Storm Chasing: The Anthology

$1,660 of $700 goal

Raised by 22 people in 33 months

Hello! My name is Blake Naftel, a independent filmmaker and producer presently located in Norman, Oklahoma. 

A year ago, July 25th specifically, a successful Kickstarter campaign jumpstarted what was a shelved documentary film on the humanity of storm chasing. That project quickly developed into something far greater; a six-decade multimedia anthology on the full history and evolution of storm chasing culture. The original journey took me through two counties, 26-states for a 46-day period in September and October (2014).

The result, at that time, were over 70 video recorded individual interviews with storm chasers, meteorologists, related kin, friends, and the general public. To boot, masses of material in the form of videotapes, motion picture films, slides, documents, newspapers, books... you name it, somehow it was drawn into the inflow circulation of this project. Over the following months, the Storm Chasing Anthology  was featured at the annual National Storm Chasers Convention (aka ChaserCon ), along with several individual presentations at Kent District Library branches in West Michigan.

In June 2015, I relocated to from Grand Rapids, Michigan to Norman, Oklahoma. This was in part to centralize within a region containing a large number of meteorologists, storm chasers, and weather enthusiasts. Additional interviews in the Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas region continue to be recorded as post-production moves forward on this vast documentary. However, one key aspect from the 2014 interview expedition was bypassed due to my need for rest. That's where this mini Go Fund Me campaign comes in.

Soon, I will embark on a three-week journey across the desert southwest, west coast, and Pacific Northwest to record the final required interviews for the Storm Chasing Anthology documentary series. To accomplish this solo endeavor, this fundraising campaign has been initiated to assist in accomplishing this phase of production.

Estimated fuel costs via run just shy of $500. This campaign has been set at $700 to offset any unexpected emergency costs, and for the percentage deducted by Go Fund Me.

Lodging is completely covered thanks entirely to the generosity and wide network of friends along the route. No additional production or lodging costs are necessary, just unleaded gasoline. 

Individuals contributing funds for fuel at the $40 level or higher will receive a signed DVD or downloadable copy of the condensed prologue version of Storm Chasing: The Anthology, with the anticipated completion by late this Fall (2015).

My westward travels will be running through late July into mid-August. If interested in contributing towards the continued success of this long-form documentary and archival project, please consider making a donation.

Any amount helps assist this final push to document the history of a very diverse and unique activity. This documentary goes beyond the surface of storm chasing, directly into the core of our human fascination with the ever-changing, turbulent atmosphere, which surrounds us.

For additional information on the full scope of this project, please visit 

As always, thank you for the continued support, encouragement, and assistance in this one-of-a-kind collaborative endeavor! None of this would be possible without the generosity, trust, and diverse network of individuals who have converged to turn this documentary film series into a reality!

Blake Naftel
Storm Chasing: The Anthology
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It’s arrived! The first round of limited edition DVD and Blu Ray copies of The Storm Chasing Anthology (Volume One) will begin shipping out to participants and project backers in the coming weeks. Due to the high cost of shipping around the US and Canada, all at full expense to the producer, packages will be sent USPS “media rate” which is the most cost efficient. 100 discs are being shipped out initially. 75 additional discs will remain, to be shipped out later in June into July. Unless a Blu Ray disc was specifically requested in a direct message or face-to-face interaction, standard DVD’s will be the format issued. Thanks entirely to Mark Blue, a project backer who assisted in the initial Blu Ray and DVD packaging, printing, and duplication costs in May — no further Blu Ray copies will be produced after this batch runs out. At the moment, 30 remain available beyond those going out to participants and backers.

With the high duplication costs associated with producing Blu Ray discs, I simply cannot afford to make any additional batches, unless a individual requests one with up-front payment for the format. I also cannot afford to give away free copies to friends who merely expressed interest. Again, these two initial batches are going out “free” to those who supported the original Kickstarter (2014) and GoFundMe (2015) campaigns, or participated directly with the production.

In time, “Volume One” and subsequent productions of this series will be released for purchase or rent on Vimeo on Demand. It will however be a few months before the production is available online due to the subscription cost involved with that particular service. The good news is that on-demand/rentals will be made available between $0.99 (rental) and $3.99 (purchase), verses higher costs associated with DVD and Blu Ray disc production/sales.

For the time being, keep an eye out for a small white package arriving to your mailbox in the near future!
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After three months of near-constant editing, re-editing, and a couple of early preview screenings in Oklahoma and Texas, I'm pleased to announce that a formalized 67-minute version of the Storm Chasing Anthology is gradually being pressed to disc. This will be issued to all project participants and backers (at certain levels). Disc duplication and design are being done independently as well, due to which, the distribution process will take a few weeks. I anticipate shipping out hard-copy DVD's at some point in April.

Please send a updated shipping address so that I can expedite the mailing process.

"Volume One" will be where the Storm Chasing Anthology, as a project, remains for the time being. As expressed in previous posts, I openly admit being far too idealistically aggressive with the original concept, along with having it completed with such a minimal budget in a short period of time. Two-years have elapsed since the whole production process began, and within that stretch, many personal and professional lessons have come the hard way by experiencing it directly. As this was not originally intended as a solo production, condensing benchmark moments of storm chasing and severe weather research history into such a short timeframe, and keeping a logical storyline was a true challenge. After initial reaction and feedback, some elements were dropped, added, cut down, and expanded a bit. Overall, I feel satisfied enough with this to release out to everyone who participated and supported the pre-production effort in 2014-2015.

The greatest hurdle with a massive independent archive/film project such this is material licensing and fees. Presently that process is just beginning. In some cases it's also quite expensive, and will likely result in different future versions. Until all material within this version is legally available for use, there will be no public broadcast or official distribution of the project. I did however want to get copies out to everyone in the format originally intended, prior to any further changes, hence why this is being distributed to backers and participants.

On a upbeat note, musician and storm chaser Hank Schyma from Huston, Texas contributed a pre-recorded and original score for the overall soundtrack. That saves the need to acquire mass-musical licensing fees. Much obliged, Hank!

It should be noted, I only have the capability of authoring standard DVD copies. No Blu-Ray disc pressings will be available. Unless a backer or participant wants to chip in and has the capability of creating such Blu-Ray discs, DVD's will have to suffice for the time being. Online downloads will also not be available, due to cost and the fact for-profit distribution is not an option at the moment.

That's the core update. Again please send your updated mailing addresses so that I may begin getting copies out to everyone.

Thank you again to all who supported this massive effort to preserve storm chasing culture and severe weather research history! I look forward to your feedback one you begin to receive and view volume one of the Storm Chasing Anthology.

Blake Naftel ~ Producer, Director, Editor.
Anthology on DVD coming soon!
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Hello! Quick update: The $700 goal which surpassed to the present $1,110 amount is in the process of being deducted from the ongoing campaign. Travel begins Friday, July 24, and every bit will be needed for the success of this journey. Amazingly this came together in just under 24-hours! Again, so very thankful to everyone who contributed.

The "GoFundMe" campaign will remain active for anyone who still wishes to support the SCA. Backers at the $40 level will receive an autographed copy of the condensed "prologue" version of Anthology once completed (expected by late Fall 2015).

Thank you to everyone for your generosity, support, and continued interest in the Storm Chasing Anthology project! This would not be happening without you!

Blake Naftel
Wagons' West
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Wow! The outpouring of support for this documentary endeavor continues to be quite evident! Thank you to everyone who contributed funding towards the upcoming westward phase of the Storm Chasing Anthology. Your generosity floored me beyond something ridiculous. The minimal goal was met in less than 12 hours, while the maximum of $700 was topped in under 24!

As a token of my appreciation, I offer up some weather nerd comedy contained within this video. Only those familiar with the "Tornado Video Classics" video series produced by Tom and Doris Grazulis in the early-mid 1990's will fully grasp the humor :)

While the $700 "Go Fund Me" goal for fuel costs has been reached (and topped), the campaign will remain active. Anyone is welcome to contribute additional funds to this ongoing documentary project at any time, for any reason.

A $40 amount will secure an autographed DVD copy or online download of the completed prologue (condensed) version due out by the late Fall (2015).

The long-form, six-part Anthology will take a bit longer than originally anticipated to complete (as this is entirely a solo-production effort at the moment). Updates on the overall progress of this documentary series will be placed on the Facebook page, and via

Thank you again for the continued support!

Blake Naftel
Storm Chasing: The Anthology
Funded! Thank You!
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$1,660 of $700 goal

Raised by 22 people in 33 months
Created July 22, 2015
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Steven Bluford
33 months ago

Safe travels, Blake. Looking forward to seeing the project!

Ben McMillan
33 months ago

Good luck man, I'm sure it will be good.

33 months ago
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