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Becoming LESLIE explores the unapologetic life of Leslie Cochran, the thong-clad homeless man turned cultural icon in the heart of Texas.
Becoming LESLIE explores the unapologetic life of Leslie Cochran, the thong-clad homeless man turned cultural icon in the heart of Texas.
376 backers pledged $41,000 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$41,000

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“LESLIE” is an independent documentary that tells the untold story of Albert Leslie Cochran – a hell-raising, thong-clad, homeless man whose bizarre approach to activism catapulted him into becoming an unlikely civic symbol in Austin, Texas. Told with heartbreaking humor, the film is an intimate portrait of a rebellious drifter turned nationally-known icon, who reinvented himself to find love and redemption. 

Who is LESLIE and why tell his story?

"LESLIE" captures a character of a man and a time that will no longer be.

We need your help to tell Leslie's story, a part of our cultural integrity that shows how far-reaching the impact of this man in a thong actually had around the world.  For many long-time Austinites, his passing is yet another indication of a loss of its own identity. "LESLIE" shows us that change always offers an new opportunity for renewal. And when people remain true to who they are, authenticity is not lost. Through the legacy he left, we know that the love that Leslie sought was real. The swift changes of Austin become a backdrop of time passing and the city as a character mirrors Leslie's story, sparking the question: When the inevitability of change comes, how do you respond? 

We started filming in 2005 and at the time, the footage was mostly a series of intimate verite moments.  In 2010, cinematographer Lee Daniel (Boyhood, Dazed And Confused) came on board and music by Grammy award-winning artist Patty Griffin became a reality which immensely helped push the project forward. From June 2010 until Leslie's death in March 2012, we shot as much footage as we could, capturing moments that were rarely seen by those who mostly knew him as the "Queen of Austin." We began to fall deeper into his world and it became apparent to us that while he trusted us and his close friends, he did not trust us enough for us to help him in a meaningful way. This part of the story is important to share because we believe many people go through this challenge with loved ones. After Leslie's death in the midst of production, we took time out to process. We needed to regroup and hone in on what his story would mean to our audience, to the citizens of Austin who loved him, and the overall message we want to impart to the world.  

It is important to note that the film is not an exposè. Our intention is to offer insight into Leslie's life, creating a space to observe, as well as a portal for introspection into our own lives, and to find a renewed compassion for others. 

Who we ARE

Co-director Tracy Frazier
Co-director Tracy Frazier

Tracy Frazier began her filmmaking career in post production on SLAM PLANET: WAR OF THE WORLDS (2006). She then transitioned into production on the feature film JUMPING OFF BRIDGES (2006) and co-producer for short narratives SWERVE (2006) and BACKROADS (2007). It is through meeting Ruby that she met Leslie at Wet Salon in Austin, Texas.  "LESLIE" is her directorial debut.

Co-director Ruby C. Martin
Co-director Ruby C. Martin

Ruby C. Martin is an artist and filmmaker who grew up in rural West Virginia. Her expertise lies in experimental filmmaking, and specializes in layering images as moving collages. Her silent short film LOVE HEROINES (2006) brings together her fine art background and film, and gives her a different perspective on the filmmaking process. While working at Wet Salon, Ruby first met Leslie when she did his hair and began shooting in 2005.  "LESLIE" is her first feature-length film.

Risks and challenges

Our goal of $36,400 will take us through six months of post-production. This amount will allow us to work full-time and meticulously with an editor to produce a film that will allow us to tell Leslie's story in a meaningful, artistic way. It is imperative that we keep the momentum we have gained thus far so that we may bring his story to you. Your pledge will allow this labor of love to be see the light of day and shared by those who knew Leslie or by those who want to understand the cultural integrity of Austin, Texas.

Once we reach this first goal with your help, the important editing process will begin. Your funds will allow us to also purchase necessities and cover costs that keep post production flowing. This includes, but is not limited to, offline editing with the editor, online editing, color correction, sound mix and design...to name a few.

Our goal is to begin film festival submissions by September 2015.

You can help in other ways too!

PLEASE SHARE via the magic worlds of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeslieDocFilm
Twitter | Instagram: @lesliedocfilm

We are proud to be supported by the Austin Film Society.

Interested in giving more than the suggested amounts? Email us directly about opportunities to join our team at lesliedocumentary@gmail.com.

THANK YOU!!
Tracy | Ruby | FFF Crew

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you! And, oh by the way... you are now an honorary member of our Thong & Tiara Club!

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Our immeasurable gratitude for helping us to tell Leslie's story on the big (and little) screens. We'll give you proper shout-outs via Facebook and Twitter!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Receive Special Thanks in our film credits section of the documentary. PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Wear it on your backside.... of your car, that is! Receive a limited edition "Vote For Leslie" bumper sticker and social media shout outs for your generosity! PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Tops and Tails offers you a nod to the rear with a bumper sticker and a full frontal poster of Leslie - silk screened on heavy paper (wait, it's not THAT kind of full frontal!). And of course, words of gratitude on the FB. PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Leslie's Animal MAGNET-ism! Receive one set of highly collectable, no-longer-in-print set of Leslie magnets. You also get a poster AND the bumper sticker

    And don't forget the warm fuzzies of publicized thanks! PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Choose between photographers Andrew Shapter and Tim Pipe's iconic images of Leslie, signed by the artist. Each of these images embody the thriving spirit of Leslie Cochran. PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Receive both photographers Andrew Shapter and Tim Pipe's iconic images of Leslie, each signed by the artist. Whether you are a native Austinite or a transplant like Leslie, these pieces are worthy of any humble abode. PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Get your hair did with Co-Director and artistic maven Ruby Martin. Share the same chair where this whole project began for a cut and color to bring out YOUR own inner Queen of Austin. (fishnets optional) PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    Break bread with the Co-Directors Ruby Martin and Tracy Frazier. Enjoy a prepared meal with spirits and swap your favorite Leslie stories. PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You and one guest will attend a Private Screening of the finished film, followed by a reception with filmmakers and crew. PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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

    Contribute at this level and receive film credit as The Thong Master, as well as a custom made glitter-embellished thong for your own personal wear....maybe at the premiere? PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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

    Backers at this level will receive Co-Producer film credit, as well as two VIP reserved seats at the Austin premiere of the film. You just might get some popcorn with it, too. PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Backers at this level will receive Executive Producer film credit, as well as four VIP seats at the Austin premiere of the film. (Yeah, you're kind of a big deal.) PLUS get a digital download of the film upon the time of distribution.

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Funding period

- (45 days)