We're in the midst of our 2019 fundraising drive. Do you have questions about the film or the fundraising efforts? Here, we answer some Frequently Asked Questions. If you don't find the answer you're looking for, feel free to contact us.
QUESTION: What is the status of the film?
ANSWER: As of November 2019, the filming is largely completed. We have several hundred hours of raw material, and we have hired a talented editing team to shape the material into an amazing documentary film. We are currently raising funds to pay for the editing process. If all goes well, the film could be completed by summer 2020.
QUESTION: Is the Wetterling family supportive of this film?
ANSWER: Yes. It was important to us to get the blessing of Jacob's parents prior to starting this project. We also wanted to include Jacob's parents in the film, and they were gracious enough to spend several hours with us on multiple occasions. The story is told, in part, in their own words. Moreover, Patty and Jerry Wetterling have been involved in our fundraising efforts, appearing at several of our fundraising events and speaking to the importance of finishing this documentary. They see it as an important way of honoring Jacob's legacy.
QUESTION: Is there a tax-deductible option?
ANSWER: Yes! If a tax deduction is helpful to you, you may donate to the film through our fiscal sponsor. Instructions can be found here. (On the other hand, if you give via our GoFundMe page, a tax deduction is not available, unfortunately, due to rules set out by our fiscal sponsor.)
QUESTION: How much money are you trying to raise?
ANSWER: During this fundraising campaign, we are hoping to raise a total of $100,000. As of November 2019, we have raised $78,000 which leaves us with $22,000 to go with a month remaining in the year.
QUESTION: What will you use the money for?
ANSWER: In the medium term, we need to edit the film, and therefore, we are dedicating the money we raise in 2019 to the editing. We have enlisted an editing team with the latest technology and the skills to craft this material into an amazing film. If we reach our 2019 fundraising goal, we will be able to spend 14 weeks with them, editing the film to the rough cut stage. (In the long term, we have a significant shortage in our budget. There are lots of post-production expenses that will need to be paid, including sound mixing, color correction, licensing and legal fees, deferred crew payments, and others. Fundraising for those expenses will be undertaken after we’ve reached rough cut.)
QUESTION: Are you affiliated with a television network or Hollywood studio?
ANSWER: No. We are an independent documentary crew based in Minnesota. This is a hometown story for us, so we’ve been doing it as a labor-of-love. However, we really want to share Jacob’s story with the world, and we believe that someday this film will be distributed far and wide by a big broadcaster or streaming service.
QUESTION: How have you gotten this far without public fundraising?
ANSWER: Like a lot of independent films, we’ve done this through mostly blood, sweat and tears. We have a dedicated team of filmmakers working with us, and they have all worked on this film for little or no money. We did receive a $10,000 grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, but that money has been spent (paying some crew members, and legal fees). The director has also spent money out-of-pocket because it is, after all, a labor-of-love. We’ve worked on the film for four years now, with the hope that the film will eventually be seen by lots of people, which may mean we get to pay ourselves back someday!
QUESTION: Are you affiliated with the IN THE DARK podcast?
ANSWER: No. We were, however, already producing the film back in 2015-2016, capturing several key moments in Jacob’s case. Therefore we were working parallel to the IN THE DARK team, as well as dozens of other members of the local and national press. IN THE DARK is an incredible example of great investigative journalism and the podcast is definitely worth a listen. We, on the other hand, are not investigative journalists and our focus will be very different from the podcast. IN THE DARK cultivated a huge fan base, and in-turn brought Jacob’s story to a whole new generation of people. And anyone who listened to Season One of IN THE DARK will absolutely find our film to be an illuminating new look at Jacob’s story.