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$8,770 pledged of $240,000 goal
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About this project

Not only is the Death Race intriguing, but the psychological process of how people's lives transform from the experience makes this an important film in the world of sports and social sciences.

If you are from the Spartan Community or Death Race Community, send us your story about how Spartan Race or Death Race has changed your life and you may be interviewed for the documentary! Send your stories to info@TheHumanDeathRace.com.

Crowd-Funding Campaign

Our goal is to make an important film that has the potential to inspire, challenge, and change peoples lives. We decided to offer a crowd-funding project where athletes, fans, and supporters have the opportunity to be a part of our documentary, and in return, we are offering great rewards! You have the opportunity to attend the Death Race in June as part of our crew or as a V.I.P, receive movie merchandise, limited edition photos, and more!

Pittsfield, VT - Home of the Death Race t-shirt
Pittsfield, VT - Home of the Death Race t-shirt
The Human Death Race t-shirt.
The Human Death Race t-shirt.


We hope you will be inspired to come on this compelling journey with us. Together all things are possible. Any size donation will help support the production of our documentary. We are down to the last week of the campaign and doing a last minute push. If everyone who saw this page donated at least $5 or more, we could meet our goal! There have been campaigns that raised over a million dollars in one day, but we don't need that much.

Thank you for your support! Please help spread the word to make this project possible. You can share our Kickstarter video link above and subscribe to the official website at http://TheHumanDeathRace.com.

THE HUMAN DEATH RACE

From all walks of life athletes converge to risk their lives in an extreme competition of will and power. It's called the Death Race, and participants must push beyond their physical and mental limitations to survive the 60-plus hour event in the forbidding mountains of Pittsfield, Vermont. The Death Race sets participants on a grueling journey of endurance beyond anything they have experienced before. Those who are brave enough to take on the challenge of the Death Race walk away stronger, with a powerful new way of seeing the world. The Death Race is a life-changing experience that transcends the physical and evokes the spiritual. Now, for the first time, the thrilling intensity of the annual Death Race is revealed. We examine the psychological process of how fear can be converted into excitement, how the impossible can be transformed into ecstasy, and how a better quality of life can be achieved.

The Human Death Race is an observational and informative documentary. The co-founders of Death Race, Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg, are supportive of this documentary, but they are not directly involved with The Human Death Race documentary, which is an objective observation of this sporting event. We did credit Peak Races in the trailer. They are giving us unlimited access for film production and granting us permission to use their Death Race trademark in the title. 100th Monkey Productions is very grateful for their support!

The Human Death Race will feature some of the most inspirational people in the world, discover how their lives are transformed, and the theory of how individuals can achieve this type of success in their own lives. 

The co-founders of the Death Race, Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg will be put in the spotlight exploring who they are, how the Death Race was born, why the extreme tactics used during the Death Race are effective, and the correlations they have discovered with various psychological theories. 

Co-Founders of the Death Race, Joe and Andy
Co-Founders of the Death Race, Joe and Andy
Joe DeSena, Co-Founder of the Death Race
Joe DeSena, Co-Founder of the Death Race

Joe DeSena has been referred to as an insane endurance athlete, (he is humble and brushes off the reference). In one week he completed, Vermont 100, the Lake Placid Ironman and the Badwater Ultra. In one year he completed, 20 ultra-events and 14 Ironman events. Joe has accomplished 300 mile straight run. For more information about Joe, click on the "See Full Bio" link at the top right-hand side of this page.

Joe DeSena
Joe DeSena
Andy Weinberg, Co-Founder of the Death Race
Andy Weinberg, Co-Founder of the Death Race

Andy Weinberg is a swim coach and has completed 100’s of endurance races in multiple disciplines: swimming, cycling, running, and triathlon. For more information about Andy, click on the "See Full Bio" link at the top right-hand side of this page.

Andy Weinberg
Andy Weinberg

In June 2013, the Death Race will become our scientific laboratory. When we reach our Kickstarter goal, I will be able to announce two well-known psychologists who will attend the Death Race to give their professional analysis, and I will be able to announce the scientific advisor who will be on location with us. The success of delayed gratification is examined compared to instant gratification, which was proven in the 70s' with the cookie/marshmallow test. The Grit theory is explored, and we have a slight variation to the findings going into the race where we will see if the theory can be expanded upon. Experts such as psychologists, medical doctors, extreme athletes, and military personnel will comment on the physical and mental limitations of the human body, and how they feel about the impossible breakthroughs that occur at the Death Race.

Six to eight competitors are put in the spotlight with intimate interviews where our cameras capture their home environment, training for the Death Race, and follow them throughout the race to capture their incredible experience. Their journey of self-discovery is discussed immediately after the race and follow-up interviews two to four weeks after the Death Race. Their stories will be an inspirational journey of perseverance and personal triumph as well as many facing defeat since only ten to fifteen percent will finish the race. Are the competitors actually defeated if they don't finish the race, or do they still walk away with a life-changing experience?  

What will the funds be used for? 

The funds will take us through the production process to complete a finished feature-length documentary ready for distribution. Our distribution plan is for a limited theatrical release followed by other distribution avenues. The limited theatrical release will take place in areas where our Kickstarter backers are most prominent.  

The Human Death Race trailer made for our Kickstarter campaign was done with one camera at the winter Death Race in February. I did use two clips courtesy of Madmotion Video Production based out of Pittsfield, VT (competitor falling over with log, and the competitor almost drowning in the water from a previous summer Death Race). The beginning narration was done by New Seed Studios based out of Jersey City, NJ and the voiceover was done by Tyler Phillips and sound engineered by Dustin McGlinchey.  

Although Tyler did a great job, I have been in talks with the agent of a well-known celebrity, who we feel is a great fit to do the narration for our documentary. (The agent is already familiar with our races due to another agent in the office participating in them. How cool is that!) However, I have received several positive comments about Tyler's narration on the Kickstarter trailer. This may be a tough call picking between the two narrators. 

We have a high-budget due to the traveling involved to capture participates before and after the race in their home environments and the actual filming of the race. The Death Race is not set up like any other race with a specific course. There are 700 acres with over 300 participates spread throughout the mountain in the mist of total chaos (planned by Joe and Andy) and intensional misinformation floating around. We will have two large production crews to cover this 60-plus hour event. The camera operators are skilled in muscular camera work to capture the experience of the competitors and this extraordinary event.

Going beyond our Kickstarter funding goal will decide how spectacular we can go with our production. If we exceed our goal by a certain percentage, we will be able to implement incredible helicopter shots, computer automation and more! How big we can go will be up to you!  

We start filming in June and continue through the summer, start post-production in the fall, and a theatrical release in 2014.

The Death Race has received a lot of national exposure. Here are a couple of national press links:

ABC News: http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/video/surviving-spartan-death-race-13973215

New York Times: http://www.youmaydie.com/media/national-media/new-york-times/

Check out their official websites:

http://www.youmaydie.com

http://www.spartanrace.com

http://www.peakraces.com

https://www.facebook.com/spartanrace

How This Project Came About - (From filmmaker Brandie Knight)

After being in the entertainment industry for over twenty years, and an awarding-winning documentary under my belt, I spent several years looking for an incredible and unique topic for my next project. A little over a year ago Spartan Race emerged during a casual conversation with a family member, which immediately peaked my interest. I love all things Spartan, but I had no idea what these races were about. 

After further investigation, I discovered the Spartan Races are progressive obstacle course races that implement challenges with blazing fires, mud, water, barbed wire, and gladiators standing between the competitors and the finish line. I discovered anyone including couch potatoes can get off their bum and participate in a Spartan Sprint. The race is an entertaining, thrilling, and an addictive avenue to make the transformation to a healthy lifestyle. From there, participates can progress to bigger and more extreme challenges with the Spartan Super, followed by the monsterous Spartan Beast. These races are not easy even for accomplished athletes.

As a filmmaker, the Spartan Races intrigue me due to the large number of people giving credit to these races for changing their lives, and I asked myself, why? I knew the answer would help put the purpose of the documentary in perspective.

I became extremely passionate about this project when I discovered the Death Race, which blew my mind! The Death Race goes far beyond the Spartan Races to the ultimate extreme and verges on being totally insane! I have always been fascinated by human behavior and the social sciences.

The Death Race is a 100% mental challenge and a psychology and sociology research lab. Participates are challenged to push beyond impossible limitations they have placed upon themselves, and in the process, they transform to a higher quality of life. From there, the purpose of the documentary became clear. I still had no idea how in-depth the psychological process of this transformation really was until I traveled to Pittsfield, Vermont for the winter Death Race.

A week before the winter Death Race, the co-founders of Death Race, Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg invited me to the event. I had plans of filming the main Death Race in June with a full production crew, but I accepted their invitation and showed up with one cameraman to acquire some footage to make our Kickstarter reel. Joe, Andy, and the competitors are the most incredible and inspiring people! 

I am so passionate about this project and hope you will come along for the ride! 

Risks and challenges

What are the risks and challenges for this project?

The potential obstacle we face at this time is to raise our funding to film at the Death Race June 21. 2013. We have set a twenty-five day Kickstarter campaign to incorporate the processing time required to secure funding. We are proceeding with pre-production during the period to overcome this obstacle. We would like to reach our goal as soon as possible to have our production secured and ready to spring into action.

We are not concerned with other challenges, because in the film industry, obstacles do occur and you must quickly figure out a solution to overcome the issue in front of you, and we have been doing that for decades. Part of our job is to realize potential problems will arise and be prepared, which we are.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Our deepest gratitude! PLUS you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production! Our goal for this doc is to inspire, challenge, and change peoples' lives, and you are a part of making our goal a reality. Thank you!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    The above, PLUS, a personal email from the director and producer, Brandie Knight, and the co-founders of the Death Race, Joe DeSena and Andy Weinberg thanking you for your valuable contribution to our documentary.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    You will receive an official movie poster and a THANK YOU on the official movie website as a valuable contributor to our documentary. The names will be listed in order of the contributions. PLUS, you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Exclusive to registered Death Racers! If you are registered for the Death Race in June or the Team Death Race in September, you will receive a "Pittsfield, VT - Home of the Death Race" t-shirt in your selected size. Also, this reward is available to you, if you were registered for the Winter Death Race, Feb, 2013. You are incredible people! Without you, this doc would not be possible.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Exclusive to registered Death Racers! If you are registered for the Death Race in June or the Team Death Race in September, you will receive "The Human Death Race" t-shirt in your selected size. Also, this reward is available to you, if you were registered for the Winter Death Race, Feb, 2013. You are incredible people! Without you, this doc would not be possible.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    You will receive your choice of t-shirt, "Pittsfield, VT - Home of the Death Race" or "The Human Death Race" in your selected size. PLUS, you will receive a THANK YOU on the official movie website as a valuable contributor to our documentary. The names will be listed in order of the contributions. PLUS, you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The previous reward, PLUS, we will send you a code for a digital download of the documentary when it is released in digital format.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You will receive your choice of a Blu-ray or DVD of the documentary that includes the making of The Human Death Race and other exclusive bonus features not available on the digital version when it is released in home video and signed by the director and producer. PLUS, you will receive a THANK YOU on the official movie website as a valuable contributor to our documentary. The names will be listed in order of the contributions. PLUS, you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    You will receive your choice of t-shirt, "Pittsfield, VT - Home of the Death Race" or "The Human Death Race" in your selected size. PLUS, we will send you a code for a digital download of the documentary when it is released in digital format. PLUS, you will receive a THANK YOU on the official movie website as a valuable contributor to our documentary. The names will be listed in order of the contributions. PLUS, you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    You will receive your choice of t-shirt, "Pittsfield, VT - Home of the Death Race" or "The Human Death Race" in your selected size. PLUS, you will receive a THANK YOU on the official movie website as a valuable contributor to our documentary. The names will be listed in order of the contributions. PLUS, you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    Exclusive to our backers, you will receive The Human Death Race limited-edition photo. We will send you a limited-edition 8x10 photo of the best dramatic moment captured at the Death Race. The photos will be limited to the amount of backers that receive this award and numbered on the back. PLUS, official movie merchandise hat and poster. PLUS, you will receive a THANK YOU on the official movie website as a valuable contributor to our documentary. The names will be listed in order of the contributions. PLUS, you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Official Movie Merchandise Package: You will receive your choice of t-shirt, "Pittsfield, VT - Home of the Death Race" or "The Human Death Race" in your selected size, hat, poster signed by director and producer and co-founders, and The Human Death Race limited-edition photo. PLUS, your choice of a digital download of the documentary, Blu-ray or DVD when it is released and signed by the director and producer and co-founders of the Death Race. If you choose the digital download, you will receive an autographed cover image of the DVD via an email with a link to download the image. PLUS, you will receive a THANK YOU on the official movie website as a valuable contributor to our documentary. The names will be listed in order of the contributions. PLUS, you'll receive exclusive backer updates throughout the production!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Spartan Warrior Package: You will receive an awesome battle-ready sword, PLUS, everything in the Official Movie Merchandise Package.

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    Spartan Warrior Deluxe Package: You will receive an awesome stainless steal Spartan shield and battle-ready sword, PLUS, everything in the Official Movie Merchandise Package.

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

    The Ultimate Spartan Warrior Package: You will receive an authentic Spartan Helm (helmet), stainless steal Spartan shield, battle-ready sword. PLUS, you will receive everything in the Official Movie Merchandise Package.

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

    You will receive a special invitation for two people to The Human Death Race screening in Pittsfield, VT and after party with the director, producers, co-founders of Death Race, and some of the spotlighted Death Races from the doc. Lodging will be included, but travel expenses is not included. PLUS, you will receive everything in the Official Movie Merchandise Package.

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    Pledge $3,500 or more About $3,500

    You will receive a special invitation for two people to the red carpet movie premier in Los Angeles, CA and after party! (transportation and accommodations not included) PLUS, you will receive everything in the Official Movie Merchandise Package.

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

    Film Crew Package & Honorable Spartan Warrior Package: You will be a film crew member on location at the Death Race in Pittsfield, Vermont starting on Friday, June 21, 2013 (transportation and accommodations not included). There will be a crew tent set up at base camp of the race. The race may last into Monday. Your name will appear in the end credits of the documentary under the SPECIAL THANKS. You will be given a job that fits you and nothing that you can't handle. You will have a blast! PLUS, you will receive a chest plate, Spartan Helm, shield, and battle-ready sword. Plus, everything in The Human Death Race Package that includes the Official Movie Merchandise Package. If you are unable to attend the Death Race, you will receive a fifteen minute live-streaming video call with your choice of the director and producer, Brandie Knight, or one of the co-founders of the Death Race, Joe DeSena or Andy Weinberg.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    VIP Package & Honorable Spartan Warrior Package: You and a guest will be invited on location with the film crew as VIPs to the Death Race in Pittsfield, Vermont on Friday, June 21, 2013 Accommodation is included. (travel and transportation not included). A VIP tent will be set up at the base camp of the race. The race may last until Monday. PLUS, you will be interviewed for the DVD bonus features and appear in a shot that may or may not be used in the documentary. We will upgrade your credit in the documentary to CO-EXECUTIVE PRODUCER and your name will appear in the entertainment industry's IMDb (Internet Movie Data Base) as a legit movie producer. PLUS, you will receive a chest plate, Spartan Helm, shield, and battle-ready sword. Plus, everything in The Human Death Race Package that includes the Official Movie Merchandise Package. If you are unable to attend the Death Race, you will be interviewed for the DVD special features via live-streaming video call. PLUS, you will receive a fifteen minute live-streaming video call with your choice of the director and producer, Brandie Knight, or one of the co-founders of the Death Race, Joe DeSena or Andy Weinberg.

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Funding period

- (25 days)