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$8,221
pledged of $7,777pledged of $7,777 goal
77
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, November 30 2019 5:30 AM UTC +00:00.

Daughter of the White River

A southern true crime documentary based on Arkansas folk hero, Helen Spence.

Daughter of the White River

A southern true crime documentary based on Arkansas folk hero, Helen Spence.

$8,221
pledged of $7,777pledged of $7,777 goal
77
backers
11days to go

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sat, November 30 2019 5:30 AM UTC +00:00.

About

 It’s 1931. Chaos erupts in a small courtroom in DeWitt, Arkansas as a young woman, dressed in all red, slowly lowers a pearl-gripped pistol. 17-year-old Helen Spence just shot Jack Worls as he stood trial for her father’s murder. “He killed my daddy,” she utters. She shot to kill, and Worls is dead. What happens next…

Daughter of the White River is a Southern True Crime Documentary based on Arkansas folk hero, Helen Spence. Born in 1912, Helen was “river-smart”. She could catch fish, skin deer, and sew dress hems. She could also kill men.

The plan

This documentary film project is the culmination of author Denise Parkinson's two decades of research into the mysteries of Arkansas's River People, a lost tribe of houseboat dwellers that thrived for a century along the Lower White River. Houseboat girl Helen Ruth Spence (1912-1934) lived by the code of River Justice. Our efforts will help ensure that Helen's story of "true grit," love, and loyalty will never die!

We are a team of Arkansans, shooting on location in Arkansas, to preserve and share an unbelievable piece of Arkansas history.

Helen Spence, as portrayed by Lilie Lim, gives side-eye to Arkansas County deputies after having shot murder suspect Jack Worls. "He killed my daddy," was her explanation

Our amazing team has already begun production to share this story through the incomparable medium of film! We’ve done the research, conducted interviews with surviving members of the early 20th century riverboat community, shot re-enactments of the more astonishing and important events of Helen’s life, and participated in a two part NPR podcast.

After almost two years of work, we feel equipped to finish a film, worthy of telling Helen’s extraordinary story. Funds raised will be spent on the remaining days of production, hiring crew, editing the film, and festival submissions.

Crew members Craig Wynn and Carson Smith work with lead actress Lilie Lim to film a houseboat scene, shot on location in the White River, Clarendon, Arkansas

Flex Goals

We’ve even considered the amazing possibility of raising more than we asked for!! We have thought through some flex goals in the case of raising additional funds!

With each additional $5,000 raised, we will be able to write, organize and shoot an additional reenactment scene to enhance our telling of the story. We have at least five of these "wish list" scenes in our back pocket. Here's hoping we will get the chance to make some of them a reality!

Big time flex goal: Our current project scope is a documentary short, with the finished film 20-30 minutes long. If we can raise $35,000 we will make it a FEATURE LENGTH DOCUMENTARY!

Rewards

We can't do anything without your generous support, and we want to make sure you know that. Supporters of our project can expect us to love and support them right back with rewards like movie post cards, exclusive access to the finished film, a cameo role in the film, producership, and even a fly fishing lesson on the White River!

Executive Producers will have their names shown in the opening credits of the film

Risks and challenges

This is an ambitious production with lots of moving parts. As you can see from the teaser, we have already begun production. We are hoping for a boost from donors to finish this thing off properly. Once completed, we think this short film could help Daughter of the White River become a feature length documentary film!

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    Good Vibes

    Good Vibes!

    Thank you so so so much for being a part of our project. Truly EVERY single bit of support helps and we couldn't do this without you!

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    Social Media Shout Out

    Thanks for choosing to support our project!

    A gift of $10 gets you a personalized shout out across the Daughter of the White River social media accounts. We'll let everyone know that you support the preservation of Arkansas History and the creation of local art.

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    Ticket to Premiere Party

    Thanks for becoming part of our project!

    You will receive a ticket to our film's premiere party. We will screen the film and celebrate with all of our lovely supporters! We hope to see you there.

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    Daughter of the White River Postcard

    Thank you for choosing to preserve Arkansas History!

    You will be mailed a Limited Edition Daughter of the White River postcard to commemorate your involvement with this project.

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    Access to Temporary Debut of Film

    You are amazing, Thank you!

    Because you chose to help us preserve Arkansas History and share Helen Spence's incredible story, we want you to be among the first to have access to the finished film!

    While the film will only be available to watch in festivals and private screenings for the first few months of its existence, you will receive a private link and get to watch it from the privacy of your own home as soon as it's done!

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    Name in Credits and On Our Website

    Thank you for your generous donation!

    We want to permanently attach your name to this project and celebrate you for choosing to contribute to the preservation of Arkansas's history.

    You name will appear in the credits of our finished film. Your name will also appear permanently on the donor page of our website daughterofthewhiteriver.com

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    Cameo in the Film!

    Thank you for being a part of this living history we are working to share.

    To really let you know we mean thank you, we want to invite you to join us on a future production day as in extra in the film!

    *transportation to set is not included*

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    Signed Copy of the Book

    Hey thanks for supporting the preservation of Arkansas History! By doing so, you are joining the ranks of our incredible co-creator, historian, and author Denise Parkinson.

    The research done by Denise to write the book, Daughter of the White River, has been our guiding force in producing the documentary by the same title.

    You will receive your very own signed copy of her book!

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    Studio Session With Photographer

    You are AMAZING! We can't preserve this story without supporters like you.

    We want to give you the opportunity to spend some time in a studio setting. Your donation earns you a 2 hour session with a film professional.

    You get to choose how you spend your session:
    1) A photo shoot of you (plus one friend)
    2) A beginner's lesson to lighting and shooting photo/video in a studio

    *transportation to the studio is not included*

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    Associate Producer Credit

    Thank you! You are a true patron of Arkansas History and Culture.

    Your name will appear on the credits of our film.
    Your photo and bio will appear on the donor page of our website.
    You will receive your very own copy of the movie poster.

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    Private Fly Fishing Lesson

    Thanks for caring about Arkansas History!

    Our story takes place on and around the White River in Arkansas. The White River happens to be a world famous trout fishery, and one of the film's producers happens to be a professional fly fishing guide.

    A donation at this level will secure you a private, guided fly fishing lesson with the producer. You'll be accompanied on the river by the film's director. (He will also be your personal photographer for the day).

    *for non-locals, transportation to Arkansas is not included*

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    Executive Producer Credit

    Congratulations! You are a movie-maker and a patron of Arkansas history and culture.

    You name will appear in the opening credits of the film.
    Your name will appear on the movie poster.
    Your photo and bio will appear on the donor page of our website.
    You will receive your very own copy of the movie poster.

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