"Henry Beston's Cape Cod" Documentary Film Reaches Out to Fans for Fundraising
Eastham, Mass. (PRWEB) November 02, 2014
This fall, Don Wilding, author of the book, âHenry Bestonâs Cape Codâ and founder of the nonprofit Henry Beston Society of Cape Cod, is taking a major step in the production of the feature length documentary film, based on his book.
Wilding says that footage from âHenry Bestonâs Cape Codâ is now available for pre-orders as a crucial strategy in tackling the final fundraising goal of $ 10,000.Â The projectâs Kickstarter campaign has now reached roughly the halfway point, offering backers an opportunity to earn a variety of rewards, such as preordering aÂ DVD of pre-production footage, gaining access to the online VIP areaâs unreleased clips, or purchasing rare photographs and other related items to âThe Outermost House,â a beloved icon of Cape Cod.
This $ 10,000 Kickstarter campaign is part of the fundraising effort to supplement the $ 20,000 already raised for the production of this film. Under Kickstarter guidelines, the entire $ 10,000 must be raised,Â or the project receives none of the money raised so far.
So far, a trailer and short 10-minute episode have been produced. The fundraising campaign will enable production to be closer to completion and put it in a position to secure distribution.
âWe knew that launching thisÂ campaign was largely a statement of faith in the huge global âOutermost Houseâ and Cape Cod community that exists, and now weâre doing everything we can to reach them, both online and inÂ the traditional media,â Wilding says of the project. âWhat many people donât know is that this beloved icon of Cape Cod and influence on the realization of John F. Kennedyâs dream of the Cape Cod National Seashore actually began 100 years ago on the battlefields of France during World War I.â
There has been interest in the early rough cut footage of the film from New England PBS outlets. The rough cut screenings have been largely soldÂ out, and were featured at the Newburyport (Massachusetts) Film Festival and at the highly acclaimed Chatham Orpheum Theater on Cape Cod.
âSince entering this phase of production this summer weâve had some incredible interest in the world wanting to see this film. Now, itâs coming down to theÂ dollars and we are extremely grateful for everyone who has and can donate or pre-order one of the rewards,â Wilding says.
The story of âHenry Bestonâs Cape Codâ takes Beston, known earlier in his life as Henry Sheahan, from the halls of Harvard to the hell of the battlefields and trenches of World War I. Serving as a volunteer ambulance driver for the American Field Service, he witnessed horrific carnage at the Battle of Verdun that would haunt him for many years to come. Later, he served as a correspondent for the U.S. Navy aboard battleships and submarines after the U.S. entered the war.
It wasnât until several years later, he was able to retreat to Cape Cod, where he built a small cottage on the outer beach, that was able to leave the horrors of the war behind.
âAs Henry comes out to the Cape and starts reveling in nature as part of recovering from his wartime experiences â¦ he was really looking for something that would indicate that all was not lost; this is the era of the lost generation,â explains Beston biographer Dr. Daniel Payne, one of several writers and scholars interviewed for the film. âWhen he goes to the Cape, one of the things that he learns, or perhaps re-learns, is that nature has a healing power.â
Bestonâs âGreat War to Great Beachâ experience was a connection that had remained untold for many years, until Wilding began to tell of it during in his book and at the dozens of lecture/screening programs that heâs hosted across New England since 2001.
âWhen I first heard about this idea that Bestonâs stay on the beach was part of a process of healing himself from his war experiences, at first I was a little skeptical,â acknowledges essayist Robert Finch, wrote the introduction to the most recent editions of âThe Outermost House,â during an interview for the film. âAnd then I started thinking about the book, and all these hidden suggestions in it. Obviously, the opening scene is couched in battle terms, with the ocean and land battling for supremacy, and the land sending its plants down â¦ itâs almost like trench warfare, moving ahead and then having to retreat. Iâm generally skeptical of trying to impose contemporary scenarios of things in the past; itâs just too easy to do. In this case, I donât think it changes the book at all; it just enlarges the significance of it in a way that Iâd be pleased to accept.â
Bestonâs âThe Outermost Houseâ became part of the modern environmental movement, heavily influenced the likes of Rachel Carson, and still enchants Cape Codders and visitors alike. In 1964, it was acknowledged that âThe Outermost Houseâ played a role in influencing the establishment of the Cape Cod National Seashore, which was signed into law in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy.
Others interviewed for the film include writers David Gessner (âSoaring with Fidel,â âSick of Natureâ) and Joan Anderson, author of the New York Times best-seller, âA Year by the Sea.â
Wilding and the Henry Beston Society have been active in collecting âOutermost Houseâ artifacts in recent years, and have a vast collection of photographs, letters and articles, many from the collections of Thoreau/Beston scholar John McAleer and Nan Turner Waldron (author of âJourney to Outermost Houseâ and longtime resident of Bestonâs âFoâcastleâ).
To learn more about pre-ordering the documentary footage and donating to the Kickstarter campaign, visit the fundraising pageÂ at OutermostHouseMovie.comÂ or directlyÂ at kickstarter.com/projects/86663556/henry-bestons-cape-cod-documentary-film .
Kickstarter's deadline for meeting the goal is Friday, Nov. 14 at 9 p.m., Eastern time.
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