Filmmaker Aims to Crowdfund Madison, Union Beach Documentary

Robert Kopacz. Credit: Jake Remaly

Robert Kopacz. Credit: Jake Remaly

by Jake Remaly

A filmmaker has started an online fundraising page to raise money for a documentary about Madison’s efforts to help Union Beach recover after Hurricane Sandy.
Madison and its community members donated equipment and money totaling more than $200,000, according to a tally by the borough, and money also was raised to send Union Beach children to summer camp.

Robert Kopacz, who films Madison Council meetings for the borough, heard about the Madison community’s various fundraising and volunteer efforts from behind his camera in the year since the storm devastated the shore town.

He became interested in creating a documentary about the partnership and recently set up a page on Indiegogo with the goal of raising $9,000 for the documentary. Money raised would underwrite his time and costs associated with creating a 10- to 15-minute documentary on the subject, he said.

Kopacz, a Summit resident, has done other video work in Madison, including a video for a group’s campaign to buy back a historic fire truck, “Geraldine.” He previously set up an Internet TV channel, RosenetTV, to showcase videos about Madison because he saw the Rose City as an interesting town that lends itself to video treatment. But there always was “the question of how to fund them,” he said.

He saw crowdfunding websites like KickStarter and Indiegogo successfully fund various projects and decided to try it.

He said he wants the Madison-Union Beach documentary to accurately depict the story and he expects Madison and Union Beach would be well-served by it.

As with many crowdfunding efforts, certain donation levels come with perks.

Donors who give $50 can get a DVD of the documentary and recognition on a website. Donors who give $200 can get the DVD and website recognition, plus a credit in the documentary and an invitation to the documentary’s premiere.

Kopacz wrote on the Indiegogo page for the project he hopes the documentary will serve as an example for other communities “to look around and see if they cannot help nearby communities who were less fortunate.”


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