The name of my organization is: Barri (pronounced Bah-ree) Productions
Who am I? My name is Debbie Ethell and I recently graduated from PSU with a science degree.
I went back to school for the sole purpose of filming this show and telling this story. I have studied African elephants for many years and have been asked to contribute my research to several projects with captive elephants in American zoos. I have been studying a particular group of elephants in Kenya for more than 20 years and I know everything about the more than 300 I have been following. Their stories are completely amazing. I met with the organization and have gained permission to not only share the stories of the individual elephants but was given access to share the organization’s story and use all of their archived footage. My goal is to weave science into the stories in order to lend credibility to these sometimes, unbelievable stories.
There are plenty of documentaries out there rattling off all the facts and the figures of elephant poaching but few, if any, focus on the elephants themselves with all their individual personality quirks, their compassion and all the ways in which they are just like us.
The title of my project is: The Trust
Description of project: This is a weekly, documentary television series with 13, 47-minute episodes. The basic concept is a love story between two unlikely species who simply couldn’t find love like this any other way. This character- driven documentary television series focuses on a group of people in the heart of Kenya working to protect and release orphaned elephants back into the wild. The powerful ties that bind the two together are revealed long after the elephants have been released back into the wild.
The bonds formed among the defenseless baby elephants and the men who raise them show the extraordinary depth of compassion and humanity between the two. Because much of the action is set in remote parts of Kenya, the show will also feature how the “luckiest” babies come to be saved. The opportunities afforded by such a venue – dramatic, heartwarming, inspiring and devastating – are limitless.
What I need help with:
1) WRITING – I need someone to help me turn my outlines for individual episodes into scripts. Since this is a documentary television series I’m not sure how best to do this. Much of the story is being told from the past using voice overs and archived footage. I need someone who can turn these incredible stories into magic on paper. The stories are all true so there isn’t anything to “make-up” it just needs to be translated into actual scripts. This can be one student or a group of students that can help me with each episode. I can provide all of the research and background for each episode. Each student will be given credit on each episode completed.
2) BUDGETS – I need help to fine-tune a budget for the pilot series of this show. The show will be filmed on location in Kenya, Africa. I have an outline for everything I think I need but I need help to fill in the blanks. I have traveled to Kenya and know the costs of everything from food to drivers to lodging. It is the cost of equipment, permits, day rates for production, editing…etc., that I need help fine-tuning.
2) SHOOTING SCHEDULE – I need help with the creation of a shooting schedule.
3) FUNDING – At the moment I have no funding but would like help in pursuing grant funders
that are already funding similar efforts. I can use help in writing grants and in the research of other potential funders I may not be aware of. Any money raised will also go to paying for the student’s time dedicated to this project.
How will a student benefit? At the very least I can offer an internship and credit for work performed. It will also be possible to be hired on the project if I decide to film the show using my production company, Barri Productions, instead of “pitching” to an outside one.
What monetary compensation can I offer the student? At the moment I cannot offer monetary compensation. A portion of any grant money raised will go towards paying any students who worked on this project. Before we begin any work we will determine an hourly rate that will be paid if any money is raised during the time the student is working on the project
Reimbursement for travel expenses: There are no travel expenses for the time being. I can meet the student (s) on PSU’s campus or at another desired location.
Expectations of student: If a student decides they would like to participate then I would expect to meet with them once a week and go over the previous weeks work. After meeting and discussing in further detail exactly what I need the student can decide if this is something they can do and, at that time, we can create a weekly goal. I will be available by phone and by email as much as the student needs and can easily work around their school schedule.
Please feel free to contact me anytime if you are interested.