Photo: Kickstarter Video
Brian Iglesias, a combat decorated Marine infantry officer now in the Reserves, just completed his most recent campaign.But unlike earlier ones in combat, this campaign was online. Using the social funding network, Kickstarter, Iglesias and his team have been able to raise $25,000 to produce a first instalment of an animated feature, Chosin.
Iglesias told Business Insider that Kickstarter has proven a decent platform for fundraising. However, most of the traffic has come from his team’s work spreading the word through their social networks, especially Facebook, and not through Kickstarter itself.
In 2010, Iglesias released Chosin, a documentary about an epic battle during the Korean War. Fought in the winter of 1950 deep in the mountains of North Korea, 15,000 US Soldiers and Marines were surrounded by enemy forces and had to fight their way to safety. In the process they traversed 78 miles of challenging mountainous terrain and saved the lives of 98,000 civilian refugees.
Many of the stories from this incredible, but often overlooked, battle had never been shared or archived so Iglesias and his creative partner Anton Sattler, a fellow Marine turned filmmaker, set out to make a documentary on it. They funded the project themselves, shooting interviews and gathering archival materials as they could; working, cashing in their life insurance policies, and maxing out credit cards for extra money when they needed to. Later they also produced a graphic novel based on the film, also self-funded.
The documentary and graphic novel have helped bring recognition to the soldiers who had been largely silent about this incredible mission. But from the beginning Iglesias had a bigger goal in mind, connecting civilians to the realities of war and improving the relationship between the American public and the military. The documentary can work for adults but isn’t so appealing to the younger generation, Iglesias, a father of two, told Business Insider.
The idea behind an animated feature is to frame this difficult concept in a way that can engage youth while maintaining the seriousness of the issue, according to Iglesias. Going for a PG-13 rating, the film will be targeted at teenagers, because, as Iglesias said, “18 years total I’ve been in the Marine Corps, so I’ve been in it for a long time, and I remember when the war started and people came back, America as a public we don’t really have a relationship with our military…Guys and girls coming back weren’t getting the support they needed.”
He feels the situation has improved, but issues remain, particularly with a generation coming up that were young or not born when the the attacks on 9/11 occurred. Iglesias is concerned that the connection between the public and military and the public understanding of war is weakening. He hopes this Chosin project can be a piece in the bridge building between the public and the military.
The $25,000 raised in the Kickstarter campaign will fund the production of a short scene from the feature length film and will be used to try and raise more funding for production of the whole 90-minute film. While they have reached their goal already they have four more days and the more money they raise the more of the movie they can make now.
Here is the video from their campaign:
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