Archive for category Fundraising

Thanksgiving, a time for reflection

Well, here in America we are heading into the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving in a couple days.  As always people tend to reflect on what they are grateful for, and some might even get a head start on planning their new years resolution.  I have seen many friends on Facebook do countdowns of gratitude.  And all around have seen great things in people wanting to help others.  It truly is a great season.

There are a couple things I am grateful for as well.  Teachers that have taught me skills that I can apply in work, for showing me how to find opportunities, and for the opportunities that have shown up as well.  These are actually quite numerous so I won’t post all of them here.  But one of the opportunities I am most grateful is to help on is a senior project that will help out a place I hold dear.  I have already said I help out with a nonprofit called Help Cape Verde Africa, but a group from my school is going to help out with our efforts.  And since we will be able to help more families and have better outreach to improve conditions, that makes me happy.  And I get to take some awesome footage for some projects of my own.

Check out the fundraiser here http://www.indiegogo.com/african-gardens

And a facebook event is here http://www.facebook.com/events/297610703688957

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IndieGoGo Campaigning

So right now I am in the middle of an IndieGoGo campaign, and man is it tough and easy to get a little discouraged.  But never fear, it is still in the beginning of the campaign, only four days have gone by.  For those who want to know what it is, it is a fundraiser to help the NPO Help Cape Verde Africa to teach african families how to grow a garden in urban conditions. It is a great project and worth anyone’s time and effort, cause it not only helps educate african families, but this project we have students from UVU who will be helping us and contributions help them to develop their talents.

So far we have had over 200 people look at the campaign, today we reached $200 in which was put there by a seventh funder. What makes it kind of discouraging is knowing that if everyone who had saw the campaign gave $5 we would be over a quarter of the way to our goal.  I know times are tough and not everyone is in a position to give, and it could be the case that people want to give but need to wait until payday.  It is that kind of optimism that someone needs to do these things.  And I am confident that we can get there, we have 36 days left and are campaigning with the student group from UVU.

Wish me luck and please find a little to give, a little goes a long way in helping these families improve their nutrition and finances.

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Trying To Get A Documentary Off The Ground

One thing I really like is documentaries.  I have always been fascinated by programs like Nova or The American Experience that rely on a documentary format.  And for me they do a great job at being compelling, the majority of the time I am stuck to the screen.  So I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I want to make one.

I already have the main idea.  This happened as I was checking a Facebook group page about Cape Verdians. One of the posts was about the research a woman had done tracing her family roots back to the early 1700’s on the island of Fogo.  So I looked at her website even closer and found a treasure trove of information that can be used to make a great documentary.  I got ahold of her and she thinks it is a great idea, so now to get this thing up off the ground.  It will be a retroactive telling of the history of this woman’s homeland as seen through her own genealogical history.

For starters I have already applied to two charity organizations for grants.  One being the BRITDOC Foundation in the UK and the other being Cinereach.  I should hear back from them in one to two months to see if they are interested in giving me money.  It would be great if they asked me to submit a full proposal, so here I am crossing my fingers.

Other options on the table are to pitch the idea to a couple of organizations, maybe Ancestry.com or try to find people who have connections to the History Channel or NatGeo.  So I do have my eyes open to suggestions if anyone has some leads for me on this front.

Another great resource I found on the topic of fundraising is from the Desktop Documentaries website, the link to them is in the blogroll sidebar.  That site has a guide of 25 ideas that can be used to raise money, you have to subscribe to a newsletter to get it, it is a pdf download.  This guide covers topics such as crowd funding, yard sales, house parties , cooking demos, and selling movie frames to name a couple.  But on the site itself and not in the guide is the suggestion to do video contests through sites like PopTent and Zooppa. Sounds like a no-brainer on that one.  Big payouts if you win and that is great to purchase gear and save up for the airfare required for this documentary project I have my heart set on.  So wish me luck, I’m filming for a couple of these contests fairly quickly.

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Video Contests and Getting Started

A couple weeks ago on No Film School there was a post talking about starting a career in film by entering video contests.  It was very informative and I liked it, so much that I decided I need to get in on the action as well. So after just a quick online search I found a couple of websites that deal with contests. Most of the sites are contests for commercials, but the payoffs involved are pretty dang good.  The prizes usually involve a one lump sum of cash but some may also offer certain merchandise or gear.

If one wants to get involved it is pretty easy, you just have to register at a sponsor site for contests.  These are really easy to find but a couple of the more popular ones are Poptent and Zoopa. You can’t go wrong with these sites here.  After rigistering and creating your profile you will then be able to accept assignments and upload projects. I registered on both and sent out this tweet:

Which I was then responded to by Poptent:

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Another Movie Maker Guide (and it’s free too)

I actually downloaded this last week but didn’t really read it till yesterday.  It was one of those things that popped up on a couple production blogs I follow.  I must admit it is a really nice guide, very well put together and very informative.  I’m just surprised the author isn’t selling it, he very well could be making bank on it.

What this guide does is it gives you pointers on how to successfully raise funds, invest, budget, shoot and distribute your film to maximize profit from your film.  Now the indie revolution is really kicking in.  Expect to see more high quality, low budget productions in the near future.

Go ahead and download it, and you will see secrets of the pros that are actually just common sense, good thing it’s free.  To download click on The Modern Moviemaking Movement.

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Sustainable Agriculture Experiment

Have you ever grown food? Or are you one that thinks that milk, eggs and veggies come from the store?  There is more to that, everything you eat had to be grown somewhere, and it all comes from a farm(mostly).

So what if you wanted to grow things yourself? Good question, and here in the United States the resources are there to help you.  But what if you don’t live in the US.  That is what I’m trying to figure out is how to effectively use the resources at hand for use in Cape Verde for a humanitarian project.  So this might seem daunting but it shouldn’t really be that hard.  I already know that I will have mixed results, it’s just a matter of finding what works.

I will be using the sub-irrigation planter (SIP) method constructed of two buckets.  What works is a mixture whose main ingredient is either peat moss or cocopeat.  What doesn’t work is regular soil because the soil doesn’t absorb the water upwards so I need to find a way around that.  For the experiment I will have two SIP’s one peat moss based, the other cocopeat based, and 4 more SIP’s with regular soil each with a different wicking medium to draw the water upwards to the roots.

self watering container

What an SIP looks like

The peat moss and cocopeat have already been documented to work, the reason I’m doing this experiment is because cocopeat and peat moss are not readily available in Cape Verde and I want to help the people there grow food in the soil they have.  Right now it’s very difficult since only 11% of the land is farmable because it’s so dry.

Along this journey I’ll be documenting and putting up some videos of how all this is going.  So please wish me luck.  And if you wish to support Cape Verde consider making a donation to this linked charitable organization.

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This Past Week

So this past week has been really crazy.  I’m coming along with the animation, but I haven’t been able to do a lot of things.  On Tuesday I got hit hit with a cold that just hasn’t left me alone. And one of my co-workers has quit and I’ve taken up most of his hours, which is a lot and that doesn’t leave me with any time to animate.  But it should be better after this Thursday.

Also this past week wrapped up the online fundraiser I was doing for Help Cape Verde Africa.  We didn’t even get close to our goal, but I am really thankful for those that believed in us and still believe in our cause.  We had over 5,000 views, but only 8 people donated, and those 8 people are freaking awesome in my book.

our stats for the fundraiser

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