KICKING UP THE PAST (Canceled)
KICKING UP THE PAST (Canceled)
Film documentary by Emmy-nominated team. The art, science, and hard-work of genealogy. A journey to preserve family history.
Film documentary by Emmy-nominated team. The art, science, and hard-work of genealogy. A journey to preserve family history. Read more
About this project
Genealogy is a rewarding blend of hard work, art & science.
Kicking Up the Past
Popular history – by and large – consists of the stories of the rich and famous. Today, television and cable continue the neglect of mainstream historical accounts by highlighting the family origins and histories mainly of Hollywood celebrities – as if these could be the only interesting stories in our shared past. But history told through the lens of the rich and famous is often narrow and lacking in diversity and insight.
Thanks to all those who have pledged! We will continue to pursue success in our cause to create, as donor Mary Horton nicely commented: “… the kind of genealogy shows that we as genealogists have all wanted. Great production values and storytelling, combined with reenactment of those stories bring to life the actual research they show us how to do. They have done a great job of balancing both as to appeal to the serious genealogist and the others we hope to attract to this endeavor. This is our chance to have OUR stories told...the everyday immigrants who built this country and made our lives possible.”
What is this about?
This is a made-for-television documentary about “kicking up” the unique family histories hidden in the past of each American. It is a deep historical dive into those exceptional tales passed down through generations, tales of our ancestors and their bravery, triumph, torture, perseverance, and small but important roles in the greater historical chapters of the country. Why should this history be lost? Or be afforded only to a select few?
Let's give these great stories the high profile treatment normally reserved for society's elite and powerful.
This could be you...
Who are we?
We are Ken J. Marks and Madonna Davis, the creative team that produced LEGEND SEEKERS: THE LIVELY FAMILY MASSACRE -- for public television.
Ken is a television, film and event producer by trade, and Madonna is a teacher, genealogist and television host. The year was 2002 when while we were covered with mud, chiggers and poison-ivy and searching for a long lost relative’s gravestone in the Illinois countryside, that inspiration struck -- if we only had a video camera here to record what is really involved in genealogy research, it would be a new and exciting way to share American history with the public.
Digging up a family's past isn't an easy process -- especially in the field. The detective work is challenging, at times frightening but genuinely fun. And when we searched deeply, even into our own seemingly mundane family trees, what we found were unforgettable and historically relevant stories. A quick survey of friends' family stories also proved to contain a wealth of compelling content for what might become a great TV show series. And so we got to work.
We gathered a group of equally passionate professionals, poured our hearts and our savings in to the mix and took a big leap to produce Legend Seekers: The Lively Family Massacre. We invite you to view the trailer, or you can register on our website to watch the full documentary. The results exceeded our expectations.
The Lively Family Massacre aired on PBS stations across the country and received numerous historical and industry awards, including an EMMY nomination. In addition, we have been interviewed by the media and have appeared in blogs, podcasts and newspapers. We also have enjoyed the privilege to speak before many historical societies and genealogy clubs who will inevitably ask us, "When will you produce another episode?" The answer is now with your help.
He is a field producer, historical technical consultant and reenactment casting coordinator with numerous History and Discovery Channel credits and Hollywood experience. He has even appeared as talent in The Last of the Mohicans (we dare you to find him). It is not unusual to call and find Tony answering the phone while standing in the middle of a swamp doing field research or while huddled in a museum's archive pouring over documents. He is just one of the experts we will be working with to ensure authenticity on Kicking Up the Past.
WHY Kickstarter? And... how will we spend your donations?
Our goal is to bring to life the histories that so many of you, our friends, along with thousands of other Americans, want to see – this is for you. In our hearts, we know the grassroots popularity of genealogy is undeniable – and we can't think of a better way to prove this than to enlist your help to make a strong statement. Simply put, our Kickstarter is American grassroots history speaking up with dollars.
So, to get this project off the ground, we need funding to produce a broadcast-ready pilot for our groundbreaking documentary series.
First comes the story. Donation funds will be used to cover the costs of conducting historical and genealogical research.
Meet another Tony
He has appeared on the PBS series African American Lives and Ancestors, CBS Sunday Morning, CBS News, ABC World News Tonight and the Discovery Channel. Tony is part of the panel of experts consulting on the research and story development.
Next comes production – what most of us think of when we think of filmmaking. (It will be the fun part for some backers who claim participation in the film as a reward).
Production costs include: travel and accommodation for the family story member(s), reenactors, producers, hosts and crew to filming locations; wardrobe, makeup, rentals for camera equipment, dollies, steady-cams and cranes; scenery & historical props; lighting and audio equipment required, as well as insurance and location catering costs.
Post-production is next: Costs include: scoring and recording of original music; custom animation and graphics, professional editing and finishing – which includes color correction and audio sweetening.
Then there is broadcast finishing – which includes omissions and errors insurance, conforming video and audio to tight engineering standards, transcription and preparation of closed-captioning.
I am ready to help! -- what do I do next?
To become one of our backers...
Cick on the BIG GREEN BUTTON ▲▲▲UP TOP▲▲▲ to the right of our video.
- Kickstarter will ask you for your pledge
- which reward you want, and
- how you want to sign up
Remember that you can help make this project a reality not only with your donation, but by engaging your clubs and organizations to spread the word and support our goal.
If you have read this far we can only say – THANK YOU!
Have a question? You can ask the project creators directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Our stretch goal
Don’t take this the wrong way, we will be overwhelmingly grateful to hit our film production goal. However, our past experience has taught us something about the fundamental passion & relentless drive of the genealogy community that has yet to be acknowledged by the mainstream public. We think there is a sleeping giant yet to be awakened in the love, appreciation and historic worth of grassroots family history. Our vision therefore, as it has been from the beginning, is to create a series of programs -- and so we intend to direct your extended generosity step-by-step toward the goal of a continuing series.
Again... thank you!
Risks and challenges
The biggest challenge we face is reaching a significant number of history and genealogy enthusiasts prior to our funding deadline. We have every confidence that when enough people are informed of the project, they will find a way to support it – so spreading the news and links to at least three like-minded people is what we are asking everyone to do.
Although we have had success in gaining broadcast television major market distribution in the past there are no guarantees when and where this program will ultimately be aired.
Your thank you rewards – like t-shirts and posters for helping us make this possible – will be sent out by a third-party fulfillment company. Many elements of the rewards will be fulfilled before October of 2014, which is when we hope to schedule our premieres and screenings. For those of you who are attending an event or joining us on set, we will keep you informed of the schedule.
• For those of you visiting our location shooting, we anticipate shooting in July and August at a domestic location to be determined by the story selected. However, this has the potential to change. We will update so you can plan ahead to visit us.
• If you become an extra or receive a cast credit, you must be a US citizen or have a US work visa, and not be a member of SAG/AFTRA. (This does not apply to those appearing in the credits as project supporters)
• You must be over 18 or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian (who will count as your plus one) to attend the premiere or visit the set. Extras must also be over 18.
• Some rewards may require additional paperwork. You might be required to sign a story release and/or if you are appearing in the film, you will be asked to sign a release. These requirements may be subject to change.
• This fundraising campaign is all subject to applicable Kickstarter rules/regulations, broadcasting rules and applicable law. If any of this conflicts, we will work with you in good faith to give you a substitute reward.
Finally, there are innumerable variables outside of our control that can and will alter the project, how, where and when it is produced, and the manner and timing of how rewards are fulfilled. Significant influencing factors include, but are not limited to, the nature and primary locations of the story selected, the amount of time and effort required to adequately vet research presented prior to production, inclement weather and/or natural disasters, availability and scheduling of filming subjects such as hosts, talent, locations, experts, crew and equipment. It is impossible to guarantee that everything will proceed exactly as planned, but as producers we will endeavor to keep in close communication with the very backers who will have made this project possible. Beyond the rewards, we wish to thank all of you in advance for your donations and your work to spread the word about this innovative project. We are READY TO GO!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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