The Dream Dragon Needs Your Help!

Hello!  I'd like to start by thanking you for taking the time to review our Go Fund Me campaign!  It means more to me than you can ever imagine!  The Dream Dragon needs your help and he has asked me to explain who he is and how you can help! 

My name is Gerald Kostecka.  I am 53 years old, the father of 3 and grandfather of 5 and I've been happily married to my beautiful wife, Susan, for 26 wonderful years.  

In 1986, when I was 17 years old, I created the Dream Dragon character in a short poem for creative writing.  Little did I know that this character would become a huge influence in my life, which has sparked a fire within me to help both children and parents.  I myself was a troubled teen and actually wrote the poem while I was working towards getting my diploma at the Gatehouse, a state run group home in El Cajon, CA.  At the time, it was the most turbulent my life had ever been, but hind sight has allowed me to recognize just how vital that time was for me to grow to become the person I am today.  Someone I am very proud to be!


The Dream Dragon was originally just a passing thought in the mind of a troubled and confused teenager, trying to do the work necessary to earn a diploma, but this lovable protector soon became much, much more.  In fact, I would have to say that the Dream Dragon probably saved my life.  The idea of what the character stood for would become the motivation which would take me out of a world headed towards long term incarceration, or even an early death, and put me on a straight and narrow path to using the Dream Dragon and my experiences to help promote what I call the "3-E's": Education, Empowerment & Entertainment.

During the 90's, I developed the character and had some illustrations done and started writing a lot of "stories", which featured the Dream Dragon as the teacher of a variety of different lessons; from learning to count, to fun bedtime stories, to stories with an important message, like"When Touching Is Not A Game".   I put the word stories in quotes, as the text was similar to the style of Dr. Seuss stories and most of them could be written on one or two pages.  So, while the text of the stories were relatively short, compared to a novel, what the words actually conveyed was powerful and able to be expressed effectively. 

I was still young and inexperienced, but a few opportunities arose, which gave me the confidence that the Dream Dragon could be something incredible, even if it wasn't at that moment.  In 1999, about 5 years after marrying Susan, I decided to try to really "do something" with my Dream Dragon character, so I started Dragon Tales Publishing and self-published the first Dream Dragon picture book, Dreamtime Friend.  I was even able to get Geoffrey Holder, the iconic voice and face of the "7-UP Uncola Man", from the 1970's commercials and also Punjab from the original motion picture "Annie", to be the voice of the Dream Dragon on a read-a-long cassette tape, which accompanied the book. 


The time I spent working on the project produced some incredible results!  After almost 15 years since the creation of the Dream Dragon I was interviewed by a local San Diego newspaper as a "success story" for the group home where I spent the last three months before leaving on my 18th birthday.


It was an exciting time for me, as I never expected to be featured in a newspaper article, but the exposure didn't stop there.  I had created the Dream Dragon Safety Squad, a program using the Dream Dragon to promote child safety, which resulted in me being invited to be a guest panelist on two different televised talk shows, The Sally Jessy Raphael Show and the Rob Nelson Show, speaking about child related issues, including student involved school shootings and teen and pre-teen sex in America.



I learned a lot during this time and had the opportunity to meet a few notable people, including Denise Brown (sister of Nicole Brown-Simpson) of the Nicole Brown Charitable Foundation, Ron Rodecker, creator of the Dragon Tales television show, and fellow children's book author and singing superstar, Gloria Estefan, just to name a few.



I worked very hard and became involved with several different child related non-profit organizations, which opened up new doors for me and the project.  We conducted a book donation event, held at a Barnes & Nobel bookstore, which benefited local child literacy programs.  We donated over 750 copies of the book at the event!


We also sponsored a holiday event with the Ronald McDonald House in Orange, CA, which was covered by several news agencies.  The event was incredible, with every child receiving a book and other gifts, as well as a reading of the story by the one and only Santa Claus!   


Sadly, the timing for the Dream Dragon back then just wasn't right, and after a few years, I reluctantly decided to put the project on the shelf, hoping I would someday be able to return to it.   In January 2020, something inside me stirred and I started seeing a world which I knew could benefit from the ideas and lessons of the Dream Dragon; so, I made a decision which has completely changed my life.  I decided to create a Dream Dragon animated cartoon series.

It was the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic and I had no idea how much the positive message and nurturing nature of the Dream Dragon was going to be needed by children.  But sometimes our actions are guided by an unseen Hand and we unknowingly embark on a journey for which we have always been destined, but perhaps never realized or thought it would come to fruition.  The decision to pursue the cartoon started me on this amazing journey and in just over a year, we have achieved so much!!

It started with figuring out how to make a cartoon.  Luckily, I had actually been part of many video productions, so I had a general understanding of what a production requires; however, I had never done anything like this, so it was definitely a challenge!  I did tons of research and found some great information and in a short amount of time I had found an EMMY award winning animator, an amazing cast of talented voice actors and everything we would need to produce an animated cartoon pilot.  Everything except for a script!

I have always been a very "right now" kind of person, meaning that if you asked me to do something, I'd get started RIGHT NOW!!  My attitude towards the evolving Dream Dragon project totally followed suit, and in just a few weeks, we had a finished script, four activity books and an updated, republishing of my original picture book, Dreamtime Friend.  We also had a website and an expanded cast of characters.


In the pilot episode of The Dream Dragon Presents: Adventures In Dreamland - The Sour Case of the Candy Crops we find young Jackson, who seldom gets sweets because his Mom is a dentist, traveling to the candy fields of Dreamland in search of the biggest and sweetest candy in the universe.  Farmer Ted greets Jackson and together they discover that all the candy crops have been tainted by a scheme of the King of Nightmares, the arch nemesis of all of Dreamland, who has made all the candy taste like broccoli.  With help from Princess Penelope, her loyal dragon companion, Sparks, and the Dream Dragon, they all work together to overcome this diabolical plan to end sweet dreams forever.  As a result, Jackson learns a valuable lesson about teamwork, the power of imagination and the importance of a well-balanced diet.  CLICK HERE TO VISIT OUR WEBSITE


Producing the pilot episode was an amazing process, one which my whole family rallied behind.  My wife ended up doing the voice of "Mom" and my son sang our opening song, was the music and vocal director and voiced several of the characters, including Fumbles and Sparks.  It was definitely a family affair and, while it was a lot of hard work, it was also incredible to work so closely with my family on something that means so much to me.  I think it is important to note that the pilot episode, and everything else up to this point, has been completely self funded, meaning that every penny it has taken since restarting in January 2020 was paid for by me and my family.  I guess when you believe in something, sometimes you have to jump into the deep end of the pool to prove what you have has value and I believed with all my heart that what we had would be of tremendous value to not only individuals, but society as a whole.


The initial release of the pilot episode was met with rave reviews, with the video receiving over 20,000 views, from all of the world, in just a few short weeks.  Based on the response, I knew we were on to something great, so I started taking actions to make an animated cartoon series a reality.  After several months of research, I came to the conclusion that what I had and what was commercially wanted, were two VERY different things.  At first I was anxious to approach streaming services like Netflix, but I soon realized that the vast majority of streaming services really didn't care about content, but salability.  Which, as a businessman, I completely understand.  However, as a concerned parent and child advocate, it became clear that being a positive influence for children was not a requirement, even for shows specifically geared towards a younger audience.  The controversy regarding a movie which featured a dance troop of young girls, which appeared on one of these streaming services, was what finally convinced me that if I really wanted to create an animated cartoon series, with any substance and a positive message, I needed to find a different way!

So, I figured if I wanted to create this for the betterment of society, why not go directly to the source...society!  Which is what brings us here today.  In order to be able to produce a quality, meaningful series, I am going to have to rely on the support of the community and of society; and I believe that there are enough people out there who are sick and tired of our children being treated as nothing more than a corporate financial resource.  If networks or studios are going to produce child  related content, they should be held to a higher standard, where making a positive impact is more important than making a profit!  Call it "old school thinking" or tell me "Okay Boomer", but I wholeheartedly believe that our children deserve better than what they are getting and I want to do something about it!


While I was able to fund the pilot episode completely on my own, the financial realities of producing the entire series are beyond what I can afford and, unfortunately, time is of the essence!  I have managed to get the complete production cost of a full, 23-minute animated cartoon episode, down to just under $30,000.00, which is evidentially incredibly low in the world of quality animation.  There are some animated shows which spend well over $1,000,000.00 per episode, so I feel good about being able to produce something which is high quality and provides a wholesome, positive message for much, much less!  I realize that our goal of $350,000.00 may seem very high, that's because it is!  But this is what it will take to produce the entire series.  I want any person who decides to contribute to this campaign to know that we will start working on new episodes as soon as enough money has been raised.  Meaning that as soon as we hit our first episode threshold of $30,000, we will start production of that next episode.  And please remember that every little bit matters!  And to clarify something, the reason I am not seeking traditional funding or investors for this project is because I plan on making this cartoon series available for free on our YouTube channel.  Investors don't really like the word "FREE", so it made more sense to me to ask for help from those I help to benefit...the WORLD!!  Please also remember that this project will create many jobs for real life people, just like you and I, so we will be making an even bigger impact!  It is literally a WIN-WIN-WIN situation!!  

The goal of the cartoon is to provide relatable characters, experiencing real life issues and situations and working together to reach a resolution.  While the Dream Dragon is the "main character", it is really the rest of the cast who bring the stories to life, with the Dream Dragon only appearing when and if he is needed.  Instead of featuring a single child character, which is common in many cartoons, we created an ensemble cast, to more accurately represent the diversity of people and allow for more realistic situations.  I was never a fan of watching the same character, getting into avoidable situations over and over again.  Like they could never learn from their mistakes or experiences.  This was one of the main motivations for using a variety of different child characters.  Of course, we also wanted to be sure that we provide a diverse representation of society, so a greater amount of children would be able to find a relatable character in the series.


We have also developed a few "extras", like using our activity books for ESL application and a couple of stuffed animal prototypes, to help further the "real world" vibe of the characters.  In addition, we have created a line of character t-shirts and most recently we finished work on a 25-foot recreational vehicle (RV) which we have named the "Dragon Wagon".  It will be used to travel the country promoting the Dream Dragon cartoon and the importance of health, safety and literacy.



We've made unbelievable forward progress, but have come to the point where it is necessary to ask for help from our communities and we hope that you will consider providing any level of financial support to help us turn this worthwhile dream into a vivid and meaningful reality!

Our world is becoming more difficult for anyone to navigate, which is why I truly believe our children need a new, trusted character to help light the way and provide them with lessons they can learn today and take with them for a lifetime.  With your help, we can breathe life into the Dream Dragon and allow him to make the important positive impact that I know he will bring!

This project and your help mean the world to me and I can't even begin to describe the level of my appreciation just for your willingness to consider helping us out!  This is literally the dream of a youth, who has become older and wiser, and who hopes to leave a legacy of positivity by sharing the Dream Dragon with the children of the world!

Thank you for your time and consideration! 

Together we can make a difference!

Dare To Dream!
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    • $300 
    • 11 mos
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    • $50 
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    • $30 
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    • $20 
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    • $50 
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See all

Organizer

Gerald Kostecka 
Organizer
Temecula, CA

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