YOU CAN STILL COME ABOARD!
Thanks to over 150 generous contributors, we met our fundraising goal and shot “The Pirate Captain Toledano” in December. This film is turning out better than anyone expected, and deserves a bigger promotional push.
If you’d like to make an additional contribution, you can help send the film off to more festivals in the coming year.
Additional contributions at this stage will help cover an expanded festival run – keep the contributions coming so we can bring this film to as many screens as possible!
A Few Notes on this Continuing Campaign:
Why raise more money? Didn’t you already raise the money you need?
Well, yes, we did raise the money that we needed, plus a little bit. And we shot the film on-budget, too. But the original budget was sufficient to support 10-20 film festival submissions, and now that we’re seeing the film, it’s looking so great that we really ought to submit it to more festivals than that.
How much money do you really need for festivals?
Film festivals charge anywhere from $15 to $50 per submission. Some of them require that the film be delivered in special screening formats that can cost a lot to produce (many festivals will accept the film on BluRay, but better fests may insist on a Digital Cinema Package, or DCP, which is a hard drive that contains the film in a particular encoding format. DCPs can cost hundreds of dollars to create.) Once the film is accepted to festivals, we want to promote those screenings as much as possible, which means printing postcards and posters, and, where possible, attending the festivals themselves. Attending the local fests can be easy, but if we are accepted to any of the big festivals outside of LA, there may be travel and lodging expenses involved. Some festivals actually require that filmmakers attend in order to qualify for awards.
So, what’s the bottom line?
Every $25 gets us another festival entry (on average)
$50 buys a pack of postcards or a couple of posters to help promote the film at the festival.
$150 covers lodging for a night at a festival outside of LA
$300 helps bring someone from the production to festivals outside of LA
Why bother with festivals at all?
This film looks amazing, and will have the most impact when seen on the big screen. We want this film to really resonate, to really move people, and it simply won’t pack as much of a punch if all we do is put it up online.
And frankly, the big screen is where we want YOU to see this film! So if you want the film to come to a theater near you, help us submit to your local festivals.
If you contribute at least $50, leave a note for us with what big cities are near you, and we’ll try to submit the film to a festival in your area.
Below, you’ll find the text of the original crowdfunding campaign that brought us to this point. Some of the rewards are no longer available, and other rewards might be introduced soon. If you’d like to follow our day-to-day progress in getting this film completed, check us out on Facebook: www.facebook.com/jewishpirates
Get involved! Bring
“The Pirate Captain Toledano”
to the screen!
I’ve been looking to tell a Jewish Pirate story for the last couple of years, ever since reading about the history of Inquisition-era Jews becoming pirates to get revenge against Spain. There are so many great characters in that history, so many stories, it was hard to sift through it all and settle on just one story to tell. Then, the story of Captain Toledano and his stowaway hit me all at once. It’s simple, and for the first time on-screen, will break the mold and introduce pirate fans to a whole new type of pirate: the Jewish pirate, whose motive is greater, darker and deeper than gold.
Here’s the story: One quiet night under sail in the Caribbean, the Pirate Captain Toledano is presented with a young man who was found hiding in the ship’s hold. The stowaway is a Jewish refugee from the inquisition who wants to become a pirate. The captain has to decide whether to make the stowaway a pirate, or to make him walk the plank… Let’s get this movie made, so I can show you how the story ends!
Okay, here’s what we need. We need a few actors, some costumes, a talented crew, and… a pirate ship. I can get some of these things pretty inexpensively through connections I’ve made over many years as a filmmaker, but some things (like the ship, for instance) will cost us a boatload (ha!)
So, that’s where you come in. Presumably, most of you don’t have a pirate ship, but you might have a little money, and you certainly have quite a few friends and acquaintances (who might also have a little money). If we pool our resources, and get our friends to pitch in too, we can hire our cast and crew, rent our equipment and costumes, pay for a proper ship for a day, and this film can get made the way it needs to be made!
So, come aboard! There are many ways to get involved – pick the contribution level that interests you the most, and let’s get going! I’m looking forward to sharing this wonderful adventure with you.
In case you’re wondering, I’ve directed plenty of stuff prior to this – over 100 shorts, webseries episodes, media projects, even a small handful of micro-budget features. Some of my work has even been mentioned in the press (remember when The Wall Street Journal published a front page story about Jewbellish? I produced or directed most of the videos they wrote about!) I have years and years of directing experience, so you can be confident that every dollar you commit to this project will be met with every ounce of talent, experience and dedication that I can bring to bear, as well as the talent, experience and dedication of the many friends and collaborators whose work will elevate this film. Together, we will create an outstanding piece of cinema. It is my hope that when you see it, you’ll feel the same sense of pride that I will feel at having created something truly great.
About the Production
It takes many people and lots of resources to make even a short film. We’re really lucky to have a few fascinating individuals and organizations involved. Stay tuned, and we’ll tell you about some of them in the campaign updates.
I want to make a very special mention of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California. We are currently in discussions with the wonderful people there about shooting this film on their ships.
In addition to all the great marine and maritime education that they do, the Ocean Institute maintains two beautiful tall ships, the Brig Pilgrim (which was used by Spielberg for a scene in “Amistad”) and the Spirit of Dana Point. If the pieces fall into place, we’ll be shooting “The Pirate Captain Toledano” on those stunning watercraft.
Meet the Cast
How You Can Come Aboard!
We’re offering lots of ways to get involved, from simply helping us cover our costs to giving notes on the rough cut or even visiting the set during production! We’re tremendously grateful for your enthusiasm and involvement, and we’d like to express that gratitude with some fun perks and rewards:
Stowaway – $5+
Want to keep up-to-date on our progress? For this contribution level, you’ll get updates from us through the Jewcer platform from now until the film’s release.
Swabbie – $10+
In addition to the “Stowaway” perks, we’ll send you a PDF of the movie’s poster (probably early in 2017).
Powder Monkey – $18+
In addition to the “Swabbie” rewards, we will share with you a PDF of the script. (If you receive this reward, you agree, of course, not to share the script with anyone who hasn’t come aboard as a contributor to our crowdfunding campaign!)
Rigger – $36+
If you want to see this movie before the wide audience, this is the reward level for you! In addition to the “Powder Monkey” perks, we’ll send you a password-protected link to the film after its Los Angeles festival premiere. You’ll have the ability to watch the film as many times as you’d like for one month!
First Mate – $72+
If you join us at this contribution level, we really want to shout our gratitude from the rooftops. In the 21st Century, that’s done online! Provide us with your Twitter or Facebook handle, and we’ll tell the world that you helped make this film possible. You will, of course, get all of the “Rigger” perks, as well.
EXCLUSIVE – First Mate plus Coffee Tasting – $72+ (25 Available)
In addition to the “First Mate” perks, if you live in the greater Los Angeles area (including parts of Orange or Riverside Counties), I will come to your house and treat you (and up to five friends) to a coffee tasting! I received Coffee Master training at Starbucks, and was once able to differentiate between Latin American, African and East Asian coffees by taste.
Master Gunner – $100+
There’s something really special about seeing your name up in lights. For your participation at this level, we will list you in the “thanks” section of our end credits, so you can have that special experience of seeing your name up on the screen. You also get all of the “First Mate” perks, of course.
EXCLUSIVE – Pilot – $125+ (50 available)
This is an EXCLUSIVE new perk! In addition to the “Master Gunner” perks, you will be granted access to an online ADVANCE SCREENING of the completed film, after which you’ll have an opportunity to participate in an online Q&A with the director.
Carpenter and Surgeon – $180+
What’s better than seeing your name in the end credits? Googling yourself and finding your name on the Internet Movie Database! At this contribution level, we will list you with a “Special Thanks” credit when we post the film’s cast and crew to IMDb. You will get all of the “Master Gunner” perks as well, but you’ll be listed in the credits in the “special thanks” section instead.
Boatswain – $250+
If you really love giving feedback, this level is a really special and unique opportunity. We will send you a password-protected link to the rough cut of the film, and will give you a chance to give us your feedback. This is a rare opportunity to meaningfully participate in shaping this film. You get all of the “Carpenter and Surgeon” perks, too.
Sailing Master – $500+
In addition to the Boatswain perks, you will get a Sea Star membership at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA! The membership (valued at $150) includes:
- 2 Complimentary adult tickets for either Whale Watching or Bioluminescence Cruise (a $90 value)
- 4 Complimentary admissions to the Holiday Lights Viewing Party or Tall Ships Festival (a $60 value)
- 10% off at the Laurena G. Chambers Gallery Book and Gift Store
- Free admission year-round to our Ocean Education Center Programs
- Discounts and early registration opportunities for Ocean Institute events
- Invitation to member-exclusive events and activities
- Discounts and early registration for Summer Camps
- Reciprocal benefits at more than 750 institutions across North America through the North American Reciprocal Museums Association (NARM)
- Reciprocal benefits at more than 80 museums through the Council of American Maritime Museums (CAMM)
- Discounts on Birthday Parties
For more information, check out The Ocean Institute website.
EXCLUSIVE – Sailing Master with Whale Watch – $500+ (1 available)
This is a special one-of-a kind perk: In addition to all the “Sailing Master” contribution level perks (PDF of script, PDF of poster, Social media shout-out, Access to film online (for one month, after the LA Premiere), “Special Thanks” in credits and on IMDb, Opportunity to give feedback on the rough cut, Sea Star membership at the Ocean Institute) you also get two whale watching tickets from the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA!
EXCLUSIVE – Sailing Master with Tall Ships Festival Tickets – $500+ (1 available)
This is a special one-of-a kind perk: In addition to all the “Sailing Master” contribution level perks (PDF of script, PDF of poster, Social media shout-out, Access to film online (for one month, after the LA Premiere), “Special Thanks” in credits and on IMDb, Opportunity to give feedback on the rough cut, Sea Star membership at the Ocean Institute) you also get four tickets to the 2017 TALL SHIPS FESTIVAL at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA. For more about the Tall Ships Festival, click here: http://www.ocean-institute.org/tall-ships-festival
EXCLUSIVE – Sailing Master with Private Tour of the Brig Pilgrim – $500+ (1 available)
This is a special one-of-a kind perk: In addition to all the “Sailing Master” contribution level perks (PDF of script, PDF of poster, Social media shout-out, Access to film online (for one month, after the LA Premiere), “Special Thanks” in credits and on IMDb, Opportunity to give feedback on the rough cut, Sea Star membership at the Ocean Institute) you also get a PRIVATE TOUR (for up to 25 guests) of the BRIG PILGRIM, the beautiful tall ship at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA. (To be arranged with Dan Goldbacher, Director of the Ocean Institute Maritime Department) For more about the Brig Pilgrim, click here: http://www.ocean-institute.org/general-information/about-pilgrim
Quarter Master – $1000+
If you get involved in this project at this level, we really want to thank you face-to-face. The filmmakers will treat you to dinner at Steven Spielberg’s mother’s kosher dairy restaurant in Los Angeles (really!) You will also be credited on screen and on IMDb as a “Patron Producer”, and will receive the “Sailing Master” perks (“Patron Producer” credit replaces “Special Thanks”) (A note: if you don’t live near Los Angeles, you’ll have to get yourself to this fine city somehow – we, sadly, can’t cover your transportation or lodging).
Ship’s Captain – $5000+
This is the pinnacle of generosity and commitment for which there’s no more appropriate reward than being on set with us when we shoot the film. You will also be credited as “Executive Producer” in the film and on IMDb, and will receive all of the “Quarter Master” perks, as well (“Executive Producer” credit replaces the “Patron Producer” credit). (A note: if you don’t live near our shooting location in Southern California, you’ll have to get yourself there somehow – we, sadly, can’t cover your transportation or lodging).
EXCLUSIVE – Ships’ Captain with PRIVATE CATERED DINNER FOR 20 ON THE DECK OF A TALL SHIP! – $5000+ (1 available)
This is a really special perk that comes courtesy of the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, CA.
In addition to the regular Ship’s Captain perks, you will get a CATERED DINNER FOR 20 aboard the Brig Pilgrim, one of the beautiful tall ships at The Ocean Institute. The dinner comes with some entertainment for the kids (and kids-at-heart), and we’re even working on making a Kosher caterer available. This perk needs to be scheduled with the Ocean Institute, and does not include transportation.
More about Jewish Pirates
There’s a rich and complex history of Jews in piracy, especially after the Spanish Inquisition. If you’d like to learn more about it, check out one of the only books on the subject, “Jewish Pirates of the Caribbean” by Edward Kritzler.