By Kelsey Deaton
Feb 11, 2013
A team of three passionate environmental filmmakers recently returned from the Amazon and Choco´ rainforests of Ecuador, beginning their journey to make a documentary featuring the best ways to save tropical rainforests. During the month of February, Earth Soul Productions is turning to Kickstarter, a "crowd-funding" website, to raise funds to cover the expenses of documenting more conservation examples in Costa Rica and Madagascar.
Overwhelmed by documentaries that describe the devastating destruction of rainforests, Paul Stoutenburgh decided to produce a film from a new angle, focusing on solutions to save the remaining rainforests. “It’s time for a film that provides real answers and inspires optimism for the planet’s most diverse ecosystem,” says Stoutenburgh.
The production company, Earth Soul Productions, began filming the documentary in November of 2012. They discovered compelling stories of activism and preservation in the Ecuadorian jungles, but they are not finished yet. There are many powerful examples of conservation that await the team in Costa Rica and Madagascar.
Crowdfunding is a new way to finance independent films. Stoutenburgh states, “Kickstarter is great, because it allows filmmakers to pursue more genuine stories, rather than just meeting the needs of big networks.”
Additionally, Kickstarter offers a unique opportunity for sponsors to become more intimately involved with the film; sponsors get to follow the production process, connect with the filmmakers, and even get a chance to offer creative commentary during the rough-cut stage of production. Everyone gets a cool prize for donating, whether they pledge $10 or $10,000. The team has one only month to raise an all-or-nothing $15,000, meaning they don’t get any of the pledged donations until the campaign is successful.
Mongabay.org, a 501c3 non-profit and the top online resource for rainforest information and environmental news, is coordinating with Earth Soul Productions as their fiscal sponsor. Therefore, all donations to the project are tax- deductible.
Even if you can’t afford to donate, one of the biggest ways to help the project is by spreading the word via facebook, twitter, blogs, and telling friends.
Check out their kickstarter at “Preserving Paradise,” visit their website www.EarthSoulProductions.com, or find them on Facebook under the name “Earth Soul Productions.”