About this project
The Haad Rin Full Moon Party began in the 1980's on the island of Koh Phangan, Thailand. As legend goes, the party was birthed by a small group of international backpackers who gathered under the moon to listen to music and celebrate the tropical beach. The allure grew by word of mouth, and with it, popularity and notoriety. Today the event has grown into a monthly phenomenon, attracting tens of thousands of tourists from around the world as an often obligatory stop on the Southeast Asia travel circuit. The small length of beachfront contends with crowds of 15,000-30,000 each month in providing sound systems, dance parties, fireworks, firedancing, and libations through dawn.
As travelers ourselves, we had heard stories about this party over the years but had never personally attended. In the last several years specifically we noticed a trend in reports from friends and fellow travelers who had gone to the Full Moon Party. Tales of massive amounts of waste created by the party began to surface. We heard of a gorgeous beach strewn with plastic, bottles, cans and no one in place to clean it; we heard of local women at dawn sweeping rubbish into the incoming tide. Could this really be true?! It sounded horrific and probably exaggerated. We began to ask more questions, find more party goers and party-throwers alike.
In 2012 we traveled Thailand to experience the famous, if not infamous event ourselves, and see what was fiction and what was fact. We interviewed partygoers and followed the scene through dawn and late morning, tracking the aftermath of cigarettes, glass bottles, plastic buckets, straws and more.
We also met with heads of the tourism department, the local business association, and clean up parties, and discovered the larger story of how the community Haad Rin has begun to come together to tend to their island, their home, as well as keep the source of tourism beautiful, clean, and thriving. We asked:
What is being done?
What is working?
What still needs to change?
Who is responsible?
As the future of our oceans and our planet has increasingly become a global concern, it seems that no one is without personal accountability, both for their traveling styles, their means of income, and their habits at home. We believe this story is an important one to share in that it may inspire responsible traveling and accountability in both our homes and the mark we leave on another's home.
This project has been entirely self-funded, but we will need help to complete the film with additional funding. The funding from this Kickstarter will allow us to invest in:
1. Stock Footage. We hope to purchase footage of the Full Moon Party from the 1990's, and well as old footage of Thailand with it's early Western tourists from the 1940's from travel film archives.
2. Graphic Animation. We're working with a talented animator to create custom graphics which will add dimension and visual appeal to this story.
3. Music. No film is complete without a score, and music ain't free.
4. Post-production. This will cover the costs of color correction, final editing, mixing and mastering of the soundtrack.
Risks and challenges
We are in a unique position in that this project is already 90% completed. While we certainly came upon challenges while in Thailand, from sand in our cameras to reluctant interviewees to the normal stressors and mishaps that arise from filming in a foreign country, we look forward to completing this final chapter from our home desktops.
To our advantage, Benjamin is a video producer with experience in the production world to help us along. We have relationships with the distributers of stock footage and our animators, and are ready to GO as soon as our funding is successful!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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