THE AMERICAN WILDLIFE PROJECT
The American Wildlife Project is introduced in the enclosed letter. This additional information will provide you with a deeper understanding of everything that this Project will entail.
The dream and vision is to allow you to receive the proud credit for a truly humanistic gesture. This Project will be broad in scope and dramatic in execution - unlike any other that has ever been attempted.
America needs some good news. In our recent focus on the various problems of energy, war, finance and ethnicity, we seem to have lost sight of an integral portion of our birthright.
North America is a continent of incomparable majesty, with an amazingly varied geography and an absolutely stunning diversity of life zones and natural communities. It is time for us to rekindle our sense of love and appreciation for this precious biological heritage.
The American Wildlife Project is the working title for ease of reference. The actual name will surely provide credit and acknowledgment to yourself, your family or to any other entity you may choose. In the meanwhile, we are using these names as working titles and Websites.
Below is a brief outline of the Project Phases that will be involved.
DVDs - produce and distribute Sets
Online - streaming Video application, all formats
Ancillary - transcripts, teacher's guides, Distance Learning Telecourse
Editing - searchable sequences (Video search), "Wild Families"
Archival - organize, catalog, deliver, preserve
Endowment - clerical, promotional, service in perpetuity
It may be that we will work together to create a new Non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an independent Board of Directors or it may be that you will choose to work with an existing entity. Anything is possible and several Non-profit organizations with which this Project has been discussed have expressed strong interest and would commit to a major involvement.
Enclosed is The "Wild America" Series Collector's Edition DVD Set, with a list sale price of $129.95. There also exists The "Wild America" Specials Companion Edition DVD Set with a list sale price of $69.95 that will also be provided upon your request. Both of these Sets, one of which is very educational, but also entertaining, and the other of which is strongly entertaining, but also very educational, will play a role in this Project.
If you will take the time to view some of these Programs and Specials, I know that you will come to share my belief. I believe that they should - must! - be made available to every person - and especially to every child - in every school, library, museum, hospital, and learning facility all across America.
To repeat, the Recipient List will include grade schools, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, libraries, museums, nature centers, environmental groups, game departments, national parks, wildlife refuges, hospitals, pediatric, geriatric, oncology and hospice centers, military bases, correctional institutions, support clinics, and many other public and private educational and environmental groups and facilities.
Maybe this "Wild America" Film Collection should even be distributed throughout all of North America, including Canada and Mexico, and it would be fascinating to consider the immense value to be derived if The American Wildlife Project could somehow be provided throughout the entire World!
But, to begin realistically, a relatively modest Recipient List goal, focusing on America, is 120,000 schools and 120,000 other entities. If deemed desirable, the need is clear for a distribution even greater than this initial Recipient List figure of 240,000 and the opportunity exists for this effort to be doubled or even tripled in scope.
We have identified in excess of 720,000 potential Recipient List entities and we look forward to cooperating with you to determine which of these are the most important and gift-worthy.
A Dual-Delivery System will involve the distribution of actual physical DVDs and also the availability of electronic Internet distribution in the form of streaming Video Online.
Video search and delivery applications will rely on proprietary state-of-the-art technology that our team has already developed. Free and unlimited usage by Access Code will allow the use of streaming Video elements Online, another form of delivery that will be increasingly popular in the future. This Project will also produce and make available a Digital Photo Gallery. The complete re-editing of the Programs into clips and sequences will make it all searchable by topic and segment.
Teacher's Guides and Lesson Plans and student study aids, a Glossary and also a Distance Learning Telecourse will be written by Dr. Daniel (Dan) D. Chiras, a renowned ecologist, well-known author and an expert in Biodiversity and Environmental Sustainability. Particular attention will be given to the Environmental Sciences of Biology, Ecology, Ethology, Mammalogy and Ornithology.
We do have quite an elaborate Glossary and Search Mechanism incorporated in the current Website; however, increased accessibility and detailed searchability of the Video in shorter, more closely defined, clips and sequences will be a critical element for both students and researchers.
An Editing Initiative will create thousands of these searchable sequences; to be broken down by multiple search terms and concepts. This part of the planned work is tentatively entitled "Wild Families".
The funding requirement for this Project will be substantial, as it will definitely be the most extensive endeavor of this type ever undertaken. The first major goal will be to initiate the production, distribution, and to provide the overhead for the initial four-year effort for both physical DVDs and Online access by the public and by scientific and educational institutions. Secondly, the subsequent task will be to also provide for the archival preservation and protection of the underlying resource on a perpetual basis.
This Project can be completed with as much or as little promotion, fanfare, recognition and grateful appreciation, credit, and acknowledgement as you prefer. And this could be just a beginning of preserving a valuable heritage, as there are a number of other libraries of environmental film that could, and certainly should, also be preserved and protected.
An important part of The American Wildlife Project will be the creation of an Endowment for the perpetuation of this Project and the ongoing preservation of this National Treasure. The initial timetable to produce, deliver and service the DVDs and Website will be three years, after which a final year of the initial Project will create a structure to be maintained into the future through the Endowment.
This Endowment will provide a firm financial foundation and sustain an impact long after the gift is made. It is a meaningful way for you to leave a lasting legacy and will provide practicality, prestige and visibility to the Project on a perpetual basis.
In addition to the completed Programs and Specials in DVD and all of this ancillary work that will be undertaken, there also exists an extensive collection of unused "Wild America" content - the millions of feet of color film that were exposed in the creation of these episodes. Attention will also be given to the proper care of this film and it will also be organized, archived and preserved in perpetuity.
Several institutions have already committed an interest in providing permanent archival preservation of this priceless collection.
I will look forward to your input and suggestions as we determine where it should be housed for the greatest value and accessibility. Naturally, the goal of an archival repository will be to preserve these films and historic documents for future generations.
Strong interest and a tentative commitment to this undertaking have already been expressed by several prestigious institutions, including The Library of Congress, The Denver Museum of Nature and Science, and the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. We may work in conjunction with the NSDL Digital Library initiative of the National Science Foundation for a portion of the Online Video Phase.
Perhaps the most exciting and potentially beneficial option that we have is the opportunity to coordinate this entire Project with Mr. Chris Palmer, Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking at American University in Washington, DC.
With the active involvement of you and your advisors, we will determine which of several different approaches will be the most efficient and desirable. For example, we can certainly establish a new and dedicated Non-profit 501(c)(3) entity with an independent Board of Directors to oversee this effort and still work with an existing archival entity.
The final funding figure will be subject to change by altering the overall scope, by adjusting the timetable, by adding multiple donors, or by reducing the Recipient List by category or by priority.
The good news is that the wheels are already on the wagon. After many decades of production and distribution, there is an existing network of excellent technicians and suppliers with whom we have cooperated on previous productions. Our work with these independent consultants and contract associates will be on a for-hire basis.
I welcome you to come visit us here in Colorado - to see our vaults and studio containing all the hundreds of cans of precious filmed heritage. That would be best.
Alternatively, I am happy to travel to meet with you. Just name a place and date. As for the exact financial details of this proposal, there will surely be tax and other considerations. I am certainly happy to cooperate with you to develop and implement all of the necessary plans and documents in conjunction with your attorneys and advisors, as we all work together to actualize The American Wildlife Project.
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