Key West: The Conch Republic

Help bring this exciting, family friendly, Christian film set in the tropical paradise of Key West, to life!

Interview with Pastor Jackson from “Key West: The Conch Republic” — June 12, 2015

Interview with Pastor Jackson from “Key West: The Conch Republic”

June 10_blogThanks for coming back to our new blogs series featuring characters from our movie, “Key West: The Conch Republic.” Please visit Kickstarter (www.bit.ly/keywestmovie) to help us fund it.

Today we speak with Pastor Jackson.

Q. Hi Pastor. Tell me about your role.

Pastor Jackson: My family and I are headed to The Keys. I’ve been invited by Pastor Burt Otens of Victory Church of Key West to be a guest Pastor. About 10 miles outside of Key West, we notice a long line of traffic and that everyone else appears to be leaving. We then see and are stopped by the Border Control …

Q. Border Control?? Key West is part of the US…

Pastor Jackson: Yes, well, that’s apparently the problem. Key West, the folks here call themselves “Conchs,” felt pretty harassed by the US government, which set up check points like this one to look for smugglers. They felt it impacted the tourist business, and got so fed up that the Conchs decided to secede. That’s the situation as we are coming onto the island – The Conch Republic has been formed, and a delegate has been sent to Washington with the news. The move is really symbolic and a PR stunt somewhat, but it’s pretty serious.

Q. So you got through?

Pastor Jackson: Of course. We came to preach the word of God and certainly aren’t smuggling anything. My wife and three children make our way to our hotel, and plan to find the church and Pastor Burt. As we stay in Key West and encounter people who are both Christians and non-Christians, I realize the Lord works in mysterious ways and has purpose and intention for us at all times, if we only choose to listen. I believe He’s sent me here to make a difference in some people’s lives, and I try my best in this movie to fulfill his wishes. For example, upon arrival, Pastor Otens arranges for my son to have a new fishing pole. Our hotel is right across the street from the marina, a fisherman named Captain Tommy is recommended to us.

Q. How does the secession impact your visit?

Pastor Jackson: As expected Washington didn’t take the news lightly. They call in the Coast Guard, we learn Captain Tommy has a pretty prestigious military past, tempers start to flare everywhere. And did I mention in the middle of all of this, my teenage daughter believes she is in love? The Lord tests us in many ways, and that’s what we see in this movie.

Thanks for your time Pastor. Next up, we’ll interview Captain Tommy.

***

Please help us bring this movie to life, which happens only if we raise the production funds. The Kickstarter project runs through June 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm Eastern Time. If the goal isn’t met by the end of the run, then no funds change hands. Those interested in supporting the project should visit www.bit.ly/keywestmovie to learn more.

Kickstarter Site:  www.bit.ly/keywestmovie

Film Website: http://keywestthemovie.faithnetwork.com/

Twitter:   @keywestmovie   https://twitter.com/keywestmovie

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Key-West-The-Conch-Republic-Motion-Picture/1055969584432580?sk=timeline

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Bird-talk: An Interview with “Key West: The Conch Republic” Character: Angel — June 6, 2015

Bird-talk: An Interview with “Key West: The Conch Republic” Character: Angel

June 6 BlogToday we interview a bird – that’s right, a pelican named Angel to be exact — who plays a key role in our movie, “Key West: The Conch Republic.”

Q. Hi Angel. What’s your story in this movie?

Angel: Well, apparently I was caught in a bad storm that carried me into Key West. You see, I’m an African pelican, not a Florida one, so I’m pretty special. The kind folks here keep feeding me so, hey, why should I go anywhere since I’ve got it good …

But how do you actually meet the pastor and his family?

Angel: Pastor Jackson brings his family down to the dock one day – you know he’s in town to preach a sermon or two, right? — and I took a liking to his youngest daughter, Natalie. And her blanket. In fact, the first time I meet her, I try to take her blanket. Birds will be birds — I know cats get the credit for being curious, be we pelicans can be, too.

Why is your role important to this movie?

Angel: I know it sounds birdbrained *sorry* but I become Natalie’s best friend while she is in Key West. The rest of her family gets caught up in their worlds, and remain great parents, but little kids need friends, and that’s what I become. She needs someone to look over her and I fill that role, in extended ways that you can’t imagine. Everyone needs someone to look out for them, like Jesus looks out for His flock, those that believe in Him and His grace have the ultimate protection and gift of eternal life. I become attached to Natalie and let’s just say I don’t allow anything to happen to her. At one point, I pull in some friends to help in a dire situation, and it’s a powerful, touching scene.

If you could tell readers anything about this movie, what would it be?

Angel: First, enjoy what I’m saying here because I don’t talk too much in the movie. Second, we need help. Movies are expensive and we need to raise the money to produce this one. Visit our Kickstarter site today. Just $1 from the right number of people can can make a difference.

Thanks, Angel.

***

How can you help?

You can help us by spreading the word. There are an estimated 76 million Christians in the US alone. If less than one percent each gave a dollar to our Kickstarter campaign, we could raise the funds we need. The Kickstarter project runs through June 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm Eastern Time. If the goal isn’t met by the end of the run, then no funds change hands. Those interested in supporting the project should visit http://www.bit.ly/keywestmovie to learn more.

Kickstarter Site:  www.bit.ly/keywestmovie

Film Website: http://keywestthemovie.faithnetwork.com/

Twitter:   @keywestmovie   https://twitter.com/keywestmovie

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Key-West-The-Conch-Republic-Motion-Picture/1055969584432580?sk=timeline

Where the Heck Did We Get Our Movie’s Name? — June 1, 2015

Where the Heck Did We Get Our Movie’s Name?

Did you know that in 1982, Key West seceded from the United States? It’s true, even if the secession was really more symbolic than anything.

© Wangkun Jia | Dreamstime.com
© Wangkun Jia | Dreamstime.com

Here’s a brief synopsis: In 1982, the US Border Patrol set up roadblocks and inspection points to stop cars and look for drugs and illegal immigrants. The Key West City Council complained that this activity negatively impacted the Keys’ important tourism business. The complaints fell on deaf ears, and legal efforts by the Key West City Council to stop the roadblock didn’t work. The City Council took drastic measures and on April 23, 1982, declared its independence from the US. In their minds they were being treated like a border patrol station leading into a foreign nation, so they might as well become a foreign nation. As many of the local citizens were referred to as Conchs, the new nation took the name of the Conch Republic.

It is against this backdrop that John Racin wrote the script for “Key West: The Conch Republic,” the family-values, Christian movie that we are trying to bring to life via a Kickstarter campaign. The film incorporates many of the actual activities that happened, and layers in stories of family, love and redemption just to name a few themes. And there is a little action. And did we mention the pelican? It’s a fun film designed for families and folks of all ages, and it may even bring a (good) tear to your eye.

Be assured, you can read about the history of The Conch Republic without learning spoilers about our movie. This website tells the story in much more detail if you are interested: http://www.conchrepublic.com/history.htm

You can help. We can only bring the movie to life if we raise the production funds. The Kickstarter project runs through June 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm Eastern Time. If the goal isn’t met by the end of the run, then no funds change hands. Those interested in supporting the project should visit http://www.bit.ly/keywestmovie to learn more.

Kickstarter Site:  www.bit.ly/keywestmovie

Film Website: http://keywestthemovie.faithnetwork.com/

Twitter:   @keywestmovie   https://twitter.com/keywestmovie

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Key-West-The-Conch-Republic-Motion-Picture/1055969584432580?sk=timeline

With US Christian Numbers Declining, Our Movie Is More Important than Ever — May 28, 2015

With US Christian Numbers Declining, Our Movie Is More Important than Ever

This recent article was so disturbing to us, the confirmation that the number of Christians in the United States continues to decline,  America’s Changing Religious Landscape. According to the Pew Research Center, between 2007 and 2014, Americans who claim to be Christians dropped from 78.4% to 70.6%. The greatest drop was with young adults, but the overall decline occurred across all ages.

This drop to us means it’s more important than ever to work to bring Christian movies like Key West: The Conch Republic that show the love of Christ for everyone. It will make you laugh and cry, but is never scary like so many Christian movies today. Maybe a movie like ours, if it can be brought to life and shown to families, can open up Christianity to move people again to our faith, and show young people in particular the power of Christ’s redeeming love. We must do something, because clearly the programming on TV and in movies today is too focused on violence, sex and gore. There is a lot of room for faith-based movies.

Back to the Pew Research article, it shows in 2014, 173 million Americans were Christians. If four million, less than one percent, would just give $1, we could raise the funds needed to produce our movie. Will help us by giving and by spreading the word? Don’t let Christianity decline further!

Giving is easy – we are using Kickstarter, a new fund raising platform that is safe and easy to use. Learn more here: Kickstarter Site:  www.bit.ly/keywestmovie

To better understand how Kickstarter works, read our recent blog:  Tell Me How Kickstarter Works to Raise Funds For “Key West: The Conch Republic”

Other links:

Film Website: http://keywestthemovie.faithnetwork.com/

Twitter:   @keywestmovie   https://twitter.com/keywestmovie

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Key-West-The-Conch-Republic-Motion-Picture/1055969584432580?sk=timeline

Interview with a “Key West: The Conch Republic” Character: Natalie — May 23, 2015

Interview with a “Key West: The Conch Republic” Character: Natalie

Thanks for coming back to our new blogs series dedicated to answering your questions, brining you insights and getting you as excited as we are about the Kickstarter project to fund “Key West: The Conch Republic.”

Today we interview the character of Natalie, a five-year old girl who will be a major character in our film.

Q. Hi Natalie. Tell us a little bit about your character in the movie.

Natalie: The movie starts with my family in our station wagon driving to some place in Florida. It’s been a long drive and I’ve been stuck in the back of the car with my brother, Paul, and sister, Gabriella, for waaay too long. I have my favorite blankie and that has made things better, but I’m still ready to get out of the car. Right now.

Wow! Those long trips can be tough. Where are you headed?

Natalie: My dad’s a pastor and he had been invited by another pastor to come down here … hold on a minute while I ask … “Dad, where are we going?” “Key West, princess,” he replies. Yes, we’re going down to Key West. It’s a long way.”

We hear that you have a special friend in this movie. Tell us about him.

Natalie: **eyes shining** Oh yes. Once I get to Key West, I make a very special friend. He’s a white pelican, but he’s not a Florida pelican (they are gray.) He’s an African pelican. People think he was blown over in a storm. He’s beautiful and his wings are like angels. The nice people in Key West are feeding him but have not named him. I get to do that, and I call him “Angel.” He’s fun and likes to get into trouble. He follows me around everywhere, like a best friend.

Angel and Natalie become best friends in Key West: The Conch Republic
Angel and Natalie become best friends in Key West: The Conch Republic

If you could tell readers anything about this movie, what would it be?

I’d tell you that your kids would love it. It has something for everyone. It shows how Jesus loves everyone — little kids, pelicans, my parents, your parents — just everyone. I’m only five but I know that. It’s not scary at all, but some parts are pretty exciting! It’s funny, too. Oh, and there’s a love story (yuck, but you may like it – I’m too young for that stuff.)

And please, please give something and tell your family and friends about it. I’d raid my piggy bank if I could, but I’m only a character in a movie. Please help bring Angel and me, and I guess by brother and sister, too, to life!

Thanks, Natalie. We hope to see you on screen later this year.

***

The Kickstarter project runs through June 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm Eastern Time. If the goal isn’t met by the end of the run, then no funds change hands. Those interested in supporting the project should visit www.bit.ly/keywestmovie to learn more.

Email: jamie@keywestthemovie.com

Kickstarter Site:  www.bit.ly/keywestmovie

Film Website: http://keywestthemovie.faithnetwork.com/

Twitter:   @keywestmovie   https://twitter.com/keywestmovie

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Key-West-The-Conch-Republic-Motion-Picture/1055969584432580?sk=timeline

Why Churches Should Support “Key West: The Conch Republic” — May 19, 2015

Why Churches Should Support “Key West: The Conch Republic”

Church members include families who most likely go to the movies or rent DVDs. We believe there are just not enough movies made for families—movies that make you laugh and cry; movies that show the glory of God by using love and compassion versus fear; movies that demonstrate Christian values in the actions of its characters. Our movie, “Key West: The Conch Republic,” will do these things and more, and it’s a story we want to share with the world. We can only do that if we can fund its production, and we can only do that if we can get the word out to as many Christians as possible to help support it. We take guidance from Mark 16:15 – this film will help share the word and love of Christ, and help spread this message to the world.Churches_Blog

What Are We Asking You To Do

We’re asking you to make your fellow church members aware of this movie and the opportunity to help bring it to life. We are using an online program called Kickstarter (see our site here) that is a centralized and secure way to help promote awareness of the movie and to raise funds for its production. Any level of funding is welcome, starting from $1. Most importantly, we ask you to pray for the success of the Kickstarter movie campaign. The program only lasts 45 days, and it’s all or nothing. The entire amount must be raised or no funds are given to us.

Why Are We Trying to Raise Money?

We are trying to raise money to fund the production costs of the movie. Production costs include hiring a director and securing actors. Believe it or not, many actors in Christian films are not paid. Taking that further, many Christian actors are out of work because they are not always welcome in Hollywood. We’d like to use this film, and hopefully future sequels, to employ these men and women and support them in their faith and profession. Additionally, funds are needed for the production crew, pre- and post- production activities, travel expenses for everyone involved, marketing, and more. The costs quickly add up, however, the corporate directors and producers of the movie will not receive any money that is donated through Kickstarter. The goal is to use money from the movie’s theater ticket sales and DVD sales to fund the sequel, which is already written.

Will You Help Us?

First, we’d appreciate your prayers to help bring this project to life, and second, we simply ask that you promote the Kickstarter website (that has all of the details in this post and more) to your members and followers. It could be by email, with a tweet, with a FaceBook post – the smallest gesture would be greatly appreciated.   Our links are below:

Kickstarter Site:  www.bit.ly/keywestmovie

Film Website: http://keywestthemovie.faithnetwork.com/

Twitter:   @keywestmovie   https://twitter.com/keywestmovie

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Key-West-The-Conch-Republic-Motion-Picture/1055969584432580?sk=timeline

Interview with John Racin about “Key West: The Conch Republic” Christian Movie — May 16, 2015

Interview with John Racin about “Key West: The Conch Republic” Christian Movie

Thanks for coming back to our new blogs series dedicated to answering your questions, bringing you insights and getting you as excited as we are about the Kickstarter project to fund “Key West: The Conch Republic.”

Today we are interviewing John Racin, one of the people working hard to bring the film to life and chief steward of any money raised.

John, we know this is an original script and we know you wrote it. What inspired you?

Angels-Guard2John:   The story was actually inspired by Psalms 91 and reflects the idea that the Lord provides refuge and protects those who believe in Him. I particularly liked the verse, ‘For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways, but I don’t want to say more or it will give away too much of the story.

So the script is ready to go. Can you tell us more about the story?

John: Yes, the script is all set and promises to make viewers laugh and cry while demonstrating Christian values in the actions of its characters. This movie takes place in the only tropical paradise in the continental United States, Key West, Florida and in based upon actual events.

In the early 1980’s, Key West was faced with the constant harassment by the U.S. Government’s border patrol over the influx of Cubans wishing to escape the Cuban government by entering Key West. After the detrimental effects by the Border Patrol affecting the Key West tourist trade Key West, in typical pirate fashion, decided to secede from the United States, and form a new country, “the Conch Republic”.

It is with that background a visiting pastor and his family come to Key West, and their youngest daughter “Natalie” and her mischievous friend “Angel” a white pelican, touch the lives of everyone in Key West.

Some Christian films are scary. Is this one of them?

John: Absolutely not! Our movie is love and compassion. There are a few action scenes! It’s a story we feel will resonate and we want to share it with the world. It is a faith-affirming movie that should appeal to everyone.

We can only do that if we can fund its production, and we can only do that if we can get the word out to help support it. We turned to Kickstarter as a proven platform to help manage the pledges.

Regarding the production, we covered that topic in our last blog post—It’s $4M. How’d you get to that number?

John: First let me clarify upfront that none of the pledged money will come to me or other producers. Monies raised through the 60-day Kickstarter program will be used to fund the production costs of the movie, including hiring a director and actors; the production of graphics, original music, any special effects; film crews, sound design, legal fees, marketing, travel costs for everyone involved, and all other elements of pre- and post-production.

It seems like a lot, but honestly the costs do add up quickly. We want to pay our actors and everyone involved with the film for their time, and that is not always the case for these type of films but it is very important to us. We do not want to ask anyone to work for free. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, we’ll use the anticipated monies from the movie’s theater ticket sales and DVD sales to completely fund the sequel, which is also already written.

Thank you for time today, John.

John: You bet.

***

Remember to send general questions about the Kickstarter campaign to the email below, visit our Kickstarter and movie websites, and follow us on social media:

Email: jamie@keywestthemovie.com

Kickstarter Site:  www.bit.ly/keywestmovie

Film Website: http://keywestthemovie.faithnetwork.com/

Twitter:   @keywestmovie   https://twitter.com/keywestmovie

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Key-West-The-Conch-Republic-Motion-Picture/1055969584432580?sk=timeline

The Kickstarter project runs through June 20, 2015 at 1:29 pm Eastern Time. If the goal isn’t met by the end of the run, then no funds change hands. Those interested in supporting the project should visit www.bit.ly/keywestmovie to learn more.