The news that is coming across my desk has been pretty solemn lately, which is why I perked up when I saw a press release from minerals industry veteran Kurt Breede.
Breede is on the hunt for financing, and he is ready to give his pitch “to anyone willing to listen.” Our first attempt to discuss his project was cut short. “I have to do some real work,” explained Breede from the floor of the AME BC Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver. Formally, he is vice-president of marketing at the geological and mining consultancy WGM, but when that is not keeping him too busy Breede has been refining his feature- length screenplay about the Klondike Gold Rush. “If anything it is a distraction from what is going on in the industry right now.”
Now, after several redrafts, he is moving the project to the early development stage.
According to the press release to promote the launch of a crowdfunding campaign for Klondike – The Shooting of Dan McGrew, “Hollywood has traditionally cast the mining industry as the villain in many films...My hope is to strike some balance by showcasing more truer-to-life episodes of Canada’s mining history, and the ways – both good and bad – it has touched people’s lives.” The movie is a fictional depiction of the real struggles of stampeders drawn to the promise of riches in the land of the midnight sun.
The short-term goal is to raise $100,000 to produce a two to three minute trailer for the movie inspired by the works of Robert Service, the Bard of the Yukon.
When we spoke in late January, two weeks into Breede’s crowdfunding efforts, 10 backers had together pledged just over $1,000. Yet, he remained upbeat. The Kickstarter campaign, he explained, was meant to wrap up just after the PDAC Convention in early March, giving him access to just the audience he needs. Moreover, he said he recently had the opportunity to share his idea with Robert Friedland. The mining mogul had not yet committed any funds to the project, but “we’re talking,” said Breede.
I asked if he thought it was easier to raise money for a movie than for a mine these days. “That’s the $100,000 question.”
The challenge before us