Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 1, 2012.

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A love song to democracy, a hymn to independence, originality and perseverance.

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.

Concept: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-samuel-fuller-shack-daughter-documentary-20120921,0,1449729.story

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.

Sam's office, a place he liked to call "the shack"
Sam's office, a place he liked to call "the shack"

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.

16 mm film shot by Sam during WWII and Hollywood after the war
16 mm film shot by Sam during WWII and Hollywood after the war
A photo taken, through a loupe, of a frame from one of Sam's 16mm film WWII-era films currently awaiting funding for a digital transfer
A photo taken, through a loupe, of a frame from one of Sam's 16mm film WWII-era films currently awaiting funding for a digital transfer
Another unpreserved image of Sam
Another unpreserved image of Sam

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.

James Franco enters Sam's office. Where the past... meets the present... inspiring the future...
James Franco enters Sam's office. Where the past... meets the present... inspiring the future...
Buck Henry reading in Sam's office. Go to the official A FULLER LIFE Facebook page to see more behind-the-scenes photos
Buck Henry reading in Sam's office. Go to the official A FULLER LIFE Facebook page to see more behind-the-scenes photos

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).
Some of the incentive items... more to soon be featured on A FULLER LIFE Facebook page
Some of the incentive items... more to soon be featured on A FULLER LIFE Facebook page

 https://www.facebook.com/afullerlifefeaturedoc

FAQ

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    Great appreciation for your support, instant gratification!

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    A personalized thank you via snail mail on a black and white post card featuring Samuel Fuller and Wim Wenders during the filming of "The State of Things".

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    A signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE mailed to you upon completion.

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    A limited edition post card color photograph of Samuel Fuller and Luis Bunuel taken by Sam's wife, Christa Lang-Fuller in Mexico in 1967. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    "If You Die, I'll Kill You!" A book on Sam's films by Lisa Dombrowski. Courtesy of Wesleyan University Press. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    BLU RAY editions by The Criterion Collection of Shock Corridor (1963) + The Naked Kiss (1964)

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    A hand-made glass pendant or ornament (please specify your preference) made especially for this occasion - featuring the iconic Big Red One emblem signed and dated by the artist, Samantha Fuller. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    A hand-made glass tray made especially for this occasion (just right for a good stogie or jewelry display at 7 x 3 inches), featuring the iconic Big Red One emblem signed and dated by the artist, Samantha Fuller. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    "Samuel Fuller Interviews" Great Sam Fuller Interviews by some of the coolest film critics compiled by Gerald Peary. A limited edition released in August 2012, perfect timing for Sam's Centennial :) Read about Sam's suicide note collection, about surviving the horrors of war, about being a foreign filmmaker in France... "Fuller's cigar puffed like a steamboat picking up speed." -G.Peary/1980. Plus 3 individual post cards of Sam with Wim Wenders, Luis Bunuel and Nick Ray. Plus a hand-made glass pendant or ornament (please specify your preference) made especially for this occasion featuring the iconic Big Red One emblem, signed and dated by the artist, Samantha Fuller.

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    "Palo Alto Stories" written by James Franco, personally signed and illustrated. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    "The Big Red One" Reconstructed version DVD two-disc special edition signed by Mark Hamill, Robert Carradine, Kelly Ward, Perry Lang and Joe Clark. Plus a hand-made glass pendant or ornament (please specify your preference) made especially for this occasion featuring the iconic Big Red One emblem, signed and dated by the artist, Samantha Fuller. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    "Star Wars Trilogy" Special Limited Edition tee-shirt (large 14-16) straight from Mark Hamill's personal memorabilia collection, along with a personalized autograph. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    2 backers Limited (2 left of 4)

    The Criterion Collection 7 DVD special Sam Fuller package shipped by Dec 2012. This will include The First Films of Sam Fuller Box Set from the Eclipse Series 5: "I Shot Jesse James", "The Baron of Arizona", "The Steel Helmet". Individual DVD's of "Pick Up on South Street", "The Naked Kiss", "Shock Corridor" and "White Dog". Plus a black Criterion large tee-shirt, a black Criterion tote bag, a grey Janus Films tote bag. Plus three post cards featuring Sam with Wim Wenders. with Nick Ray and with Luis Bunuel. A great Fuller Holiday gift!

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    "Places Strange and Quiet" and "Journey to Onomichi" two signed and illustrated photo books by Wim Wenders. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)

    2 black and white 8 x 10 RARE original production stills of the movie "Park Row" (1951) from Sam's personal archives. Plus A FULLER LIFE original soundtrack CD. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)

    1 black and white 8x10 VERY RARE original production still of the movie "Shock Corridor" (1963) from Sam's personal archive along with a Criterion DVD release of one of Sam's movies. Plus A FULLER LIFE original soundtrack CD. Plus a signed DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    2 backers Limited (98 left of 100)

    An invitation for you and a guest to attend a N.Y or L.A screening (transportation and lodging not provided). Plus a hand-made glass pendant or ornament (please specify your preference) made especially for this occasion featuring the iconic Big Red One emblem, signed and dated by the artist, Samantha Fuller. Plus A FULLER LIFE original soundtrack CD. Plus a DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    A visit for you and a guest to Sam Fuller's historic office where the filming for this project took place, along with a private screening of never-before-seen WWII documentary footage shot by Fuller while he was in the service. Plus an invitation for you and a guest to attend a N.Y or L.A screening (transportation and lodging not provided). Plus a hand-made glass pendant or ornament (please specify your preference) made especially for this occasion featuring the iconic Big Red One emblem, signed and dated by the artist, Samantha Fuller. Plus A FULLER LIFE original soundtrack CD. Plus a DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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    Associate Producer Credit on A FULLER LIFE. Receive an exclusive print of 3 V-Mail letters written and illustrated by Samuel Fuller when he was a GI in WWII. Plus a visit for you and a guest to Sam Fuller's historic office where the filming for this project took place, along with a private screening of never-before-seen WWII documentary footage shot by Fuller while he was in the service. Plus an invitation for you and a guest to attend a N.Y or L.A screening (transportation and lodging not provided). Plus a hand-made glass pendant or ornament (please specify your preference) made especially for this occasion featuring the iconic Big Red One emblem, signed and dated by the artist, Samantha Fuller. Plus A FULLER LIFE original soundtrack CD. Plus a DVD of A FULLER LIFE.

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