A feature length documentary on Americas last WW1 survivor: Frank Buckles. Frank has lived an astonishing life. A true survivor.
We are making a feature length documentary to honor America's last survivor of WW1, 110 year old Frank Woodrfuff Buckles. 4.7 million American's served in WW1 and Frank is the last voice of a generation that has slipped through our fingers without documentation and without a national memorial. Frank is the last breath and the last soul to have witnessed the Western Front of World War One. BUT his story does not end there... Frank has lived through HALF of America's growth. As an ambassador of the twentieth century he will be an astounding guide in this film. He was around when Ford rolled the first Model T off the line, he watched Jesse Owens win four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Germany. While in Germany he actually bumped into Adolph Hitler in a hotel! He was preparing to join the Army about the same time Albert Einstein wrote the equation E=mc2. And he's still around today to see Ipads and cellphones. From enlisting in the Army at the age of 16 in 1917, then Frank sailed around the world in the steamship business for over 20 years in the 20's and 30's and during prohibition, and being a prisoner of war for over 3 years during WWII, and finally to standing at the steps of Congress at the age of 108 fighting for the honor his fellow soldiers deserve, Frank has experienced it all. His story is one that begs to be remembered. Some people have called him the true Forrest Gump with an IQ of 200! David DeJonge is an award winning photographer and activist who started a project photographing the WW1 survivors to raise awareness and honor for them four years ago. His quest took him to all corners of the globe. Today, Frank is all that remains of that quest. Noticing that Frank was slowing down due to his age, David began a series of HD interviews at Franks request and kept going and has not stopped. What David didn't realize at the time was how incredibly vast Frank's story really was. So vast, David knew it had to be shared and documented for the world to hear.
Frank has had over one million visitors to his website from around the globe in the last year alone and we cannot in good conscience keep his full story to ourselves.
At the present time, the film is between the pre-production and production stages. We have locked down "Richard Thomas" as a narrator. Richard played "John Boy" in the popular TV show "The Waltons" and has starred in numerous shows and movies since including "All Quiet on the Western Front".
We have DAYS of exclusive footage of Frank, his story and our travels from four+ years that is currently being held hostage by the funding. History and Frank's story must be shared! So, we need to hire a talented writer and team members to make this project ROCK!!! We have several lined up but need funding. There are key interviews that still need to be filmed along with various and b-roll and pick-ups. We still have all post production, distribution costs to cover, film festivals and travel.
Now some of you may wonder if asking for $150,000 is a little too much or simply not enough. That is a great question and where you and kickstarter really come in. You truly play a pivotal role in the documentation of history and the ultimate outcome of this film.
We have talked to dozens of producers and writers, editors and sound people, composers, digital animators and graphic design people. Hundreds if not thousands of people have contacted us to help. Some will donate their time (as we have done so far)- others will not. In the end as we all know you get what you pay for.
So here is the deal- kickstarter fans decide how good this film will be. We have set a modest goal (after talking to tons of experts) of 125k to do a nice documentary. However the more raised the better it gets- the sky is the limit.
There is SO much potential with this story we could do ALL kinds of cool things.
Here is a story from Frank: Frank was captured by the Japanese and became a POW during World War II and was held in Los Banos Prison camp. Always an optimist he had a shirt starched and pressed for the day of his rescue. 39 months later, weighing less than 100 pounds he was rescued with 2000 other people by the 11th Airborne.
That in itself is cool enough. But what about the shirt? Here is where it gets even more cool. Franks barracks was on fire, burning, full flames- Frank looks at the fire and probably said to himself: "Bag it- 39 months of eating rice? I am going out in style!" Frank walks into the burning building, changes into his pressed outfit and emerges as the barracks collapses behind him in flames and smoke!! Unbelievable? Yes! Verified? Yes! Wouldn't it be cool to recreate that rescue for the film? That would cost some serious money but we would love to do it!!!
So, when you consider that the average budget for a Michael Moore documentary is $11 million and a Ken Burns documentary series isn't made these days for less than $7 million, that may hopefully put a little more perspective on things. We are so incredibly dedicated to this project, we just really want to make sure it's done right. It can't just be good...it has to be great.
And...if we exceed our goal....ever dollar will still go into the film. The more money we make, the better the film will be.
Portions of your donation are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE as this is a partnership with our 501(c)3 organization Survivor Quest.
Frank's story is beyond cool. It will be referenced again and again as we approach the 100 year anniversary of World War One. His voice and life are inspirational and surely you will want to share this movie with your children and grand children as I plan to:-)
Here are some links to bring you up to date on everything Frank Buckles and the project:
"NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" This interview started it all! http://www.youtube.com/watch...
"RICHMOND TIMES- DISPATCH" http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2011/jan/31/tdmet01-bill-lohmann-last-us-veteran-from-world-wa-ar-809531/
"CBS: Early Show" http://www.youtube.com/user/DeJongeStudio#p/u/35/vet4orFhvDQ
"LOS ANGELES TIMES" http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/28/nation/la-na-wwi-memorial-20101128
"NEW YORK TIMES" http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/opinion/12rubin.html...
"ABC NIGHTLY NEWS" http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex...
"COMPASS FILM ACADEMY" http://blog.compassfilmacademy.com/2010/01/battling-to-remember/
"U.S. PENTAGON" http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2008/0308_ww1/
Today we walk in history and tomorrow we will make it. Please join our team and help share this story!
But don't just take our word for it. Here is a sample of just one of the THOUSANDS of emails I have received from teachers and students. By completing this film every student will have the chance to spend time with Frank:-)
## First and foremost I think what you are doing in promoting Mr. Buckles's story is time well spent. Thank you! I teach ninth grade world history at Circlevile High School, located about 25 miles south of Columbus, Ohio. My classes are currently studying the First World War. My students are absolutely amazed with the life of Mr. Frank Buckles. His courage and will to survive and endure two World Wars is is difficult for me as a 26 year old teacher to comprehend, let alone teach to my 14 and 15 year old students. I strive get my students to appreciate and understand the sacrifice that comes with protecting your homeland in time of crisis and war. Frank's story is a great opportunity for my students to achieve that understanding. ##
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
pledged of $150,000 goal
seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful This project reached the deadline without achieving its funding goal on April 3, 2011.
Jan 31, 2011 - Apr 3, 2011 (60 days)
Pledge $1 or more
Receive a "I helped fund Pershing's Last Patriot" BRONZE LEVEL electronic badge that can be placed on your website, social networking site or really, used any way you'd like. We really do appreciate your support.
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Receive a "I helped fund Pershing's Last Patriot" SILVER LEVEL electronic badge that can be placed on your website, social networking site or really, used any way you'd like. We really do appreciate your support.
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Receive a "I helped fund Pershing's Last Patriot" GOLD LEVEL electronic badge that can be placed on your website, social networking site or really, used any way you'd like. We really do appreciate your support.
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Receive a "I helped fund Pershing's Last Patriot" electronic badge that can be placed on your website, social networking site or really, used any way you'd like. We really do appreciate your support. AND have you or your loved ones name permanently etched on the "Virtual Wall of Support" at Pershingslastpatriot.com.
Pledge $15 or more
Receive a digital download of the finished film before the general public. (You also get the badge and credit on the virtual wall of support)
Pledge $25 or more
In 2007, director David DeJonge sat down with Frank to interview him for the first time. This 25 minute interview is extremely rare. Only two people have ever viewed it. Own the rare digital download never to be released to the public or media. (Plus the film download and the badge, AND have you or your loved ones name permanently etched on the "Virtual Wall of Support" at Pershingslastpatriot.com.)
Pledge $59 or more
Digital images for use in your class or on your computer of Frank Buckles and WWI images. This selection of 24 images will bring history to life for your students or your screensaver. Images will be emailed in a zip file with virtual certificate of thanks. You will get it all- Frank as a young soldier, portraits from the collection and Images from the last four years of travel. The photographs are copy-written by David DeJonge but can be used in non-profit or educational uses.
Pledge $79 or more
Receive a 12x18 "Pershing's Last Patriot" movie collectors print signed by the director along with a certificate of appreciation for helping fund this film. (You also get the interview, film download and the badge AND have you or your loved ones name permanently etched on the "Virtual Wall of Support" at Pershingslastpatriot.com.)
Pledge $100 or more
Receive the official "Pershing's Last Patriot" logo t-shirt. This t-shirt honestly is really cool. You'll also receive a certificate for helping fund this film. (You also get the print, interview, film download and badge AND have you or your loved ones name permanently etched on the "Virtual Wall of Support" at Pershingslastpatriot.com.)
Pledge $250 or more
"Producers Package" Congratulations!! You are officially an Associate Producer on the film. Your name will appear in the credits at the end. You will also receive a DVD of the film signed by the director and 2 tickets to the movie premiere in either Grand Rapids, MI or Charles Town, WV. "Transportation not included". (Plus the t-shirt, print, interview and badge AND have you or your loved ones name permanently etched on the "Virtual Wall of Support" at Pershingslastpatriot.com.)
Pledge $500 or more
4 backers Limited (196 of 200 left)
Now this is a true “One of a Kind”. You will receive the 8x10 portrait that started it all. The official Frank Buckles portrait. The exact same one hanging on the walls of the U.S. Pentagon. This portrait is archival museum quality matted, ready for framing. Also within the print is a actual piece of a retired American flag (red/white stripe) that was held by Frank Buckles himself and flown in his yard. Very rare, only 200 available. (You also get the Producers Package AND have you or your loved ones name permanently etched on the "Virtual Wall of Support" at Pershingslastpatriot.com.)
Pledge $850 or more
2 backers Limited (38 of 40 left)
This reward is AMAZING!!! You are an Executive Producer!!!!! Hey, if George Lucas and Jerry Bruckheimer can do it, why not you? Time to update your resume because this is the real thing. And... be one of the few, lucky enough to be a part of a very private, confidential Facebook page ran by the director and producer, where we will communicate with you weekly on the progress of the film and Frank. Share your thoughts and opinions with us one on one. Be a real part of making this film. You will also be able to view rare photos and video updates. Your voice will be heard. Be a part of our team. We will also place you in the credits as an executive producer at the end of the film. To make it easier to stay in touch with all of you, only 50 members will be allowed to join this page. You also receive the 8x10 matted portrait as mentioned in the $500 pledge. This one is even more rare. This portrait will include one of the 50 stars on the retired American flag held by Frank Buckles and flown in his yard. Only 50 available on the entire planet. A true collectors gem. (You also receive the Producers Package)
Pledge $4,500 or more
0 backers Limited (6 of 6 left)
Become and associate producer and attend two days of production, have access to the terabytes of hard-drives to discover footage and images of Frank at our studio in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Work with the team and stay in the brand new JW Marriott across from our production studio. You will also receive credit and all of the collectors items listed above. Have an aspiring film student? Why not sponsor them to come and gain some real world experience and credit for their career? You also receive the 8x10 matted portrait as mentioned in the $500 pledge. This one is even more rare. This portrait will include one of the 50 stars on the retired American flag held by Frank Buckles and flown in his yard. Only 50 available on the entire planet. A true collectors gem. (You also receive the Producers Package)
Pledge $6,500 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
We will have a private showing at your institution or school! David DeJonge has spoken to over 50,000 students and parents in the last three years on this project and receives rave reviews. He and Josh will fly to your organization (continental US) and show the film and work with your students for the day!! History, Art, Photography, Film and all topics can be covered in this day long transforming event. Your school or organization will also receive the commemorative education tapestry about Frank Buckles for permanent display!
Pledge $9,000 or more
0 backers Limited (4 of 4 left)
Survivor Quests traveling American History exhibit has educated over 50,000 students. Pick a school of your choice and director David DeJonge will personally fly out and spend the day with hands on exhibits for students. (Plus you get everything else listed above)
Pledge $10,000 or more
0 backers Limited (8 of 8 left)
PREMIUM LOCATION CREDIT-This is the "MOTHER OF ALL FILM CREDITS"!!!!! Your name, your foundation, organizations name or "in honor of" will appear in the opening credits before the film even starts. The credit will read..."This film was made possible by the generous support of" You will also receive a personal phone call and thank you letter from director David DeJonge and producer Josh Stewart. (Plus the Producers Package). This documentary will air and be shown around the world and will continuously be referenced for the rest of history and certainly through the centennial of WWI- 2014-2019. For comparable documentary foundations and corporations have paid millions for this honor! You will also receive a flag flown at Frank's historic farm in West Virginia in a commemorative case.