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A documentary focusing on the largest dam removal in U.S. history and its affects on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Washington State.
A documentary focusing on the largest dam removal in U.S. history and its affects on the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe of Washington State.
113 backers pledged $12,677 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$12,677

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UPDATE - 100% funded!
We made it to $8,000, but guess what?! If we can raise $12,000 we will be able to shoot aerial flyovers of the Elwha River and film the salmon underwater as they visit upstream spawning grounds for the fist time. Additionally, we hope to shoot on the Red Epic, currently the most digitally advanced camera in the industry. Check out our newer, discounted rewards and consider becoming a backer if you haven't already done so.

September 17th, 2011 marked the beginning of a three-year river restoration project on the Elwha River in Washington State. The main component of the restoration project is the removal of both the Glines Canyon and Elwha dams. The dams, erected almost one hundred years ago, flooded Lower Elwha Klallam tribal sites and depleted the Tribe’s sacred salmon stock.

Now that the dams are coming down, we plan to document the recovery of not only the River but the Tribe as well, stressing the relationship between these two entities. The Strong People will begin with the history of the Tribe, dating back one hundred years to when the dams were constructed, destroying one the most prolific salmon runs in the world and thus damaging the economic and cultural structure of the Klallam people.

In addition to interviews with Klallam Tribe members, we will film the stages of the dam removals, the changes along the Elwha River, and the return of the salmon. We will be traveling and filming from the peaks of the Olympic Mountains to the Straight of Juan de Fuca, where the Elwha empties into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way we will discover new places, meet fascinating people, and document the stories of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.

Together, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and the Elwha River will thread a story about finding balance between ecological restoration and cultural integrity. But in order to tell this story, we'll need you're help!

Here are some important things we will need during our fabulous two and a half week trip out to the Olympic Peninsula:

Archival Images of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and Elwha River dams - $150

Transportation (airfare, ferry, and car) - $1,200

Lodging and food - $3,000

Equipment, which includes an underwater camera rig, glide camera, slider, and follow focus - $1,800

Insurance and Permits for National Park filming - $300

The Strong People will be shooting this summer and into next year. The final film will be released May 2013.

Thanks for checking us out ;)

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A big bear hug straight from the Elwha!

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    A huge thank you from us and a mention in our special thanks section of the film's credits.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A special thanks credit and a digital download of the film.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A special thanks credit, a production map (see where we went on our shoots!), a digital download of the film, and post cards from the Olympic National Park.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DISCOUNTED - An original song (in your honor) written and performed by our lovely camera team Frank and Joe. Expect rapping, acoustic guitar riffs, and overall awesomeness! (Plus a film credit and digital download).

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DISCOUNTED - Receive an original art water globe creation from our audio recordist turned Elwha fisherwoman, Isabel. (Plus a film credit and digital download).

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    A special thanks credit, a production map, and a DVD copy of the film.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Drink of the Elwha! We'll send you a fully filtered bottle of water straight from the newly freed waters of the Elwha River. (Plus a credit and a digital download of the film).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A special thanks credit, a production map, and a Blu-Ray copy of the film.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Do you like SKULLS? Receive an authentic skull from the Hoh Rainforest, a shooting location in the film. (Plus a film credit and digital download).

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A special thanks credit, a production map, a Blu-Ray copy of the film, and a 5x7 high quality still print.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Associate producer credit, a production map, a 5x7 high quality still print, and a Blu-Ray copy of the film.

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Associate producer credit, a production map, movie poster, and a Blu-Ray copy of the film.

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    Producer credit, production map, movie poster, production photo book, and a Blu-Ray copy of the film.

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

    Executive producer credit, production map, production photo book, Blu-Ray copy of the film, a 5x7 high quality still print, movie poster, and dinner (or Skype date) with the crew! We'll also love you forever.

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Funding period

- (30 days)