About this project
Our initial title "Inventing the Messiah" was criticized by some Christians. Based on your feedback we have now changed it to:
"THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO HISTORY: The Strange&True Story Of Early Christianity"
The biggest story ever told will now be told on film for the first time without the layers of endearing mythology that you grew up with... praise the Lord!
Whether you're a Christian, atheist, agnostic, pastafarian, or something else, you will probably agree with us that the tale of the rise of Christianity is one of the most amazing in all of history. How did a fringe, desert, Jewish cult, whose founder ended up being executed by the authorities because he was accused of being a terrorist, manage to take over the Roman Empire?
We all know the version we learned in Sunday School but how closely does that map to what actual historians believe today? As it turns out - not closely at all!
Australian history nerd Cameron Reilly is going to take us on a dynamic, take-no-prisoners exploration of history's most elusive figure: Yeshua Ben Yosef aka Jesus the Christ aka that invisible guy who watches you masturbate (yes, I'm looking at you... and so is he). Armed with his trademark laconic delivery and dogged adherence to historical authenticity, Reilly explores the most common assumptions about the Son of God and his early followers, accompanied by interviews with Biblical academics and scholars from around the world. Fleshed out with dodgy animations and heavily fake-bearded re-enactments, he traces Christianity's journey from ridiculed minor desert cult to major worldwide religion and political power player.
Why "Inventing The Messiah"?
Well, for a start, that's only our working title. But we think it sums up what we find most fascinating about the Jesus story. The entire idea of a messiah for the Gentiles had never existed before the first century. And from what we know from the New Testament, it certainly wasn't Jesus' idea. He never directly claims to be a messiah at all, especially for the Gentiles. He was a Jew and the messiah was a Jewish idea of the promised 'anointed' king of the Jews - nothing to do with being the 'Son of God'. So where did this idea of a messiah for the Gentiles come from? That's part of the story we will investigate.
THE BUDGET AND STRETCH GOALS:
We have secured $20,000 in private funds and in order to get the production to a minimum level, we need another $30,000, our Kickstarter goal. After fees this is a total budget of $47,500 which will be spent on:
- 27% Production costs (crew, gear)
- 25% Editing (the cutting room)
- 21% Animation
- 15% Stock Footage (see trailer as a reference)
- 7% Music license + sound mix
- 4% Other costs (insurance, permits, travel)
- 0% Overseas Production
With a higher budget we will be able to increase the quality of the final documentary. Here are our stretch goals.
- $50,000 - Fly Cameron around the world to interview the biblical scholars in person instead of remote interview.
- $60,000 - We'll be able to increase our production values by interviewing more academics and better animation.
Cameron Reilly: History Buff, Host and Writer
- known for groundbreaking podcast series on Napoleon, Alexander, Julius and Augustus Caesar and the Cold War
- popular with a huge base of history fans all over the world
- podcasts have been downloaded millions of times
- researched ancient history for decades
Sam Toy: Director, Co-Writer, Editor
- Award-winning Australian independent filmmaker and journalist
- 20 years experience making commercial and creative audiovisual productions
- will direct and edit this documentary
- has a very impressive neckbeard
Torsten Hoffmann: Producer and Distributor
- Distribution expert with international clients including Netflix, Discovery, NatGeo, NBCUniversal
- Several documentary (co-) productions
- Kickstarted, wrote, co-directed and produced this Bitcoin documentary which became a viral hit in 2015 and won four international awards
- Share a nickname with "The Hoff"
Risks and challenges
Financial Risk: If this Kickstarter project does not reach the goal, we will still finish making the film, albeit with a much smaller budget and with lower production quality (YouTube anyone).
Timing Risk: As with many film projects, it is possible that production or post-production will be delayed (mostly due to insufficient funding or suppliers such as animation or music). A later release date would be a set back but wouldn't be the end of the world (Armagaddon)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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