About this project
Thank you for your interest in: A FULLER LIFE
This is a tribute film in progress made to celebrate the centennial of my father, Samuel Fuller, an American writer, fighter and filmmaker.
The idea for this project came up last summer around my father's 99th birthday, and I couldn't help but think of doing something special for the following year, his centennial. My father always promised me that we'd have an amazing celebration for his 100th birthday, and even though he's been gone for close to 15 years now, I believe that we can still celebrate it by commemorating his exceptional story. For this occasion, I've invited some friends to read selected passages from my father's autobiography, and I couldn't dream of a better setting than his office, "the shack", a place where I remember him spending countless hours pounding out yarn after yarn on his Royal typewriter. A true reporter at heart, always on the hunt for new exciting stories. Meanwhile, his own story is one of the most inspirational ones of all.
This concept has blossomed into a feature documentary celebrating the independent spirit of a true American Maverick, whose unique oeuvre broke new ground in journalism, filmmaking, storytelling and even serving his country. The story takes us through highlights of Samuel Fuller’s unconventional and adventurous life spanning almost a century of American history. The film starts with Sam's first gig when he was an 11 year-old copyboy in New York City. He persevered to become the city's youngest crime reporter, then traveled across the country as a freelancer, chronicling the 1930's Great Depression and eventually landing in Hollywood just before the outbreak of WWII writing novels and screenplays. He spent four years during WWII with the Big Red One, the First Infantry Division, fighting from North Africa to Sicily to Omaha Beach to the death camp of Falkenau. After the war, Fuller became one of America's most iconoclastic filmmakers, tenaciously fighting for his vision from the twilight of the studio era and into the dawn of a New Hollywood. In telling Sam's story, the cast comes alive in "the shack" amid his beloved ROYAL typewriter, massive collection of books, screenplays, treatments,war memorabilia, and, of course, the ever-present BIG FAT CIGAR. Each segment is layered with clips from Sam's films, his personal photographs and home movies, much of which has been sourced from his personal archive. Among the clips are unseen footage filmed with his trusty Bell & Howell 16 mm camera while he served during WWII. Some recently discovered 10,000 ft. of this footage is currently housed at the Academy Film Archive, awaiting funding for digitization.
The entire cast and crew has volunteered their time and effort to collaborate in this unique project of telling Sam's story.
CAST in order of appearance:
James Franco, Bill Duke, James Toback, Kelly Ward, Perry Lang, Robert Carradine, Mark Hamill, Tim Roth, Wim Wenders, Monte Hellman, Buck Henry.
Things that need to be done in order to complete this film:
So far, there is a beautiful 50 minute rough cut of the readers we've shot so far, but we're not done filming yet. We are in the process of rounding up more of Sam's friends and admirers to read and our potential collaborators are really exciting! (We can't tell you who they are... yet...)
My mother has helped finance this project, but she's already given far over her budget and the real big expenses are just beginning...
A FULLER LIFE requires $180,000 in order to be completed, the reason for this Kickstarter. It will also enable my mother and I to own 100% of the rights of this tribute project without having to rely on "outside investors". Most of my father's films are owned by the studios, and I've often seen how he had to struggle to maintain creative control, only to have his work be owned by a faceless corporation at the end of the day.
The budget includes:
- Post-production fees: sound design, color correction, graphics, titles as well as a 35 mm negative and several prints.
- Image licensing: movie clips, posters and stills which will be included in the feature.
- Music licensing: an original score is being composed and recorded for this project by my cousin, Paul Fuller. http://www.fullerbanjo.com
The Kickstarter goal is set at $25,000, a minimum to continue production and to be able to guarantee at least the DVD release by the end of 2013.
The more money is raised for A FULLER LIFE, the more people we can share the film with. With good post-production, our doc could get a good festival run, essential to our goal of distributing the film in multiple markets and platforms.
This is your only chance to be part of a Sam Fuller production in the 21st century and to receive some very personal gifts to thank you for your participation.
About the gifts:
- The DVD of A Fuller Life will be released in 2013, the exact date is still to be determined. The DVD will feature the director's cut as well as bonus features of Sam's unseen WWII footage, as well as a series of fun short stories about Sam given by the cast.
- A FULLER LIFE original soundtrack CD composed by Paul Fuller, a heartfelt score with a soulful mix of jazz, blues, and ragtime to be released along with the DVD.
- The color photograph of Luis Bunuel and Samuel Fuller is a limited print for Kickstarter supporters.
- All glass art is handmade and signed by Samantha Fuller.
- The movie stills are original prints directly from Sam's archives.
- The signed books are courtesy of the authors and their publications.
- Invitations to N.Y and L.A. premieres to be scheduled in 2013 will be posted on the Facebook page of A Fuller Life (lodging and transportation not provided).
- The visit to Sam's "shack" along with the private screening of Sam's personal films is to be scheduled at a suitable time during the year of 2013 (lodging and transportation not provided).
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