First off, we want to let you know that we launched this campaign after investing hundreds of hours and over $140,000 of our own money in this project. This is not an idea, a notion, a promo, a sizzle, or a concept. HistoriVision has teamed up with Frank Gugliuzzi (Find Makarov, Escape from City 17) and Jacky Wan (Find Makarov, Operation Kingfish) to craft a prototype of a high engagement short film that fuses live action footage and leading edge VFX in epic visual style. We need your help to finish this kick-ass, hard-hitting, edge-of-your-seat film that dramatizes the desperate mission to rescue the US Ambassador and other US government personnel suddenly attacked and trapped by terrorists on the night of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi, Libya.
Siege at Benghazi
What started as an emergency evacuation turned into an all night gunfight resulting in the deaths of two former Navy SEALs - Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty - genuine heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice when they were hit by mortar fire - just minutes before reinforcements arrived and the all night ordeal ended. This film commemorates the actions of the CIA GRS operators who rushed into a full blown firefight outmanned and outgunned, as well as the DSS protective specialists who joined them in fighting off a coordinated siege until morning arrived.
This is the first short film in a proposed series entitled Amazing Ops which will feature awe-inspiring stories of extraordinary valor that are all too often under-reported or overshadowed by politics. Amazing Ops focuses its lens squarely on the actions of the elite operators who carry out astonishing missions --- in fact, we consider it our mission to faithfully represent the skill and bravery of these real life superheroes - those who gave their lives, those who made it out alive, and those whose identities must remain unknown - but whose stories demand to be told with credibility, reliability and authenticity.
This is just the beginning ...
These amazing stories are also difficult, if not impossible to depict in the subculture occu-drama format that currently prevails on network television - it's not as if you can drop a film crew into a 30,000 foot HALO jump to have them follow the action with a team of Navy SEALs as they maneuver in for the kill shot! But with this combination of an intense first person shooter visual style and invaluable script and on-set consulting rendering a highly engaging dramatization of events, we envision (and are currently pitching) an Amazing Ops television series that combines these immersive recreations with hard hitting insights from former special forces operators supported by a team of experienced military and intelligence experts who color in and outside the story lines of these amazing operations. The proposed Amazing Ops television series will reveal the mindset, skillset and character of modern day elite warriors who have seen their roles change from being force multipliers to becoming the centerpiece of 21st century military strategies around the globe.
A highly innovative Amazing Ops video game is also in development that places the first person shooter in true life scenarios, identifying combat aptitude that can be scored and measured to assess each game player's innate instincts to become an elite special forces operator.
It's inescapable that the events we plan to chronicle in Amazing Ops will often play a pivotal role across the world chessboard and become entangled in the agendas of politicians and pundits and the strategies of nations and multi-national corporations. But Amazing Ops aims to cut through the chaff to reveal these stories from the eye of the operator and the heart of the warrior - beginning with this first riveting account of how a small team of CIA special operators stopped a slaughter of American personnel from happening just a few short months ago in Benghazi, Libya.
The creative team includes principals from HistoriVision, Whipsnap Films and Thoughtform Digital.
Rich Ware - Creator, Writer, Executive Producer
Jeff Hix - Creator, Writer, Executive Producer
Frank Gugliuzzi - Director, Writer, Producer
Jacky Wan - Director, Visual Effects Supervisor
To achieve authenticity and credibility, consulting and technical support for Amazing Ops is being provided by a dedicated team of former special forces operators and high level intelligence officers, including former special operators playing key on-screen roles.
After successfully completing a round of project specific internal funding, HistoriVision began production on Siege at Benghazi in late December 2012 by completing 5 nights of shooting in San Diego California with RED Epic and HD POV cameras and capturing the majority of the film's live action sequences.
Now we need your help to finish this film by funding at least 2-3 pickup days to shoot the rest of the live action sequences, complete the post production process we started with this teaser/trailer, finish out the rendering of visual effects such as background replacements, gunfire, smoke and explosions, matte paintings, satellite map overviews and CGI animations, and for orchestrating and layering in a high voltage soundtrack of immersive sound effects and chest pumping music.
If you want to see this film get finished, and if you want to become part of an innovative and highly impactful project that pays homage to some true heroes, then accept this mission, support this campaign, and let's get this done!
Risks and challenges
As it is with any creative project that involves multiple people, there are inherent risks in accomplishing the goal you set out to achieve, from keeping the project within budget to meeting production deadlines. Film-making is characteristically one of the riskier creative endeavors because of the number of people involved as well as the myriad of variables that can delay production and increase costs. In completing our initial phase of this project - the 5 day shoot in late December - we were forced to cancel days and move our schedule around due to weather (it was not raining in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/2012...), which led to conflicts with the availability of the talent on this project (actors often work on several projects at one time and can't always be at your mercy when you have to change your schedule at the last moment when it rains), and film and lighting crews are typically under contract to be paid for their time and equipment whether the conditions turn out to be favorable or not. We ended up missing several scenes we had hoped to include in this phase, and also had to sacrifice some elements that were too expensive to secure within the budget we had to work with. So we want to be clear - we certainly face these same risks and variables in the next phase of finishing out this project as well.
That being said, our production team brings a considerable amount of experience to the table in adjusting to these kinds of variables, staying on task, and finishing the job. And we are intentionally coming to Kickstarter to raise the funds needed to complete this film faithfully in line with latest breaking details of the action, and so we can avoid having to cut corners and compromise the integrity of this film to meet someone else's standards or deadlines. We hope you will be patient with us and understand if unforeseen variables arise that delay this project or force us over budget and put us in the position of having to raise even more funds to complete this project.
The primary challenge for us in making Siege at Benghazi has been balancing our standards for quality and authenticity with budget constraints and evolving reports of what actually happened that night. As might be expected in a sudden terrorist attack on foreign shores against several secretive government organizations engaged in sensitive activities, the fog of war was thick and many of the finer details of the action have remained cloaked in the shadows and subject to conflicting reports. Even now, late breaking news emerges to illuminate new details of the battle that have never been heard before and that further inform us on the scenes we will strive to capture in additional shooting days.
We felt it was incumbent upon us to get our feet wet before asking anyone else to dip their toe in, and this is why we made the decision to internally raise funds to invest in 5 days of shooting and complete a teaser/trailer that exhibited the unique visual style we are developing for this film and the series. We wanted to be able to exhibit this gritty, hyper-realistic gamer perspective that immerses the viewer in the explosive action through leading edge VFX graphics and adrenaline pumping soundtracks, and we wanted to understand what the costs and variables might be in being able to finish this film and produce this type of visual recreation on a consistent basis for additional films and a television series.
HOW WE WILL USE THESE FUNDS
So having gained a clearer understanding of the hard costs needed to finish the premium short film we envisioned, we have set the target for this campaign in line with our realistic budget to complete this project -- if we raise these funds, we will finish this film -- our goal is to release the Siege at Benghazi short film within 90-120 days from completing a successful Kickstarter campaign, and if we don't hit that goal, we have no intention of letting up until this film is in the can.
The Kickstarter campaign funds will be used to fund at least 2-3 pickup days to capture additional scenes and live action sequences; to complete the edit and entire post production process; to finish out the rendering of visual effects such as background replacements, smoke, gunfire and explosions, matte paintings, satellite overviews and CGI animations; and to orchestrate and layer in a high voltage and evocative soundtrack of immersive sound effects and chest pumping music.
But we also want to make sure we finish this project with the satisfaction of knowing we put everything we could into the project to achieve the highest standards of entertainment and authenticity and to honor the men who carried out the mission, which is why we stacked the deck in our rewards column to give the Amazing Ops community and all who want to support this project some extra incentives to help us blow right past our goal!
Additional funds raised above and beyond our funding target will go toward the following in the order listed:
(1) acquiring additional and more representative replica weapons, gear, and equipment,
(2) shooting as many pickup days as needed to fine-tune the live action sequences and capture key additional scenes and POV sequences, including more pyrotechnics, more stunt work, and new scenes that reflect latest breaking details of the action,
(3) engaging former special forces consultants and intelligence officers to continue to provide on-set consulting, and play the parts of the operators,
(4) establishing a "leave no scene behind" credo to allow our VFX wizards to apply their magic to every frame of the finished film, and
(5) beginning the writing and storyboarding process for the next Amazing Ops film.
So please check out our amazing rewards, and thank you for supporting our project to help make this important episode in recent history come alive!!! Please feel free to contact us through the link on this page for more details about our rewards and/or any questions about this project, and we hope you'll continue to visit this page for updates on the campaign as it progresses and stay in touch with us as we unveil more Amazing Ops films and many other exciting projects to come!
No. We believe the real story behind the Siege at Benghazi is the unwavering courage and bravery of Ty Woods, Glen Doherty and the other CIA and State Department officers that pulled off this Amazing Op, successfully rescuing up to 30 American personnel who came under fire by holding off a series of coordinated attacks throughout the night of 9/11/2012. We recognize the current political debate is an important one for understanding the actions (or non-actions) of our leaders in government and holding them properly accountable, and it is also important for establishing State Department and CIA policies going forward to ensure the safety of our diplomatic personnel performing important missions in complicated and dangerous regions around the world. We understand that a great many people will likely want to see a film that depicts these events as a tragedy that could have been avoided, placing blame on certain policies and/or figures in government for not foreseeing the attack and responding swiftly and appropriately. A great many others might also respond favorably to a film that depicts current government officials as responding appropriately, doing everything in their power to respond to a surprise attack in a particularly difficult and complex part of the world. Just like all the other Americans who care deeply about their country and government, we will be watching the congressional hearings and listening to all the credible voices of authority that offer perspectives and insights into how our elected and appointed officials acted and subsequently responded to the 9/11/2012 attack on the state department compound in Benghazi, Libya. But for us, this is not a story of tragedy rooted in blame. Amazing Ops: Siege at Benghazi is a story of heroism rooted in the character of men like Ty Woods and Glen Doherty that perform incredible feats of bravery day in and day out in the service of their country. We believe that they deserve to have their stories told as they would want them told, with those who knew them, trained with them, and operated with them on set and even acting in the key roles, providing the important details that help us understand who these heroes were and how they came to perform such extraordinary feats of bravery and sacrifice.
Congratulations! You are an official Amazing Ops: Siege at Benghazi backer, and will receive our internet newsletter with updates on our progress toward completing the film. You also have our eternal gratitude for helping to make this vision a reality and for helping to honor these genuine heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to save others.
Congratulations! You are an official Siege at Benghazi backer. Not only will you receive our internet newsletter, but you are also invited to join us for the exclusive online premiere of Amazing Ops: Siege at Benghazi which will feature live interviews with the producers and directors! The date for the online premiere will be determined at a later date and you will be notified.
Thank you for helping us finish this film! In gratitude for your support and in addition to the internet newsletter and invitation to the online premiere of the film, after the expiration of any exclusive distribution period for the finished film, we will send you a link to the complete Amazing Ops digital download package which includes the completed film, the soundtrack, and a behind-the-scenes video chronicling the adventure of trying to depict this important event in recent history on film!
Thank you for your help in reaching our goal! In addition to a link to the digital download package, the internet newsletter and an invitation to the online premiere of the film, supporters at this level will receive a limited edition DVD signed by the production team! (once sold out, DVD's will not be available again until the film is distributed)
Thank you for your commitment to helping us finish this ground breaking film! In addition to all of the items in the $50 reward package above, we will send you the exclusive inaugural AMAZING OPS T-SHIRT. While this item will be a standard merchandise item for the brand, this unique inaugural design will be produced exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign in limited quantity to become a rare collectible.
Thank you for your commitment to helping us finish this ground breaking film! In addition to all of the items in the $50 reward package above, we will send you the exclusive inaugural AMAZING OPS CAP. While this item will be a standard merchandise item for the brand, this unique inaugural design will be produced exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign in limited quantity to become a rare collectible.
Thank you for your commitment to helping us finish this ground breaking film! In addition to all of the items in the $50 reward package above, we will send you the exclusive inaugural AMAZING OPS DOGTAG. While this item will be a standard merchandise item for the brand, this unique inaugural design will be produced exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign in limited quantity to become a rare collectible.
Thank you for your commitment to helping us finish this ground breaking film! In addition to all of the items in the $50 reward package above, we will send you the exclusive inaugural AMAZING OPS MOVIE POSTER / LITHOGRAPH. This item will be signed by the production team and numbered, produced exclusively for this Kickstarter campaign in limited quantity to become a rare collectible.
Thank you for your commitment to helping us finish this ground breaking film! In addition to the items in the $50 reward package above, please choose two (2) of the 4 collectible items at the $100 level for us to send you in gratitude for your support! (Items available in limited quantities, so act fast to make sure we still have the collectibles you want!)
Thank you for your commitment to helping us finish this ground breaking film! In addition to the items in the $50 reward package above, please choose three (3) of the 4 collectible items at the $100 level for us to send you in gratitude for your support! (Items available in limited quantities, so act fast to make sure we still have the collectibles you want!)
Thank you for your commitment to helping us finish this ground breaking film! In gratitude for your support, we will send you all four (4) of the Amazing Ops collectible items at the $100 level in addition to the items in the $50 reward package above (Items available in limited quantities, so act fast to make sure we still have the collectibles you want!)
Thank you for your generous contribution in support of this project! In gratitude, we are going to send you the most exclusive of all the inaugural merchandise items we are producing - the AMAZING OPS BACKPACK. This is the "bathroom sink" backpack made popular by Denzel Washington in the movie "The Book of Eli". Featuring the Amazing Ops Logo, made of 600D nylon with a rubberized bottom and 23 liter capacity for fluids, this is the backpack of choice for survivalists and outdoor enthusiasts alike. Only a limited number of these Amazing Ops backpacks are being produced as rare collectibles to be given along with our sincerest gratitude to Kickstarter contributors who support this project at this level or higher. At this level, you will also receive all the items listed in the $50 reward package.
For the movie memorabilia buffs, the producers want to thank you for your generous contribution at this level by sending you one (1) of the original thirty (30) storyboard pages from the making of Siege at Benghazi - signed by the artist, directors and producers and mounted on a premium quality plaque. In addition, we would like to invite you to join the producers for either a 30 minute conference call to answer questions and discuss the project in detail, or to join us for the pickup days of shooting in San Diego in April/May/June (dates yet to be determined). (If you join us for filming, we will need you to sign a legal release releasing us and other involved parties from liability while on set.) At this level, you will receive all the rewards at the $50 level, and we will also send you one of the collectible Amazing Ops backpacks.
Congratulations! You have just become a Contributing Associate Producer on this project! Not only will your name be included in the credits of the film, we would like to invite you to either join the producers for a 30 minute conference call at your convenience to answer questions and discuss the project in detail, or to join us for the pickup days of shooting in San Diego in April/May/June (dates yet to be determined), or to join us in Los Angeles for an exclusive evening of drinks and dinner with the producers in June (date yet to be determined). If you join us for filming, we will need you to sign a legal release releasing us and other involved parties from liability on set. At this level, you will receive all the rewards at the $50 level, and we will send you one of the collectible Amazing Ops backpacks.
VIP Operator Adventure Package - First come, first serve! 5 spots available only at this reward level! See $10,000 reward level for more details (Adventure Only - This reward level does not include AOps merchandise)
VIP Operator Adventure Package - Train for a day like a Special Operator! Experience a day of evasive road driving and other tactics with a former Navy SEAL! Your jam packed, chest pounding thrill-ride of a day at your choice of one of 2 available training facilities, includes hands-on training under the instruction of former special operators, including a former Navy SEAL who is a consultant for Amazing Ops. You will be trained in evasive/high threat driving including executing J-turn's and slalom courses on high speed oval and irregular tracks, and learn other tactical skills depicted in the Siege at Benghazi to get an immersive feel for what special operators must do to keep their skills sharpened to a razor's edge. With a ratio of no more than 3 students per instructor, both facilities are fully licensed to provide this expert level training. Before being permitted to engage in the scheduled activities, we will need you to sign appropriate releases releasing us and other involved parties from liability and represent to us that you do not have any pre-existing medical conditions that would preclude you from participating in these activities, plus you would need to send us a computerized criminal history required by the training facility. While travel to and from the facilities, lodging and other incidental expenses are your responsibility, the training, the adrenaline rush - and lunch - are on us!
At this level, you will receive all the rewards at the $50 level, and we will also send you one of the collectible Amazing Ops backpacks.
VIP Skydiving Package - Sky-dive with former Navy SEALs! ... Your heart-stopping adrenaline rush of a day includes 3 tandem jumps with a former Navy SEAL who is a stunt consultant and key actor in this film, as well as others. Before being permitted to engage in the scheduled activity, we will need you to sign appropriate releases releasing us and other involved parties from liability and represent to us that you do not have any pre-existing medical conditions that would preclude you from participating in this activity. While transportation, lodging and other incidental expenses are your responsibility, the skydiving, adrenaline rushes and videos you take home with you of the experience are all on us!
At this level, you will receive all the rewards at the $50 level, and we will also send you one of the collectible Amazing Ops backpacks.