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The most epic Halloween costume ever will be created by the father of a disabled boy for his magic wheelchair.
226 backers pledged $6,454 to help bring this project to life.
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$6,454

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*******Epic News Flash!*******

**Hooray, we are funded!** 

**Our first three Stretch Goals were also reached!** 

**You are awesome!**

**We still need your help!**

$10,000 (Final Goal)

Again everything we earn above $4,500 will go toward future projects. If we reach the goal of $10,000, then we will begin work on starting a 501c3 and make a dedicated charity where we can raise money for projects like this. We will lay the ground work for changing the face of what it means to be in a wheelchair at least for one epic night a year! We will raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy, while bringing a large portion of epic joy to those that suffer with the difficulties that this disease brings. Help us grow and give. This is just the beginning!

*******News Flash!*******

KPTV News Channel 12 in Portland ran a story about our campaign!

*******News Flash!*******

The Stan Winston School heard about our project and offered support and help to insure that this project is a success!  Thank you Stan Winston School of Character Arts, we couldn't do this epic project without you!

EPIC BACKSTORY

First of all, if you haven't heard the term Muscular Dystrophy (MD), check it out at MDA.org.  You might have heard of a small movement called the Ice Bucket Challenge?  This craze is helping to raise awareness for ALS, a branch of MD.  Join us on this adventure as we help bring hope and awareness to another branch of MD called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).

We have four children.  My first son, Keaton, was diagnosed at 9 months old with SMA and this diagnosis has forever changed our family and how we do things. I could write you a long, sometimes difficult, but ultimately amazing story of our adventures with our children and SMA, but for now let's just say that we have to look at life through a different set of lenses than the average man or woman.

Keaton the Brave, Ryan the Dude, and Bryce the Fearless
Keaton the Brave, Ryan the Dude, and Bryce the Fearless

That's what really set this whole project in motion five years ago when Keaton got his first wheelchair.   Enter Halloween 2008. "Hey pal. What do you want to be for Halloween?" I ask. Keaton thinks for no more than a second and responds, "A pirate."

My thoughts go a little like this, “Ah cool, at least he doesn’t want to be Dora the Explorer, one of his favorite shows at the time.”

A couple days later I had one of those moments when my brain decides it's the best time for thinking - this usually seems to happen way too early in the morning when I should be sleeping or in the shower - but during this magical thinking moment I realized, “Keaton has this wheelchair he cruises around in, and every pirate needs a ship, so let's just build one around his chair!”

I didn't know how I was going to do it, but I knew that it could be done somehow. I don't believe that there are any goals, dreams, or aspirations in life that can't be achieved, and besides, I was only building a pirate ship, not finishing a PHD in engineering. I drew out some rough plans, and had to start over once or twice, but in the end I came out with a pretty awesome pirate ship for Keaton to sail around in for Halloween.

Keaton in his first Epic Costume - "The Pirate Ship."
Keaton in his first Epic Costume - "The Pirate Ship."

Keaton loved it! What kid wouldn't love having a pirate ship to roll deep in, sailing through the streets, collecting Halloween booty? He even made the front page of the newspaper!

So that's how this all started. Now every year as I pose the question, "What do you want to be for Halloween, Keaton?" I can’t help but cringe in anticipation of the challenge that each answer will issue. It's always fun, frustrating, discouraging, occasionally painful, and (my wife would add) expensive.  

Ultimately, creating each costume provides an awesome experience: taking something from Keaton’s imagination and seeing it realized as we hit the streets with our kids leading the way. People are amazed and it is a great opportunity for us to let people know about SMA and MD. Absolutely the most rewarding thing is hearing my kids say along the way, "That's awesome, Dadda!!!"

OUR CURRENT EPIC COSTUME PROJECT

So this year I asked the question, and the challenge was issued. Keaton has chosen to be Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.  My immediate thought was, "Crap, how am I going to do this?  I can't afford a project this big!"

toothless
toothless

One late evening I was looking for ideas on how I could build Toothless.  I came across the Stan Winston School of character arts. 

Stan Winston School Screenshot
Stan Winston School Screenshot

Stan Winston is legendary in the special FX world.  His creations have been featured in movies like Jurassic Park, Terminator, and Iron Man.  He has created so many iconic creatures, costumes, and monsters for other films, and their school teaches anyone how to do it.

How does this apply to this costume?  Since Stan's death they have started an online school that teaches his methods.  His school teaches techniques than anyone with patience, time, and money can follow and get great results. No I'm not a special effects guru - just a nerdy nurse with an imagination! So this is going to be a huge help with the whole learning curve. This year I don't have to try to reinvent the wheel.

Specifically I will use the techniques taught by Ted Haines that show how to create creatures for low budget movies or costumes out of specialty foam.

Foam dinosaur before paint is applied
Foam dinosaur before paint is applied

This project is going to be more intense than any I have done to date. Each year our ability to make cooler, more epic projects improves, but there is a limit to what we can do with just our resources. The only way this level of awesomeness can see the light of day is through your help here on Kickstarter. 

Nearly Finished T-Rex head
Nearly Finished T-Rex head

The materials and specialty tools for this project have outgrown the humble capacity of the money tree we have planted in our back yard. Since I first started doing this, I've hoped to be able to create some more interest and fund bigger projects and be able to share the adventure and ability to create these projects with others. 

THE EPIC NUTSHELL

So here is the goal:  We need to raise money to purchase the specialty tools and materials needed to make an epic costume and be able to share that experience with all of you. Every penny of the $1,500 is needed for the tools and materials, and we need your help! I have the ability, the crazed look in me eye to create, and the motivation to get it done. I just need your help to fund the cost! 

Please sign up for one of the rewards, share this Kickstarter project on your Facebook feed, and help us reach our goals!

EPIC STRETCH GOALS

$2,000 (ACHIEVED!)

We reached the goal of $2,000. We will be creating a professionally produced video of the big day!  We will hire a local videographer to follow us across the whole day.  You will see firsthand the joy of this magic day and the excitement that this project will bring to all the people that Keaton flies with!  We will post this video and share it with all our backers!

$3,000 (ACHIEVED!)

When we reach the goal of $3,000, we will hire an artist to make process drawings of the project and share it with everyone that donated at any level!  This will be a step-by-step picture guide drawn out in splendid 2D glory.  You will see all the steps I took to get it from my head to the streets of Oregon. 

$4,500 (ACHIEVED!)

Ladies and Gentlemen you blew it out of the park! At the foundation of this project is my children but ultimately I want to be able to build epic experiences for other kiddos too. At this level my children are good to go this year and next year and we can start building for others too! Everything from here on out goes to perpetuating this year after year. We can come back next year and Kickstart for other kiddos. The more we grow the more we can give!

$10,000 (Final Goal)

Again everything we earn above $4,500 will go toward future projects.  If we reach the goal of $10,000, then we will begin work on starting a 501c3 and make a dedicated charity where we can raise money for projects like this. We will lay the ground work for changing the face of what it means to be in a wheelchair at least for one epic night a year! We will raise awareness of Muscular Dystrophy, while bringing a large portion of epic joy to those that suffer with the difficulties that this disease brings. Help us grow and give. This is just the beginning!

Risks and challenges

This isn't my first project for Halloween. In fact this is the 5th one. Each have been varying degrees of difficulty and have been fabricated with different materials. This is a new medium for me, working with foam, so that is going to be a new challenge. However, each year I have been successful in meeting the Halloween deadline. Sometimes I have had to drop some of the bells and whistles I had intended to build into the project but I was able to get it done and get it done well. In the rare case that unforeseen challenges arise or the materials are harder to work with and I somehow miss the deadline I will pull through and finish what I started either way. If we don't get it into Halloween we will take it to local parades and make sure we share the love.

Again, not my first large costume project rodeo for the kiddos. I know what it takes to get the job done! I also have all of you supporting us and looking over my shoulder depending on an epic finished project!! That's all I need to get the job done! I will also have the support of you all on the elite Facebook page, offering encouragement and advice.

Thanks for your help!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1

    The virtual high five - thanks for the help! Thanks for taking the time and for helping us out. It ALL helps!

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    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    How to Train a Dragon: Get access to the exclusive "The Project - Keaton's Epic Adventure to Train a Dragon" Facebook page where we will post updates as the dragon is created.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Dragon Sighting: Get a super high resolution, digital, signed, professionally-taken portrait of Keaton the Viking Warrior on Toothless. Exclusive Facebook access and a high five are also in your future!

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    43 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Garb of the Dragon Trainer:
    All of the above rewards plus an epically cool T-shirt featuring a cartoon drawing of Keaton on toothless!

    Delivered in time for Christmas!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Dragon Patron:
    Get your Initials put on a stud of the dragon's saddle where all the world can see it as Keaton flies around the streets of Portland. We will take a high quality picture of it and send it to you as a memento! You will also get all the above rewards!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Feeding the Dragon:

    If you live in the area (within one hour of Portland, OR) we will come by, bring you dinner, and give you a hands-on look at the finished project! You will also receive access to the Facebook page, a signed photo, a T-shirt, and a donation of $50.00 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association!

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    Limited 3 backers
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  7. Select this reward

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

    Dragon Tamer:

    Buy the dragon costume created for this campaign for someone you know that would love to be a dragon tamer next Halloween!

    A lot of blood, sweat, and tears goes into these projects and there is only ONE. Our typical costumes have taken 100+ hours to create and this one we expect to take more! We will also donate $250.00 to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

    We will do freight shipping anywhere in the continental USA.

    P.S. You will also get the t-shirt, picture, and Facebook access.

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Funding period

- (14 days)