are some of the most beautiful in the world, but also potentially hazardous. Field-production is scheduled in a window that gives us the best chance to score epic waves, while avoiding catastrophic weather.
Funding: Our goal remains to complete field-production by October 31st of this year. If we do not raise the necessary funds to do so, there is a likelihood this project gets pushed back to June of 2018. Our Executive Producers at Kaleidoscope VR are hustling to bring additional sponsors or partners on board, but this process takes time. We want to be transparent with all contributors: if fundraising goals are not hit in the time we have allotted, all rewards pertaining to digital downloads of the film will be pushed back until it is completed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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