Funded! This project was successfully funded on May 29, 2011.

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This documentary takes an intimate look at Matthew Shepard and his tragic death from the point of view of those who cared about him.

PROJECT UPDATE: YAY!!!! Thanks to all our amazing supporters, we have made our 50K goal and then some!

It has been an incredible journey and I am truly grateful for all you have done to make this campaign a great success. We could not have done it without you. And we did it with 10 days left in the campaign!

Can we exceed our goal?

Yes! And thanks to you, we have! It's been a dream come true! Kickstarter allows us to earn as much money as we can up until our deadline, so we're hoping we can keep this going until then:) Since Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal, we had to set our goal on the low end. We do have costs that exceed this sum. Also, Kickstarter and Amazon take about 8% of what we raise. Exceeding our 50K goal will allow us to make a better movie and help take a bite out of our post-production expenses.

If you can, please continue to spread the word about our film. (Facebook and Twitter have been such great ways of getting our film out there.) Also, if you haven't pledged and are considering doing so, you still have time.

It's truly an honor to be making this film for Matt with all of you involved in the whole process. Once again, please know that none of this would've been possible without each and every one of you supporting and believing in our film with as much passion as you have.

My heart is full of love and gratitude. I am so touched and inspired by your belief in "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine."

ABOUT THE FILM:

In 1998, my friend Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, beaten, and tied to a fence on a Wyoming prairie and left to die because he was gay. His tragic murder made countless headlines around the world and Matthew Shepard soon became a hugely public symbol, undoubtedly important, whose story resounded in the hearts of many. But to me, Matt was a dear friend.

This past fall, I have begun work on a feature-length documentary about the Matthew behind those headlines. Through the honest and intimate recollections of his family and those, like myself, who were personally affected by his death, our film seeks to tell the story of the Matthew the world hardly knows and to make sense out of a senseless tragedy.

This past October, we shot extensively in Denver and Wyoming with very limited resources. During this time, we interviewed many amazing people who gave us incredible insight into Matt’s death and his all-too-brief life. Overall, it was a humbling and inspiring experience.

I feel it's so important, especially in this day and age, to share with the world the story of our Matt, as not just a symbol, but as a real person who had the love and respect of his family and his many friends. To be honest, this is a film I've been waiting years to make, and I am honored to have the opportunity to make it now.

THE PLAN:

With the bulk of our filming completed this past fall, the hardest part of the project is behind us. Now, in the early stages of post-production, we are hard at work in the editing room. But making a feature-length film is a very long and expensive process, and we've been working on raising the money we need to complete the film. Specifically, we are looking to raise enough funds for a second filming trip to Europe and across North America this summer to interview some important people in Matt's life. 

YOUR INVESTMENT:

Our film is a totally independent production and has been self-financed up until this point. But making a documentary film is an expensive endeavor. Your contribution will go directly to funding our film shoot this summer.

Passionate people make all the difference with something like this and every single person's contribution will make a difference. One of the main reasons we decided to use Kickstarter was because we loved the idea that our campaign, like our film, will be a collaborative effort by people who truly care about this project. Your help and support will be invaluable to us on this journey.

CAN WE EXCEED THE GOAL?

Amazingly, yes! If we can surpass our $50,000 goal, it would not only be a dream come true, but it would allow us to make a better film! Exceeding our goal would help offset our significant post-production expenses, which include the costs for hard drives, archival footage, music, sound mixing, color correction, etc.

WHERE CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT?

Please visit our website, http://educationpicturesstudio.com/

Under our "Matthew Shepard Documentary" section, you can find a synopsis of our film, a photo gallery of our first shoot, our director's personal statement about Matt, and our blog, which will also feature personal stories about Matt written by his close friends.

You can also find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/matthewsheparddocumentary

FAQ

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  • Pledge $10 or more
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    115 backers

    Thank you so much for supporting the film! For being a friend of the film, you'll get our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker and special thanks on our website.

  • Pledge $25 or more
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    96 backers

    You'll get our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" button, sticker, and special thanks on our website.

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    90 backers

    You'll receive our fabulous "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" T-shirt in your requested size, button, sticker, and special thanks on our website.

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    158 backers

    See your name on the big screen! You'll receive a special on-screen thank you in the film, in addition to all of the goodies listed above.

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    23 backers

    In addition to a special on-screen thank you in the film, you'll receive a film poster designed by designer extraordinaire Alfred Hawkins that will be personalized and autographed by the filmmakers.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    11 backers

    You'll receive a digital print of Gina van Hoof's now iconic photograph of Matt, as seen on the cover of Judy Shepard's "The Meaning of Matthew," signed by the photographer, as well as a special on-screen thank you.

  • Pledge $1,000 or more
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    10 backers

    You will receive an advanced autographed DVD copy of the film with a personalized video message from the filmmakers. You'll also receive our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, T-shirt, and a special on-screen thank you.

  • Pledge $2,995 or more
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    0 backers Limited (6 left of 6)

    You will receive a limited edition darkroom print of Gina van Hoof's now iconic photograph of Matt, as seen on the cover of Judy Shepard's "The Meaning of Matthew." This is a limited edition Baryta silver-based paper print of Matthew Shepard, signed by photographer Gina van Hoof and mounted on aluminum with a protective hand-crafted wood frame. You'll also receive our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, T-shirt, and a special on-screen thank you.

  • Pledge $5,000 or more
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    1 backer

    Party time + official credit on the film! You and a special guest will receive an invitation to a VIP screening party of the film in Los Angeles (transportation not included), an official Associate Producer credit on the film, plus our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, and T-shirt.

  • Pledge $10,000 or more
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    0 backers

    Become a Co-Producer on our film! You'll receive an official Co-Producer credit on the film, a VIP invitation for you and a special guest to our screening party in LA (transportation not included), plus our "Matt Shepard is a Friend of Mine" sticker, button, and T-shirt.

Funding period

- (44 days)