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$3,950 pledged of $30,000 goal
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By Suzanne Warren
$3,950 pledged of $30,000 goal
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About this project

“In war, there are no unwounded soldiers.” Jose Narosky 

Studies estimate that 1 in every 5 military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has PTSD. In 2011 the number of PTSD diagnosed cases rose by 50%. Many more cases are not diagnosed or treated. 18 veterans/soldiers commit suicide every day (Department of Veterans Affairs). For every American soldier killed in combat this year, 25 will commit suicide (NY Times). The unemployment rate for veterans is over 12%, larger than the general population average of 8.2%. 23 % of the homeless population are veterans. 

“Through Their Eyes” will be a documentary film that tells the story of how equine therapy works and how it is allowing veterans to heal from PTSD, put the past behind them and return to their lives restored.  Watching them overcome their struggles while working with horses in order to heal will be an inspiring, hopeful experience.  Please help me make this film so we can get this story out there to as many people as possible.

As our soldiers return from the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, they bring with them wounds they suffered in our service. The unseen wounds of war are just as debilitating and devastating as the ones we can see. Participating in war changes people in ways they couldn't haven't imagined and many veterans find themselves unable to leave the nightmare of what they've seen and heard and done behind. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an insidious psychological condition that is caused by exposure to constant risk, fear and uncertainty. It’s called a disorder but really it’s a normal reaction to experiencing traumatic events and unrelenting extreme stress. Veterans living with PTSD feel on edge all the time, sudden noises make them jump out of their skin, they suffer terrifying recurring nightmares and they avoid talking about their war experiences because they are too painful to recount and too horrible to share with someone who has not been to war. 

Though traditional therapies have helped some to overcome this debilitating condition, many others have found no respite from the anguish they suffer every day. 

Working with horses in an educational and therapeutic way began as a formalized practice about 20 years ago in an evolution of humankind's relationship with the horse. Now equine therapy is being increasingly used with veterans to help them heal from the psychological effects of warfare. And it’s working beautifully. By their sheer presence, horses are able to bring people into the present where all true healing takes place. Through their incredible energy and sensitivity, they have the ability to restore a person to balance. And through their non-judgmental, non-verbal communication, they can enable a person to speak from their hearts and unburden their souls. And it is an accessible treatment as veterans are able to participate in most programs at no cost to them.  The every increasing number of practitioners and programs for veterans all around the country in urban, suburban, and country settings means more veterans can be reached. 

The film will bring portray the story of the many challenges veterans face after returning from the battlefield as they try to reintegrate into civilian life, forever changed by their experiences of war. We’ll deal with the stigma of PTSD that keeps veterans from seeking help and the military culture that tells its soldiers to suck it up and not admit weakness. And people will never look at horses the same way again. We'll tell the story "Through Their Eyes”. And we need your help to do it. 

HOW WE’LL SPEND THE MONEY 

If we make our modest goal of $30,000, we will be able to begin pre-production to find our film’s subjects and start shooting. Our total budget for the film is $250,000 (it just takes a tremendous amount of time and talented people to make something good) so the more we raise on Kickstarter the more we will be able to do on the film (and not spend most of our time fundraising!).  We are pursuing additional sources of funding in addition to the Kickstarter campaign but money raised here will, well, kick start the film!

ABOUT KICKSTARTER 

Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, art, film, technology, design, food and other creative fields. Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires. 

WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL? 

If we don’t raise the amount of our goal, we don’t get anything. Donors pledge amounts throughout the time period but don’t actually pay anything until the goal is reached and the funding deadline has passed. 

HOW YOU CAN HELP 

Make a contribution! And please spread the word. Everything you do will help! You can be a part of the team that gets this project off the ground!

Tell your friends about the project.

Like, tweet, and share the video at the top of the page. 

Post a link to our Kickstarter page on Facebook and Twitter

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

CAN DONORS INCREASE PLEDGES ONCE THEY HAVE BEEN MADE?

Absolutely! If you have already donated, and are signed into your account, then instead of a green “Back This Project” button on our page, there should be a blue “Manage Your Donation” button. Click that and you can enter a new amount or choose a new incentive! 

CAN I GIVE AN INCENTIVE AS A GIFT? 

Yes, you can, it’s a wonderful idea. After the campaign, when we contact you for details on getting you your incentive, you can then give us the information for the person you wish to gift. 

MORE INFO ABOUT SOME OF THE REWARDS

The custom made, adjustable horse hair bracelet.  Your silver tag will say "service"
The custom made, adjustable horse hair bracelet. Your silver tag will say "service"
16" x 20" Limited Edition Giclee print "Franny" by artist Karen Shaw
16" x 20" Limited Edition Giclee print "Franny" by artist Karen Shaw

For more information about the Equine Guided Session, go to www.gallopventures.com or contact Wendy at wendy@gallopventures.com.

No riding experience is necessary, as the programs involve interacting with horses on foot in the paddock.  Gallop Ventures is part of the rapidly growing field of “Equine Guided Education” (EGE) -- a dynamic method for empowering individuals, families and workgroups through on-the-ground workshops with horses. EGE draws upon the innate sensibilities of horses to explore relationships, communication skills, goal setting, teamwork and leadership with the ultimate goal of bringing about positive change and a greater sense of connection to the world and ourselves. 

HOW CAN I CONTACT YOU? 

You can reach me, Suzanne Warren, at info@throughtheireyesthemovie.com -feel free to email with questions and comments. I look forward to hearing from you. 

Please visit the film’s website www.throughtheireyesthemovie.com. There are links there to sites about veterans, horses and equine therapy/education.

CREATIVE TREATMENT 

The film will follow several veterans as they begin the long process of healing from the psychic wounds of war with equine therapy. We’ll be able to see the changes in them and in their lives as they participate in the therapy process. It’s been said that being in war splits a person into two where they wall off their emotions and empathy in order to survive the experience. We’ll witness their struggles and their triumphs as they seek to put themselves back together, to reclaim their whole selves.

Various experts will be featured in the film too.  Leading experts in PTSD will enlighten us about the nature of the disorder and we'll get a glimpse into the military culture that helps to create it. Buck Brannaman, renowned Natural Horsemanship guru (and focus of the recent documentary “Buck”, winner of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival Audience Award), has agreed to be interviewed for the film where he will share his insights and experiences of the horse’s power to make us better human beings. Other equine masters will share the history and remarkable story of this mythic, iconic creature’s long collaboration with humans. A lot of people associate horses with a wealthy lifestyle but it’s far from the truth. Millions of horse owners across the country are just regular people who happen to feel so strongly attracted to these creatures that they must have them in their lives even if it means doing without something they want or need for themselves.

The film, while utilizing interviews, will emphasize a quiet, contemplative, poetic approach to bring viewers into the essence of the story, creating a powerful emotional experience.  

PRODUCTION TEAM 

Silver Avenue Pictures will produce the documentary film “Through Their Eyes.” Suzanne Warren will produce, write and direct and David Nicholson will be the director of photography and editor. 

Suzanne has been a producer, writer, and director for over twenty-six years and she’s a relentless perfectionist with a passion for details and devoted to telling an engaging, compelling story that aims to move people and make a difference. She was a writer on the film “Someplace With a Mountain” which premiered at the San Barbara Film international Festival and has aired on many PBS stations across the country. It told the story of a group of islanders living on atolls in the South Pacific that are threatened with rising sea levels due to climate change. This film has successfully attracted the attention and money of several prominent philanthropists who are going to help the islanders relocate! 

David Nicholson brings a wealth of great ideas and fierce dedication to any project he undertakes. He’s currently working on the documentary “Life is Hard, Music is Good” for KSK records about West African music and culture. He has also worked on the documentary “Someplace With a Mountain” and has been the Program Director of The Nevada City Film Festival since 2005. 

Many other talented individuals will join the team as the film production progresses. 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST 

A Big Thank You and Shout Out to all who worked on the Trailer: Director of Photography and Editor, David Nicholson, cameraman Camen Hodges and Music Composer Justin Hunt. And also, my undying gratitude to the vets who were brave enough to honestly share with us their stories so you might know the truth.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Our deepest gratitude and the reward of knowing that you are helping to get this story out there to help veterans-and horses. Also your name will be listed on the film’s website donor page and included on our email list (if you’d like) so you can get exclusive updates about the progress of the film.

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    A HD digital download of the film after it’s theatrical run.

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    All the rewards previously listed, plus a signed advance copy of a Blu-ray DVD after the fillm’s theatrical run.

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    All the rewards previously listed, plus a cool cap with the film’s logo you can proudly wear to show your support of the film, veterans, and horses!

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    Your name listed in the THANK YOU credits of the film, a digital download and a logo cap. See your name on the big screen!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A beautiful custom made, adjustable horse hair bracelet (suitable for men or women) with a silver charm that says “service” which is what our veterans and horses offer to us. Plus your name listed in the THANK YOU credits of the film

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    The 16” x 20” Limited Edition, signed and numbered, Giclee print “Franny” by artist Karen Shaw, who began her riding and drawing career at the age of six. When I lived in the bay area, I had the pleasure of seeing Franny –and Karen—everyday at the stable where I boarded my horse and where Karen continues to board and train. You’ll also get a cap and your name listed in the THANK YOU credits of the film

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    A special edition photo album of production stills with a personal dedication to you, a digital download of the film, a Blu-ray copy and a cap, plus your name listed in the THANK YOU credits of the film.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    A two-hour Equine Guided Personal Growth session with Wendy Millet, an equine-guided educator from Gallop Ventures. Wendy brings powerful insight and a unique perspective to help individuals, teams, groups and organizations "find their stride", catalyze change, and create connection with themselves and the natural world. This session would take place at a venue on the San Francisco peninsula and does not include transportation or lodging. You will also get a cap and a digital download of the film, and your name listed in the THANK YOU credits of the film.

    Date to be determined by Gallop Ventures and contributor

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    All of the previously listed rewards (except limited rewards) plus a phone call from the director to thank you personally!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    The opportunity to sit in on an editing session for a day (travel and accommodations not included but we will take you out to lunch!). Nevada City, California is a great place to visit! Plus a digital download of the film, a Blu-ray copy, a cap and a poster plus your name listed in a special THANK YOU section in the credits of the film.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    This reward is up to you! Choose what you want: any four of the previous rewards (except for the Equine Guided Personal Growth Session) plus the opportunity to attend a day of shooting (transportation and lodging not included). Plus your name listed in a special THANK YOU section in the credits of the film.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    You and a guest will attend the premiere of the film and a celebration dinner/party afterward (travel and accommodations not included) plus
    all the rewards previously listed (except for the limited rewards). And your name listed in a special THANK YOU section in the credits of the film.

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    Attend the premiere of the film and also enjoy a private screening of “Through Their Eyes” for you and 20 people with the filmmakers (airfare and lodging extra). Plus caps and Blu-rays for you and your guests! And your name listed in a special THANK YOU section in the credits of the film

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    As a major backer of the film you will be listed as an Executive Producer in the end film credits (this is an honorary title and does not give any creative rights or ownership of the film) plus you will be able to attend the film's premiere AND go to a film festival with the filmmakers (who knows, could be Sundance!). Plus any of the other goodies you'd like.

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Funding period

- (32 days)