Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
A multi-part documentary series chronicling the complete evolution of storm chasing culture told by storm chasers from every decade.
A multi-part documentary series chronicling the complete evolution of storm chasing culture told by storm chasers from every decade.
115 backers pledged $10,200 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

Storm Chasing: The Anthology project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$10,200

115

STRETCH GOAL!
STRETCH GOAL!

Storm chasing has become a widespread activity involving amateur weather observers, photographers, and meteorologists. A vast history exists with humble roots, personal adventure, scientific achievement, and tragedy.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

Beginning with one individual in 1956, and expanding to thousands by 2014, the culture fosters a fascination with extremes in atmospheric conditions. This project aspires to produce a visual anthology documenting the past six decades of storm chasing culture by preserving the stories, imagery, science, and art of its many unique participants. The story concept will examine how storm chasing grew from relative obscurity, to the phenomenon it has become today. A visual history lesson will be the result, presented as accurately as possible.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

To accomplish this project, an estimated budget has been developed that will ensure a responsible and thorough job. This Kickstarter campaign has been initiated to raise funds specifically for travel and remaining production costs to gather the missing elements to the film (the interviews), and begin post-production editing. The estimated cost to fund travel, collection of interviews, and production of a video series is $7,000.00. 

Sitting among a sampling of pre-recorded material.
Sitting among a sampling of pre-recorded material.

Ninety percent of the production has already been shot over the last ten years, coupled with content contributed by other storm chasers and meteorologists dating back to 1956.

 project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

 This link details specific funding categories to cover travel and production expenses over the course of one year (equipment, travel, accommodations, and production/studio time). This includes a three-to-five week travel period throughout the United States to conduct personal interviews with storm chasers, many of whom were active during the early years of storm chasing.

Seeking a loaned vehicle.
Seeking a loaned vehicle.

Travel funds raised during this campaign would also go towards a loaned or rented vehicle for the designated travel period.

Utilizing current technologies related to my career in photojournalism, I would operate as an independent contractor to bring this documentary series to life. The complexity of this project requires a change in my full-time employment status to that of an independent contractor to cover living expenses for the duration of the project. To accomplish this, the variety of assignments would include/but are not limited to freelance photography, videography, web design, and written works through a host of online outlets and other regional clients.

Blake Naftel, Filmmaker.
Blake Naftel, Filmmaker.

My name is Blake Naftel. I’m a visual journalist with a love for filmmaking coupled with a seventeen-year background in documenting extreme weather. This project began in 2003 as part of a lifelong passion for severe weather and continues to inspire me, especially in light of the tragic loss of three accomplished storm chasers in 2013. Professionally, I have worked in the broadcast media industry as a photojournalist, reporter, weather producer, radio host, editor, and technician since 1998. I hold a Bachelor’s of Science in Geography and Communications from Western Michigan University. A West Michigan native, I presently reside in Grand Rapids. 

PUBLIC RELEASE

I anticipate completing the anthology series by October 2015. Ideally, a premiere held at a location closely tied to the storm chasing and meteorological community would be preferred, but not mandatory. Showcasing this on a platform such as IFC (Independent Film Channel), PBS, or similar online streaming venues would be the preferred route of release. This series would also be provided to libraries and academic institutions across the United States. In time, a condensed version of the series would be entered into various national and international film festivals. DVD and BluRay discs, combined with digital downloads of the completed series would be available to backers, and eventually, for sale to the general public. As this project includes vast amounts of original copyrighted content from storm chasers and meteorologists, usage rights would be secured before public sale or release. 

LONG-TERM GOAL 

Upon successful completion of the six-part storm chasing anthology and its publicity, I anticipate widespread interest in this documentary, coupled with a strong presence by storm-chasing enthusiasts through this website. This exposure through various media will serve as the foundation and catalyst toward development of a permanent, ever-evolving “cloud” archive for the preservation of historical severe-weather and storm-chase multimedia (i.e., slides, photographs, motion picture film, videotape and digital imagery). Ideally, this archive may eventually be housed within a centralized hub, possibly at a university located in “Tornado Alley” in the central United States. The archive would be universally accessible, at little or no cost, for research, educational, and non-profit purposes. Over time, its operations and maintenance could become self-sustaining, through nominal subscription-based and/or “pay per view” user fees assessed to other “for-profit” interests.

Blake Naftel documents a tornado north of Sooner Lake, OK on 26-May-2004. Photo courtesy: William T. Reid
Blake Naftel documents a tornado north of Sooner Lake, OK on 26-May-2004. Photo courtesy: William T. Reid

Please visit the website stormchasinghistory.net for further details and updates as this project evolves. 

Thank you to everyone for your support, encouragement, and interest!

Risks and challenges

For the moment this is a vast independent effort, operating with the collaboration of numerous individuals within the storm chasing and meteorological community. Upon successful funding for the travel and production of this project, a confirmed schedule will be put into place for meeting with the intended interviewees at set points throughout the East, Southeast, Plains, Southwest, and Midwest United States between late August through early October 2014. Schedules of course change, family & health issues arise, and I am prepared to adjust the travel route if need be. Fortunately, those interested in being interviewed have been in direct contact with me over the past several months, and are ready for this phase of the project to begin.

The key risk in going forward with this project is maintaining consistent income upon my return and during the key period of post production editing over the the later part of 2014 through early 2015. I am securing work connections currently and remain positive that by the time all shoots associated with production are complete, I will have opportunities established that can keep me a float as I edit the film.

Another hurdle is the vehicle necessary for traveling to obtain the interviews. I have a personal vehicle, but it's shared. I welcome any offers, or would likely allocate a portion of raised funds to the rental of a vehicle for three-to-five weeks.

Extensive travel of course requires proper rest. While I am not opposed to occasionally sleeping in a vehicle, a budget has been calculated for lodging at efficient hotels and motels. On the flip side, many individuals have graciously offered to host a night at their homes while visiting the areas highlighted during the interview process. Thank you to everyone offering a bedroom, couch, or floor as accommodations!

Aside from the standard risks that come with travel (vehicle mechanical problems, flat tires, accidents, theft), I do not anticipate any massive issues for this phase of the project.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A thank you for contributing to the preservation of storm chasing history!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A thank you, coupled with a personalized mention of appreciation on the stormchasinghistory.net news section.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A video update tailored to those pledging this amount that will appear on the website, combined with a thank you, and note of appreciation on the stormchasinghistory.net news section.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    In case you want to back slightly more, similar to the previous level: a video update tailored to those backing this amount that will appear on the website, combined with an a thank you, and note of appreciation on the stormchasinghistory.net news section.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An early cut and digital download of part one of the storm chasing anthology (1956-1966), combined with a tailored video message, a personalized thank you, and mention on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    9 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    An early cut of the first two sections of the documentary (1956-1966, 1967-1977) to see how progress is being made, combined with a tailored video message, a personalized thank you, and mention on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    15 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Original photo or digital print of your choosing (examples to be provided online), early cut of the first two sections of the documentary (1956-1966, 1967-1977) to see how progress is being made, combined with a tailored video message, a personalized thank you, and mention on the website

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Original photo print of your choosing (examples to be provided online), early cut of the first two sections of the documentary (1956-1966, 1967-1977) to see how progress is being made, combined with a tailored video message, a personalized thank you, and mention on the website

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the completed storm chasing anthology, combined with a digital download of the early first mini-cut version of the storm chasing anthology (1956-1966), online thank you video, and mention of appreciation on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    22 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    Digital download and hard copy DVD or BluRay of the completed storm chasing anthology, coupled with a special thank you mention within the documentary credits, personalized thank you message, original photographic storm/chaser prints associated with the project (shot by Blake Naftel), and mention on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Digital download and hard copy DVD or BluRay of the completed storm chasing anthology, coupled with a special thank you mention within the documentary credits, personalized thank you message, and mention on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Digital download and hard copy DVD or BluRay of the completed storm chasing anthology, a selection of original storm/chasing print (shot by Blake Naftel), coupled with a special thank you mention within the documentary credits, personalized thank you message, and mention on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  13. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    Invitation to the documentary premiere (time, date, and location to be determined), free digital download of full anthology, hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the full anthology, special thanks mention within the documentary credits, original photo prints (shot by Blake Naftel and others) used within the production, combined with a personalized thank you and mention on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Invitation to the documentary premiere (time, date, and location to be determined), free digital download of full anthology, hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the full anthology, special thanks mention within the documentary credits, combined with a personalized thank you and mention on the website.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    24 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Digital download of an extended version of the documentary, including rare interviews and material not intended for inclusion within the primary production. Combined with invitation to the premiere (time/date TBA), digital download and hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the anthology series, special thank you mention within the documentary, original photo prints (shot by Blake Naftel and others) used within the production, combined with a personal thank you message via e-mail on stormchasinghistory.net.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Digital download of an extended version of the documentary, including rare interviews and material not intended for inclusion within the primary production. Combined with invitation to the premiere (time/date TBA), digital download and hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the anthology series, special thank you mention within the documentary, original photo prints (shot by Blake Naftel and others) used within the production, combined with a personal thank you message via e-mail on stormchasinghistory.net.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  17. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Digital download of an extended version of the documentary, including rare interviews and material not intended for inclusion within the primary production. Combined with invitation to the premiere (time/date TBA), digital download and hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the anthology series, special thank you mention within the documentary, original photo or digital print (shot by Blake Naftel and others) used within the production, combined with a personal thank you message via e-mail on stormchasinghistory.net.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  18. Select this reward

    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Digital download of an extended version of the documentary, including rare interviews and material not intended for inclusion within the primary production. Combined with invitation to the premiere (time/date TBA), digital download and hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the anthology series, special thank you mention within the documentary, combined with a personal thank you message via e-mail on stormchasinghistory.net.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Dinner with the producer Blake Naftel, his family and friends (price of dinner/drinks unfortunately not included) following the premiere of the anthology (time/date/location to be determined), invitation and free tickets to the premiere, alternate version of the documentary combined with a signed DVD or BluRay copy of the full anthology (early copies would be available at the premiere), digital download of the full anthology, special thanks mention within the production credits, a thank-you phone call, e-mail, and mention on the website!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  20. Select this reward

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

    Aside from an immense thank you and a big hug -- Backers at this level would be incorporated (by choice) into the documentary via a sit-down interview. I would enjoy knowing your interest and presenting that aspect within the production. This would be factored into the production travel schedule if located within the United States. If outside of the USA, an online interview would be conducted. Combined with actual inclusion into the documentary, invitation to the premiere and dinner afterwards with family and friends (price of meals and drinks unfortunately not included - time/date/location to be determined), signed hard-copy DVD or BluRay of the finished anthology, limited edition alternate documentary cut, and all the previously mentioned bonuses for providing this level of funding!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (30 days)