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The Cricket
Sean P. Means
Sean is the movie critic and columnist for The Salt Lake Tribune. Follow him on Twitter @moviecricket.

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(Steve Griffin | Tribune file photo) Cindy Purcell, chief park ranger at Zion National Park, informs visitors on Highway 9 inside the park that the park is closed and there is no stopping on the side of the road to take photographs. The park closed due to the federal government shutdown Tuesday, October 1, 2013.
Utah Crowd-Funding: A year at Zion, when it’s open

Eric Hanson’s film project of Zion National Park — the subject of this week’s Utah Crowd-Funding post — has been beset with obstacles. And that was before the park was closed last week as part of the federal government’s shutdown.

Hanson aims in his short film, "Rock of Refuge: A Year in Zion National Park," to capture the park’s four seasons in time-lapse photography — and to chronicle the adventures of canyoneers and big-wall climbers who explore the slot canyons there.

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"These slot canyons are incredibly beautiful places, like tranquil sanctuaries of rock, color, and light," Hanson, a filmmaker from Las Vegas, writes on his Kickstarter page. "Many of these slot canyons require technical gear and skill to traverse, and can be very dangerous places in the wrong conditions."

Hanson and his crew experienced those wrong conditions in August. He and three others were caught in a flash flood while filming in a slot canyon.

"The four of us were nearly killed that day," Hanson writes. "We were fortunate to survive the ordeal."

Hanson’s gear did not survive, though. He says he lost more than $3,000 of camera equipment to water and sand damage.

That’s why Hanson has gone to Kickstarter. He’s trying to raise $3,500 to replace his camera body and repair his lenses, and to buy more rigging and climbing equipment.

Hanson has about half the footage he needs. The rest, including the time-lapse photography, is scheduled to be done by next September.

The Kickstarter campaign runs through Monday, Oct. 21. So far, he has raised $1,104 in pledges.

Donors can get rewards ranging from a digital download of the finished film (for a $10 donation) to a two-day guided tour of Zion with Hanson (for a $1,000 pledge).

If you have a crowd-funding project you’d like mentioned on The Cricket blog, email it to: spmeans@sltrib.com. Be sure to put "crowd funding" in the subject line.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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