For those who call it their home away from home, the village of Northeast Harbor has a magical attraction that has kept them coming back year after year for generations. From academics to ambassadors, clergymen to cabinet secretaries, many of America’s most prominent men and women have spent summers in the village. But Northeast Harbor is now threatened by its own success, with a shrinking year-round population and a downtown where most businesses are closed in the winter.
Summer Colony is the story of Northeast Harbor, a comprehensive history stretching from its humble eighteenth century origins as a fishing and farming community to its twenty-first century arrival as one of the wealthiest residential communities on the coast of Maine.
History of the documentary
Summer Colony began production in November 2004 when director Jeremy Lunt journeyed home for a weekend to conduct interviews and shoot location footage of the village as part of a class project. After that he continued to work on the project when time allowed, ultimately shooting over sixty hours of material and compiling hundreds of still photos. Although the filming itself may be complete, we need your help with the next steps necessary to complete the film's almost decade long journey.
What will your donation cover?
Reaching our fundraising goal will enable the following:
- We will be able to clear the American home video rights to dozens of still photographs and five minutes of archival stock footage that is to be used in the final cut, as well as numerous music tracks.
- We will be able to pay for the recording and mixing of several voice actors who will be reading from historical texts.
- We will be able to secure the use of proprietary software needed for the nitty-gritty details of finishing the documentary. These include completing the soundtrack mix, correcting problems with archive footage and photographs and creating the menus and special features for the DVD release.
- We will be able to manufacture 500-1000 copies of the finished DVD.
- We will also be able to create special archive copies of the documentary on digital and tape formats (necessary for long-term preservation) and secure their storage at a climate-controlled archive facility.
What if we exceed our goal?
The $6500 goal is the bare minimum needed to finish the documentary, put it out onto DVD and get all the other prizes into the hands of everyone who has contributed to the project. If we exceed our fundraising goal, the excess funds will be used to bring Summer Colony to an even wider audience by clearing the rights for alternate forms of distribution, and for distribution in additional territories.
When work began on the film in 2004, we anticipated that the primary method of distribution would be DVD, and even all these years later we believe that DVD is still the way that most viewers would prefer to experience our project. Because of this, when it comes to licensing visual and audio material for use in the film, our first priority is to clear the rights to that material for DVD release in the United States of America, and to avoid the expense of licensing additional rights (like television, theatrical or Internet) in this and in other countries.
If we exceed our fundraising goal, however, our first priority will be to clear rights needed to make Summer Colony available for American theatrical screenings, television exhibition and Internet download. After that we will use any remaining funds to bring the film to a worldwide audience!
What will the Summer Colony DVD include?
The DVD will include all of the following:
- Audio commentary with director Jeremy Lunt
- Interview excerpt audio commentary, featuring unused audio from various interviews recorded for the film
- Mount Desert Memories, an eighteen-minute compilation of Mount Desert Island home movies from the 60's and 70's, set to music
- Hidden "Easter Egg" special features
The documentary will also feature optional English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired.
Risks and challenges
Work on this project began in November of 2004, and the past eight and a half years have seen no shortage of delays. We've had technical problems, creative disputes, scheduling issues and a whole array of other difficulties. That being said, we are fortunate in that those particular problems have been solved and the documentary now exists in a relatively complete form.
There are however a number of areas where more delays are possible. Especially when you are dealing with outside parties, the companies and institutions that we need to work with for photograph, music and footage rights, you will typically find yourself hostage to their work schedule instead of yours. In addition to that, it has been our experience with this and other projects that the devil is usually in the technical details. Time consuming problems will likely arise in the mixing of the soundtrack, the insertion of the licensed stock footage, the final color grading, the design and programming of the DVD menus or the transcribing and synching of the disc's subtitles. These are all areas where the work is extremely detail-oriented, where small errors are common, and where those small errors have the power to compound themselves into very noticeable problems.
Extra time is often necessary to tease out these problems, to find and correct them before any public release or exhibition occurs. For that reason, we have very deliberately built two to three weeks of extra time into each remaining phase of the project. For the final editorial work, we have scheduled two extra weeks more than are probably needed. For the programming of the DVD we have allotted three extra weeks more than are likely to be needed, and for the manufacture of the discs and the other prizes we have allotted another two weeks more than are probably required. The expected November delivery date takes all of these extra weeks into account. We can't guarantee that we will have everything ready by then, but we can promise that we have planned very thoroughly for all the likely issues that are going to come up between now and the end of the project.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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