Last year, I had the pleasure of promoting internationally renowned artist, BRUCE LAWES (www.bklawesart.com) to the US Civil War re-enactors and visitors to the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg during the July 4th long weekend. Since then, Bruce and I have developed ongoing relationships with those involved in the historical event, the battlegrounds preservation groups and Civil War historians and Bruce will be returning this year to continue painting his large format work on Pickett’s Charge. One leading Civil War historian and award-winning author, J.D. PETRUZZI, introduced Bruce and his work to the producers of the upcoming TV series “To Appomattox” and hopefully Bruce will be contributing his unique artistic skills once the series starts rolling.
I am honoured to support the production in its quest to secure funding via KICKSTARTER and ask that you kindly read of their media advisory (below) announcing how/why the producers want to make history by creating the largest crowd-funding attempt ever!
As many of you are aware, the producers of To Appomattox have spent many years trying to bring this epic miniseries to life. But as has been the case, roadblocks have continued to prevent this series from getting the green light. But now, the production team is moving forward with an exciting new way to help get this series made: Kickstarter!
This Kickstarter is the brainchild of Michael Frost Beckner, the project’s writer and producer. He has been working on the project for over a decade now, and has put everything he has into bringing this series to the screen. He has pitched the series to several networks and studios over the past five years. Each time, he would find some people very interested, only to have it reach the very top, and be told the same thing over and over: “We just don’t see it.” It is the intention of Michael Beckner to use this Kickstarter Campaign so that those network and studio executives will see it!
The set goal of the Kickstarter Campaign for To Appomattox is the largest ever attempted: $2.5 Million. This money will then be matched dollar-for-dollar by a Private Financial Group, which will bring the total to $5 Million. This money will be used to create a feature-length version of the first episode of the series. This film will then be taken to networks to be pitched as a Backdoor Pilot, and generate interest in creating the entire series. What is great about this plan is that, even if a network does not pick up the series, the producers will have the option to release the first episode as a feature film.
But what makes the Kickstarter for To Appomattox unique is that the rewards for the campaign have been designed to encourage backer participation in the making of the film. Those who donate to the campaign will have the chance at several opportunities to help out in the production, such as involvement in front of the camera, or behind the scenes as part of the crew. Backers will also have the chance to take part in private screenings of the director’s cut, and offer their feedback on how to make the film better. These, as well as other rewards, offer those who back the project a chance to take part in the production process, a first for a Kickstarter Campaign. In effect, the backers who donate to the campaign become the studio!
The Kickstarter Campaign kicks off on Wednesday, April 16th. But you can help begin to spread the word. Talk to everyone you know about the campaign. Let them know that this is an important project that will not only entertain, but also enlighten about the people and events of that period of American history, and how that story remains relevant today. This is your chance to help take part to help get this epic miniseries before the cameras, not just in helping to fund the project, but also taking part in the production process itself!
Read Variety’s article on the Kickstarter Campaign here. To learn more about the Kickstarter Campaign, visit the Official Facebook Page. And check out the updated Official Website to learn more about the production!