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Ghosts of the West - ghost town documentary film

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After eight years of research and travel plus another two of post-production, the documentary feature film GHOSTS OF THE WEST is finally coming to audiences this year. Shot entirely on motion picture film, the movie offers viewers a front row seat on a tour through the vanishing history of the Old West.

 

On September 29, 2012, Colorado-based independent production company Knight Sky Pictures held two test screenings of GHOSTS OF THE WEST at the historic Park Theatre in Estes Park, Colorado. The turnout caught everyone by surprise as one of the largest crowds of the theatre’s summer season began lining up outside the box office an hour in advance of showtime. Theatre employees even had to guard the one-sheets against theft by the patrons.

 

The trailer can be seen on IMDb, Vimeo, and YouTube. You can also head on over to the film's official website at www.GHOSTSOFTHEWESTMOVIE.com to see the trailer, look over the production stills gallery, and learn more about the cast and crew.

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Checked out the trailer and I am definitely planning on seeing it when it comes out. You plan on releasing it netflix or amazon prime?

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Checked out the trailer and I am definitely planning on seeing it when it comes out. You plan on releasing it netflix or amazon prime?

 

Thanks Bob!

 

We grew up watching movies in movie theatres, so our first stop will be there if the Fates are with us. We anticipate partnering with small and independently-owned houses as we did for the test screenings, as well as showing at any film festivals who decide to include the film as part of the program. (Side bar: anyone reading this is welcome to not only suggest festivals in their area but to CONTACT those festivals directly and let them know you'd go see this movie if they show it! Despite what anyone says, every festival is all about selling tickets!)

 

There were about 100 historical images we used in addition to footage we shot, and we are close to finalizing DVD usage rights for the last block of those images. At that point, we'll have DVDs for sale wherever we screen; later this year, the DVDs will be available for sale online directly from us. HOWEVER, we are discussing distribution with a few companies at the moment, and we'll certainly be looking into streaming and online distribution through Amazon and Netflix as well.

 

In the meantime, I invite everyone to visit the film's website at www.ghostsofthewestmovie.com to learn more (and to join our mailing list to find out when the film comes to your area or is available online). Additionally, "Ghosts of the West" was featured as the cover story of Super 8 Today magazine. It includes an article about the making of the film as well as quite a few production stills and images from the film. You can check that out at www.super8today.net/inside.html

 

P.S. We're also on Facebook if you like to get that kind of passive update.  (Our page there is GhostsOfTheWestmovie).

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I am definitely interested in seeing your film! It's really nice to see a high quality film for this genre.

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Does your film cover both full ghost and semi-ghost towns? Do you have a list of the sites you visited?

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I am definitely interested in seeing your film! It's really nice to see a high quality film for this genre.

 

Thanks for the kind words. There is such a wealth of written and photographic material about ghost towns, but we saw precious little cinematic material.

 

One of the things we said in the press release for the test screenings was that "We could have released the film years ago if we chose to rely solely on archival images of the towns instead of shooting them ourselves, but we felt we needed to actually visit the sites if we were to tell their stories with honesty.” The audiences at the screenings overwhelming validated that decision. We hope to bring the film to as many locations as we can--especially those we visited during production.

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Does your film cover both full ghost and semi-ghost towns? Do you have a list of the sites you visited?

 

The film covers several different towns at various points in their discovery to boom to bust arc. Then it goes into the fates of the towns today, which covers everything from completely empty fields to the semi-ghosts (as in they are still living towns, but shadows of their former selves). And of course, what would the film be if it did not mention the lost mines and caches that keep the Old West very much alive for some...

 

We don't have a published list of sites, partly to protect them. Our thought being that anyone who REALLY wants to visit a particular site in person will have respect for it by the time they've done a bit of research. We saw far too much disrespect, vandalism, and trespassing while shooting the film.  Some of that was actually taking place without regard to a camera lens being pointed right at the perpetrators as they were doing it. (Don't worry--we called them out before any damage was done.)

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Nothing I hate more than the vandals who destroy these sites. I just don't understand it. I hope you captured them on your video to demonstrate why these sites are either gone or in serious danger or being wiped out. With all these new shows on National Geographic showing people going to old ghost towns and finding treasures, it won't be long until they are all gone. How long have you been interested in ghost towns?

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Well, hopefully I've shamed a few people on film without actually showing them. Some people are just jackasses. Or stupid. There's no accounting for it.

 

I've been interested in old west ghost towns since I was about 8 or 9 years old. Unfortunately, I lived 1700 miles away from the nearest one at the time. "Ghosts of the West" was shot over a period of 8 years and took close to two more to go completely through the post-production process. It's been a helluva Jeep ride. ;)

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Just watched the trailer and I am very excited about this! I was recently filmed in a historical documentary being made about a living ghost town, Randsburg,  but your title is different than the one I am in so this can't be the same one :)

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Just watched the trailer and I am very excited about this! I was recently filmed in a historical documentary being made about a living ghost town, Randsburg,  but your title is different than the one I am in so this can't be the same one :)

Glad you enjoyed the trailer! And yes--the film you were in is a different for sure.

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Hello again!

 

 

We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you: GHOSTS OF THE WEST was given the BEST DOCUMENTARY AWARD at the annual Filmed in Utah Awards Ceremony this past Saturday, February 16. 
 
Considering that other nominees in this category have played at such notable venues as the Florida Film Festival, the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and the Traverse City Film Festival (and even theatrically in some cases), we are honored by the judges' decision to give the award to GHOSTS OF THE WEST.
 
This award adds critical acclaim to the phenomenal audience feedback received at the test screenings in September: GHOSTS OF THE WEST is a film "that begs to be viewed more than once."
 
facebook.com/ghostsofthewestmovie
www.ghostsofthewestmovie.com

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Greetings all!

 

Here's some news:

 

We're working with some theatres as I write this and hope to have screening dates available soon. We've also started a kickstarter project to acquire the remainder of the historical photo usage rights, do a DVD print run, and widen the theatrical screening area. If you're interested in taking a look, here's the link (and please share the link!)

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1979629452/ghosts-of-the-west-award-winning-ghost-town-doc-re?ref=email

 

Remember, you can always get updates at    facebook.com/ghostsofthewestmovie

and find out more about the film at      www.ghostsofthewestmovie.com

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Nice, looks like the kickstarter is off to a good start!

 

 Thanks! We're 6 days in and at 55% of our goal!

 

I should mention that the plan for the DVDs is this:

 

For the short-term, they will go out to those who back the project and will be available for sale ONLY at the theatrical screenings that we personally attend. Once our roadshow is completed, then we will offer them for sale online. The reason is that no theatre is going to partner with us on screenings if they know anyone can just buy a DVD online rather than buy a ticket and see it at the cinema!

 

We've gotten some emails from those outside the US and have just updated and added some rewards to offer DVDs using the PAL video standard! 

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/knightskypictures/ghosts-of-the-west-award-winning-ghost-town-doc-re

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 Thanks! We're 6 days in and at 55% of our goal!

 

I should mention that the plan for the DVDs is this:

 

For the short-term, they will go out to those who back the project and will be available for sale ONLY at the theatrical screenings that we personally attend. Once our roadshow is completed, then we will offer them for sale online. The reason is that no theatre is going to partner with us on screenings if they know anyone can just buy a DVD online rather than buy a ticket and see it at the cinema!

 

We've gotten some emails from those outside the US and have just updated and added some rewards to offer DVDs using the PAL video standard! 

 

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/knightskypictures/ghosts-of-the-west-award-winning-ghost-town-doc-re

 

Just for clarification, what is the minimum backing amount to receive a DVD?

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Just for clarification, what is the minimum backing amount to receive a DVD?

 

Hi Bob,

 

Those pledging at least $25 (and assuming the project meets its funding goal) will receive a DVD of the film (which is set to include approximately 15 minutes of deleted stories and interviews), have their name listed as a "Contributor" on the DVD package insert and on ghostsofthewestmovie.com, and get a fridge magnet of the movie's poster image.

 

All pledge levels at $25 and up will get the DVD. The higher the level, the greater the incentives. For instance, the CD soundtrack gets added in at the $50 level; at $75 the DVD is signed; at $100 we add two VIP tickets to the Denver premiere screening, a bumper sticker, and list the backer as an "Underwriter", etc.

 

Thanks for your interest! At least two theaters are waiting to hear the results of the kickstarter project--as well as the archive I have to pay for theatrical and DVD usage rights!

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Thank you for the info, I am hoping more people will support your efforts. I am really looking forward to seeing your flim.

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Thank you for the info, I am hoping more people will support your efforts. I am really looking forward to seeing your flim.

Thanks, Bob!  We're just a few dollars shy of the 2/3 mark on funding with about 2/3 of the time remaining. Hopefully, we'll reach the 100% mark soon!

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Hello all! 

 

Epic news for "Ghosts of the West: The End of the Bonanza Trail"!

 

We just signed an exhibition agreement with an indie theatre in the tourist/college town of Durango, Colorado to show the film beginning June 1. There are currently 5 shows planned for opening weekend (Friday/Saturday/Sunday evenings, and Saturday/Sunday matinees). Additionally, weekend matinees are planned into the summer months.

 

We are continuing to work with indie theaters on a roadshow for the film, but our first stop is finally confirmed. The confidence to sign the exhibition agreement came in big part from the support we've gotten at our kickstarter campaign to help fund the expenses related to it. We aren't at the goal quite yet, but we've only $1,251 left to raise out of the original $4,500.

 

I just posted an update to the project containing a short clip from the film's prologue.

 

Thanks again to all who have supported us. Please continue to share the link and spread the word. The more we raise, the more stops we can make on the roadshow!

 

And remember to visit the project's kickstarter site to be among the first outside of the test screening audiences to see the clip:

 

www.kickstarter.com/projects/knightskypictures/ghosts-of-the-west-award-winning-ghost-town-doc-re
 

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