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The Invisible Mammal's Ongoing Production Support

$3,130 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 2 months
Created May 26, 2019
The Wild Lens Collective
on behalf of Matthew Podolsky
Bats in North America are disappearing at an alarming rate, while human beings have yet to recognize their great contribution and significance in our communal habitat. These fascinating mammals are crucial to the healthy equilibrium of our ecosystem. This film will bring to life the struggle for the survival of bats, especially with regards to White Nose Syndrome, the mysterious disease that has killed up to seven million bats in North America.

The fungus that causes White Nose Syndrome has just been detected in Bracken Cave outside of San Antonio, Texas, which is home to the largest bat colony on the continent.

I began the process of making the film in 2013, and made a short film about a healthy bat colony of a quarter million Mexican Free-Tailed bats that live under a freeway outside of Sacramento, California. You can watch a teaser about the film below.



After screening the short film in festivals, and teaming up with The Wild Lens Collective , I decided it was time to continue and make a comprehensive, feature documentary that focuses on these issues.

We successfully raised over $3,000 in July 2019 to support our first trip to Texas and we had an amazing week filming on location at Bracken Cave and Congress Avenue Bridge, as well as filming interviews with bat experts who will be featured in the film.

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In August 2019, we continue filming across California, returning back to Yolo County to document the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats that live under the causeway. We also film in Santa Cruz with the chief scientist whose White Nose Syndrome research will provide the main story arc of the film.

The good news is that The Invisible Mammal feature film has taken flight! We will be filming in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan this fall, following a study that could be pivotal in helping bats overcome White Nose Syndrome. So I've increased the goal of this GoFundMe campaign to $10K and leaving it open-ended so we can continue to do our house parties throughout the course of making this film.

We will use the funds raised to pay for permits, travel, equipment and crew expenses while filming on location. Be part of the endeavor to continue filming stories about bats across North America by making a donation today. 

The Wild Lens Collective is a 501(c)3 organization and is the fiscal sponsor of The Invisible Mammal.

We deeply appreciate your support, and are grateful to be taking this journey with you.

For more information about the film, visit: http://www.theinvisiblemammal.com/
+ Read More
Hello bat fans!

The Invisible Mammal feature film has taken flight!

We had an amazing time filming in Texas, so THANK YOU for helping to make that happen. Bracken Cave was magical, and Congress Avenue Bridge was equally phenomenal. And we interviewed bat experts who will be featured in the film. We literally could not have accomplished what we did without your support.

Our batventure continues in California! Last week I went to Santa Cruz to film with Dr. Winifred Frick, chief scientist of Bat Conservation International. She is leading a study that could be pivotal in helping bats overcome the effects of White Nose Syndrome. We will be filming the work of her scientific team in Michigan's Upper Peninsula over the coming months.

Next weekend we go back to Yolo County to film with Corky Quirk, as volunteers count the Mexican Free-Tailed Bats that live under the freeway. There will be a number of bat experts on hand, and we'll delve deeper into the consequences that come with the detection of the fungus that causes WNS in California.

So we have a lot of work to do! I've increased our fundraising goal and changed the focus of this campaign so we can continue to hold house parties throughout the course of making this film. We have really enjoyed interacting with friends and supporters face to face at these events. It's inspiring to witness your enthusiasm about bats and this film.

Stay tuned for more updates and ways to continue to be involved. If you'd like to host a bat house party, please let me know.

THANK YOU!
Kristin

Photos by Melyssa Mendoza.
+ Read More
Hello supporters! It's day 2 of our trip to film the bats of Texas. Melyssa and I are getting a lot of work done and enjoying this experience. We filmed the 20 million Mexican Free-Tailed Bats yesterday evening at Bracken Cave. Melyssa snapped this photo of me setting up a wide shot of the "Batnado."

We finished up when the sun went to sleep and all the bats were out catching moths and mosquitoes. We got back up at 5 am today and returned to the cave to film the bats returning to their roost. It was spectacular to be able to witness such an incredible natural phenomenon. I highly recommend seeing the batnado for yourself!

We have one more evening tonight at Bracken Cave. We filmed interviews with some of the visitors last night and this morning, as well as with Fran Hutchins, who is the director of Bracken Cave for Bat Conservation International.

I will keep you posted about our adventures in Texas, but I encourage and urge you to check out our Stories as they happen by following Wild Lens on Instagram:

https://www.instagram.com/wildlensinc/

Melyssa has been doing an amazing job covering our bat experiences. She is also using Facebook Live to share our adventure, so make sure you keep an eye out there too:

https://www.facebook.com/WildLensCollective/

You can find the live video she shared last night there.

Tomorrow we head to Austin to film with Merlin Tuttle, the godfather of bats and at the famous Congress Avenue Bridge.

Thanks again for all your support. We wouldn't be here capturing this story without you! Stay tuned for more updates!
+ Read More
First and foremost, I am so humbled by the generosity of my community in support of this film! We had a great time at the bat house parties (thank you to Bahar, David and Katie, and Monique and Jeff for hosting), and look forward to organizing more parties once we get back from filming in August. I have a few leads for hosts, but I am open to suggestions. Have bat film, will travel!

Secondly, we're in pretty good shape with funding to film in Texas. Melyssa and I will arrive in San Antonio on July 28 and stay for 1 week. Here is our production schedule:

July 28 - arrive in San Antonio

July 29 & 30 - film the emergence of 20 million bats (a.k.a. "Batnado") at Bracken Cave; interview Fran Hutchins, avid caver and manager of Bracken Cave

July 31 - drive to Austin and get settled

August 1 - interview Merlin Tuttle and film the emergence at Congress Avenue Bridge

August 2 - visit Austin Bat Refuge and film Congress Avenue Bridge

August 3 - return to San Francisco

We'll be posting updates from the road, here and on The Invisible Mammal Facebook page, so make sure to follow us there too:

https://www.facebook.com/theinvisiblemammal/

Thank you to all of you who've supported us and shared the campaign in your networks. Your support is so important and I'm so happy to have you on this journey! We can't do it without you!

Fly high and reach the sky!
Kristin
+ Read More
Dear supporters,

Thank you so much for your early support during our first three bat house parties. Your support will cover the costs of hiring a cinematographer for 2 days in Texas (plus his gear), and rental of additional camera and sound equipment.

While we have our big ticket costs covered, we still need a bit more funding to cover additional expenses related to filming on location (airfare, car rental, food and shipping). I won't have time to do any more house parties before I leave on July 23, but the campaign page will stay open. We would appreciate your additional support by sharing this campaign page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and among all your personal networks with people who care about bats in North America and telling their story at this crucial time, and who would want to become part of this film project. The easy-to-remember link is

http://tinyurl.com/texasbats

Thank you again for being early supporters of The Invisible Mammal and helping this film take flight!

Love,
Kristin
+ Read More
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$3,130 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 38 people in 2 months
Created May 26, 2019
The Wild Lens Collective
on behalf of Matthew Podolsky
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