In the summer of January 2015 many thousands of hectares of forest burned in the mountainous border area between San Carlos Bariloche, Argentina, and the Chilean border. This has created a unique opportunity to explore a unique set of environmental conditions which have received very little scientific study, in an ecosystem that is increasingly threatened by wildfires, while recording the economic impacts of the fires and the fungi, and better inform future decisions in this area.
This habitat supports the South American morel, Morchella hybrida, in the native cypress forest, and a fire like this will trigger massive fruitings of this mushroom, much in demand in culinary circles worldwide. The biology of burn morels is tied to the seasons and the springtime of early October 2015 offers a narrow window when we can make this happen, but this requires acting on short notice, and traditional means of funding cannot respond as quickly as Kickstarter.
We will be renting a vehicle and camping where permitted near to the site. Access will be primarily by foot and vehicle. I have existing relationships with local guides, university faculty, and members of the Mapuche community who will assist with our pursuit. This is the sort of thing I have done many times, getting people and supplies to the field and finding the mushrooms.
Supporting pledges will review raw video from the field, and receive a 1 year membership in the Western Montana Mycological Association ….and our top pledges are invited along on the trip to participate in the hunt.
The total funding request for this project is $15,000. This will pay for air travel, lodging, food, and on-the-ground expenses, and includes money for video editing. The funds raised will cover our pre-production and production costs. I traveled to Argentina this February and I’m basing my estimates on costs at that time.
Pre-Production October 1-16, 2015
Air fare to San Carlos Bariloche and return $1500 x 3 = 4500–5000
Lodging @ $20/nite x 3persons x 14 days = $840
Food budget, $5 x 3 persons x 14 days = $210
Guide fee (mandatory) $30/day x 14 days = $420
Rental car @ $30/ day x 14 days = $420
Recreational fees and miscellaneous expenses = $300
Video camera person and grip will work for stipend and expenses.
Production November 2015
We will use field narration and tightly focused scenes to maintain the storyline and reduce the need for extensive editing. Production will require some subtitling, and titles but no animation. Scripting for narration will be written and read in English and Spanish. Estimates by current editors familiar with the project parameters place the volume of work at or under 40 hours editing time.
40 hours @ $30/hour = 1200
Burning and distributing DVDs @$6 per unit x (500?) = 3000.
The production and distribution of DVDs constitutes around 40% of the project expenses, and it is a larger percentage if the average donor amount is less.
Post Production December 2015/January 2016
The finished video presentation will be delivered to donors and perpetual rights granted to the Western Montana Mycological Association to distribute it for free to nonprofit educational organizations.