Adventures in France: From Castles to Crepes
“Adventures in France: From Castles to Crepes” is a documentary travel film that invites you, the viewer, to join us on a whirlwind adventure around France as we scour the countryside for history, culture, food, & art. Together we explore numerous monuments, castles, cathedrals, places of historic and cultural significance affording the widest possible vision of France.
The feature length (90-120 minute) film will be in English (some interviews will be in French with English subtitles). The final film will be screened locally, produced and distributed on Blu Ray & DVD, and available for streaming online. We are looking for a 2014 festival release.
So has the filming already started?
In 2009, co-director Jared Bendis took a small crew to France to start the film (with airfare courtesy of the Maison Française de Cleveland fund). That expedition produced some great footage (and interviews). We have decided to go back and cast a wider net that includes prehistory, the ancient world, the modern world, and all manner of art, culture, and cuisine.
Educator’s Resource Guide & Factbook
As a supplement to the film, we are producing an “Educator’s Resource Guide & Factbook”. The Guide/Factbook is targeted at middle & high school students and offers additional insights on many subjects including: French Culture, French Cuisine, French Language (on a practical and introductory level), French & World History, & Art History.
We also include smart & economical travel tips to assist students (and adults) on their own adventures. While the film is designed to be ‘edutainment’ (educational & entertaining) both of the filmmakers are educators and the Guide/Factbook will mirror much of the research that has gone into the planning of the film. The final Guide/Factbook will be published in print and also made available as a free eBook.
We are also planning to cut the film as a series of shorter episodes that will work better classroom use.
Who are we?
The From Castle to Castle Films production team:
Jared Bendis – Co-Director, Executive Producer, Writer, Guide
Amanda Almon – Co-Director, Cinematographer, Editor
Fundraising & Budget
This is an independent film and we are currently ‘self funded’ which means that we are producing the film with our own personal savings (and credit).
To offset these costs we are looking for individual, organizational, and also corporate sponsorship. We have been using the online fundraising platforms though we also work with sponsors directly.
For the project neither of the co-directors are taking any salary or artist fees (and that includes during post production and editing).
Our fundraising goal is $25,000. This would cover our travel expenses, allow us to upgrade our camera & microphone, and help pay for the external production costs of transcribers & translators (for the French interviews). Any funds raised above the $25,000 goal would go toward music & licensing fees, festival fees, and Blu ray mastering costs. The travel costs alone are over $13,000 – for 2 people in France for 30 days. As we are committed to this project any funds raised make a difference.
How can I get involved?
1) If you are interested in becoming a sponsor or making a contribution you can contact Jared Bendis directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 216-288-6349.
2) To subscribe to updates you can follow us on Facebook or email email@example.com directly if you want to subscribe to a non-Facebook mailing list.
In addition to the 2009 filming trip, Jared Bendis’ previous photograph expeditions around France in 2000, 2002, 2004, & 2010 and Amanda Almon’s 2010 Artist in Residency in St Erme Outre et Ramecourt inform the research for this expedition and film.
The following is a list of the current day to day itinerary – there may be some changes along the way – but it should be pretty accurate with things timed and dated very carefully.
All places were previously visited during the 2009 expedition except:
* indicates new destination
** indicates visited (photographed but not filmed) in either 2000, 2002, 2004, or 2010.
The itinerary is coded as follows:
Castle Cathedral Ancient PrehistoricArt-History-Culture-Food
Part I: Northern France
|Day 1||Chateau de Chantilly|
|Day 2||Gross Tour Du Roi|
|Chateau du Compiegne|
|Day 3||Chateau de Pierrefonds|
|Day 4||Amiens Cathedral|
|Château de Gisors|
|Day 5||Monet’s Home & Garden|
|Château de La Roche-Guyon|
|Day 6||Château de Caen|
|Normandy Cemetery & Memorial*|
|Day 7||Mont Saint Michel|
|Day 8||Château de Fougères**|
|Château de Comper*|
|Forêt de Paimpont*|
Part II: The Loire & Western Central France
|Dolmen de Bagneux|
||Château de Saumur|
|Château de Rochecotte|
||Château de Langeais|
|Chateau de Azay-le-Rideau|
|Château de Villandry|
|Château de Chenonceau|
|Château de Gouzon**|
||Gouffre de Padirac**|
|Notre-Dame de Rocamadour|
|Remparts de Rocamadour|
|Château de Calmont d’Olt**|
Part III: Southern France
||Cité de Carcassonne|
|Chateau des Ducs de Joyeuse|
|Church of Saint Mary Magdalene*|
|Chateau de Peyrepertuse|
|Chateau de Queribus|
||Fort de Salses|
|The Tour Magne*|
|Pont du Gard|
||The Palace of the Popes|
|Saint Bénezet Bridge|
|Arles Roman Theater|
|Thermae of Constantine*|
|Swimming in the Mediterranean*|
Part IV: Eastern Central France
|Temple of Janus**|
|Château de Pommard*|
|Day 21||Palais des Ducs**|
|Tour Philippe le Bon*|
|Well of Moses**|
|La chouette at Notre Dame**|
||Moët & Chandon*|
|Chateau de Malmaison|
Part V: Paris
|Day 24-30 (No set order yet)||Château de Versailles|
|Cimetière du Père-Lachaise|
|Les Invalides & Musée de l’Armée**|
|Musée de l’Orangerie*|
|Arc de Triomphe|
About the Artists
Jared Bendis M.A. (Co-Director, Executive Producer, Writer, Guide): Jared is an artist, photographer, teacher, playwright and filmmaker. He is a specialist in photography, virtual reality, and computer graphics and serves as the Creative New Media Officer for Case Western Reserve University’s Kelvin Smith Library. Jared also holds adjunct appointments in the CWRU Art Studio, Music, and SAGES departments where he teaches courses on multimedia, instructional technology, and New Media Literacy.
As a photographer he prefers to view the world though a wide-angle lens and specializes in spherical panoramic and stereoscopic photography. On his first trip overseas, in March 2000, Jared visited the Chateau de Pierrefonds in France and became driven (if not obsessed) with capturing and sharing cultural and architectural experiences and has photographed over 400 architectural, archeological and cultural sites (primarily castles) in 14 countries.
Amanda S. Almon, M.F.A; C.M.I (Co-Director, Cinemetographer, Editor): Amanda Almon’s work spans from traditional scientific and medical illustration to new media in medicine and science through the use of animation and interactive application development. Almon graduated from the A.M.I (Association of Medical Illustrators CAAHEP) Accredited University of Michigan Biomedical Visualization Program with an M.F.A. in 2000. She received her Certification as a Medical Illustrator from the A.M.I. in 2005. Almon currently works as the Chair/Director and Associate Professor of the Biomedical Art major and Animation major at the Cleveland Institute of Art in Cleveland, Ohio.
Almon has created numerous published works for educational and commercial purposes for both natural science, and medical institutions. Her animations and illustrations through her employment at Visible Productions L.L.C. and her own BiomedVisuals company; have been seen on The Discovery Health Channel, National Geographic, Oprah Winfrey Show, Novartis Animal Health, Merck, Bayer Pharmaceutical companies and ThatsNice Productions. Almon’s medical and scientific illustration have been printed by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, McGraw-Hill Companies Inc., University Readers, Pearson Education Inc, and Prentice Hall.