Last May California announced plans to close one quarter of their 278 parks, a devastating move that is intended to save the state a mere $22 million per year. The closure list includes thousands of acres of park land, recreation areas, wildlife reserves, and 50% of the state's historic parks. By July 2012 Californians will be bereft of 70 magnificent natural parks. The media has done little to disclose the ongoing closures or emphasize their impact.
Not wanting to miss the chance to see these places before they were gone forever, we decided to make our way across California in a converted airport shuttle bus, shooting as many parks and people as possible. Individuals we met along the way were concerned about the closing of their local parks, but no one had a collective firsthand experience of the overall picture. As we connected dots on a map, a pattern emerged. No one knew exactly what the conditions of closure would be, nor could they see how the state would ultimately benefit.
The First 70 is a short film about Californians banding together to enact change and develop solutions in the face of a glaring bureaucratic oversight. Volunteers have been forced to lend even more of their time and effort to support the already grossly underfunded state park system. Independent organizations and nonprofits have become obligated to step up to the challenge of keeping parks open, supporting them financially while working within the state's guidelines.
Why We Need Your Support
We've chosen our target amount not because it will make up for the amount we've put into this project (it won't), but because we think it is realistically raisable and will help cover a portion of the costs. Unlike many other projects on Kickstarter, we are not dividing the funding into sections like preproduction, production, post production, sound design, color correction, distribution, etc. We're asking for your help funding all of these things in one lump sum because the parks are closing in July, and this movie needs to get out fast. There are still a few parks to visit and interviews to shoot, and we are beginning to feel the monetary burn as we push through this last portion.
We've taken on this film as a labor of love and have invested our savings and time to do so. We are trying to save parks, not make money, but it would be fantastic to make up for some of the basic production costs.
Here's how it all adds up:
$20,000 on video equipment
$4,500 in production costs, food, gas, park fees.
$6,000 on editing workstation
$5,000 on publishing, pr, kickstarter rewards, and distribution
There's also editing, color correction, sound design, web design and all that good stuff which our (luckily) multi-talented directors are tackling on their own, so it's not included in the total here.
Any amount raised over the target will go to good use making the film even better. Our target is the bare minimum to get this movie into the public eye. More money beyond the target means more production value, more interviews, and an increased ability to spread our message.
Parks are closing across the nation and we are devoted to the cause, please lend your support to help us showcase these beautiful places. With enough backing beyond the target, this film could get big enough to really make a difference in California and across the country.