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$9,075 pledged of $17,900 goal
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$9,075 pledged of $17,900 goal
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About this project

Brandon Hein was sentenced to life in prison for murder in 1996, a murder he did not commit. Brandon was with a group of friends when a fight broke out. One of his friends killed someone in that fight, but because he was present, Brandon was convicted of murder as well under the Felony Murder Rule.

More about the Felony Murder Rule here.

Brandon has now been in prison for nearly 20 years. His family has exhausted all appeals, and it is sometimes hard to maintain a positive outlook. However, instead of being negative, Brandon has spun his frustrations in a productive direction. Brandon Hein has become an artist.

"Dad's Favorite"
"Dad's Favorite"

In 2009 Brandon's sentence was reduced by Governor Schwarzenegger, giving him the possibility of parole as early as 2020. This new hope has sparked Brandon's motivation to create art, and over the last few years he has been painting more than ever. He is also an instructor in his prison's art program, helping others learn to channel their frustrations into art.

After hearing this story, we had a discussion with Gene Hein, Brandon's father, about creating a documentary on art's role in his son's life. Art has helped Brandon get through his prison sentence and now Brandon wants to help prisoners across the country receive the same benefits. We traveled from New York to Los Angeles and were able to film a short trailer and meet Brandon in prison. After seeing the passion for art in Brandon’s eyes, we knew we needed to create this project.

If you are curious to learn more about Brandon Hein's case, check out these links:

Wikipedia Page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brandon_Hein

Brandon Hein Blog: http://www.brandonhein.com/

We are raising money for the creation of a documentary that will spread awareness about art’s positive impact on the lives of prisoners. We will also raise money and bring attention to organizations like the Anti Recidivism Coalition, a group that works on rehabbing prisoners through art and education to ensure that they find a positive role in society when released.

The budget of this film includes production (travel, equipment, crew), post production (editing, music, asset acquisition) and distribution (DVDs, festivals). If we reach our current funding goal, we will be able to produce a video approximately 10-15 minutes long, and donate $4,000 to the Anti Recidivism Coalition in Brandon’s name. If we are able to raise over $50,000 we can afford the materials and travel to produce a short film 20-40 minutes long of much higher quality. If we receive more than $100,000 we will make a feature film. Of course a portion of all additional donations will go to organizations that help fund art and education programs in prison. We have the content to merit a feature length film, the only thing holding us back is our limited funds.

Please check out our list of prizes, and choose one you like. We are giving away copies of the film, art prints and even a few original pieces of art. Below are some pictures of the original artwork we are giving away:

"Madball"
"Madball"
"Thoughts: Blue"
"Thoughts: Blue"
"Invision"
"Invision"
"Stitch"
"Stitch"

Risks and challenges

A big hurdle in carrying out this project is the fact that we are based out of New York City. Traveling to and from Los Angeles on multiple occasions will be costly in both our time and funds.

Gaining access to interview Brandon in prison is another challenge that will be met with great difficulty. The guidelines of bringing a camera and audio equipment inside prison walls are extremely strict. Successfully accomplishing this task will take an immense amount of time and patience on our end. We also have to come to terms with the fact that we may not get into the prison to interview Brandon. If that is the case, we have a number of creative ways to communicate the same message around this roadblock.

Acquiring the rights to stock footage and music is another costly challenge that we will encounter. We want this film to be the best it possibly can be, so we will spare no expense in carrying out our vision. This means gaining permission to news stories that covered this controversial case at the time as well as being allowed to show newspaper articles. All of these tools are crucial in driving the story.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thanks for the help! We will shout you out on our social media pages to extend our gratitude.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you so much for supporting this cause! You get an electronic rendering of an original Brandon Hein piece. And of course all previous prizes.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Your help is so greatly appreciated that we will send you an HD Digital Download Link of the completed film. And of course all previous prizes.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Thank you for being so committed to this cause. We will mail a DVD copy of the completed film directly to your home. And of course all previous prizes.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Thank you for really helping make this happen. We will mail you a laminated 8.5x11" print of an original Brandon Hein piece. And of course all previous prizes.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You were so so helpful in creating this film that you will receive a "Special Thanks" in its credits. And of course all previous prizes.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    You have contributed so much that you deserve to see this film like no-one else. We will mail you a limited edition directors cut with exclusive behind-the-scenes features, interviews and commentaries with the filmmakers. And of course all previous prizes.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You have helped us so much that we need to thank you in person. You get an exclusive ticket to the Los Angeles film premiere. And of course all previous prizes.

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    Pledge $1,300 or more About $1,300

    You are such a fan of Brandon that we will mail you the original Brandon Hein piece "MadBall."

    Technique: Pen on paper
    Size: 6 1/4" x 10 1/4"
    From Brandon: "This drawing represents my restless mind. When it was finished, the face of the character reminded me of a toy I used to play with when I was a kid called Madballs."

    And all previous prizes (minus the original art).

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    You are such a fan of Brandon that we will mail you the original Brandon Hein piece "Thoughts: Blue."

    Technique: Acrylic on canvas
    Size: 9" x 11 7/8"
    From Brandon: "Futuristic artificial structure."

    And all previous prizes (minus the original art).

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    You are such a fan of Brandon that we will mail you the original Brandon Hein piece "Invision."

    Technique: Acrylic and pen on watercolor paper
    Size: 11" x 15"
    From Brandon: "Letting my mind escape beyond the walls of reality."

    And all previous prizes (minus the original art).

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

    You are such a fan of Brandon that we will mail you the original Brandon Hein piece "Stitch."

    Technique: Acrylic on stretched canvas
    Size: 20" x 24"
    From Brandon: "Personal voodoo doll."

    And all previous prizes (minus the original art).

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

    We value your contribution so much that you will be credited a "Producer" on the film, which will appear on the IMDB page.

    And all previous prizes (minus the original art).

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    You are truly irreplaceable and we need to bring you on board as an "Executive Producer" of this project. You will be involved in the creative process and will get to make criticisms of early edits. You will also be in the opening credits and on the IMDB page.

    And all previous prizes (minus the original art).

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Funding period

- (59 days)