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My great-grandfather returned to Poland in 1920 to save his family. We're going to trace his journey, document the trip and turn it into a screenplay.
My great-grandfather returned to Poland in 1920 to save his family. We're going to trace his journey, document the trip and turn it into a screenplay.
140 backers pledged $9,481 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$9,481

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The Start:


Mike: What's up buddy?
Zack: Ugh. My Job's unfulfilling.
Mike: Oh no. Well, my great grandfather has this awesome story about how he traveled to Europe and saved his wife's family and numerous other people and I want to turn it into a screenplay and would you like to help?
Zack: (Quits job. Books flight to Los Angeles.)

The Pitch:

Mike: My good friend Zack and I are setting out on an adventure. This adventure is two fold. We want to write a screenplay about my great grandfather, Joseph Kershner, and his trip from Burlington, Vermont to Turysk, Poland in 1920 to save his wife's family, the Horders, from the chaos and pogroms of the Polish-Soviet War. We know a lot about his trip from family records and stories, but there is information that is missing. So we want to travel the same path that Joseph took, through Antwerp, Belgium, Berlin, Germany, Chelm and Warsaw in Poland. Throughout our trip we will meet with scholars, visit locations and try to piece together my great grandfather's amazing journey all while writing our screenplay. Oh, and did I mention we're going to film the trip?

This is a passion project for me; something that combines my love of both film and my family. Not everyone asks the question of who he is and where he comes from. And few have the ability to answer that question. More rare is the opportunity to express understanding and gratitude for the sacrifices our forebearers made for our freedom. This is my best attempt at that expression, in a way I feel most appropriate to the contributions I have to offer.

The Goods:

Zack: So here's the deal: We need $8,000. This will cover our flight to Europe, train and bus travel on the ground, translators, food and lodging for one-month's travel and, of course, a camera to document it. I'm going to film the trip, with Mike as our protagonist, searching for the answers to his past. Included in the documentary will be Mike's interactions with scholars, historians and the people we meet, as we piece together what Joseph's trip may have been like. We'll also constantly update here at Kickstarter (and by email) to keep all our contributors informed about the research and writing process. And speaking of writing, we'll also be improving and finishing our screenplay.

We already have the plot structure and individual scenes established. All three acts have been developed and laid out. But in order to fully realize the characters, gain a sense of the settings and give this story the focus it deserves, we decided that a research trip was absolutely necessary. So aside from keeping you informed on our journey, we'll also be offering a rare glimpse into the actual screenwriting process.

Mike: And this is where you can contribute. Through this amazing site, Kickstarter, you can help us fund this very personal and potentially epic project. Maybe you're a Kershner or Horder descendant who owes a part of your life and success to the efforts of your forebearers. Maybe you're our friend from school, or work, who wants to help us support a dream. Maybe you're Zack's mom, and you want him to stop asking you for rent money (Zack: For the record I haven't done this!). Or maybe you're that kid who stole my bike in 2nd grade and you're looking for a way to make it up. It doesn't matter! What matters is that whoever you are, you can be a part of our adventure, help us create something tangible that will last forever and get a little something back.

The Payoff:

Zack: Oh, that's right! Did we mention there are rewards! For each donation scale, you get something in return. You can simply follow along as we update you with our progress. Or you can get a PDF copy of our completed screenplay ... a piece of Joseph Kershner that you can keep with you till the end of time (or, at least, until your hard drive fails). We'll also send you a DVD copy of our documentary of the journey or a postcard from each stop on our trip. But no matter how much you give, you'll get something in return.

Mike: And because it's Kickstarter, this project won't happen unless we get the full $8,000. So don't be worried about contributing and having us flake out. If you pay, we go. If we don't go, you're money stays with you. It's that simple.

The deadline is set for July 15th. We'll leave for a one month journey shortly after that. Provided we get the funding!

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Support The Journey: Every Dollar counts ... literally. With just a buck you can share and support the journey from story to screenplay.

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    1 backer
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Follow The Journey: Receive updates of our journey as we traverse Eastern Europe. Our updates will keep you informed as we learn and write. We'll have photos, short videos and an inside look into how the writing process unfolds.

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    9 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Remember The Journey: Access to all of the updates, PLUS a PDF copy of the completed screenplay. Keep a little piece of Joseph's (and our) journey forever ... or at least as long as your hard drive lasts.

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    12 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    See The Journey: Receive all updates, a PDF copy of the script AND the documentary DVD of our journey and the writing process. See us learn about Joseph's journey, maneuver through the writing process and suffer humiliating translation-related miscommunication with locals. It will be just like you were there ... except you won't have to smell Zack's socks.

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    40 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Feel The Journey: Updates, DVD and a printed copy of the completed screenplay. PDF's are great, but sometimes we need something we can grow old with .. like a large stack of papers. Try not to cuddle too closely, those paper cuts hurt!

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    3 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Collect The Journey: Updates, DVD's, printed screenplay WITH our Herbie Hancocks. We'll even include a personal note thanking you for contributing. A collector's item, sure to someday be worth millions (of old, out-of-print Polish Zloty).

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    27 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Wear the Journey: Updates, DVD, Script and our super-cool What Would Joseph Do T-Shirt! Pop Quiz: You've been thrown in a Polish dungeon for being a deserter. How to get out? Just ask yourself, "What Would Joseph Do?"

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    16 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Wish You Were On The Journey: Everything above PLUS we will send you postcards. When we get to a new town, we'll send you a new card, with a personalized message about how much we are learning, how much fun we are having and how it would be super-awesome if you were here, but you're not so here's a postcard!

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    8 backers
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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Live The Journey: Well, if you're THIS interested in the project, you might as well come along. You can't stay in our room, though.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (89 days)