Donate Now to Help Us Release this Award-Winning Film!
We are a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit. So your donation is tax deductible!
Staring Down Fate is a documentary film about searching for purpose in life and in mortality, about finding inspiration in the face of uncertainty. It is a story about 7.4 billion people and our relationship with nature, told through one person's life - Chris Lucash, a red wolf biologist diagnosed with ALS. Find out more about this award-winning documentary film here.
Matching: Every $1 donated = $2!
Generous donors have pledged to match the first $5,000 we raise between now and December 31st in order to make Staring Down Fate publicly available. Tell your friends and colleagues!
What are we raising funds to do?
We calculated the cost to release Staring Down Fate to the public, aiming for a February release. Help us raise the money we need in order to get this film into homes across the country and around the world:
- Legal: $2,000
- Insurance: $2,800
- Closed captioning (required for many online streaming outlets): $1,200
- Final audio finishing and color-grading for distribution/streaming: $3,600 for basic work.
- Minimum initial distribution expenses (video-on-demand set-up, initial distribution outreach, cloud storage, etc.): $1,000.
Click "Learn More" to find out how diligent and careful we have been to extend every dollar donated as far as possible compared to normal filmmaking costs.
Note: We have successfully submitted to corporate matching programs and are excited to fill out the forms you need for your employer to match your donations! Some employers continue to have matching programs for retired employees.
Select a donation Level Below:
Choose any of the levels below by clicking the black oval donation button to get the associated perks! (All donation amounts are in U.S. dollars). You can always add more money to your donation than the amount listed when you check out.
Thank you for making a difference in this world by helping us get Chris’ inspiring story out there!
Select Your Donation Levels By clicking the black Buttons:
If you would like to send a check instead, click here to find out how. We do not have to pay the credit card and transaction fees if you send a check.
Exclusive Streaming Preview: $25
You get to be one of the first to experience "Staring Down Fate" through an exclusive online preview before the official release. This perk will be fulfilled after the film is finished. We will also list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor on the Staring Down Fate page in the Community Level before the film is released.
Digital Copy of the Film: $35
You get access to your own digital copy of the film as soon as the film is finished for streaming! We will also list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor on the Staring Down Fate page in the Movie-Lover Level before the film is released.
Pick Any Two: Digital Copy of Film, T-Shirt, Signed Photo: $65
Pick any two of the three perks: A) access to a digital copy of the film, which will be fulfilled after the film is finished for streaming; B) a limited edition 5x7 photo of a scene from the film or a photo from the field signed by the Director, Jeffrey Mittelstadt; or C) a WildSides Staring Down Fate T-Shirt made from Organic cotton. We will also list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor on the Staring Down Fate page in the Staring Down Fate Team Level before the film is released. Click here to see the selection of photos. (Note: T-Shirts and Photos will be sent as quickly as possible after donation depending on inventory. The T-Shirt and Signed Photo are only available in the United States due to shipping costs)
Get All Three! Digital Copy of the Film, T-Shirt, Signed Photo: $95
You get A) access to a digital copy of the film, which will be fulfilled after the film is finished for streaming; B) a limited edition 5x7 photo of a scene from the film or a photo from the field signed by the Director, Jeffrey Mittelstadt; and C) a WildSides Staring Down Fate T-Shirt made from Organic cotton. We will also list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor on the Staring Down Fate page in the Awareness-Builder Level before the film is released. Click here to see your selection of photos. (Note: T-Shirts and Photos will be sent as quickly as possible after donation depending on inventory. The T-Shirt and Signed Photo are only available in the United States due to shipping costs)
Digital Copy of Film + Phone/Video Chat with Director: $110
You will get access to a digital copy of the film! This perk will be fulfilled after the film is finished for streaming. The Director of the film, Jeffrey Mittelstadt, will also set up a 30-minute phone call or Skype with you and whomever else you would like to discuss and share stories from behind-the-scenes. We will also list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor on the Staring Down Fate page in the Behind-the-Scenes Level before the film is released.
Name in Credits + Digital Copy: $140
You will get your name in the credits at the end of the film. You will also get access to a digital copy of the film. This perk will be fulfilled after the film is finished for streaming. We will also list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor on the Staring Down Fate page in the Moviemaker Level before the film is released.
Name in Credits, Digital Copy + Signed Photo: $175
In addition to all the perks associated with a $140 donation, you get to choose from one of eight limited edition 5x7 color photos of a scene from the film or a photo from the field signed by the Director, Jeffrey Mittelstadt. We will also list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor on the Staring Down Fate page in the Movie Aficionado Level before the film is released. Click here to see your selection of photos. (Note: Photos will be sent as quickly as possible after donation depending on inventory. The Signed Photo is only available in the United States due to shipping costs)
License the Film for A Public or Large Group Viewing: $550
You will get to license the film for a single public or large group viewing in the location of your choice (local theater, community center, university, nature center, etc.). In addition, depending on scheduling, the Director will make himself available to answer questions via Skype or Google Hangout. All you need to do is make sure the location can play a film either in .mov format, Blu-Ray or DVD. Plus you will get everything in the $175 package, too! Location and space rental is not provided by us. This level only includes licensing to show the film to a single audience in the location of your choice and social media marketing support. If you are a school/educational institution, also contact us directly using connect @ wildsides.org. You get additional perks at this level!
Red Wolf Artwork Giclee Print + Name in Credits: $750
In London, England, this story caught the eye of professional artist Khaaymar Marie. She took a scene from the trailer & created an AMAZING original piece in pencil colours. The original was already claimed during our first campaign. However, at this level, you can get a 16" x 20" high quality Giclee print of the artwork on recognized archival quality papers, hand-signed & verified by Khaaymar. Your contribution includes shipping, printing & insurance costs. To the right is a photo of the artwork. We will also get a digital copy of the film after it is finished for streaming and we will list your name or the name of someone you would like to honor in the film credits and on the Staring Down Fate page in the Movie Aficionado Level before the film is released!
Founding Patrons: $1,000 (8 claimed)
You will be identified in the film credits and on our website as a Founding Patron of the film. You will also get everything in the $175 package and a half hour call or Skype with the Director of Staring Down Fate, Jeffrey Mittelstadt.
Tour in Red Wolf Country: $900 (2 claimed)
You will get a two-day tour to red wolf country by the Director, Jeffrey Mittelstadt. Travel, lodging and food is NOT covered by this package. Meet the Director of "Staring Down Fate" in North Carolina. He will take you to the Museum of Life and Science in Durham to see some captive red wolves and then give you a personal tour in Red Wolf country in eastern North Carolina, just inland from the Outer Banks. Note: While we will look for them, we do NOT guarantee seeing red wolves in the wild. You also get everything at the $175 level.
"The trip through Red Wolf Country was an awesome experience. In 2 days we were lucky enough to see both captive and wild red wolves, bears, turtles, birds along with multiple parks and the 5 counties. I gained a wealth of knowledge and experiences from Jeff that I would have never gotten without him. You could tell the amount of time and dedication Jeff had spent on this project, it made my donations that much more personal and special...I highly recommend it." - David Furedy
Associate Producer or Executive Producer of the Film: $5,000+
You can help Staring Down Fate have even more impact if you are ready to give $5,000 or more. You can join our meetings and get invited to screenings, trips, presentations and more! As an Associate or Executive Producer, you will also see your name or your family's name at the beginning and end of the film, listed in the Internet Movie Database (IMDB) credits, and on the website.
Click the "I want to be a Producer" button to find out what this means and all the perks associated with it.
Please Share this Fundraiser Everywhere!
Your support goes beyond your donations. Please share this this film on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and all the social media platforms you use. Tell everyone you know about it and email your friends, family and colleagues.
YOU are why this message to live with purpose and to connect and stay connected with nature is possible.
How does our spending compare to other documentary films?
Many say that it costs between $250,000 on the low end to over $1 million for a feature-length documentary film. We have seen recommendations that a documentary film should cost $2,000 to $4,000 per minute of the final product. Our film is 100 minutes. Some people we spoke with in Los Angeles say that “low-budget” films are anything less than $2 million, while an article on IndieWire in 2014 described a “reasonably” low budget film as $900,000.
Why are we sharing this with you? We want to show you that we have been extremely diligent and careful to extend every single dollar as far as we possibly can. We have raised about $60,000 in donations from well over 250 people like you. THANK YOU! Without the extreme generosity of our donors we never could have created this documentary or received the official selections and awards we’ve received for the film.
The amount we have raised covered:
- Hiring an esteemed consultant and co-story editor;
- Paying amazing college students to create motion graphics;
- Purchasing thousands of dollars worth of necessary digital storage and software;
- Travel to ALS researchers (University of Michigan, Dartmouth-Hithcock, University of Miami, University of New Hampshire, and more);
- Upgrade to a business website for fundraising, collect useful online data, and more;
- A few thousand dollars for film festival submission fees, film festival-ready movie delivery technology, and then additional costs for travel to film festivals;
- A few thousand dollars on legal and insurance fees;
- And then to pay the filmmaker a tiny fraction of normal editing and filming costs. This is a labor of love created out of passion and desire to use the camera to make a difference.
We only share this information with you to let you know that your dollar will go further with this film project than with most. And we are incredibly proud of that! So thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions using email@example.com.
Thank you for your support and for sharing!
If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email using connect @ WildSides.org.
Sending a Check
If you would like to send a check, also email us using connect @ wildsides.org to let us know you are sending it, how much and what donation level/perks you are selecting. Make the check out to WildSides, Inc. and send it to:
P.O. Box 5593
High Point, NC 27262-5593
Please include a quick note in the envelope with your Donation Level and the associated perks, your name, email and/or mailing address. We would like to also send you a receipt for tax deduction-purposes. Thank you so much!