A great bottle of wine is the perfect accompaniment to life’s milestones, celebrations and feasts. But even ardent wine lovers may not realize that the brilliance of the vintage is determined by viticulture – the growing of the grapes. Passionate people have dedicated their lives to cultivating the perfect fruit. Each season, winemakers embark on a roller coaster ride of unforeseen natural events that might well lead to greatness – or to disaster.
THE PROJECT: AN INTERACTIVE DOCUMENTARY
We propose to do something that hasn't been done before: to document the 2014 growing season, following a vintage from the flowering of the vine to the moment when the fruit is crushed and the juice is barreled.
Rather than create a feature film consumed in one 90-minute sitting, we will treat our viewers to small episodes throughout the year – essentially allowing them to keep their finger on the pulse of the vines.
We’ll deploy the latest developments in Transmedia Storytelling, using digital technology to celebrate Vintage 2014 across multiple platforms and formats. A tablet & mobile friendly web destination will serve as the hub for delivering highly interactive video episodes, with original content syndicated via social networks and mobile audio broadcasts. As a viewer, you can follow the story of the vintage in a linear format through a variety of mediums, or explore the people and places in more detail via a less structured, but intuitive path.
Our storytelling approach will include:
- Interviewing dozens of vineyard managers, winemakers and other key personalities over the entire 2014 growing season
- Producing short films on key events, such as netting, pruning and harvest
- Time lapse videos of the entire growing season at unique vineyard locations
- Photo essays of key events, such as buds breaking and véraison (the onset of ripening).
- Graphing key data points (air temperature, brix levels)
- Public social media Q&A sessions with winemakers & vineyard managers
- A professionally recorded soundtrack of original songs performed by local musicians
Another way to enhance the interactive aspect of this documentary project is by creating an immersive experience where participants can taste the wine, ask winemakers questions and watch recent footage from the vineyards. We plan to take these events to major cities, as we did in a 2013 trial run. We also plan to hold vineyard screenings throughout the summer in Santa Barbara County, where we'll bring together local chefs, musicians and artisans to participate in the documentary project.
Having worked in food and beverage advertising for years, I thought I knew wine - at least I knew how to talk about the bottle on the shelf. But after spending a summer in Santa Barbara wine country, my eyes were opened to the aspect of winemaking that is both a science and an art: viticulture.
I befriended dozens of small production winemakers and vineyard managers, who allowed me to take their wines across the country to tell their story. What I found was that, like me, people knew very little about what goes into growing the wine they enjoy, yet they were fascinated to hear about it. I developed a slideshow of vineyard photos, augmented with live wine tastings to enhance the experience.
With this new documentary, I hope to take wine appreciation to the next level. Together, we will explore wine’s origins, the subtleties that yield a spectacular vintage, and meet the fascinating people behind the scenes that make it all happen.
CORE PRODUCTION TEAM
I've begun collaborating with a talented group of individuals who share my fascination with this topic and are excited to produce a first-of-its-kind interactive documentary on viticulture.
- Wil Fernandez - Producer
- Michelle Ball - Production Director
- Jeremy Ball - Director of Photography
- Jonathan Baudoin - Editor
- Katie Falbo - Events Coordinator
- Robert Girvin - Operations
Based on the success of our fundraising efforts, we hope to bring on additional team members to help make this production as true to life as possible.
HOW WE WILL USE THE FUNDS
This Kickstarter truly will "kick start" the VINTAGE 2014 project. As we enter pre-production, we need funds to purchase equipment and develop the web destination that will house the majority of the content for real time viewing throughout the year. If we can raise a minimum of $20,000, this project is a GO.
Producing the documentary content over a 9-month timeline will be a variable cost - the more we raise above the minimum funding goal, the more footage we can shoot, edit and distribute. With your help, we can tell a more comprehensive story.
- November-December 2013: Pre-production planning
- January 2014: Begin production
- March 2014: Real time episodes begin across all channels
- April-May 2014: Screening events in New York & Los Angeles
- June-August 2014: Screening events in Santa Barbara County vineyards
- September 2014: Soundtrack available on iTunes
- October-December 2014: Screening events in major cities & film festivals
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- DONATE (even $1 helps!)
- EMAIL your wine loving friends about the project
- SHARE this Kickstarter on your preferred social network
- ASK QUESTIONS - we would love to hear from you!
Risks and challenges
The most exciting part about this project is that we don't know what the 2014 growing season will bring. Natural disasters, unpredictable weather and other variables must be prepared for, so that if the year goes down in the record books, we will have captured it. Hopefully, the record will be for the best wine year ever, and you can enjoy the documentary while you sip on a bottle of your favorite wine from 2014.
Another challenge is the advanced videography needed to record the time lapse footage in the vineyards. This will require highly specialized equipment, including weatherproof camera housings, solar panels, and large media storage. To capture these once-a-year events, we need multiple cameras and to check on the footage as frequently as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (60 days)