This project is the first documentary in a series that will explore the challenges and triumphs of building place brands. Each episode will focus on a different aspect of branding - from conception, to development, to social media, and different kinds of tourism.
The goal is to get this series sold to a streaming service, like Netflix or Amazon Prime.
We've put together a small team of highly motivated and talented people to create something that will inspire others to visit places, and also teach others how to better interact with places they visit and places they live.
In addition to a talented team, we've officially teamed up with The Place Brand Observer to help this series connect with a variety of stakeholders across the world.
We've created this campaign to raise money to cover costs of production, permits, and of course, the artists for their time and talent. We've already gone up to Telluride and shot a series of interviews and footage from private property, but we need to get permission to film on public streets, sidewalks and in natural areas.
Read below to find out about the motivation behind this project, and some concepts behind place branding - including a look at the pilot episode "Foundations" which was filmed in Colorado Springs. You'll also find out more information about what we hope to accomplish and explore in this episode, information about the crew, and of course, some details about different rewards we are offering to our backers.
What makes a place?
The answer to this seems like it should be straightforward, but in fact, it is quite difficult to say. Places are made up of both tangible and intangible elements - but most importantly, places are made up of people. They are dynamic, constantly growing, shrinking, morphing, and transitioning as people flow in and out of them.
The significance and perception of places revolves around the types of experiences people encounter in them, whether they are everyday trips to a local coffee shop, pleasant memories of visit's to grandma's house, or a dream vacation.
Meet Kristofer Warbritton. An avid explorer, filmmaker, and storyteller who loves diving into what makes places unique.
His passions led him to develop and focus his master's degree on Place Branding - which turned out to be a fantastic intersection of his passion for adventure, storytelling, development, and strategy. This clarity and focus fueled both travels and conversations across the world, from Budapest, to Bangkok, from the Great Barrier Reef to the top of the highest mountains in Colorado.
His hunger for understanding the underlying elements of the brands of places, and exploring the processes and factors that influence the development, implementation, and communication of brand led to the development of this series. Kristofer completed the pilot episode with little outside help and no outside resources.
The Telluride episode represents both the next step in the quality of production and depth of storytelling that will be present throughout the series.
8 episodes were thoughtfully developed that would walk viewers through small to medium-sized towns and cities across the world. Each episode will tap into specific aspects of what makes a place and create opportunities for dialogues and artful compositions within each community we visit.
EPISODE 01: TELLURIDE
We're starting off with a bang in one of the most beautiful mountain towns in Colorado. Telluride has year-round access to a variety of activities, from paragliding, biking, and fishing to snowshoeing, skiing, and shopping – there's loads of things to keep tourists active in this bustling town.
Besides all of the fun activities for tourists, Telluride is home to around 2,000 residents and a slew of second homeowners. Many of these people first arrived as tourists, but connected with the town on a deeper level, exchanging their busy lives in cities for the relative peace and quiet of the town when they have time to get away.
In addition to creating an expose of Telluride, the core questions we will investigate here will be...
- What are the relationships between locals and investors in a tourism-driven economy?
- Who shapes the future?
- Do these groups cooperate to steer the town towards a mutually-beneficial future?
We have already conducted series of interviews and can see edges of a story beginning to form. We’re looking forward to talking to a variety of stakeholders in order to examine this town from all possible perspectives.
We have an amazing list of interview subjects who are interested in being part of the project, and will be returning after the conclusion of our Kickstarter campaign to conduct our final summer interviews as well as finish our explorations of both the town and the surrounding natural areas.
Sometime around January, we will return once again to document the transformation of Telluride into a winter wonderland, talk with some investors who are in town, and check back in with some folks we spoke with during the summer.
The most exciting part about this project will be pulling a team of talented and passionate creatives together to create a thoughtful film.
Gabriel Costantino our Cinamon (Cinematographer)
Gabe has worked closely with Kristofer for more than 6 years on a variety of projects, both creative and corporate. "Give him a camera and he'll give you gold." Is Kristofer's favorite descriptor of Gabe. He's a wizard with a camera and has an eye for creating interesting compositions. Few are more in tune with the intersection of light, cameras, and color. You can expect some artistic experimentation with his shots - which will lend a fresh perspective to the cut-and-dry documentary shooting formula.
Sarah Bubke our Editor
Sarah has years of editing experience under her belt, piecing together a web series, several documentaries, and other creative works. She has a keen eye for the flow of a story, and the technical skills and patience to put together masterful edits. She's a jack of all trades with production but her passion lies in the edit.
Sean Hennessy our Composer
Sean is an award-winning film composer with a huge stack of films under his belt, and when he isn't composing for films, he's performing in his jazz band (The Hennessy 6) or mentoring other musicians. A talented musician, artist, and all-around kind soul - Sean will bring the production value of our project up significantly with his keen musical abilities.
Kristofer Warbritton - Host, Director, Producer, Drone Pilot
Fun Fact - The hat in this picture has been on five continents.
Hopefully you've picked up quite a bit about him by now. Kristofer is the driving force behind this whole operation. With a desire to tell stories but also to create meaningful changes in the world, Kristofer sees film as one of the most effective tools to communicate with those who are willing to listen and watch.
Passionate about exploring places, experiencing cultures, and continuously chasing his endless sense of curiosity, he is excited to take others along with him while he learns more about people and places across the world.
Florian Kaefer - Executive Consultant
Florian Kaefer, PhD is an independent journalist, publisher and editor of The Place Brand Observer, the leading virtual meeting place and knowledge hub for place managers, developers and marketers interested in strengthening their community's brand and reputation.
Originally from South-West Germany, Florian has lived and worked in places around the world, including New Zealand, Barcelona, UK and Switzerland. He is also the founder of the Sustainability Leaders Project, a compilation of portraits and stories of world's leading professionals championing sustainable tourism.
As we develop the film, we will begin building out a companion series that has spotlights of businesses, activities, and other bits and clips that didn’t fit the main narrative. Backers that donate $25 or more will be given access to some of this behind-the-scenes and offshoot footage.
We're also developing a website to host the series until it gets picked up by Netfilx or Amazon Prime, or Apple. The website will be a beautiful visual experience and allow people to pay to watch each episode individually, or to join as members and experience all of the additional content and segments that we develop. Currently the website is under construction. Once it is completed, there will be links in the project.
Some segment ideas include extended interviews with our subject matter experts and locals, exploring places from the Atlas Obscura, exploring different culinary experiences and cuisines across the world, and engaging and filming various adrenaline-inducing experiences.
But more excitingly…
We’re teaming up with Susan Dalton to deliver some amazing rewards for our backers. You’ll hear more about Susan in our film, but for now, what you need to know is she has an incredible book filled with pictures, information and unique post cards. We're thrilled to be able to these unique books as a physical and historical connection to the subject of this episode! Higher tiers will get signed editions of Telluride A Silver Past, A Golden Future and MOUNTAINFILM: 40 YEARS.
Speaking of post cards, Kristofer also happens to be a professional photographer, and will be sending off unique post cards to many tiers of our backers. The photos will be taken from the ground and from the sky in and around Telluride - and post cards will be exclusively created for this project and never replicated.
Thank you for taking the time to read through this project and for your participation in what we hope to achieve. A Dreamer can only go so far until others catch the vision and believe the realization of the dream is worthwhile.
We believe the pursuit of developing better brands in places is fundamental to building a better world, and the best way to do this is by creating spaces where communication and visualization can thrive together in both communities and geographic spaces. Authenticity is the key to great place brands. What does your place have to share?
Risks and challenges
Working with a small crew is our biggest challenge. When each member of the crew is doing 4-5 jobs, things can fall through the cracks.
We are hoping to be able to hire someone to come along with us and work as a PA and an Audio Technician. And if get enough backing, we might bring an additional 2 crew members along with us!
Another thing we need are permits. Lots of permits. Permits to shoot on public streets, permits to fly drones, permits to shoot in the national forest... so we gotta get those.
Also, it turns out there can be some unexpected and difficult life events that pop up in the middle of campaigns. It's important to have a good community supporting us when these things happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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