Adventures in France: Castles to Crepes

$7,300 of $25k goal

Raised by 28 people in 44 months
Jared Bendis  CLEVELAND, OH
A Documentary Film Project
Adventures in France: From Castles to Crepes
Help us finish our documentary!

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What is the film about?
"Adventures in France: From Castles to Crepes" is a documentary travel film that invites you, the viewer, to join us on a whirlwind adventure around France as we scour the countryside for history, culture, food, & art. Together we explore numerous monuments, castles, cathedrals, places of historic and cultural significance affording the widest possible vision of France.

The feature length (90-120 minute) film will be in English (some interviews will be in French with English subtitles). The final film will be screened locally, produced and distributed on Blu Ray & DVD, and available for streaming online.

So has the filming already started?
In 2009, co-director Jared Bendis took a small crew to France to start the film (with airfare courtesy of the Maison Française de Cleveland fund). That expedition produced some great footage (and interviews). We have decided to go back and cast a wider net that includes prehistory, the ancient world, the modern world, and all manner of art, culture, and cuisine.

Educator's Resource Guide & Factbook
As a supplement to the film, we are producing an "Educator's Resource Guide & Factbook". The Guide/Factbook is targeted at middle & high school students and offers additional insights on many subjects including: French Culture, French Cuisine, French Language (on a practical and introductory level), French & World History, & Art History.

We also include smart & economical travel tips to assist students (and adults) on their own adventures. While the film is designed to be 'edutainment' (educational & entertaining) both of the filmmakers are educators and the Guide/Factbook will mirror much of the research that has gone into the planning of the film. The final Guide/Factbook will be published in print and also made available as a free eBook.

Why online fundraising?
Online fundraising is a useful platform for creative projects like ours to secure the funding needed to finish our film. It allows you, the fans, to be a part of our project at an early stage by donating money towards the project. In return, we have Reward Incentives for you based on your donation amount.

Who are we?
The From Castle to Castle Films production team:
Jared Bendis - Co-Director, Executive Producer, Writer, Guide
Amanda Almon - Co-Director, Cinematographer, Editor
Scroll down for bios and links

What do these funds go towards?
This is an independent film and we are currently 'self funded' which means that we are producing the film with our own personal savings (and credit).
The hard costs for just the travel are around $13,000*.
Costs include:
Airfare $3,200
Car Rental $1,800
Gas & Tolls $800
Hotels $3,200
Entry Fees $1,400
Meals $2,600

For the project neither of the co-directors are taking any salary or artist fees (and that includes during post production and editing).
*Not including banking fees, fees, and Reward Incentive costs

How can I help?
We believe in this project and hope you do as well.
Here is how you can help:

1) Help spread the word and share this project on Facebook & Twitter.

2) Check out the above Reward Incentives and choose your donation level. We aren't looking for charity - we are looking for your support!

Funding Levels
Our fundraising goals are as follows:
$6,500 : Half the travel expenses
$13,000 : Fully funded travel expenses
$18,000 : Upgrade our equipment (camera & microphone)
$25,000 : External post production costs (transcribers & translators)
>$25,000 : Music & licensing fees, festival fees, and Blu ray mastering costs

Do you have to reach your funding goal?
No! The GoFundMe platform allows us to collect monies even if we don't reach our funding goal! We are confident that the project will be completed and that we will fulfill our Reward Incentive offers. While we hope to raise as much money as we can - we are dedicated to this project and are going to make it happen!

What happens if you exceed your goal amount?
So happy you asked! If we exceed our goal we will use the extra money to augment the project by increasing our post-production values by hiring more team members, licensing additional music & images, and Blu ray disk mastering. It would also cover any unforeseen costs.

When is the film going to be released?
Right now, we are looking at 2014.

Corporate sponsorships are welcome to contact us!

About the Artists
Jared Bendis M.A. (Co-Director, Executive Producer, Writer, Guide): Jared is an artist, photographer, teacher, playwright and filmmaker. He is a specialist in photography, virtual reality, and computer graphics and serves as the Creative New Media Officer for Case Western Reserve University's Kelvin Smith Library. Jared also holds adjunct appointments in the CWRU Art Studio, Music, and SAGES departments where he teaches courses on multimedia, instructional technology, and New Media Literacy.

As a photographer he prefers to view the world though a wide-angle lens and specializes in spherical panoramic and stereoscopic photography. On his first trip overseas, in March 2000, Jared visited the Chateau de Pierrefonds in France and became driven (if not obsessed) with capturing and sharing cultural and architectural experiences and has photographed over 400 architectural, archeological and cultural sites (primarily castles) in 14 countries.

Amanda S. Almon, M.F.A; C.M.I (Co-Director, Cinematographer, Editor): Amanda Almon's work spans from traditional scientific and medical illustration to new media in medicine and science through the use of animation and interactive application development. Almon graduated from the A.M.I (Association of Medical Illustrators CAAHEP) Accredited University of Michigan Biomedical Visualization Program with an M.F.A. in 2000. She received her Certification as a Medical Illustrator from the A.M.I. in 2005. Almon currently works as the Chair/Director and Associate Professor of the Biomedical Art major and Animation major at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio.

Almon has created numerous published works for educational and commercial purposes for both natural science, and medical institutions. Her animations and illustrations through her employment at Visible Productions L.L.C. and her own BiomedVisuals company; have been seen on The Discovery Health Channel, National Geographic, Oprah Winfrey Show, Novartis Animal Health, Merck, Bayer Pharmaceutical companies and ThatsNice Productions. Almon's medical and scientific illustration have been printed by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., University Readers, Pearson Education Inc, and Prentice Hall.

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Update 2
39 months ago

We made it back! After 30 days in France and 100 stops we have returned. The shoot was VERY successful. We are still posting to the blog (we are a little behind on that) and want to thank everyone for their ongoing support. Now the long and difficult process of post production begins.

FYI - we are still accepting donations to offset post production costs and all of the rewards still apply (except that the postcard of thanks will be from Cleveland and not France).
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Update 1
41 months ago

With just a little over a month to go before the trip I thought it might be fun to post some bloopers from the 2009 footage!
Blooper reel from the 2009 footage.
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Read a Previous Update
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$7,300 of $25k goal

Raised by 28 people in 44 months
Created March 12, 2013
Herb Schilling
35 months ago
Molly Borman-Pullen
39 months ago

This looks fantastic! Can't wait to see the final film.

Troy Bagwell
40 months ago

Hope you are having fun on your trip. It looks like it!

Leonard Steinbach
40 months ago

bon chance

Thomas Mulready
40 months ago

Best of luck, and stay in touch!

40 months ago
Howard Freedman
40 months ago
Fran Belkin
41 months ago
James Levin
41 months ago (Offline Donation)
Linda Michalak
41 months ago

Grampa Pesch and I support and enthusiastically wish you both well. We have enjoyed all of the Castles to Crepes videos!!! Lots of love.

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