The inspiring true story of SSG Travis Mills, who was critically injured by an IED bomb and is now living life as a quadruple amputee
Hello Kickstarers! Travis: A Soldier’s Story is a documentary film of the inspiring true story of United States Army Sergeant Travis Mills of the 82nd Airborne. On his third tour of duty in Afghanistan, SSG Mills was critically injured on April 10, 2012 by an IED (improvised explosive device) while on patrol. Due to the explosion, SSG Mills lost portions of both legs and both arms. He is only the fifth quadruple amputee from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to survive his injuries.
This is a wounded soldier’s unique and powerful story. Even though SSG Mills has endured this unimaginable tragedy, he fights daily to recover for his wife and one year old daughter and to live a fulfilled life. Travis is defying all odds by the progress he has made in under six months. His story has touched hearts across the globe. Our goal in creating this film is to inspire and give hope to others as the theme of perseverance despite difficult circumstances is universal.
Why we are on Kickstarter
We are on Kickstarter to help take this film to the next level! When we first endeavored to film this story, our intention was to make a short film for the web as we usually produce for Fotolanthropy. During our film time with Travis and his family, we realized we wanted to give MORE to Travis by creating a short documentary capturing his entire story with cinematic excellence. We plan to share Travis’s story across the country, premier the film in selected theatres and submit the story to film festivals. Our intention is to share this wounded soldier's story!
How you can Help
We need your help to raise the additional funds to complete this project for Travis. We have set a minimum budget to help cover the costs of:
- Post Production
- Travel Expenses
- Location Fees
- Equipment Rentals
- Visual Effects
- Color Timing Session
- Scoring the Film
- Premier of the Film
- Marketing of the Film
How Does Kickstarter Work?
Simply choose a donation level and rewards you would like to receive and donate by entering payment information. It's that easy! Your donation will go directly towards this film. *Kickstarter is an “all or nothing” fundraising platform. This means that our minimum budget goal must be met in order to receive your funding.
Please help us to rally around this wounded solider and help honor his inspiring life by donating to the creation of this film. We sincerely appreciate your support in helping us raise the funds for this film!
Check Out Some of Our Rewards
Katie Norris (Producer)
Katie Jenkins Norris is the founder of the non-profit organization, Fotolanthropy, a giving-based movement of photographers and filmmakers working together to capture inspiring true stories of families or individuals that have faced hard times. Katie, her team and FOTOcrew members across the country are creating a movement of giving-back to every day heroes that inspire us all. Katie and her team have produced the following films: Baby James (an 8 month old baby boy who lost his life to brain cancer), Beauty out of Ashes (a brave family that lost their home to a fire), The Road Ahead (a new father diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma), Unexpected Joy (an inspiring family with a special needs child), Each Day Counts (a baby boy diagnosed with SMA), and now in production are Gloriously Ruined (a heartfelt adoption story) and Travis: A Soldier's Story. Visit www.youtube.com/fotolanthropy.
Katie aspired to fund Fotolanthropy without having to rely solely on donations by others. She created and founded FOTOstrap, a fashionable camera strap that gives back a portion of its sales to Fotolanthropy. The FOTOstrap is made of genuine leather, offers a range of colors and can be customized. Design meets functionality meets generosity. Learn more by visiting www.fotostrap.com
Katie is also professional photographer. Based in Dallas, Texas, Katie Norris Portrait Arts has been commissioned to photograph portraits and weddings nationwide. Katie is also a member of PPA, Professional Photographers of America.
Jonathon Link (Director and Cinematographer)
With over 16 years of experience in film production and broadcasting, Jonathon Link‘s work has taken him all over the world.
After studying film and broadcasting at Evangel University in Missouri and North Central University in Minneapolis, Jon went on to work at - and eventually assume ownership of - Element Media in Milwaukee. At Element, Jon worked on a variety of commercial and non-profit projects, including several short documentary films for Milwaukee-based sports attorney Craig McKenzie. These projects took Jon to Russia, Greece, Italy, Belgium and France, documenting the lives and careers of several international athletes, as well as Mr. McKenzie’s work with youth and adolescent cancer patients in the Milwaukee area.
In 2008, Jon served as Editor, Edit Supervisor and Graphic Designer for Drug Wars – Silver or Lead, a graphic documentary depicting the violent drug wars waged in Mexican border cities such as Ciudad Juarez and Nuevo Laredo. The film was an official selection of the USA Film Festival, Bayou City Inspirational Film Festival and West Hollywood International Film Festival.
In 2009, Jon and two colleagues founded Four Story Creative in Dallas, TX. Their work includes Last Stop, winner of the Best Short Film award at the 2011 LifeTree Film Festival, as well as the music video “The One You Need” for recording artists Shane and Shane. They also traveled to Port-au-Prince following the devastating earthquakes in Haiti to document missionary organization YWAM’s work in the recovery and rebuilding efforts.
Jon is currently involved as the director of cinematography and editor for a number of short film projects and also owns and operates Jonathon Link Studios with his wife, Kristin. Together they have filmed and produced several shorts with Fotolanthropy, as well as work on high-end wedding and family films in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and around the country.
How else can I help?
You can help in a big way by sharing our story! Please share with friends, family, colleagues and your social media.You can also follow our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Fotolanthropy for updates.
Where can I learn more about SSG Travis Mills?
Follow Travis's story on his website: www.travismills.org
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
We are so excited about the portions of this project we have already filmed with Sgt. Mills and his family, and we are fully committed to completing this documentary and helping this wounded soldier share his story. We appreciate any financial support to help us complete the filming of this project and create an inspiring documentary honoring Sgt. Mills.
The film is set to release in late spring of 2013. However, production delays are possible due to Sgt. Mills physical rehabilitation schedule. Understandably, we want to be completely respectful of Sgt. Mills’ continued rehabilitation and his time with his family. Sgt. Mills is excited to be featured in this film and we continue to be in constant contact with him and his family about possible filming dates. Sgt. Mills’ film is a top priority for our team and we are keeping our schedules extremely flexible in the coming months to film based on Travis’s availability.
We will continue to keep you up to date in the coming months about production on Sgt. Mills’ film and any possible delays, should they arise, in its release. Although production delays may also delay the shipment of certain rewards such as DVDs, all rewards will be fulfilled upon completion of the film.
We look forward to rallying around this wounded soldier to share his story! Please stay updated by visiting our website www.fotolanthropy.com to find out more information and to stay informed about the project. Thank you for your support!
Donors that pledge to the film will not be charged until January 19 if the project is fully backed.
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Pledge $5 or moreYou selected
You will receive a sincere thank you for supporting Travis's story! Exclusive updates on the filming of Travis and behind the scenes pictures on our Kickstarter page.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $12 or moreYou selected
You will receive all of the above plus receive credit on the film as a financial backer.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
You will receive all of the above and a copy of "Travis: A Soldier's Story" DVDEstimated delivery:Add $7 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
You will receive all of the above and a signed copy of "Travis: A Soldier's Story" DVD by Sgt. Mills and a "Never give up, never quit" wristband.Estimated delivery:Add $7 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
You will receive all of the above plus a t-shirt that includes Sgt. Mills favorite quote.Estimated delivery:Add $7 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $250 or moreYou selected
You will receive all of the above plus a Travis Fotostrap: A fashionable camera strap made of genuine leather and army pattern, named in honor of Sgt. Mills. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/TKXpDoEstimated delivery:Add $7 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $500 or moreYou selected
You will receive all of the above plus two VIP tickets to the film’s premier in Dallas (excludes travel fees)Estimated delivery:Add $7 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $1,000 or moreYou selected
1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)
Receive all of the above plus a Skype call with the hero of the film, Sgt. MillsEstimated delivery:
Pledge $2,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (4 left of 4)
Receive all of the above plus an Associate Producer credit on the film.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $8,500 or moreYou selected
0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)
Receive all of the above plus a hometown screening! Fotolanthropy will host a private screening of the film for you and your friends, including a Q&A sessionEstimated delivery:
- (30 days)