Thanks to the international ocean community, The Map to Paradise feature film reached its Kickstarter goal on 9 January 2017. It is unbelievable to think that together we reached the stretch goal with about ten minutes to spare! 

We are two grassroots documentary-makers, who have put our hearts and souls into getting this feature documentary to this point. So, thank you for launching this quest for The Map to Paradise with us. It goes to show that you can achieve your dreams, if you invest every bit of passion, energy, and time that you can possibly spare into something that you love. 

If you want to continue this journey with us, please sign up for The Map to Paradise (blog) where we will share stories about filming, more events, and opportunities to get behind this project. 

Keeping up with out Kickstarter tradition, we are dedicating today's photo to Dave Jenkins from Whalespotter. Thanks Dave for supporting our Kickstarter, and for always doing a great job when it comes to education and outreach in our local beach-side community! 

Below is a summary of The Map to Paradise Kickstarter, so you can feel good knowing you are supporting a worthwhile documentary campaign…


1. We launched the quest for The Map to Paradise (film) with a Thunderclap, which gathered 143 supporters from around the world and had a social outreach of over 350,000 thanks to some Thunderous supporters, such as Mission Blue, world record holder free diving champion William Trubridge and traveller writer Meagan Claire. 

2. We launched the Kickstarter on 1 December 2017 with a party at Manly Sea Life Sanctuary with local talks by Richard Nicholls, Owner, Manly Dive Centre, and Claudette Rechtorik, Founder Sea Life Trust, and from one of the Co-Directors. Prizes were donated by Rachel Carroll the Artist, Jude Furniss from Bommie Australia, and we gave Map to Paradise gifts, featuring our research film trip travel map designed by Harriet Spark. And, our event sponsor Tamburlaine Organic Wines really made the evening extra special.  

3. Early on in the piece, Kickstarter selected The Map to Paradise as a ‘Project We love.’

4. And, the project soon gathered backers from all walks of life, from marine scientists, conservationists, creatives, forward-thinking founders of small businesses, and even Australian farmers, (who we were blessed to meet on former filming journeys). We were surprised and delighted to see that a big gathering of support was coming from people and groups, who have stuck with us on our filming journeys about the land and the sea over the past five years.  

5. The funds trickled in slowly at first, but then two ‘Ocean Champions’ came to the rescue - The Sea Life Trust and Goodshift, which pushed The Map to Paradise halfway to the target, along with so many other generous backers keen to give the campaign a kick-start. (Acknowledgements HERE, including to The Map to Paradise Kickstarter community). 

6. 1 Million Women and The Brag published some encouraging articles about the campaign, and it was nice to see social media support from community groups re-posting stories and making comments, including from Sirens for the Sea,  Protect Our Reef, Wildlife Film News, DivePlanit, Nature for All,  Fish Thinkers, Mission Blue, WhaleFest (UK), Nation Surf, SO Manly, Clarence Valley Historic Motor Club, and more…

7. It was an exciting moment when an Australian award winning LA-based composer came on board named Daniel McCallum. He played in the orchestra for The Hobbit and composed the theme song for the Rio Olympic Games 2016. As a surfer and ocean-lover, he is thrilled to be involved. 

8. Then, the morning of January 7 turned out to be a sad time for us as we learned about the passing away of Danielle’s neighbour and ‘grandfather’ Keith Tipping. It was difficult to keep going with the campaign, but Danielle’s mother told us that Keith would want us to keep going, and she suggested to dedicate the project in loving memory of him. Knowing that this project is dedicated to him, will certainly give us motivation when times get tough during the production cycle to keep going, and make the final cut as epic as possible. So, it is an honour to dedicate the project to returned service man Keith Tipping.  

9. During the planning stage of creating a Kickstarter, we were hesitant to launch an online campaign, since we enjoy face-to-face contact with people. However, the campaign turned out to be a really heart-felt community experience, bringing people together from around the world. Messages of support flowed in and all backers took ownership of the project, re-posting ‘countdowns’ and stories.

10. Superbly, backers hit the Kickstarter goal with a couple of days to spare, and so we decided to create a stretch goal with the opportunity of unlocking a mystery reward for backers, if they hit the goal. The count down to the stretch goal was tight, but the Kickstarter community made it. Local Sydney tech company ASE IT Solutions unlocked the ‘mystery reward’ last minute with a generous donation with about just ten minutes to spare! 

So, we did it.

A special thanks to Mia & Gina Grimaldi for helping the project along as Impact Producers, and to our family and friends, who donated generously and stuck with us along the way with great enthusiasm. 


We are hoping that this Kickstarter campaign will make it easier for us to raise the additional funds required to reach the overall goal of $234,700, which will go to items like paying our wonderful composer and sourcing stock vision. 

Regardless, the Kickstarter funds raised will be used straight away, to get our accounts and reports in order with a professional film production account, and every other cent will be spent with care to go towards costs of filming, with some money going towards the costs of making rewards (such as the beautiful map artwork designed by Harriet Spark) and Kickstarter fees. 

We are currently processing donations and rewards. Bear with us. Some rewards will take longer to process than others. (We will be working towards the deadlines written on the Kickstarter page).

You may receive a survey to help us deliver your reward. Please respond.


1. Our final fundraiser before the second stage of filming is an event on 4 February 2017 at the MOTHER OCEAN ART EXHIBITION, Warringah Art Space, and will include a wine tasting by Tamburlaine Organic Wines, Brookies Dry Gin cocktails, and street tacos by Marysol, plus some music, art and film. Get your early bird TICKETS HERE.

2. If you want to donate (as an individual or as a sponsor organisation), to help us reach our funding goal, you can still join the quest to The Map to Paradise. Write to 

3. Kickstarter backers will receive their MYSTERY REWARD at the completion of filming. 

4. We invite you to FOLLOW ALONG with the blog and social media. (We will also keep the Kickstarter page updated throughout the life of the project linking back to the blog). 

5. If you enjoy wine, try a case of Tamburlaine Organic Wines and they will donate $50 back via the Sea Life Trust into the project.  BUY HERE

6. ATTEND the ‘Celebration of Sanctuaries’ street party and mural painting by April Greer on January 27 in Manly, Sydney - just to keep up the ‘festive feel’ around celebrating marine sanctuaries. (We’ve helped to organise this event with SO Manly, so we are proud this event is finally happening.) 

7. Finally, we are launching ourselves into the second stage of film production, so we can meet our tight goal - January (2018) premier + 500 grassroots screenings in the second half of the year. 

8. We have given ourselves a tight goal, because the clock is ticking when it comes to saving the marine life in our seas. Wish us luck! And, hopefully we will meet again at some upcoming event somewhere soon…


Danielle & James, Co-Directors