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A feature documentary that follows swimming phenom Missy Franklin and teammate Kara Lynn Joyce as they prepare for the London Olympics.

We MADE IT!!  Thanks to everyone for their support, and efforts.

And though our Kickstarter Campaign has ended, you can still support the film at our website www.touchthewall.com

You can get many of the rewards we offered here, and other cool stuff.

Thanks to all of our backers!!

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A New Reward - a HIGH PERFORMANCE SWIM CAMP WITH OLYMPIC COACH DAVID MARSH

David Marsh his and 2012 Olympians and staff
David Marsh his and 2012 Olympians and staff

For swimmers looking to dramatically improve their swimming comes a HIGH PERFORMANCE SWIM CAMP WITH OLYMPIC COACH DAVID MARSH.

David, one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history (Auburn), a three time Olympic Coach (most recently in 2012) and the head coach of SwimMAC Carolina, was the coach who brought Kara to her third Olympic games in London (and four other swimmers, including Gold Medalist Cullen Jones and Silver Medalist Nick Thoman). Throughout the years, David has brought 24 swimmers to the Olympics. Will you be next?

Available at the $2000 pledge level.  See the rewards section for more details.

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Sneak Peak - Missy hasn't changed ... kinda ... 

The Pressures of being a celebrity weigh on Missy, but with a little help from her friends, she hasn't changed.

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Dave Marsh and Swimmac Carolina

Kara joined David Marsh's Elite Performance Group at Swimmac Carolina in April 2012.  When she arrived, she learned that life without salsa is boring.

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Sneak Peak: Stars in Florida

Here's a little excerpt of what we're working on (we've got a lot of things we're working on) ... 

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Destination: London

Missy getting her gold medal for the 200m Backstroke, London 2012
Missy getting her gold medal for the 200m Backstroke, London 2012

On the evening of Saturday August 4, 2012, 17 year-old Missy Franklin won her fourth Gold medal of the London Olympic Games when she swam the backstroke leg of the women’s 4x100 medley relay. It was Missy’s second world record of the Olympic games; it was her 5th Olympic medal. It was a crowning moment for swimming’s brightest new star and end of a chapter of her marvelous journey.

That Saturday was also the end of her teammate Kara Lynn Joyce’s long and productive Olympic career. And though she finished with four Silver medals, making it to her third Olympics was her greatest accomplishment. 

early morning Stars practice at Lowery pool
early morning Stars practice at Lowery pool

The plights of Missy and Kara – and that of their coach, Todd Schmitz – is the story of Touch the Wall, a feature-length documentary we’ve been making for the last two years.  Over this time we shot 400 hours of footage - of swim meets, practices, relaxing at home, swimming with dolphins - as we dove deep into the world of elite competitive swimming.

Why Kickstarter?

We’ve managed to get the film through 2 years of production, but now we need funds to carry us through editing. Missy has vowed to stay amateur independent, and she's turned down millions of dollars to stay true to herself and her dreams. 

We aim to do the same … stay independent and true to our story. (We wish we had millions of dollars to turn down.) Staying independent means that we can tell the story of Missy, Kara, and Todd without the pressure of corporate sponsors.

Stars Practice inside at Grandview Pool
Stars Practice inside at Grandview Pool

What’s Special About This Film?

Lots. 

In a world starved for heroes, Missy and Kara stand tall. Just because someone is athletically gifted and excels at a sport doesn't necessarily make them a good role model. The media is saturated with seemingly endless stories of athlete scandals, and countless children are disappointed every year as their idols fall. In contrast, Missy and Kara’s journey to Olympic success is one of the value of hard work, dedication, and friendship. It’s a story that parents can watch with their children, confident that the messages from the film are positive and inspiring.

It's extremely rare to find someone as good as Missy is, and as generous and authentic as she is.  Granted, she's only a teenager, and time is the best story teller.  But few people are as prepared to weather the stresses of success and fame as Melissa Franklin.  

Missy’s story is becoming known – an all-American teenager who, when she’s not dominating her competition can be found doing her homework, hanging out with her friends, and or just having fun at whatever she’s doing. And she possibly might just be the nicest person on the planet. 

 As, for Kara, she has long had the reputation as one of the sport’s hardest workers … and most respected athletes. And she’s a killer in the pool, too. Touch the Wall is the story of how these two amazing women got to where they are. It’s also a story of family, of discipline, of loving what you do, and having fun.

on the blocks for the 100m free finals, Conoco Phillips National Championships 2011
on the blocks for the 100m free finals, Conoco Phillips National Championships 2011

What We Need

We need about $110k to get through editing. 

We need more - a good deal more - to finish the film, but this Kickstarter money will get us a rough cut.  

If we're lucky enough to raise more, we’ll put it towards licensing music, working on graphics and sound, and getting rights to the very expensive Olympic footage.  That’ll run us another few hundred thousand dollars more, at least. But first things first – edit the film.

What We Need, in detail

We need funds to carry us through post. Here’s a rough breakdown of the rest of our budget: 

Post - $110k

  • $75k - Editor(s) 
  • $20k - Assistant Editors
  • $15k - Other stuff like rent, insurance, and late night pizzas 

Music & Sound : $150k

  • $50k - pop music licenses (Call Me Maybe, etc.)
  • $50k Soundtrack & composer 

Archival Footage : $300k

  • $250k Olympic and Archival Footage (global release) Zowie!!
  • $50k Other Stuff 

Yep, that's a lot of coins.  Nobody said making a film was cheap.  But if we can just get through editing, we should be able to find further funds to finish the film.

Stuff We Want to Give You

As is the custom with Kickstarter, we've arranged to provide rewards for your support.  Some of them are below:

We have two T-Shirts to chose from.  One is a super cool Black T-Shirt that every swimmer will recognize:

Follow the Black Line, y'all.
Follow the Black Line, y'all.

or this fetching white T-Shirt:

It's fetching, isn't it?
It's fetching, isn't it?

Or this full size glamour poster of Missy reaching for the wall.

Touch the Wall Glamour Poster, Signed by Missy Franklin
Touch the Wall Glamour Poster, Signed by Missy Franklin

While we were in Florida, we were lucky enough to be introduced to world-famous underwater photographer Stephen Frink.  He jumped in the pool and took some pix of Missy and Kara.  We can offer some of his work here in the form of limited edition fine-art prints:

Limited Edition Stephen Frink Photo - Missy the Missile
Limited Edition Stephen Frink Photo - Missy the Missile
Limited Edition Stephen Frink Photo - "Dive"
Limited Edition Stephen Frink Photo - "Dive"

That's not all.  You'll also have a chance to race Kara in the pool - just you and a 9-time NCAA champion - head-to-head, lane-to-lane.  Or get a swim clinic with her.

If you're really motivated, you can become a producer of the film in one of two exclusive categories.  You'll be a real hotshot, and will have awesome bragging rights.

Check out the rewards on the right to see all of them.  More are sure to be added.

You 

We hope you can support us financially. If you can’t, you can help by getting the word out about this film, and what it stands for.   Thanks for your support.

the girls in the pool
the girls in the pool

Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Film is an inherently risky endeavor, and this project is no different.

Risk for films like this fall into three categories: getting the film shot; getting the film put together; and getting the film distributed, and seen.

Grant and Christo took most of the first risk by gathering those 400 hours of Missy and Kara.

We're currently in the second category of risk - getting the film edited. Given the significant interest in this project from distributors, this second area holds the most risk. We absolutely must get the film finished, and with your support, we will.

There are still deadlines to make, shark-infested waters to navigate, and an audience to find and connect with.

Most of our challenges are up to us - craft a good and nuanced film that inspires, and reveals something about us all. And really, that's quite a challenge.

But it's mostly in our hands, if we can get through editing.

And with your support, we will.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    24 backers

    FOUNDATION BACKER - As a backer of Touch the Wall you'll be party to the effort to bring Missy's and Kara's stories to the screen. You'll have our undying, heartfelt thanks. And you'll be part of something pretty cool.

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    CREDIT IN THE FILM - You'll get a hearty thanks from us ... in the form of a your name in the credits. You'll also get bragging rights that you were the one who made this film great.

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    CREDIT & MONTH OF GOSWIMTV.COM - In addition to Bragging rights and a Credit in the film, you'll also get a free month of swim videos and instruction from our friends at GoSwim.tv. See instructional videos from none other than Kara Lynn Joyce, among many others. Yipee!!

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    DOWNLOAD the FILM - In addition to credit in the movie and a free month of GoSwimtv, you'll get a downloadable copy of the film when it's finished and ready for VOD release (probably three months after it comes out in theaters.)

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    122 backers

    FOLLOW the BLACK LINE T-SHIRT of the Movie Logo - In addition to Credit, a month of GoSwim, and a download of the film, you'll be able to put on this hip T-Shirt with the Touch the Wall Black line.

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    FULL COLOR T-SHIRT - In addition to Credit, a month of GoSwim, and a download of the film, you'll be able to put on this full color T-Shirt with the Missy reaching to Touch the Wall.

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    DOWNLOAD of the FILM, SPECIAL EDITION - In addition to all of the above (including your choice of either the black or white T-Shirt), you'll get a super special edition of the film, with all the fun extra scenes we couldn't include in the film. You'll be the one in the "know" about what really went on when the camera were rolling.

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    SIGNED PHOTO OF MISSY FRANKLIN - yep, a photo of the girl signed by none other than Missy herself. Reward comes with Credit, GoSwim, Download of Film (Special Edition), as well.

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    24 backers

    SIGNED PHOTO of MISSY AND KARA in the pool. An awesome 11x14 photo of Kara and Missy hangin' in the pool in CO. Signed by both of them. Reward comes with Credit, GoSwim, Download of Film (Special Edition), as well.

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    SIGNED POSTER of the FILM - In addition to a credit, a month of GoSwimTv, and a Download of the film (Special Edition), you'll get a poster of the film to hang in your bedroom, local pool, or Dad's office.

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    2 backers Limited (98 left of 100)

    FITTER AND FASTER TOUR - In addition to a credit, a month of GoSwimTv, a Download of the film (Special Edition), and a SIGNED POSTER OF THE FILM to hang in your bedroom or pool, you'll get admission to the Swim Outlet FITTER AND FASTER TOUR at any location around the country. The Swim Outlet FITTER AND FASTER TOUR is the pre-emiminent swim clinic to improve your swimming. You can learn from Olympic swimmers (like our own Kara Lynn Joyce) and spend some Q time with them in the pool. A must for any serious swimmer!

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    22 backers Limited (3 left of 25)

    SIGNED STARS SWIM CAP - In addition to Credit, GoSwim, Download of Film (Special Edition), and a signed photo of Missy, you'll receive one of the authentic Colorado Stars Swim caps, signed by Missy and her coach, Todd Schmitz.

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    30 backers

    The WHOLE SHEBANG! - This reward is a collection of goodies - in addition to credit, a month of GoSwim, one of each of our T-Shirts, and a signed picture from Missy - you'll get a film poster signed by both KARA and MISSY to hang in your bedroom, local pool, or Dad's office. You'll have all the gear, and will be the talk of your friends.

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    A PRIVATE SWIM LESSON with our own 4-time Olympic Silver Medalist (and co-star of the film) KARA LYNN JOYCE at your pool in Denver, Colorado at a time to be mutually arranged. You'll also receive a credit, a month of GoSwim, and a Download of the Film (Special Edition), as well. Yippee!!

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    3 backers Limited (22 left of 25)

    STEPHEN FRINK ORIGINAL PHOTO: MISSY THE MISSILE - Grab a signed, limited edition print from famed underwater photographer Stephen Frink. On Museum quality paper and archival inks. Signed by the artist and Missy Franklin.

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    11 backers

    the WHOLE SHEBANG! & VIP TIX TO THE PREMIERE - In addition to the WHOLE SHEBANG! package above, you'll get two free tickets to the premiere screening in Denver, and two tickets to the VIP section at the screening. And we'll tell you that you're very important.

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    HIGH PERFORMANCE SWIM CAMP WITH AN OLYMPIC COACH offered by DavidMarsh Performance group - an incredible opportunity to take your swimming to the next level. Here it is ... a Very Special Reward - An intensive performance camp constructed to take swimmers out of their comfort zone and onto a higher, more conscious level. David Marsh, one of the winningest coaches in NCAA history (Auburn), a three time Olympic Coach most recently in 2012 and the head coach of SwimMAC Carolina, was the coach who brought Kara to her third Olympic games. With his revolutionary methods and personalized approach to swimming, Coach Marsh has guided more than 24 swimmers to the Olympics. This is a man who knows swimming. Coach Marsh has devised an intensive program guiding motivated athletes along an intentional pathway for excellence in swimming. Over the course of three days he and his staff will analyze, devise, and guide swimmers through a customized approach, enhancing stroke technique and performance. Camp takes place in Charlotte, North Caroline from June 12-15. Swimmers will also get a free month of GoSwim, a free download of the film (Special Edition), a T-shirt, and a signed poster. Limited to a max of 8 swimmers, this will be a very special, hands-on camp for serious swimmers. ***Travel and accommodations are not included.***

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    RACE AGAINST a 9-TIME NCAA SPRINT CHAMPION! - Kara won the NCAA 50 & 100m free championships 4 years in a row, and was the only person - male or female - to win the 50, 100, & 200 free championship in the same year. So you know she's totally awesome at this. Here's your chance to take her on in the pool. To be completed at a mutually agreed on time in a Denver-area pool. We'll all be there - Directors, et al, and we'll make sure a good time is had by all. Award also comes with credit, a month of GoSwim, and a Download of the Film (Special Edition). Bring it!

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    0 backers Limited (3 left of 3)

    SWIM CLINIC WITH OLYMPIC SWIMMER - 4-time Silver medalist and 9-time NCAA Sprint Champion, Kara Lynn Joyce, will come to your swim club and give a workshop. Kara's learned from some of the finest swim coaches out there - Todd Schmitz of the Stars, David Marsh of SwimMAC, Jack Bauerle of Georgia (2008 Olympic Team & U of Georgia coach), Teri McKeever, among others. Learn from the best. Airfare and lodging extra.

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    SUPPORTING PRODUCER - In addition to the WHOLE SHEBANG! package & 2 VIP tix to the premiere, you'll get a proper film credit in your own category.

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    1 backer

    CONTRIBUTING PRODUCER - In addition to the WHOLE SHEBANG! package & 2 VIP tix to the premiere, you'll get an even more impressive film credit in your own category. And we'll tell you how important you are, several times over, cause you will be.

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Funding period

- (60 days)