How To Help

Independent filmmaking presents many challenges. It is a creative war, that is by far the most difficult creative outlet I have invested in, and requires an incredible amount of patience and persistence. Often just getting through the finish line is a daunting task, because the obstacles thrown your way will test your resilience and commitment. Having a completed film is just the beginning. You still have to promote and establish a distribution plan where it can be seen by the public, and there’s still no guarantee.

But, that’s putting the ‘cart before the horse’, as this doc-series is still in the production phase of documentary filmmaking – setting up and conducting interviews, editing hundreds and hundreds of hours of previous interviews done while filming (my first film) – “Guilty ‘Til Proven Innocent” and the collection of news footage dating as far back as the 1980s, and archiving a database of digital media files of photographs, postcards, and news stories as far back as the mid-1800s.

Independent film is just that – a film without a major studio, and its financial power or influence, backing and dictating the success of it. Independent filmmakers usually have to wear numerous caps – producer, director, editor, promotion, etc.

There is an enormous burden on the filmmaker required – both financially as well as time invested, that’s required to see it through. If they are not passionate about the project, it will fail. And, that’s the truth.

So, given the ambitious goal this new project has set forth, I am attempting to seek supporters and other partnerships to help fund this important doc-series, by rewarding their contribution with incentives.

pitch Video:

Once In A Lifetime” Concept & Pitch Video

The above Pitch Video was originally published on August 30, 2020 initially for a crowdfunding campaign during the month of October. It was slightly modified in the beginning of 2021 for the purpose to provide possible interview subjects and interested viewers an idea of what the final doc-series will be about, and attract potential contributors, investors, producers, and sponsors.


OptionS:

Please consider contributing to one of the following options.

Option 1

“Thank You” Credit or “Soulmate” Incentive

Choose one of the following one-time $50 contributions (below), which will help fund this documentary series while getting an incentive for doing it.

f you select the “Soulmate” option, an email will be sent for you to attach the photo/video file.

A. “Thank You” Incentive
$50
  • Your name will appear in a special section during the ending credit roll as a contributor in making this documentary series possible.
B. “Soulmate” Incentive
$50
  • LIMITED SPACE: A photograph or short video clip of your soulmate dog will appear as the ending credits roll. *no more than 3-5 second/video

Option 2

Monthly Patreon Subscriber

Patreon is a subscription-based (monthly) site where you can support artists working on projects you believe in, to help them make a sustainable living doing what they were born to do, and in return receive special incentives exclusive to subscribers. To view those incentives, click the link below:
https://www.patreon.com/riverfirefilms

Option 3

Producers, Sponsors & Other Investors

We’ve all seen introduction credits in the opening of movies and our favorite television shows, which list the “important people” that made the production possible. Usually there are several “Producers” listed – Executive Producer(s) and Associate Producer(s), to name a couple. In short, the roles these people play for getting those titles can vary. They may be hands on, or they may just be someone who financed the majority of the project. Nevertheless, they play a crucial role in getting what is an idea to be reality.

For this specific project, I am giving Producers a percentage or share in the profits earned once it gets to distribution, along with your name being singled-out in the introduction credits. There are obviously no guarantees in this industry, but I feel strong about its outlook.

If you are interested in investing in this film, and would like to discuss in more detail, please go to the contact page and fill out the form selecting “Business Inquiry”:
https://prestonfilm.com/contact

Option 4

One-Time Donation Through Paypal or Venmo

If you’d like to make a one-time “no strings attached” donation through PayPal or Venmo, we absolutely accept those, too.

PayPal ID: riverfirefilms
Venmo ID: riverfirefilms

Brief Backstory:

The best word to sum up the last 1.5 years is – loss. On the afternoon of January 7, 2019, Preston had his first seizure. Factoring in his age (at this time – an estimated 14 years old), signs pointed to this being his final chapter. Preston was brought to his veterinarian the following morning to have blood tests run in an attempt to pinpoint the potential reason, which showed he was anemic, but he needed to see a specialist. He had another seizure in the morning of Friday, January 11th, so he was rushed to the veterinary hospital where he’d spend the weekend being passed around through each of the different departments.

This, while at the same time finishing the remaining three months of work before losing my job of 14.5 years (20 total in the telecom industry) due to my employer downsizing – cutting 1/3 of the nationwide workforce (estimated 40,000 positions). Preston’s outlook wasn’t immediately good. His age limited the amount of digging the specialists could do. But, slowly over the next couple months his health improved. His quality of life extended well past the original estimate, but started to descend again his final three weeks, before eventually passing on March 16, 2020.

In January 2020, at the age of 9, my second dog – Era, had surgery to remove several suspicious growths, which all came back benign. A full blood panel was done prior to surgery, where it showed some additional potential health concerns. In April, she again had surgery to remove a tumor found on her anal gland after the bloodwork came back, which was confirmed to be cancerous. A month after surgery, bloodwork was again done thinking the removed tumor would bring those levels back to normal, but it still showed an elevated calcium, indicating cancer has already spread to other areas. She began chemo treatment on July 29th, and all focus was now on her.

Then, on July 6th, at an estimated age of 11, my third dog – Fergie, was rushed to an emergency vet appointment after not eating and nearly collapsing in the yard the previous evening. Bloodwork was done and came back clean, but x-rays taken the following day showed two large masses – one in her chest and the other on her spleen. Sadly, she had to be humanely put to sleep on July 8th due to her quality of life taking a sudden and immediate nosedive.

I’ve been able to use the severance package and 401k earned from my previous employer to stay afloat during this time, but these continuous hits have drained those reserves, and the lack of opportunities to earn a living through the global COVID-19 pandemic have also handcuffed my ability to earn a living.

Production for this doc-series – “Once In A Lifetime” may have officially begun about a week after Preston passed as a way to productively occupy my mind, but it’s hard to ignore this story of fate was being written each and every day over the last 12+ years. It was fate all along.


WHY INVEST IN ME:

Accomplishments:

  • I have led and/or been part of numerous successful efforts in changing laws, specifically, but not limited to, repealing breed specific legislation.
  • I’ve done it before, and shown the ability to follow through on ambitious and complex creative projects from concept to completion. This is my 3rd documentary production (“Guilty Til Proven Innocent“, “Train Ave“), where I have been responsible for multiple (if not all) production roles (i.e. director, cinematographer, editor, etc.) to deliver the final film.
  • I pride myself on being thorough and detailed in my research as an independent filmmaker. The topics of my films are filled with nuance, often tackling human social issues that impact both humans and dogs or other animals.
  • My projects have been recognized by local and national media.

Ethics:

  • I have an impeccable record, often embracing and being an early adopter of progressive solution-based approaches before they become popular.
  • I am a critical thinker, who leaves no stone unturned in my research, with the ability to discuss sensitive topics in a rational way in the name of progress.
  • Because I am firm on accountability and transparency, I pride myself on being an open book – even at my own expense.
  • I have no “dirty laundry”.

Personal:

  • I love my dogs – all of them. Those still here, as well as those who have passed. In truth, I do this work for them, knowing it can and will positively impact other human beings and dogs. It is all inspired by my dogs, recognizing the purpose they have given me.
  • I spent well over $20k of my own money for my first documentary film – “Guilty Til Proven Innocent” when it was originally released in 2013…and that isn’t including the reboot we did years later (re-released in 2019). For my second documentary – “Train Ave“, I spent another $15k. Previously, while I decided to fund my projects myself for a variety of reasons – ranging from ensuring I have complete control over the entire process to just not comfortable soliciting funds, I have learned, the model I chose is not a sustainable one.