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The Moby-Dick documentary, a movie about a book. One whale of a tale.
213 backers pledged $13,040 to help bring this project to life.

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$13,040

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THANK YOU so much again to all of our backers. We could not have done this without you. We are over the moon and cannot wait to get rewards sent out to all of you.


We will be keeping backers updated via Kickstarter as we head towards the final leg of this journey:  that White Whale called 'distribution' as well as progress updates on rewards fulfillment. Please head to facebook.com/CallUsIshmael for any/all info and updates as we move into this final stretch toward finally getting our movie widely available for all to see! 

When I first read Moby-Dick I hated it. 

Growing up, I would always revel in telling people how my least favorite book was Moby-Dick. Who wants to read a book about whales?! 

Turns out, I do.  

I picked up the book again as an adult, and it was only a matter of time before it became the subject of the documentary we're Kickstarting here: Call Us Ishmael

Call Us Ishmael is an intimate look at the world’s obsession with Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick; the “Great American Novel.” 

In this film, historians, artists, philosophers, and fanatics alike explore the artistic and cultural legacy the novel has had throughout America’s history. 

In revisiting the book, I went on a journey to meet these enthusiasts to find out about their  fascination with Captain Ahab and the most famous whale of all time. What I found was that the book has had a profound impact on their lives, and has created a wonderful and tight-knit community.

After seven years of working on this project, we can finally see the finish line!

In 2018 Call Us Ishmael toured the country, playing at film festivals from coast to coast! Check out these laurels! 

With a successful run in the 2018 film festival circuit, we are excited to announce that we have found a distribution partner for Call Us Ishmael!  

We are in the the final stages of preparing the film for wider distribution and we are raising funds to help  cover music licensing, legal fees, and the insurance policies necessary to cover before we hand off the film to our distributing partner. 

We have some exciting goodies to offer as rewards for your generosity! Please take a moment to have a look at the rest of our campaign and to help us in the final leg of our chase to seek this White Whale! 

This Kickstarter campaign for Call us Ishmael is to raise funds for the finishing costs typical of a documentary feature film: 

Music Licensing - Currently, Call Us Ishmael has music rights for film festival screenings. In order to more widely distribute the film, it is necessary for us to extend our music permissions for DVD and streaming services. 

Errors & Omissions Insurance - As is customary for documentaries, Call Us Ishmael is required to be covered for liability. We will need to have secured this insurance coverage before our distribution partner will sign on the dotted line. 

Legal Fees - As we fine tune Call Us Ishmael, we have been working closely with our legal team to ensure that all footage in the film has the requisite permissions under copyright and fair use laws.

If there are any funds left over after these three main budget lines, we will be using these funds to add to the final DVD product! We're really excited to offer our Kickstarter backers exclusive content that won't be available to the public when the film is in distribution. 

We have some exciting rewards to offer our Kickstarter backers! 

ISHMAEL: $15 level - Call YOU Ishmael: you're in the credits!

As a token of our appreciation for your contribution to Call Us Ishmael, your name will appear in the closing credits of the movie! 

PIP: $30 level - Online access to Call Us Ishmael!

At this pledge level, you will receive early access to the film when it becomes available for online streaming! 

You will also receive all the rewards of tiers below this one. 

FLASK: $50 level - Special Edition Kickstarter DVD

As a special offer to our Kickstarter backers, we will be releasing a limited edition Call Us Ishmael DVD! This special Kickstarter Edition of the DVD will not be available anywhere else... Here's your chance to own a copy of the movie!

You will also have access to see the film through online access.

STUBB: $70 level - Call Us Ishmael Tote Bag

Carry around all your Melville books in your exclusive Call Us Ishmael tote-bag Based off our Poster designed by Matt Kish! 

Hurry though, there are only limited numbers of these exclusive Kickstarter campaign totes!

You will also receive the Call Us Ishmael DVD! You can put your DVD in your new bag! 

STARBUCK: $100 level - Signed Call Us Ishmael Poster

At this level, as a backer you will receive a copy of the theatrical poster designed by Moby-Dick Artist, Matt Kish for Call Us Ishmael signed by our director, Dr. Dave!

You will also receive a copy of the Call Us Ishmael DVD

QUEEQUEG: $1,000 level - I want to be a producer!

Always wanted to be a part of the movie biz? Back us at this level to be credited in Call Us Ishmael as one of our associate producers. 

“Better to sleep with a sober cannibal than a drunk Christian.”

All backers at this level will also receive online access to the film, the limited edition DVD, tote bag, and poster signed by the director.

AHAB: $4,000 level - I want to be an Executive Producer

Above the line credit! At this level, you will appear in the opening credits for Call Us Ishmael! Backers at this level will receive a special copy of Moby-Dick with a personal thank you from the filmmakers inside. 

"What I’ve dared, I’ve willed; and what I’ve willed, I’ll do!" 

All backers at this level will also receive online access to the film, the limited edition DVD, tote bag, and poster signed by the director.

We have some really exciting extra bonus rewards coming throughout the campaign... Watch this space!!

Risks and challenges

Fundraising for documentaries is quite a challenge. Our goal right now is to raise the funds necessary to get our movie delivered to our distribution partner and released to the public.

A huge challenge for us is getting the word out about the project. We have been traveling the country, engaging with audiences at festivals and 'Moby-Dick'-related events, making them a part of our journey. And there's still so many people that we want to share this film with who might not even know about it. We feel this film will be such a great resource for bibliophiles worldwide and we want to see it readily available for everyone.

With so many good and worthy projects out there, we understand how hard it is for you to decide where to donate, and we are very grateful to you for considering ours.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 15 or more About US$ 15

    Call YOU Ishmael: you're in the credits!

    At this pledge level, as a way of saying thanks, you will receive your name in the closing credits of Call us Ishmael.

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    41 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    PIP: Online access to Call Us Ishmael!

    Pledge at this level to see Call us Ishmael before the DVD is even printed!

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    61 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 50 or more About US$ 50

    FLASK: Special Edition Kickstarter DVD

    Only available through this Kickstarter campaign: get your own copy of the Call us Ishmael DVD with fancy limited edition box art.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    41 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 70 or more About US$ 70

    STUBB: CUI Tote Bag

    What Melville-reading book lover doesn't need a tote bag!? You get the Kickstarter exclusive DVD as well as your commemorative tote!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 11 backers
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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    STARBUCK: Signed CUI Poster

    A full sized print of the Call us Ishmael One Sheet signed by director, David Shaerf

    You will also receive all the perks of lower reward tiers (tote bag, DVD, online access, etc.)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 37 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About US$ 1,000

    QUEEQUEG: I want to be a Producer!

    Your name will feature in the credits as an Associate Producer of Call us Ishmael!

    You will also receive all the perks of lower reward tiers (tote bag, DVD, online access, etc.)

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 1 backer
    $

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    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 4,000 or more About US$ 4,000

    AHAB: I want to be an Executive Producer

    Above the line credit for Call us Ishmael as Executive producer.

    Also receive all the goodies from lower reward tiers!

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (32 days)