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A look into the intersecting lives of ordinary people that form the extraordinary community of Knife River, Minnesota.
111 backers pledged $11,080 to help bring this project to life.

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$11,080

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We did it, friends. Crowdfunding is built on the collective belief in a project by people who join together to bring it to life. Your belief in us and our project warms our hearts more than you know. We appreciate you all. 

We now move to the next level: STRETCH GOALS.

POST-PRODUCTION SOUND MIXING

$12,500 will allow us to have our documentary professionally mixed. Sound is an integral facet of filmmaking. Creating a rich, full atmosphere featuring the sounds from the north is essential for the film.

COLOR CORRECTION AND GRADING:

$15,000 will allow us to hire a professional colorist. Color brings mood and emotion into being. Working within the confines of documentary, color can enhance the natural environment. This detail is key, as we'll be blending multiple mediums in the final edit - Digital, Super 8, and 16mm. 

• • •

Knife River offers a look into the intersecting lives of the ordinary people that form an extraordinary community. The unincorporated village of Knife River is home to fewer than 300 residents, each weaving their own compelling backstory into the tapestry that makes up this self-governing town. The documentary explores a year in the community, its rich history, and the unique lives of those who reside there.

OUR TRAILER / PROOF OF CONCEPT PIECE 

OUR TEAM

Justin Christopher Ayd (Director/Producer) is a Minneapolis-based documentary filmmaker who is currently the film specialist/projectionist for the Walker Art Center and assists with 70mm exclusives at Emagine Willow Creek. His first short “The Man in the Booth”, about the end of 35mm film projection, premiered on Twin Cities PBS in 2015, and his second, “Grandpa Ben”, premiered at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival in 2018. In addition to a handful of narratives and documentaries, he has worked on various video projects for local political campaigns and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Jennifer Lillemo Ayd (Producer) is a writer, artist, and producer. Her film experience includes work both in front of and behind the camera. She’s served as a Supervising Producer on all of Justin’s major productions, beginning with the narrative feature "Enola" in 2006. In 2016, she co-produced a short-subject documentary for the Fundación de Sobrevivientes de Tráfico Humano, a non-profit located in Santa Ana, CA, dedicated to providing resources to survivors of human trafficking. The short-subject documentary “Grandpa Ben” focused on her maternal grandfather and his storied life; the film premiered at the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival in 2018.

Mike Scholtz (Producer) is a Duluth-based documentary filmmaker. His first feature-length film was "Wild Bill's Run", a documentary about the charismatic leader of a snowmobiling expedition to Moscow during the height of the Cold War. He also produced the competitive jigsaw puzzling documentary "Wicker Kittens", which premiered at SXSW in 2014. Scholtz is one of the founders of the Free Range Film Festival, an annual celebration of independent cinema that takes place in a 100-year-old barn outside of Wrenshall, Minnesota. His most recent film, “Riplist”, will premiere at the Fargo Film Festival in March.

Miranda Langevin (Cinematographer - 16mm) is a photographer and DP based out of Minneapolis, MN. She has worked on a number of narrative films, commercials, and TV shows both within the state and around the world, on a variety of mediums including 16mm and 35mm motion picture film.

Johnathon Olsen (Editor) is a filmmaker and commercial editor based in Milwaukee. His debut feature film "waltz" premiered at the Wisconsin Film Festival in 2009. Since then he has split his time between his own films and collaborations with others on projects that have screened around the country.

WHERE IS MY DONATION GOING?

A large portion of our second campaign is focused on shooting more 16mm motion picture film.  Filmmakers are constantly on the lookout for the tools that will best convey their story and give them the best results. Digital filmmaking offers a slew of tools, from different camera bodies to nearly a limitless assortment of lenses; but, the quality of 16mm motion picture film speaks to us as filmmakers and, ultimately, the character of the documentary. With this bold artistic decision come considerable expenses - renting the camera and lenses (pictured), paying our new cinematographer Miranda Langevin, and purchasing the large package of 16mm film, along with its cleaning, processing and digital scanning. 

STRETCH GOALS:

POST-PRODUCTION SOUND MIXING

$12,500 will allow us to have our documentary professionally mixed. Sound is an integral facet of filmmaking. Creating a rich, full atmosphere featuring the sounds from the north is essential for the film.

COLOR CORRECTION AND GRADING:

$15,000 will allow us to hire a professional colorist. Color brings mood and emotion into being. Working within the confines of documentary, color can enhance the natural environment. This detail is key, as we'll be blending multiple mediums in the final edit - Digital, Super 8, and 16mm. Below is an example of a Super 8 color negative, its 2K LOG scan, and its final grading. 

EXAMPLES OF OUR PERKS:

Oh, Fer Nice - Handwritten 'Thank You' note on a postcard sourced from Northern Minnesota.
Oh, Fer Nice - Handwritten 'Thank You' note on a postcard sourced from Northern Minnesota.
Minnesota Nice - Handmade wooden Minnesota magnet decor by Justin's brother and woodworker Corey Ayd.
Minnesota Nice - Handmade wooden Minnesota magnet decor by Justin's brother and woodworker Corey Ayd.
Uffda! A box of delicious confections, hand-picked by Jennifer and Justin from Great Lakes Candy Kitchen, located in Knife River.
Uffda! A box of delicious confections, hand-picked by Jennifer and Justin from Great Lakes Candy Kitchen, located in Knife River.

STAY CONNECTED:


YOUR SUPPORT IS KEY:

Kickstarter is all or nothing. If we ultimately receive $9,999 of the $10,000 we need, we won't see any funds. We can't do this alone. Your support is key to our success. What do you say?


Risks and challenges

Documentaries can sometimes change shape as they unfold--already, this project has grown to be so much more than what we had initially anticipated. Our ultimate goal is to have this completed by the fall of 2020, for a 2021 premiere, however, with so many individual moving parts, there's always the possibility that the timeline may change.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Skol!

    Shout out on all our social media platforms - FB, IG and Twitter.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
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    Oh Fer Nice!

    Handwritten 'Thank You' note on a postcard sourced from Northern Minnesota.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
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    23 backers
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    Pledge US$ 35 or more About US$ 35

    Hotdish!

    A hand-written recipe of our mom's favorite uniquely Minnesotan hot-dish - spices not recommended. Recipe card standard size 3" x 5".

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
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    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    Oh, Gosh!

    Digitally Streaming Screener of “Knife River”, once completed.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
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    14 backers
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    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    The Moving Picture Show, Dontcha Know!

    16mm metal film reels. Functions as originally intended or great for wall decor.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
    • Streaming Screener of “Knife River”, once completed (April 2021)
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    Aww, Shucks!

    Digital Download or DVD of “Knife River” once completed

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
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    11 backers
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    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    The Magic of Movies!

    We've happily partnered with Emagine Entertainment to bring you our latest crowdfunding perk. Pledging $100 gets you one $50 gift card, good at any Emagine location (MN, MI, IL, WI).

    For ten years Justin ran countless mainstream new releases on 35mm film at Willow Creek (once owned by Muller, now Emagine) and to this day assists with 70mm exclusives. Emagine has extended us a truly generous. This is dedicated to all you movie lovers out there. Whether you're looking for an escape from reality, an opportunity to showcase your unique laughter in a packed auditorium, or searching for motivation to bring about change to our world, there's a movie for everyone.

    Includes:
    • Shout out on Social Media
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
    • Streaming Screener of “Knife River”, once completed (April 2021)
    • A hand-written recipe of our mom's favorite hot-dish.
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 8 backers
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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About US$ 150

    Minnesota Nice

    Handmade wooden Minnesota magnet decor by my brother and woodworker Corey Ayd.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
    • Digital Download or DVD of “Knife River” once completed
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    Ships to Only United States
    Limited 6 backers
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    Pledge US$ 250 or more About US$ 250

    Uffda!

    A box of delicious confections, hand-picked by Jennifer and Justin from Great Lakes Candy Kitchen,

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
    • Digital Download or DVD of “Knife River” once completed
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    Ships to Only United States
    0 backers
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  10. Reward no longer available

    Pledge US$ 350 or more About US$ 350

    Troll Hunter

    Patricia Canelake, third generation chocolate shop owner, artist and resident of Knife River, has so kindly offered us two original works as crowdfunding perks. Specifically hand crafted for the Julebyen (a centuries old Scandinavian and German Christmas celebration, held annually in Knife River) these adorable tricksters each stand 24" tall, and are in need of a good home. Preferably a cavern or underground tunnel, but a nicely wooded backyard will do.

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
    • Shout out on Social Media
    • Digital Download or DVD of “Knife River” once completed
    • A hand-written recipe of our mom's favorite hot-dish.
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    Ships to Only United States
    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge US$ 500 or more About US$ 500

    Duck, Duck, Grey Duck

    Attend a private pre-release screening in Duluth with Knife River residents (transportation and lodging not included)

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
    • Digital Download or DVD of “Knife River” once completed
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    2 backers
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    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    Oh, Yah!

    Dinner with Justin, Jennifer and Mike before attending the private pre-release screening in Duluth with Knife River locals (transportation and lodging not included).

    Includes:
    • Special Thanks in the film credits and on IMDb
    • Digital Download or DVD of “Knife River” once completed
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    0 backers
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    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About US$ 2,500

    Executive Producer

    Dinner with Justin, Jennifer and Mike before attending the private pre-release screening in Duluth with Knife River locals. Lodging for two (2) provided for two (2) nights in Duluth (transportation not included).

    Includes:
    • Digital Download or DVD of “Knife River” once completed
    • Executive Producer billing in the film credits and on iMDB
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Funding period

- (30 days)