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100% FUNDED! Filmmaker sets out to make a documentary about Animal Rescue and ends up turning the camera on herself.
100% FUNDED! Filmmaker sets out to make a documentary about Animal Rescue and ends up turning the camera on herself.
318 backers pledged $49,000 to help bring this project to life.
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THE PASSION PROJECT: A documentary gone awry

$49,000

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For the first time, a film is going behind the grim sadness of animal abuse and exploring why some of us get involved in animal rescue in the first place. The Passion Project is about seeing things for what they really are, a look at how far some of us will go to avoid our own pain and a hope to create change and stop the cycle of abuse of all kinds. By telling the story beneath the story, our mission is to make a bigger impact than a typical movie about animal rescue. 

Please help us to reach our goal of 48k to finish the edit of our film. If we fall short, even by one dollar, we lose all of the pledged donations so far. Thank you for watching!!

With love,
Tracey and The Passion Project team

In 2010, Tracey Smith was a Creative Director at McCann-Erickson NY and won a company-wide contest called The Passion Project. She was given three weeks of paid time off to pursue a passion of hers and set out to make a film about Animal Rescue. 5 years later, The Passion Project has become a captivating story about a documentary gone awry.

The Passion Project story follows director Tracey Smith as she sets out on a mission to make a movie about Angel’s Gate - an animal hospice and rehab center run by Susan Marino, a leader and pioneer in the world of Animal Rescue. While spending six weeks living, sleeping, and shooting in and amongst Susan and her 450 abused animals, Tracey witnessed first hand a lot of suffering, a lot of disease, a lot of super cute animals and also a great big attempted takedown of Susan’s entire operation.

That’s when Tracey started to question her own motives. She couldn’t help but draw a parallel between the animals and her personal experience as a victim of child abuse. This is when she put down her camera and began the more difficult task of confronting her own past which was uncomfortably similar to that of the animals she so desperately wanted to help.

Over the next two plus years, Tracey started shooting again through a new lense. As Susan’s story became more complicated and fraught with both legal and moral implications, Tracey captured it all. What unfolds is a movie not just about animal rescue, but a heartrending story about how far we’ll go to avoid our own pain.

Tracey Smith, Director
Tracey Smith, Director

Tracey Smith, Director and Producer

Tracey is an artist, creative director and filmmaker based in NYC. For over 15 years, Tracey has been creating content and ad campaigns for all kinds of brands, from Nikon and MasterCard to The US Army and Taylor Swift. By the age of 28, she was sent to Cannes to represent the US in the Cannes Young Lions Advertising Festival. In 2009, she joined minds with Alon Seifert, former CCO of McCann Israel to start up a 48hour design collective called 48h & Sons. In 2013 they launched Trophy Buffet; their first successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. Tracey is currently focusing on truth, reality and storytelling co-directing under SMITH+TOPAZ, her latest venture with award-winning filmmaker Topaz Adizes. She is also creative partner at The We Collective, a creative swat team developing authentic and engaging brand stories founded with her business partner, Sharon Ehrlich. 

Jillian Goger, Producer
Jillian Goger, Producer

Jillian Goger, Producer 

Jillian is a writer and creative director in New York City. She’s created integrated campaigns for all kinds of giant brands from the US Army to Dentyne Gum and everything in between. Currently leading brand work for US Postal Service, Verizon FiOS, and Tommee Tippee baby products, she most enjoys working on her non profit projects for breast cancer awareness and women’s rights. She lives in Gowanus where she and her family are writing a musical made up exclusively of Donovan songs.

Ed McGowan, Editor
Ed McGowan, Editor

Ed McGowan, Editor

Known to many as 'Hats', Ed began his editing career at Crew Cuts, where he learned all the fine details of editing. He very quickly became a lead editor at McCann NY cutting spots for commercial and short form films Staples, Chex Mix, Sony, Verizon, Avis & Intel. In 2012, he left the agency side and joined The Now Corporation. He's since worked with standout directors from Caviar, Smuggler, Furlined, Über Content, Skunk, Station Film, Tool, Prettybird, & O Positive. Hats lives in Manhattan with his wife, Gina, and their cat, Suki and puppy, Louie and has been spending nights and weekends diving into hundreds of hours of footage with us. He is so passionate about this project it inspires us every time we walk into the edit.

Zac Stuart-Pontier, Consulting Editor
Zac Stuart-Pontier, Consulting Editor

Zac Stuart-Pontier, Consulting Editor

Chosen as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Film in 2010, Zac is the editor and producer of The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst (2015) and the editor and co-producer of Catfish, released in the fall of 2010 by Universal Studios, directed by Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost. He was also the editor of Sean Durkin’s, Martha Marcy May Marlene from Borderline Film's. Winner Best Director Sundance 2011 (US Dramatic Competition) and Cannes 2011 (Un Certain Regard). A 2006 Graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Zac is also the editor and co-producer of Beautiful Darling, directed by James Rasin, which premiered at the 2010 Berlinale, screened at New Directors/New Films at the MOMA/Lincoln Center. We are grateful to have his support on the film. 

Stenfert Charles, Composers
Stenfert Charles, Composers

Stenfert Charles, Composers

Stenfert Charles (Saunder Stenfert Jurriaans and Daniel Charles Bensi)
are multi-instrumentalists and classically trained musicians. They began their film scoring career with Alistair Banks Griffin's "Two Gates of Sleep" (Cannes - Director's Fortnight, 2010), and have since moved on to score various features and shorts including Sean Durkin's "Martha Marcy May Marlene" (Sundance, 2011 - winner best director, Cannes - Official Selection, 2011) and Ruben Ostlund's "Play" (Cannes - Director's Fortnight, 2011). Their more current original scores include “Last Days in the Desert” (Sundance Premiere, 2014) starring Ewan McGregor and Denis Villeneuve’s “Enemy” with Jake Gyllenhaal, winning 5 Canadian Screen Awards in 2014.

Mateo Suarez and Mike Moffa, Assistant Camera
Mateo Suarez and Mike Moffa, Assistant Camera

Risks and challenges

The risk is low for The Passion Project because we’ve shot all footage, we have two incredible editors, and a host of talented people ready to work once we can fund them. The biggest challenge will be getting into festivals after we’ve completed the film. We plan to enter over twenty five festivals to mitigate that risk and we can’t wait to start. Any help or advice on that is more than welcome.

For any other questions or info, you can always email us at:
ThePassionProjectFilm@gmail.com

Thanks for spending time on our Kickstarter page!

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    THANK YOU!
    Our sincerest gratitude and a thank you email from The Passion Project Team.

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    THE PASSION PROJECT ARTWORK + THANK YOU!
    The Passion Project Backer digital download and a thank you shout out on social media and ThePassionProjectFilm.com

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    ORIGINAL ANIMAL PORTRAIT
    Hi-Res Digital Download of one portrait shot by photographer Cal Crary (choose 1 of 6 options). And a thank you shout out on social media.

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    PRESS PACKAGE! (Feature Film + All Portraits)
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    PRESS PACKAGE + BEHIND THE SCENES
    1 Digital Download of the Feature Film Press Package + BTS exclusives. It wasn’t all fun and games for Tracey & Jill living in the camper as you’ll see in the footage!

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    THANKS + LOVE
    This is the I'm-not-so-into-rewards reward. We will still be sending you love and happy thoughts for your support and thank you in our dreams.

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    DVD + T-Shirt + TGIF IN NYC (IF YOU ARE LOCAL!)
    Come spend a friday night with us. Hugs and tacos at Wax Editorial Loft Space in Chelsea. AND get a custom designed Passion Project T-Shirt. (Plus all of the above rewards)

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    HEALING + SELF DISCOVERY THROUGH FILM
    An hour long personal Skype session with Tracey to discuss the process and exploration of healing and self discovery through the art of filmmaking.

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    DINNER + FILMMAKING
    Come to a small gathering and discussion over the ups and downs of cinéma vérité filmmaking with directing team Smith+Topaz. Tracey Smith and her co-director and award winning filmmaker Topaz Adizes have been collaborating on all forms of film projects from commercials to short films to interactive storytelling. Join them in NYC for a night of discussion, pasta and love.
    (Transportation to NY not included)

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    5RHYTHMS HEALING PRACTICE OF MOVEMENT MEDITATION
    Join a private teaching with Healing Artist and 5Rhythms instructor, Amber Ryan in NYC for a two hour introduction into the journey of healing your mind, body and soul with the world renowned 5Rhythms Moving Meditation Practice created by Gabrielle Roth.
    (10 slots available, Transportation to NY not included)

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    FILM PREMIERE IN NYC
    + ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT
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    TROPICAL HEALING RETREAT 2016 in Costa Rica
    Join Alison Sinatra and Kevin Courtney and Tracey Smith for a very special week long yoga retreat in the heart of Nosara, Costa Rica. Retreat includes classes on yoga, meditation, breath practices, massage and foundational yoga philosophy.
    (For more info please ask. Space limited to 2. Retreat and Lodging included. Transportation to Retreat not included. Reward is transferable.)

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    Join our intimate private screening in NYC before the film premieres. Also get an associate producer credit and pick from any of the above rewards. (Tropical Healing Retreat not included)

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Funding period

- (29 days)