$17,296
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
61
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, November 15 2018 2:17 AM UTC +00:00
Britton WebbBy Britton Webb
First created
Britton WebbBy Britton Webb
First created
$17,296
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
61
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, November 15 2018 2:17 AM UTC +00:00

About

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Our Mission

Our Mission for this project is to produce a short film depicting one of the great mysteries of the American Civil War - the murder of Confederate General Earl Van Dorn. Our Ultimate Goal for Where Elephants Fought is to produce a feature film.  The film is based on the book Where Elephants Fought, written by one of our own - screenwriter/producer Bridget Smith. The book encompasses over 25 years of research and reveals the REAL reason for the General's murder - a fact hidden for over 150 years. Our hope is to raise enough money to get our project off the ground and allow us to produce the film OURSELVES, thus preserving the integrity of our story - which, after all, is most important to us. With YOUR HELP, we can at last answer that gnawing question: Why did the doctor shoot the general?

Our Plan

Our initial Plan for Where Elephants Fought is to raise at least $100,000 and shoot a short film depicting the highlights of the full length script. We will shoot the short exclusively in Mississippi, which will allow us to take advantage of the tax credit..... unless of course, we are able to exceed our goal, which would allow us to shoot the murder scene in its actual location at Ferguson Hall in Spring Hill, Tennessee - a building that still stands today!  

We will submit our short version of the film to the most prestigious film festivals, and once chosen, it will provide us with the opportunities and relationships we need to finance the feature.  

The Story

Where Elephants Fought is the story of the murder of Confederate General Earl Van Dorn on May 7, 1863. During the tragic days of the American Civil War, the handsome, playboy General Van Dorn struck up an affair with the beautiful Jessie Peters, wife of wealthy physician and planter, George Peters. During the course of their whirlwind affair, the handsome General Van Dorn set his sites on yet another. Unfortunately, the general would not fare so well with this affair... After months on the run, Dr. George Peters is captured at his niece's plantation in the Mississippi Delta. He is taken before a judge in Meridian, Mississippi, where he is ultimately released. The doctor is never charged with murder. For years, historians have wrestled with the reasons for the doctor's release. Their answer - this was merely an honor killing. And in 19th century America, such a killing would have been justified.  But, was there more to the story? Was there yet another reason Dr. Peters got away with murder? YES!! And Where Elephants Fought provides the startling revelation that forever changes American History

John Banks writes in Civil War Times: "Perhaps no one knows more about Earl Van Dorn than Bridget Smith, author of Where Elephants Fought, a historical novel about the twists and turns of his sordid life and death. A 53-year-old Tennessee native, Smith has devoted more than 20 years researching the man she calls a “typical 1860s frat boy.” Read more:

http://www.historynet.com/rambling-death-frat-boy.htm

The Players

The Naughty General Earl Van Dorn

More often remembered for his antics off the battlefield, the handsome general was a favorite among the ladies - both married and single. Rumors of scandalous love affairs, drunkenness, and a general disregard for social decorum plague the naughty general until his death. Yet, for all of his flaws, the daring cavalry leader is charming, artistic, educated and well-heeled. He is indeed a complex character - a volatile mixture of pride and lust - a man possessed by an insatiable appetite for glory and an incurable penchant for the ladies. His death at the hands of an enraged Dr. Peters is inevitable.

A Southern Temptress

Jessie McKissack Peters is the epitome of the Southern Belle - a real life Scarlet O'Hara - an incredible beauty with a devastating charm, adored by men and despised by women. Though rich and educated, her privileged circumstances do little to protect her, as she is plagued throughout her life by a number of tragedies. Her marriage to Dr. George Peters - a man 23 years her senior - leaves her bored and alone. Along with her wedding vows, Jessie is burdened with a brood of stepchildren - some her own age! But her appetite for adventure  makes her pretty damned exciting - especially to handsome cavalry officers. 

Dr. George Peters

One of the more despised characters in this motley cast, Dr. Peters is a wealthy planter, successful doctor, savvy businessman, and an absolute failure in his personal life - at least in his relationships with the ladies in his family. Though the doctor is often a possessive, controlling, arrogant ass; at other times, he is just another insanely jealous, older husband of a hot young wife! Alas, poor General Van Dorn... 

The Young and the Restless

Clara Peters is perhaps one of the more elusive characters in the Van Dorn affair. The only girl in a family of boys, 15 year-old Clara is the ideal Southern girl: charming and sophisticated; kind and respectful - yet, she cannot suppress her teenage desires for attention and love. And who could blame her? Her stepmother is, after all, the vixen Jessie Peters. What else is a pretty, doe-eyed schoolgirl to do?

The Gallant Clayton Sumrall

Clayton Sumrall is the quintessential Southern gentleman. As aid de camp of General Van Dorn, the young Clayton is educated, sophisticated, and ready to prove his worth as a lieutenant in the Confederate army. He is also quite interested in the beautiful Clara Peters. Unfortunately, the only love in his future is the unrequited kind. So tragic indeed...

General Nathan Bedford Forrest

Definitely needs no introduction...the famous General Forrest is a force to be reckoned with - both in battle and among his comrades. Hailed as one of the most successful cavalry commanders in the Confederate Army, General Forrest is as handsome as he is tough. He fights alongside General Van Dorn during the Spring Hill days, and assumes command after Van Dorn's untimely death. Though not as polished as the handsome Van Dorn, General Forrest is rough, tough, and a favorite of the ladies - especially Jessie Peters. 

Alexander

A servant of the Peters' family, Alexander is Jessie's most trusted ally. Now in his late 50's, Alexander takes special care of Jessie while the Doctor is away. But try as he may, he can't keep Jessie out of trouble - at least not when it comes to General Van Dorn. 

Risks and challenges

Every project comes with its own unique risks and challenges. Our film is no different, except it is an epic civil war period piece, which basically multiplies those risks and challenges by about 155 years.

Have no fear, we are up for the challenge. Both of our producers have been residents of Mississippi for a combined 50+ years, which has allowed them to build relationships that will help eliminate many risks and cut unnecessary spending, thus putting more money on the screen.

One of the biggest challenges we shall face will be our overwhelming desire to shoot the murder scene in its actual location at Ferguson Hall in Spring Hill, Tennessee - a feat that would certainly require over and beyond our campaign goal. We ask that you continue to donate in order to help us deliver the accuracy and epic detail this project deserves.

We do have the best two producers we could ask for to achieve the Spring Hill, TN shoot as cost efficient as possible. Britton attended film school in Nashville, TN at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film, where he still has many film related connections. Additionally, Bridget is originally from Columbia, TN, right outside of Spring Hill. Therefore, if it can be done, we know they can do it.

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    Rebel Yell

    A special thanks credit and a big warm Rebel Yell from our team at Where Elephants Fought.

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    Southern Belles

    Just can't beat those Southern Belles, but we aim to please, so enjoy a digital download of Where Elephants Fought short film.

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    Dixie

    You will have us playing Dixie in no time! We are pleased to offer a Movie Poster signed by the writers and director, and a digital download of the short film Where Elephants Fought.

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    Skirmish

    Thanks for going to battle for us!! We are pleased to offer a hard copy of our script and a Movie Poster signed by the writers and director. As well as, a digital download of the short film Where Elephants Fought.

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    Headquarters

    You have helped us secure an advantageous location for headquarters! It's our privilege to offer a signed copy of the novel, "Where Elephants Fought" by Bridget Smith. Additionally, you will receive a digital download of the short film, a movie poster, and hard copy of the script signed by the writers and director.

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    Confederate

    As a tried and true Confederate, it's our privilege to offer you a Movie poster signed by the Lead Cast, writers, and director, along with two free tickets to a screening of your choice. You will also receive a signed copy of the novel, "Where Elephants Fought" by Bridget Smith. Additionally, you will receive a digital download of the short film, and a hard copy of the script signed by the writers and director.

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    General

    Be a General and join Britton & Bridget for dinner in Jackson (travel not included). Also, meet one of our biggest supporters, Marcus Dupree, from the famous ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Best That Never Was." Marcus will be signing a copy of that very DVD for you personally. In addition to this awesome gift, you will also receive ALL items listed above!

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    Nathan Bedford Forest

    As one of the Confederacy's most famous Generals, you will receive an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER CREDIT, a signed University of Oklahoma miniature helmet, compliments of one of our biggest supporters, Marcus Dupree, from the famous ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Best That Never Was." You will also receive a signed a copy of that DVD. We will also gift you a digital download of behind the scenes footage. In addition to this cache of all caches, you will also receive ALL ITEMS LISTED ABOVE!

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    Jessie Peters

    As a loving supporter of the vixen Jessie Peters, you will be granted a CO-PRODUCER CREDIT and the opportunity to be on set each day of production and meet and have pictures made with the lead cast and director! We would also welcome you to be an extra in our film, but we cannot promise every extra will make the final cut. Oh yeah, you can't have a movie without a WRAP PARTY, so bring a guest and join us. In addition to these awesome gifts, you will also receive ALL ITEMS LISTED ABOVE!

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    Doctor Peters

    You may be out to kill, but we didn't see anything!!! You will receive a CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER CREDIT and have the opportunity to write a line of dialogue in our film. The line will have to be approved, but you get as many tries as you like!! You will also be getting ALL OF THE PERKS ABOVE!!!

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    Van Dorn

    In honor of our FAV General, how would you like to deliver a line in our civil war film!!! You got it!! Also, you will get to meet former NFL great Marcus Dupree. As our most awesome supporter, you will be showered with love from the producers, cast and crew of Where Elephants Fought! Additionally, you will receive ALL ITEMS LISTED ABOVE!!

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Funding period

- (45 days)