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Fund a documentary about one of the rarest insects in the world told through the words of experts and catchy musical numbers!
Fund a documentary about one of the rarest insects in the world told through the words of experts and catchy musical numbers!
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152 backers pledged $3,381 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$3,381

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I'm looking for your help to complete a 15-20 minute documentary called Meet the Beetle. It tells the story of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle; one of the rarest insects in the world. They only live within the city limits of Lincoln, Nebraska and at last count there were about 200 of them left. I first heard about the beetle when I was passing through Lincoln last year and I couldn't get the story out of my head. This past summer I went back to Lincoln during the few weeks a year that the beetles spend above ground to see them for myself and talk with entomologists, journalists, Fish and Wildlife employees, and even developers who've been building on the beetle's habitat.

It's a fascinating story that became more and more complicated with each new person I talked to. What will happen if the tiny beetle goes extinct? Does the beetle serve a purpose? What does it really mean when an animal gets on the endangered species list? How do you find the balance between development and conservation? These are some of the questions I try to answer in the film. Or at least in half the film. There's still a portion of the movie I want to shoot and this is where it gets a little wacky. While the beetle is pretty cool to watch it's not quite as compelling as say, a lion chasing a zebra on the African savanna, so I've come up with additional way to illustrate the beetle. I'm going to stage an elementary school pageant - sort of how they might do a Christmas or US history pageant - this pageant would be about the life cycle, trials, and tribulations of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle complete with kids, homemade beetle costumes, and even musical numbers. I think the pageant will make an engaging companion to the more traditional interviews in the film. I also think it might make the paperclip-sized beetle a little more relatable and memorable.

I don't have any of the pageant to show you yet, but I have worked with kids and musical numbers before. For the past few years I've been running the film-making area at Willowbrook - a summer arts camp outside of Portland - and for the past two years we've written and produced epic musicals chronicling a day at camp. You can check out the latest installment here: http://vimeo.com/16608629

All the funds I raise will go towards the production of the pageant which would include building sets and costumes, paying musicians, rental fees, and buying snacks and treats to keep all those kids occupied. Additionally, the money will go towards entry fees for film festivals. I'll film the pageant portion of the film in April, finish editing in May/June, and have the film ready to send out to festivals in early summer.

Thanks for visiting this page and I hope you'll get in touch if you have any questions. I appreciate your support!

Some additional links:

Read more about the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle: http://drshigley.com/lgh/sctb/

Read a recent article about some of my projects, including this documentary: http://www.oregonlive.com/movies/index.ssf/2010/08/boaz_frankel_un-roadtrips_his.html

Visit the Fish and Wildlife Service's page about the beetle: http://www.fws.gov/mountain-prairie/species/invertebrates/saltcreektiger/

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    A high five from me! In person if I see you, but virtual if you're too far away. And I am a Guinness World Record Holder for high-fiving (seriously) so it's sort of a big deal.

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    13 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A wallet-sized photo of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle along with a personal note.

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    15 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A 5" x 7" photo of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, online access to watch "Meet the Beetle," and a personal note.

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    23 backers
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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    A DVD copy of "Meet the Beetle" and a personal note.

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    25 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    An original 7" x 10" block print of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, online access to watch "Meet the Beetle," and a personal note. See a photo of the block print here: http://tinyurl.com/beetleblockprint

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    23 backers
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    An original 7" x 10" block print of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle, online access to watch "Meet the Beetle," a DVD copy of the film, and a personal note.

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    13 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Everything in the above category plus a 5" x 7" photo of the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle and an invitation to a VIP screening of the film in Portland, OR.

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    10 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above plus a copy of the soundtrack and your name in the credits as a member of the 'Tiger Beetle Army.'

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    5 backers
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    All of the above plus a cameo appearance in the pageant portion of the movie (as long as you can get to Portland, OR).

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    Limited 0 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Everything in the $100 level plus we'll include your name in a song that runs over the credits of the film.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Everything in the $100 level plus I'll make you a 2 - 3 minute video about any subject you want! I'm happy to shoot something in the Portland, OR area or you can send me footage/photos if you're far away. I'll put in up to 15 hours of work on this project. Any additional time or production costs will have to be negotiated. Shoot me a message if you have any questions!

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Funding period

- (35 days)