Introducing ‘CLEAR SKIES’ – An Australian Eclipse Documentary 


Our CLEAR SKIES documentaries are intended to be a series of shows covering each eclipse, as well as other exciting astronomical events (Comet ISON anyone?). 

The aim of this series is to document each event as a historical record, as well as an astronomy outreach resource. See the webpage: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/clear-skies-annular-eclipse   This is our first episode; originally it was to be a trial to test our concept and equipment.  However it turned out far better than even we expected, and it deserves to be produced as “Episode Zero”, the pilot in our proposed series.

While our equipment was basic and our experience is based on photographic skills, the personality of the people we interviewed and the excitement of chasing the eclipse itself, quickly turned our work into much more than just a trial.  We have up to 15 hours of footage and interviews conducted in the four days around the eclipse in Tennant Creek.

Don’t expect a typical boring science documentary either.  By including interviews with local characters, other amateur astronomers, scientists and, of course, the eclipse itself, our team of “quirky” chasers will keep the tone light-hearted and convivial.

CLEAR SKIES Showreel V2 from David Finlay on Vimeo.

We require funds to finalise the post-processing of the footage into a documentary format, as well as finding a direct market to the people most likely to want to purchase a DVD of the eclipse (no digital downloads here; the DVD is intented as a “Keep-sake”).  Any additional funds will be invested in equipment and licenced footage for further episodes.  You can help us make future episodes better!

 One thing that we have noticed when chasing our own eclipses is how much social activity is involved in these events.  They are more than simply a wonderous astronomical curiosity.  We describe them as a “Human Migration”, a universal party celebrating our place in the solar system.  We want to not just simply capture the eclipse itself, but to record the people that were there, both local inhabitants and chasers alike.

Renowned US eclipse chaser at Tennant Creek, Prof. Jay Pasachoff. Taken by David Finlay on May 10, 2013 @ Churchills Head, Tennant Creek, Australia

We would also like to provide a platform for other people to earn funds from their own eclipse-related photos and videos.  Everyone seems to capture eclipses in their own way, and we all go to a lot of effort to record them.  Don’t you think it was about time you received something in return?  We will select the best images/videos submitted to us to be negotiated for licencing agreements which will be included in our future docos and photo-books. 

Due to crowdfunding rules, we are unable to establish this concept as a perk, therefore this will have to be submitted and negotiated outside Indiegogo.  Material of the 10 May eclipse can be sent to clearskiestv@gmail.com to be determined for suitability for our production. Our fundraising will be kept as simple as possible; every perk we offer we are able to easily deliver to our funders.  

http://www.newsfiber.com/thumb/20130510-B38DD2D58538C598-0-0-E800D76E-14A1012E1EB4F174.jpegWe also recognise that people want a memento of each eclipse (beyond just another t-shirt), and our documentary is intended to fulfill that need. I personally invite you to join us on these adventures, whether it be watching the show, participating in them by submitting footage, photos or “Selfies”, or being interviewed at another exciting astronomical event.

 As one of the main producers of the documentary, Dave Finlay says, “The documentary has already been filmed and we need a way to both fund the post-production and to also sell our final product.  

Crowdfunding allows us to do both of these things. Our campaign will offer several levels of perks, with the primary perk being a copy of the DVD of our documentary.  It is our intention to produce an individual episode at each major astronomical event, eclipses included, in order to provide people with a historical record (a memento) of each event.”

In return for your assistance with this project, the producers would like to include your name and website in the “Special Thanks” section of the credits in order to acknowledge your help.

 Our Mission Statement:

1.  Deliver a quality product that funders will gain value from the money they invest

2.  Create the foundation for a series of episodes specifically documenting astronomical events

3.  Entertain.  Who said astronomy had to be boring?

4.  Educate.  Amateur astronomy is easy and exciting.  You don’t need fancy equipment or technical knowledge; just a genuine curiosity, a pair of healthy eyeballs (or only one if necessary), and a little guidance.  We can give you that guidance.

5.  Develop a platform for amateur astronomers and photographers to earn money from their own images and videos of astronomical events

STRETCH GOALS  $15,000 – We’ll include a rockin’ soundtrack.  Licenced music isn’t cheap, but extra funds will help give a beat to our audio. $30,000 – We’ll include BBC-quality licenced footage of the eclipse.  Licenced video is even more expensive than music.  We have additional footage organised, but we can’t afford it on our current budget. See the funding webpage: http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/clear-skies-annular-eclipse

 * If you can help in any way please email the producers clearskiestv@gmail.com  or call Dave Finky now on 0400 387 844.  Thanks. Source: Indiegogo
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