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End of summer giving promo!

From now through the end of August, special giving promotions will be available at reduced prices! Those interested in receiving THANK YOU gifts for their donations – including large prints of Amsel’s work – can do so at a savings of up to $100!

Check out our project’s Fractured Atlas donation page to see the available summer discount giving options! More general details about making donations can be found on the DONATE/CONTRIBUTE page of our site.

As grateful as I am for all the generous donations received thus far, the simple truth is that most of the project’s financing has come out of my own pocket. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts:

This documentary has been a longtime passion project, involving years of work and research. It also represents a significant monetary investment, as I’ve funded most of the production myself. (One of the major reasons why the documentary has taken me so long is because I need to work at “day jobs” to support it.)

Even when working on a razor-thin budget, anyone who has ever made a film independently can understand how “razor thin” is just a relative term. Personal projects can easily break personal bank accounts. You have to call in every possible favor from friends and family; you max out credit cards; withdraw from (or delay your investments in) retirement savings; put in overtime at your day job, etc., etc. You get the picture and the sob story.

So…where, exactly, does your money go? I felt it was important to explain.

Probably the most expensive part of the project involves travel. Many interview subjects live on the east coast, so arranging that involves airfare, ground transportation, hotel accommodations – you get the idea. Even with every cost-cutting measure in place (including calling personal favors and couch-crashing in friends' living rooms), a single trip of a few days can easily run into the thousands.

New York City trips are particularly expensive…and I’ll be going there again this September for the Society of Illustrators event.

There are also operating and running costs, such as software licensing and subscriptions, as well as web site maintenance (I design and run the websites and social media entirely on my own), digital storage, equipment, mailings, and printings. The reward “perks” we offer, such as prints and postcards, also eat up a significant percentage of the donations we’ve received. There are professional services, too, that I've paid for, including legal and PR consultants.

Over the years, many others, including some animators, researchers, and transcribers, have worked for free on this project. Some have worked at either very discounted rates or for deferred pay. I’m grateful to every one of them for all their help and time on this project.

But there’s one important caveat I want to make clear: Never have I paid myself a salary.

This project has fiscal sponsorship for non-profit 501c3 status through Fractured Atlas, so every penny donated to the project is formally accounted for, and is itemized at tax time. Every expense I’ve personally made can only be reimbursed after I’ve submitted all the receipts and itemized costs.

The film is still in the editing stages, and I’m looking to film even more interviews. We'll need all the help and resources we can get. Further animation, post production editing, color correcting, sound editing and mixing, clearances – all of these add up over time. Your continued support can help make it happen.


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