IF YOU’RE THE BEST, THEN TAKE THE TEST
December 5, 2018 – In preparation for the extremely competitive international film festival circuit, 8 Billion Angels hosted test screenings at WeWork-Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. While we thought our movie was something special already, we wanted to get feedback and learn from the people who matter most — our audience. Post-screening survey results were incredibly encouraging and the feedback has helped us make our film even better than before.
Test screening audiences completed a written survey with a litany of questions regarding their perceptions of the movie’s message, characters and storylines. When asked for a one-word description, respondents called the movie, “motivating,” “powerful,” “honest,” “inspiring,” and “urgent.” It was not all rosy however. After receiving feedback that one of the scientific experiments demonstrated on screen was not clearly understood, we went back into the editing room to add footage that better connects the viewer to the ultimate takeaway message.
After 3 years of blood, sweat and toil, facing criticism is a daunting process, but I’ve always believed the way to improve is to listen with an open mind. As Winston Churchill once said, “To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.”
September 20, 2018
8 Billion Angels Hires Colorist for Award Winning Documentaries
Different By Design to Provide Coloring and Finishing Services
8 Billion Angels is proud to announce an agreement with Different By Design (DXD) for coloring and finishing services. In addition to 2017’s Academy Award winning documentary, Icarus, DXD has provided color correction for many other acclaimed documentaries, such as Academy Award winner 20 Feet From Stardom; Academy Award Nominee Last Days in Vietnam and Academy Award Nominee The Invisible War.
Color correction is often the least talked about, most overlooked portion of the post-production process. Colorists make sure that all shots in each scene match one another so that no one shot stands out in the sequence. They look out for and correct color differences and ensure consistency throughout the production.
Different By Design was founded in 2004 by Greg Lanesey and Matt Radecki. The company provides online, color correction, DCP, Blu Ray and delivery for documentaries, feature films and television.
September 15, 2018
Two Thumbs Up for 8 Billion Angels
Executive Producer Gives First Sneak Peek, Q&A
8 Billion Angels gave attendees of the “Population and Parenthood” event at Casket Cinemas in Minneapolis on September 14th a sneak peek of the film followed by a live (via streaming) Q&A session with the film’s executive producer Terry Spahr.
Approximately 35 people watched 8 Billion Angels’ dramatic depiction of carbon dioxide’s effects in the waters off Shikine-Jima, Japan. In the 10-minute clip, scientists demonstrate how the CO2 vents provide a window into the future of our oceans and their changing chemistry, as more manmade CO2 from the combustion of fossil energy descends into the oceans and acidifies them. World Population Balance President Dave Gardner facilitated feedback and questions for the filmmaker from the audience. Questions included everything from asking about the inspiration behind the film’s title to wanting more information about when the documentary would be released.
August 6, 2018
Thank You for Contributing to Our Kickstarter Campaign!
On June 1st, 8 Billion Angels initiated a Kickstarter campaign to raise $34,000 to complete the complex task of editing, which requires piecing together the massive amount of footage we captured into a meaningful, powerful and entertaining film. Over the course of the month, 103 individuals pledged $35,126, surpassing our campaign goal and puting us one step closer to achieving our overall objective of inspiring international dialogue and provoking action on population’s role in our global humanitarian and environmental crises. Click here to watch our campaign video and find out more about the film, its impact and the people behind the scenes: http://kck.st/2JiGM7p
The 8 Billion Angels team would like to thank the following* for their invaluable support during our Kickstarter campaign. We look forward to showing you the fruits of our labor at a film festival, via digital download, through your streaming service or at your local movie theatre!
Mary Ann Boyer
Cricket Brosius & Pete Maruca
The Cook Family
The Creative Fund
Paul & Heather Foster
Katie Elsom Frohardt
Walks of Life Films
Maureen Cohen Harrington
Steven B. Kurtz
John Paul Mantey
Jeffrey M. Welsh
Dan & Anya Rosin
Julia & Steve Schott
Callaway Bowman Spahr
Julie and Bob Spahr
Kathy & Emory Van Cleve
Rob Van Alen
Bill Van Ry
July 17, 2018
8 Billion Angels Brings on Award-Winning Composer
Adam Weiss Joins the Filmmaking Team for Global Documentary
Los Angeles, CA: The global documentary feature 8 Billion Angels has contracted with composer Adam Weiss to produce the score for the film. Weiss’ past work has earned him awards for his film soundtracks and original scores for theatrical productions including back-to-back Kennedy Center CAPPIES nominations.
“I love when documentaries give you that ‘spark’ feeling, making you feel like you’re a part of something greater, that something important is in the works,” said Weiss. “There’s a lot being communicated in the [8BA] interviews and a clear message – about devastation and the effect we’ve had on our environment. I think we can instead push the call to action element and get people inspired to make a difference, rather than emphasizing the issue as a matter of fact reality. We can address this with the music and create a more pulsing, driving soundtrack – something to inspire.”
About Adam Weiss: Based in Brooklyn, New York, Weiss is a summa cum laude graduate of Boston’s esteemed Berklee College of Music composition program. He was honored by the Kennedy Center with back-to-back CAPPIES nominations in 2013 and 2014 for his two original scores for the theater productions: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, and Macbeth. In 2015 and 2017, the Los Angeles CineFest and the Oniros Film Awards in Italy nominated Weiss for Best Score for his original soundtrack to director Tom Smith’s film, Pathfinder.
Previous work: https://www.adamweisscomposer.com/music.html
About 8 BILLION ANGELS: 8 Billion Angels is a documentary feature that exposes our world’s water, food, climate and extinction emergencies as a direct consequence of attempting to support our unsustainable population. Scheduled for release in 2019, the film examines the evidence pointing towards a controversial and often overlooked question: are there too many people on Planet Earth? And consequently, are we and all Earth’s creatures destined for extinction, or do we have the will to turn the tide? To find out more about 8 Billion Angels, visit online at www.8billionangels.org, on Twitter @8BillionAngels or on Facebook @8billionAngels.
Open Letter From Terry Spahr, Executive Producer, 8 Billion Angels
July 9, 2018
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Your tremendous support helped us exceed our $34,000 Kickstarter goal by raising a total of $35,126! This money will give us the boost we need to complete 8 Billion Angels at the highest possible standards, maximize our exposure among the film gatekeepers and get our message out to the widest audience possible.
Not only did we receive monetary pledges on Kickstarter and through the website, but we also received a great deal of encouragement and goodwill from a number of people who left inspiring messages that really helped boost our spirits and make the campaign a success.
8 Billion Angels has resonated with an amazing number of everyday citizens, charitable organizations, scientists and educational institutions around the world. We are hard at work talking with those folks and helping them to better understand what we are creating and how we can link what we are doing to address our mutual concerns.
Based on your pledge level, we will be notifying you about the corresponding gifts and rewards. Items like t-shirts, tote bags, plantable-postcards and social media shout-outs will be issued in the next 30-60 days. We hope to deliver the direct link to the final cut of the film and other film benefits in 6-18 months based on our distribution time frame as well as festival and legal requirements.
Thank you again for your trust and belief in our mission. Your support will always be appreciated and long-remembered.
8 Billion Angels
June 9, 2018
Great News! 9 days into our campaign to raise funds for our post-production sound, music and film festival entries, Kickstarter has named 8 Billion Angels a “Project We Love.” What is a “Project We Love?” Kickstarter says:
“Projects We Love are featured by a team that works to surface extra-bright projects. They’re not paid endorsements, and like any other project, they retain complete creative independence. Most simply, a Project We Love badge is a show of respect and enthusiasm from us at Kickstarter.”
Our supporters have, thus far, pledged half of our goal of $34,000. With just 20 more days, we still need your help to bring our film to festivals, theatre and homes around the world. If we are successful, we can inspire action to reign in our explosive population growth and its dire affects on our planet.
View our Kickstarter campaign here – http://kck.st/2JhYzf0
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2018
Filmmaker Tackles ‘Bombshell of a Topic’ Through Crowdfunding
Ecologist Terry Spahr Turns to Kickstarter For His First Feature film, 8 Billion Angels, a Documentary About Overpopulation
Philadelphia, PA— Independent filmmaker Terry Spahr is turning to the Internet to raise funds for his provocative feature film project, 8 Billion Angels, a documentary about overpopulation and its effect on the environment. With funding as a major obstacle to getting any film completed, Spahr hopes to raise post-production funds by leveraging Kickstarter’s growing number of project backers and the public’s growing appetite for environmental films.
Filmmakers have to become more innovative in their fundraising tactics, and the independent filmmaking community has embraced sites like Kickstarter.com. According to the crowdfunding site’s guidelines, artists have a set number of days to raise all the funds, or the project receives nothing. Spahr’s film has a 30-day fundraising window, from start to finish. If the allotted budget ($34,000 US) isn’t raised before June 30, all pledges are cancelled and the film will not be funded.
When asked about why Kickstarter was appealing, Spahr noted, “the ability to tell our story quickly online to a lot of people who might not otherwise know about it is invaluable.” Spahr’s film, 8 Billion Angels, examines what it calls the upstream cause of all of our environmental emergencies – overpopulation. The filmuses interview portraits of citizens from around the world to tell a universal story about the greatest threat to the future of our planet. Reflecting a wide range of human emotion and experience, the film seeks to reveal a larger more complex portrait of our shared humanity.
“Experts agree that the size of the human ‘footprint’ is a serious problem and it has only been increasing. It makes sense then that, in addition to reducing the footprint per person, we must also address the issue of population management,” said Spahr.
Spahr says the explosive growth in the human population and the resulting effects on the environment have been largely ignored by many of those concerned with climate change. “It is ‘a bombshell of a topic,’ with profound and controversial issues of ethics, morality, and social justice,” he says.
“Overpopulation is seen as the ‘third rail’ of the sustainability debate – being a subject considered by many in the environmental community and among politicians to be too controversial to discuss.”
Spahr said it became politically incorrect to discuss population management in the 1970’s, when China and India instituted inappropriate coercive measures to manage their rising numbers and many large “green” organizations like The Audubon Society, Sierra Club, and Wilderness Society removed these platforms from their organizations. Since then, while the subject has largely been ignored and global population has skyrocketed, research has revealed that the world population would need to be reduced by more than two-thirds for people on the planet to live sustainably and enjoy a lifestyle similar to that of Europeans.
8 Billion Angels was shot on location in Tokyo and the Shikine-Jima Islands off Japan, in the Delhi and Kerala regions of India, across the Great Plains of Kansas and Nebraska and near and around Acadia National Park in Maine. If the campaign is successfully funded, Spahr expects to deliver the final cut before the end of 2018. To learn more about the film, visit the project’s pitch page here: http://kck.st/2JhYzf0
About 8 Billion Angels
8 Billion Angels is a documentary feature that exposes our world’s water, food, climate and extinction emergencies as a direct consequence of attempting to support our unsustainable population. The film examines the evidence pointing towards a controversial and often overlooked question: are there too many people on Planet Earth? And consequently, are we and all Earth’s creatures destined for extinction, or do we have the will to turn the tide? To find out more about 8 Billion Angels, visit online at www.8billionangels.org, on Twitter @8BillionAngelsor on Facebook @8billionAngels.
December 7, 2017 – The Haverford School- Haverford Pa. Terry conducted a lively discussion and multimedia presentation with seniors on the topic of resource scarcity. He shared his direct experience on water scarcity from interviews with farmers facing the depletion of the High Plains Aquifer in the Midwest of the United States.
November 30, 2017 – Univ. of Pennsylvania – 8 Billion Angels Executive Producer Terry Spahr addressed Professor Irina Marinov’s Global Climate Change Class on “the intersection of human activity and the environment.” Much of the discussion centered on ocean acidification and his filming of the CO2 seep vents off the coast of Japan, and their value to scientists as a window into the future of the seas. Terry shared with the class the scientists’ predictions for the drastically different seas we will see in 2100 from what we have today.
Acidification of the oceans has increased 30% since preindustrial times and is increasing annually. Acidification has been shown to alter the physiology and the behavior of sea creatures and is best known for inhibiting the ability for shelled creatures and corals to grow.
November 14th, 2017 – 8 Billion Angels Executive Producer Terry Spahr was the keynote speaker at investment firm LBC Credit’s annual investor meeting in Philadelphia, PA. His presentation to more than 80 attendees outlined the problems associated with humanity’s increasing and seemingly insatiable consumption of the planet’s resources combined with the daily addition of 220,000 new people to our global population. Among the topics discussed were water scarcity, the collapse of fisheries, pressures on renewable and non-renewable resources and the wastes human activity generates as well as realistic solutions toward sustainability.
As a greater number of investors see the impact economic activity is placing on the earth, there is an increasing interest in investments that meet higher standards of environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria. While ESG awareness and focus will help in moving us towards sustainability, Spahr emphasized that without recognizing overpopulation as the main driver of our world’s ecological overshoot and environmental crises, we can not close the gap between resource supply and demand.
October 2017 – The IDA (International Documentary Association) and PMC (The Population Media Center have both accepted 8 Billion Angels Productions into their fiscal sponsorship programs. Both organizations recognize the film production as a valuable endeavor making an important social and environmental impact on the world. The sponsorship allows individuals and foundations to be able to contribute to the making of the film through their respective organizations an receive a tax deductible donation.