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Alaskan Dick Griffith crossed thousands of miles through North America by himself.  At 89 years old, he wanted one last adventure.
Alaskan Dick Griffith crossed thousands of miles through North America by himself. At 89 years old, he wanted one last adventure.
194 backers pledged $27,687 to help bring this project to life.

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Dick Griffith is an adventurer’s adventurer. In several expeditions over the years, he has walked the entire length of the Northwest Passage. Without a single companion, he has crossed 6,000 miles of the Arctic. He was the first to go through the Grand Canyon’s infamous Lava Falls on an inflatable raft. He was the first to explore the length of Mexico’s Copper Canyon. He is the grandfather of packrafting - the first to use these small boats for recreational wilderness travel. He has finished the Alaska Mountain Wilderness Classic seventeen times and holds the record for the oldest person to complete it (he was 81).

Last year, at 89 years old, he went for one last ride through the Grand Canyon. We were there to capture it all, including his daring attempt to row through Lava Falls.

Throughout the trip, Dick told us stories that were both hilarious and terrifying. Starvation, drowning, bears, foxes, blinding storms, frostbite - the list of what has tried to kill Dick is long. And all of it has failed.

Dick Griffith deserves to have his story told. With your support, we can do just that. We've shot the video. We've uncovered archival film. We've teamed up with Alaska Public Media to broadcast it. All that's left is raise the funds to finish this documentary. To do that, we're asking for your support. $60, $135, $1,000 - please contribute whatever you can right now.

"Dick was more than just an inspiration… For a bunch of us, he redirected our lives."

-Roman Dial, Explorer

WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH MY MONEY?

So far, this project has been funded by dozens of generous donors. But we can't keep going back to the same people for cash. That's so not cool. So we're turning to you.

The good news is that the hard part is all done. We've already flown over glaciers (on a helicopter ride donated for the project!), we've raced down whitewater rapids with a $10,000 camera (and didn't break it) and we've captured some of the best stories of the most charming, cantankerous old man you'll ever meet.

What remains is paying for all of the post-production. We need to cover all the standard costs for a TV show: editing, color-correction and music, plus boring technical and legal stuff like closed captioning and errors & omissions insurance. That's what you'll be paying for when you back this campaign.

But if we don't reach our goal, we won't receive a single dollar of the money that's been pledged to this Kickstarter campaign. So your support now is critical. Please, back this campaign now.

WHAT DO I GET FOR MY MONEY?

Well, first and most importantly, you get the satisfaction of being one of the incredible people to tell Dick Griffith's story. And that's awesome.

But a little extra incentive never hurt anyone, right?

$60 and above - AK Passport

Okay, this is one of the coolest things we're offering. Thanks to our partnership with the PBS station in Alaska, Alaska Public Media, you'll become a member of this amazing station when you back this project. Give $60 or more and you'll receive all of their member benefits, including access to AK Passport.

With AK Passport, you can stream some of the best PBS programs out there - Nature, Nova, Masterpiece, Frontline, American Experience, Great Performances... the list goes on. You can watch them on your computer, phone, tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV or Chromecast. AK Passport is available throughout the United States.

$75 and above - Streaming Link

The streaming link is awesome because you're going to be able to watch this documentary in the same quality we shot it in: 4K. Think about it: gorgeous glaciers and regal rivers in stunning resolution. Yes, you'll love it.

$95 and above - DVD

Want to watch this documentary without fiddling around with all this newfangled streaming nonsense? We've got you covered.

$135 and above - Book

(From Andy) I'm going to say it because she's too modest to say it: Kaylene's book is awesome. I don't care how well you know Dick, you don't know half of how hardcore he is until you read her book. And you won't believe how many times he almost dies.

$175 and above - Autographed Book

Canyons and Ice autographed by the author and by our very favorite 90-year-old adventurer, Dick Griffith. But we only have so much power to convince Dick to do anything, so there's a very low quantity of these available. Don't wait.

$1,000 and above - VIP Tickets to the Premiere

You and three of your best friends will enjoy a VIP experience at the world premiere of Canyons and Ice, hosted by Alaska Public Media in Anchorage. You'll enjoy food, drinks and conversation with the director, the biographer and the adventurer. It will be an evening to remember.

THE TEAM

 Andy Trimlett, Producer/Director

Since 2002, Andy has played the part of public television producer, writer, editor and camera operator for everything from documentaries to comedy, self-help, music concerts, promotional videos and news features. Andy’s projects range the gamut from incredibly serious (such as his documentary about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, 1948: Creation & Catastrophe) to the downright ridiculous (such as his zombie-themed fundraising video for public television). He even managed to win an Emmy award for co-producing a documentary about property tax law... yes, property tax law.

 Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan, Co-Producer

Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan is a long-time Alaskan who makes her home in Palmer. She has found adventure on Mt. McKinley, the Chugach Mountains and as a wrangler and cook in the Brooks Range. Her award-winning articles have appeared in Alaska magazine, the Los Angeles Times, the Louisville Review and other publications. Her books include Canyons and Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith; A Tender Distance: Adventures Raising My Sons in Alaska;Trails Across Time: History of An Alaska Mountain Corridor; and Portrait of the Alaska Railroad.

 Jesse Keller, Director of Photography

Jesse is a writer, director, and a general filmmaking utility player. He got his MFA from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and now splits his time between writing, shooting, and teaching. He once ate a barbecued bat in Laos, fled machete-wielding guards in the Mayan ruins of Guatemala, and stayed at the Hotel Moustache in Niamey, Niger.

Risks and challenges

All of the principal risks in this project have already been overcome. We've already taken a $10,000 camera across Alaska mountains and over a week's worth of whitewater rapids - and it still works!

The filmmakers are more than qualified to bring this project to the finish line. Andy Trimlett, the director, has been producer for PBS programs for over a decade and Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan, the co-producer, has already published a captivating book about Dick Griffith's adventures.

All that truly remains is finding the funding to finish this documentary. That's where you come in. In order to complete this project, it is essential that we hit that fundraising goal by our deadline. Please, do your part now. Thank you so much.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Thank You

    You'll receive our heartfelt thanks and a set of three images from the documentary you can use as wallpaper on your phone or computer.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Alaska Public Media Membership

    You'll receive the photos plus a membership with Alaska Public Media. Your membership will give you one year of access to AK Passport, which lets you stream your favorite PBS shows on your computer, phone, tablet or streaming player. AK Passport is available throughout in the United States.

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    Streaming Link & Membership

    You'll receive all of the above plus a link to stream the documentary in 4K when it is released.

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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    DVD, Streaming Link & Membership

    You'll receive all of the above plus a DVD of the documentary when it is released.

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    Pledge $135 or more About $135

    Book, DVD, Streaming Link & Membership

    You'll receive all of the above plus a copy of Canyons & Ice: The Wilderness Travels of Dick Griffith by the documentary's co-producer, Kaylene Johnson-Sullivan.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Autographed Book, DVD & Streaming Link

    You'll receive all of the above. Plus, your copy of Canyons and Ice will be autographed by both the author and Dick Griffith.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Your Name in the Credits

    You'll receive all of the above (including the autographed book) plus your name in the credits of the documentary. You'll also receive two VIP tickets (travel not included) to the premiere screening of Canyons & Ice hosted by Alaska Public Media. You'll get to meet the director, the author and the one-and-only Dick Griffith.

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

    The Premiere

    You'll receive all of the above (including the autographed book) plus four VIP tickets to the premiere screening of Canyons & Ice (travel not included) hosted by Alaska Public Media. You'll get to meet the director, the author and the one-and-only Dick Griffith.

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Funding period

- (28 days)