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BANNISTER: Documentary on 60th Anniversary of 4:00 Mile's video poster
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60 years ago, Roger Bannister proved humans could run a mile in under 4:00. First, he had to survive World War II. This is that story. Read more

Boston, MA Documentary
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 14, 2014.

60 years ago, Roger Bannister proved humans could run a mile in under 4:00. First, he had to survive World War II. This is that story.

Boston, MA Documentary
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About this project

GOAL REACHED! THANK YOU! NEXT STOP: ORIGINAL SCORE?

Additional pledges beyond $12,500 will go toward creating the perfect music for any given moment in the film, so there's still plenty of good reason to pledge! Plus, being part of this Kickstarter means getting one-of-a-kind rewards and pre-release backer-only updates... even if you pledge after we've hit our target.

THANK YOU AGAIN, FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

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THE BUZZ

"Trailer alone gives me chills." -- Andrew Bumbalough, Nike athlete
"Some stories NEED to be told. This is one." -- Chris Bennett, CBA (NJ) coach
"This looks like a fantastic film." -- Dennis Barker, Team USA Minnesota coach
"For the real fans who want more." -- Michel Boeting, one4onesports
"[The] preview of the film... will put your nerves on end." -- George Brose, Once Upon a Time in the Vest

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THE STORY

It appeared to be the twilight of Britain’s influence in the world. London bore scars from World War II bombing, while morale across the country remained low with wartime rationing still in place.

Then, in 1952, Queen Elizabeth II took the throne to great fanfare. A year later, Sir Edmund Hilary conquered Everest. Suddenly, the United Kingdom seemed on the verge of a new Elizabethan golden age. Against this backdrop, Oxford medical student Roger Bannister made plans to become the first man to run a mile in less than four minutes.

On the 60th anniversary of the feat named "the greatest sporting achievement of the 20th Century" by Forbes and Sports Illustrated magazines, our documentary, BANNISTER: EVEREST ON THE TRACK, explores the auspicious moment in history when Bannister broke through. To date, fewer people have run a sub-4:00 mile than have climbed the world’s highest peak, and Bannister led the way into a new era in stratospheric athletic achievement... at a time when his country needed it most.

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THE INTERVIEWS

Sir Roger Bannister – first person under 4:00 for the mile
Sir Chris Chataway – Bannister’s friend and pacemaker
John Landy – second person under 4:00 for the mile
Derek Ibbotson – third mile WR holder under 4:00
Lord Sebastian Coe – former mile WR holder, chair London2012
Steve Cram – former mile WR holder, 4th-fastest all-time
Peter Elliott – Olympic silver medalist, 1500m
Dave Moorcroft – chief executive emeritus, UK Athletics
Tim Hutchings – athletics commentator for NBC, ESPN and BBC
David Epstein – author, NY Times bestseller The Sports Gene
Hugh Brasher – son of pacer Chris Brasher; director, London Marathon
Pat Butcher – author, The Perfect Distance
Neil Wilson – Olympic correspondent, The Daily Mail

...and more.

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THE PERKS  

ALL backers, at every level, will get access to exclusive backer-only content including clips from the film, a gallery of archival images collected for the film, and behind-the-scenes production photos. Tier-specific rewards include:

LEFT = handmade singlet ($500 & up) // RIGHT = 3:59 stopwatch magnet ($25; $65 & up)
LEFT = handmade singlet ($500 & up) // RIGHT = 3:59 stopwatch magnet ($25; $65 & up)

- video-on-demand stream + digital download
- DVDs of the documentary including special features + deleted scenes
- commemorative 3:59.4 stopwatch magnets
- special-edition shirts by Homage, inspired by BANNISTER
- screenprints of the movie's poster
- "sneak-peek" pre-release VOD streams
- a Thank You in the documentary's credits
- production photo booklets inc. 1950's athletics memorabilia
- replica "AAA" singlets hand-made for use in the film
- vintage-style leather track spikes, fabricated for use on-screen
- a set of fine-art screenprints depicting 6 May 1954
- producing credit in the film
- opportunity to view rough cuts as the project evolves

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THE PROJECT

Bannister's achievement is more than a mere race or world record. "Sir Roger" grew up during a "bleak" time of "grey grimness" in British history, after having World War II turn his childhood upside-down. Yet, from a young age, Bannister set his mind on greatness and overcame obstacle after obstacle to achieve something that had been called physically impossible.

During a previous interview in 2012, we were immediately struck by how much more difficult Bannister's feat had been than we previously imagined. As lovers of athletics and history, we felt that the sixtieth anniversary of that first "sub-4" would be the perfect time to explore the untold story of Bannister, World War II, and the Four-Minute Mile. A feature-length documentary seemed like the ideal format for bringing that story to an audience, and the idea for BANNISTER: EVEREST ON THE TRACK was born.

For two years we have been collecting interviews with primary sources, athletics journalists, and former mile record holders, with the intention of compiling a definitive account of this landmark moment in human history. Now, we seek audience support in order to complete the post-production process to the level that this story-for-the-ages deserves.

We hope that strong community support will enable us to create a lasting film that can continue to inspire humans for generations to come.

Risks and challenges

The 60th anniversary of the sub-4:00 mile is a noteworthy landmark, but it also means that Bannister’s story is now sixty years old, and that a primary and fundamental challenge will be ensuring a fresh and engaging take on this material. However, we are confident that our interviews collectively represent a more in-depth exploration than has ever been undertaken on this topic. Moreover, we are illustrating our story using rich archival materials and stylish, atmospheric specialty footage that will bring this story to life in a beautiful and dramatic way.

Once funded, the primary challenge will be identifying the right talented people to bring aboard... and to complete the post-production in time to release while interest in the 60th Anniversary is still ramping up, as May 6, 2014 approaches. With years of production experience, we are confident in meeting those challenges... and a strong Kickstarter campaign will enable us to choose the best post-production specialists possible.

Lastly, our goal is not simply to cross the finish line and complete the film: we want to create a striking and timeless documentary that will reach people via media partnerships and acceptance into film festivals. While we have experience placing media projects with a number of terrific outlets, there is never any guarantee that we will find mutual interest. Having the funds to make a bright and shiny, well-polished film will help... but we also turned to Kickstarter to prove community support and show potential media partners that there is an large and passionate audience for this story!

*** Given our intention to secure the widest release possible for the finished documentary, the delivery of the download and stream portions of the rewards may be contingent on a potential media partner's rights requirements.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

  • When a successful campaign ends, all backers will receive a short survey for providing shipping info, preferred apparel size, and the like. So we will ship wherever you tell us to!

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  • Some rewards will start IMMEDIATELY: anyone who makes a pledge will receive special updates about the campaign and film during the next two weeks... you believe in us, so we want to start showing you the goods to reward that belief ASAP. And memento rewards are scheduled to begin rolling out by the end of April.

    We'll release the film as soon as possible -- although the final delivery of the finished product is contingent upon a couple things. First, after we all make the campaign a success and we achieve our goal, we'll have a (brief) period of time while we utilize your support and get post-production specialists to apply their talents to the documentary. Then, once it gets its final spit-polish, we'll be trying to find it the best home we can in order to get Bannister's amazing story to the biggest audience possible -- and we'll need to complete that process before sending the film out into the wider world. We've already been trying to sow the seeds toward that end and plan to find the documentary a home well before May 6th rolls around!

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  • Sure! If you'd like the Thank You be designated to your entire track-crazed family, your local track club, or as a memorial to someone, we're happy to do that.

    Of course, if you ask us to thank Seymour Butz or something equally scandalizing, we'll reserve the right to request something more respectable.

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  • The $45 pledge levels give you the option of receiving EITHER of the following...

    A) the digital film (VOD and download) + BANNISTER-inspired t-shirt designed by Homage

    B) the film in digital form (VOD and download) + as a DVD, complete with bonus features

    As for those other pairs? The $9 level and $15 level are identical to each other. The $65 level and $75 level are also identical to each other. In case there was a massive wave of pledges, we wanted to offer a limited quantity at lower prices, in order to reward early responders -- our "PIONEERS" and "BARRIER-BREAKERS," as we called them.

    If you pledged $15 or $75, thinking it would earn extra rewards, we apologize for any lack of clarity, and would love to hear from you.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $3 or more

    3 backers

    "IN A TIME OF THREE--" Celebrate Bannister's historic achievement by pledging one dollar per record-breaking minute. As a backer, you'll support our efforts to document history, and receive insider access to exclusive photos, archival materials, and updates on the documentary, including sneak-preview clips from the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $9 or more

    94 backers Limited (6 left of 100)

    PIONEER. Be one of the first to pledge and receive your very own digital copy of the film at a special rate. INCLUDES = 1 on-demand stream of the finished film + 1 digital download of the film + a printable DVD envelope + Thank You e-card.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    21 backers

    DIGITAL FILM KIT = 1 on-demand stream of the finished film + 1 digital download of the film + printable DVD envelope + Thank You e-card.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    35 backers

    DIGITAL FILM + MEMENTO KIT = 1 on-demand stream of film + 1 digital download + commemorative Thank You postcard + 3:59.4 stopwatch magnet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $30 or more

    3 backers

    T-SHIRT ONLY. The special edition Bannister shirt designed by the good, talented, and handsome people at HOMAGE.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    33 backers

    DIGITAL FILM + T-SHIRT = 1 on-demand stream + 1 digital download + our special edition t-shirt.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $45 or more

    19 backers

    FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS = 1 on-demand stream + 1 digital download + 1 DVD copy with bonus content... extra interviews, behind-the-scenes featurettes, and more.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $65 or more

    37 backers Limited (63 left of 100)

    BARRIER BREAKER. Be bold, seize this opportunity, and get rewarded with our FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS + T-SHIRT + MEMENTO KIT at a special rate -- plus international shipping is included! = 1 VOD stream + 1 digital download + 1 DVD copy w/ bonus content + limited edition t-shirt + commemorative Thank You postcard + 3:59.4 stopwatch magnet.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $75 or more

    4 backers

    FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS + T-SHIRT + MEMENTO KIT = 1 VOD stream + 1 digital download + 1 DVD copy w/ bonus content + commemorative Thank You postcard + 3:59.4 stopwatch magnet

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    25 backers

    FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS + MEMENTO KIT... PLUS we'll upgrade that t-shirt to a special-edition TECHNICAL shirt.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    6 backers

    FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS + MEMENTO KIT + T-SHIRT... PLUS our special PRE-RELEASE KIT = a full-size screenprinted poster + exclusive pre-release VOD stream of finish film + Thank You in the documentary

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    6 backers Limited (9 left of 15)

    FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS + MEMENTO KIT + PRE-RELEASE KIT... PLUS our COLLECTORS KIT = a hand-made singlet from the film + photo booklet including a grab-bag of memorabilia

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS + MEMENTO KIT + PRE-RELEASE KIT + COLLECTORS KIT... PLUS a set of limited edition fine-art screenprints depicting memorable elements from the events of May 6th, 1954.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $3,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (1 left of 3)

    FILM-IN-ALL-FORMS + MEMENTO KIT + PRE-RELEASE KIT + COLLECTORS KIT + ART SCREENPRINT SET... PLUS hand-crafted leather spikes made for production + producing credit in the documentary + chance to view rough-cuts as the project evolves

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    PRODUCER PACKAGE! In addition, to our undying gratitude, as well as ALL THE KITS + ART SCREENPRINT SET + LEATHER SPIKES + PRODUCTION CREDIT + ROUGH-CUT VIEWING... you'll also get to attend a screening event of the finished documentary as the honored guest of the production team.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (17 days)