August 2017. Meeting Chris
One of the most exciting moments of my Forrest Stump journey was when, the day after I posted on Facebook about my plans to quit my job and swim/bike/run down the coast to raise awareness for amputees, I got a message from a complete stranger named Chris Duncan who wanted to help.
Sitting in my living room in Ann Arbor, I called Chris up in New York City. We bonded immediately, and I quickly realized we weren’t such strangers after all.
We were both triathletes.
We both graduated from the University of Michigan in 2013.
And we both wanted to use our talents to make a difference in the world.
Chris told me he was a director for a creative studio named Snowday. He wanted to film a documentary for me to use in my mission to spread awareness. I was ecstatic.
When I asked Chris why he was so interested in my story, he told me that it was because of a short film about the Paralympics called, “Meet the Superhumans,” that he became inspired to start making films in the first place. I was so touched and could tell Chris and I were going to be great friends.
From there, we hit it off.
September 2017. Filming begins
Chris dropped everything and recruited a stellar crew, Jess Vogel (producer) and Danger Charles (cinematographer), along with our various production assistants, Kendra, Marion, and Pratt, to join us for 8 weeks down the coast. It was so exciting to see the Forrest Stump crew literally double in size overnight!
They rented a van, which we nicknamed the “Pop Tart,” and soon all of the “rest days” I had built into our journey turned into “film days.” I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired, but at the same time, so energized about what we were doing!
With Chris’ generosity, and donors of my GoFundMe, we channeled our personal funds into making the production of the film happen.
From the cliffs of the Oregon coast, to the grueling hills in northern California, to my swim under the Golden Gate Bridge, and our final days arriving in San Diego, Chris and the crew were there to film our journey – the blood, sweat, and tears.
February 2018. So what’s next?
In order to complete the film, we must raise an additional $20K for post-production, which includes everything from editing the raw footage to working on color correction, sound design/mixing, and finding a composer to score the film.
- We have applied for a grant from the Tribeca Film Institute / ESPN Short Documentary Program.
- We have also been invited to screen a rough-cut of 1500 Miles at South by Southwest (SXSW), one of the largest creative gatherings in the world of filmmakers and musicians, hosted in Austin, TX in March.
Our hope is that we can secure funding in time to complete post-production and begin submitting to film festivals by July 2018.
OUR VISION & HOW YOU CAN HELP
My story is just one example of the lengths amputees must go to receive a limb.
We’ll use our film as a catalyst to bring much needed awareness to the injustices amputees face – and to create sustainable, lasting change in the field of prosthetics.
We want healthcare providers and policymakers to see our film, be moved to promote amputee rights in future legislation, and help shed light on the unique challenges facing all amputees in America today.
Once complete, my vision is to tour the country with the film and educate people about the inequalities amputees face in America’s healthcare system.
WAYS TO HELP:
- FUNDING: We are looking for grants, corporate sponsors, and donations to finance the post-production of the film. Please share any ideas or leads!
- DISTRIBUTION: Once complete, we will begin submitting to film festivals and other channels to share and gain press. Know connections that might help us get it out to the masses? Please let us know!
- SPEAKING TOUR: And finally, I want to take this film on the road to educate and stir up momentum. The tour is in the early planning stages. If you have ideas or connections that might help in the planning, please let me know. Thank you!
Contact Nicole at email@example.com.