Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Fifth Sacred Thing

They say that movies are collective dreams.  If so, we’re heading for a nightmare—for there are very few films that show a positive future on earth.  We want to change that.  How can we create a thriving, just and balanced future if we can’t even imagine it?  We want to bring alive a vision that can inspire people—and we’ve found the story in Starhawk’s novel, The Fifth Sacred Thing.

In the story, set in 2048, Northern California has survived eco-catastrophes, wars and epidemics and forged a society based on respect for the Four Sacred Things that support life: air, fire, water and earth.  Streets are turned into gardens, streams flow free, people of all races and religions live in harmony – until the militarist Southlands attack.  How can the people of a peaceful society fight against ruthless invaders without becoming what they’re fighting against?  Musician-turned-guerilla Bird, his story-teller grandmother Maya, and Madrone, the healer, must wield a force more powerful than weapons—the fifth sacred thing.
In the eighteen years since its publication, hundreds of thousands of people have read The Fifth Sacred Thing and been moved by its imagery and drama.  Now, at this time when our future seems so precarious, we want to bring it to the screen and to a whole new generation who are more visual than verbal.  To do it right—big screen, special effects, major actors and director, will take lots of money.  What we hope to raise here is just the beginning, but a very important one.
Making a movie of a book that so many people love is a scary venture.  We feel a huge responsibility—first to be faithful to the book’s artistic vision, to make a film that moves people emotionally, that’s dramatic and funny and edge-of-the-seat powerful.  But also, we want to be faithful to the values of earth-care and social justice the book represents.  Not just in what the movie portrays, but also in the way we go about making it.  We’ve written a Green Plan that will set new standards for environmental accountability in the film industry.  We’ll bring resources into the inner city by networking with community organizations with whom we have longstanding relationships.  We’ll put up a website with extensive resources and develop many ways that people who are inspired by the vision can learn the skills they need to create it and connect with others who share it.  We want the movie to help nurture and support the movements that are already growing to put our world on a path of peace, justice and ecological harmony.
The normal way of making a big movie is to sell the idea to a studio and give up control.  Even the screenwriter has little say over the finished project—and the author of the original work is rarely allowed to write the screenplay.
We want to do it differently.  But will we be able to pull it off?  To make an end-run around the entrenched studio system and find backers and investors who will share the full vision with us?  To have any hope of doing so, we need your help. 
We need to put together a pitch that the major film studios can’t refuse - so vivid, so comprehensive, so compelling that they’ll climb on board instead of attempting to hijack the train.
That’s why we’ve turned to Kickstarter.  The more capital we can raise, the more we bring to the table, the more clout we’ll ultimately have to make the movie we want, in the way we want - the way that the fans of the novel can believe in.
Already we’ve received so much support – from artists, musicians, permaculture designers, filmmakers and actors who all want to be part of this.
Now we’re asking for your support.  What will we do with the money?  You’ve seen in the video some of the brilliant artists who inspire us, and who want to work with us.  With your help, we’ll be able to create the next phase; designs for sets and costumes, visuals of key scenes, and storyboards for the action.  We can secure the rights to the music and art we need, and do those dull but oh-so-necessary things like finalizing contracts, budgets and financial plans.  To ensure that we are able to continue to develop the strongest possible project, we estimate that we'll need about double our Kickstarter campaign goal of $60,000, and we're certain that with your help, along with the tremendous support we've been receiving from our entire community, we can do it.
There are also other ways you can help.  Forward this link to your own networks.  ‘Like’ our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, or sign onto our mailing list on our website.  Help us spread the word.
By demonstrating the enormous interest and popular support that’s out there, we’ll convince investors and studios that we’re a good risk—provided we keep true to the vision!

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