A son copes with his mother’s struggle with Parkinson’s disease by running from Canada to Mexico in 60 days.
Thank you for visiting Run While You Can's Kickstarter page! Take a moment to watch me sputter through the promo video above, and learn more about the film in the synopsis below. Please consider making a donation to help us reach our $12,000 goal - every little bit counts and we truly appreciate it!
The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places. - Ernest Hemingway, A Farewell to Arms
The film examines how a son copes with his mother’s struggle with Parkinson’s disease, by choosing to endure a physical test to demonstrate emotions that words cannot express.
In the fall of 2011, 24 year-old Sam Fox will embark on one of the greatest physical challenges imaginable: attempting to break the speed record on the 2650-mile long Pacific Crest Trail. To do it he will need to finish in 60 days, covering an average of 44 miles each day, pushing his body to the brink of destruction. Sam sees this as an opportunity to test himself. But what really motivates a person to challenge himself so brutally?
For half of his life, Sam has watched his mother’s escalating struggle with Parkinson’s disease, and seeing her mobility decline has influenced his sense of the body’s limitations. Over the course of the 60-day run, his body will deteriorate. The stress will take its physical toll, putting him at risk for broken bones and long-term injuries. The chance of failure is high, and whether he finishes will be determined more by the strength of his mind than his body.
Imposing such demands on himself has a empathetic quality that draws parallels with the challenges that his mother faces daily. Unlike his mother, however, Sam’s struggle is voluntary, a choice. We want to create a film that explores the idea of empathy, of submerging oneself in an extreme challenge as a way of emulating another’s strength. Is it selfishness or the absence of self? What does it mean to honor someone? Do actions speak louder than words?
Prior to the Pacific Crest Trail run we will film a series of interviews with Sam, members of his family, friends, and mentors. Those interviews will provide the critical perspectives that propel the narrative forward. When he begins his run in late August 2011, the crew will document his progress in regular intervals at scouted locations, and will spend time with him on the trail and in camp. We want to capture the evolution of Sam’s physical and mental state as he progresses, and plan to film for 22 of the estimated 60 days of the run. With the help of GPS systems, radio communication, and careful planning, we will shoot in a variety of locations and scenarios over the course of the journey.
The film is currently in production, with fundraising continuing, and interviews and training footage being shot in an ongoing process. The majority of photography will take place along the Pacific Crest Trail between August and October 2011. Editing will begin in early November with an expected finish in the spring of 2012, at which point we will submit the film to festivals.
IV. AUDIENCE & OUTREACH:
The film is a character study that incorporates elements of extreme sports, family portrait, and medical inquiry. With a growing following facilitated by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and the film website, we plan to raise the project’s visibility and rally support within the film community and with supporters of Parkinson’s research.
It is our goal to present the audience with an honest and thoughtful discussion of Parkinson’s disease within the context of Sam’s story. Focusing the issue on a single family illustrates the realities of the disease on a manageable scale. In creating an emotional connection between the issue and the audience we believe that we can play a role in helping to raise awareness.
Kickstarter is an online fundraising platform that helps a creative project like Run While You Can meet its budget goal through its fans and supporters. It uses an “all-or-nothing” approach, which means that if the project does not meet its $12,000 goal within the 30 days, we do not receive any of your donations. We see this as great motivation to have our backers spread the word about the film and reach as many people as we can!
It’s easy! Follow the link to Run While You Can’s Kickstarter page, and click the green box in the right-hand column that says “Back this Project.” Kickstarter will guide you through steps to donate online via credit card. If you would rather just send a check you may send it to Gaspee Films, LLC, PO Box 292466, Los Angeles, CA 90029, BUT we strongly suggest that you donate through Kickstarter to help us reach our $12,000 goal.
Your donations to Kickstarter are NOT tax-deductible. Instead, we are offering hand-made rewards like t-shirts and posters, and experiences like an invitation to a private screening as a way to show our appreciation. This fundraising cycle is designed to encourage as many people as possible to give what they can. If you would like to make a gift larger than $1,000 to the film, please contact Marion directly (email@example.com) about arranging a tax-deduction.
If the project reaches its $12,000 goal, your money will go directly to Gaspee Films, LLC’s checking account where it will be used to pay for film expenses like equipment, transportation, and salaries.
The people principally involved with making this film are Ben Salvetti (Director of Photography), Alex Bushe (Editor), and Marion Mauran (Director and Producer).
Run While You Can 501(c)3 is the name of Sam Fox’s nascent non-profit organization, whose mission is “to challenge the notion that a healthy tomorrow is promised to anyone, by creating awareness and financial support for events that emphasize the urgency of living fully today.” The organization and the film are separate entities, with mutual interests. Your donation to the film will NOT support the 501(c)3 directly, but a portion of any future proceeds of the film will be donated to the foundation.
The Pacific Crest Trail is an American National Scenic Trail and runs from the Canadian border with Washington to the Mexican border with California. The trail is 2,650 miles long and traverses 6 of 7 American ecozones – everything from desert to glacier – over some of the highest elevation changes in North America.
Sam Fox is the subject of the documentary film. He is attempting to break the speed record on the Pacific Crest Trail by running it in 60 days. He has pledged to raise $250,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation from his run. In 2010, Sam founded his own non-profit organization, Run While You Can 501(c)3.
One goal of the film is to raise awareness of Parkinson’s disease by weaving the issue into the story in an innovative way. When the film is complete, a portion of any proceeds will be donated to research.
pledged of $12,000 goal
seconds to go
Jul 25, 2011 - Aug 24, 2011 (30 days)
Pledge $10 or more
A postcard from the Pacific Crest Trail to say thank you.
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A hand-packaged mix-CD featuring all of the crew's favorite songs from the shoot + a postcard from the road.
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A custom-printed t-shirt featuring a design by artist, Louise Sheldon + a mix-CD.
Pledge $75 or more
A copy of the film on DVD, with our sincere thanks for your support + a custom-printed t-shirt featuring a design by artist, Louise Sheldon.
Pledge $100 or more
A limited edition poster designed by artist Nils Davey + a copy of the film on DVD + a hand-written thank you note.
Pledge $250 or more
A "special thanks" in the film credits + a limited edition poster designed by artist Nils Davey + a copy of the film on DVD + a hand-written thank you note.
Pledge $500 or more
An invitation to a private screening in L.A. or Rhode Island + thanks in the credits + a custom-printed t-shirt + a copy of the DVD + the mix-CD + a hand-written thank you note.
Pledge $1,000 or more
For donations of $1,000+, we offer our sincere gratitude for your role in bringing the film to life, and will make you a personal short film to say "thank you" + an invitation to a private screening in L.A. or R.I. + thanks in the credits + a limited edition poster + a copy of the DVD + a custom-made t-shirt + the mix-CD + and a hand-written thank you note.