Charged is a feature length documentary film in the making. In 2011, Chef Eduardo Garcia was shocked with 2400 volts of electricity in a freak incident deep in Montana’s backcountry. Near death, alone and miles from help, Eduardo got up and took his first step towards what would ultimately be years of recovery and rehabilitation.
When Eduardo arrived at Salt Lake City’s Burn Trauma ICU, doctors said he was a dead man with a heartbeat. During the course of his recovery, Eduardo spent 48 days in the ICU. He had nine severe exit wounds and underwent 21 surgeries, which included the removal of four ribs and cutting away destroyed muscle mass from his torso, legs, arms and scalp. Doctors tried to save Eduardo’s left hand, but, when it came down to life or limb, they had to amputate the chef's hand and forearm.
While in the ICU, still fighting to keep his heartbeat going, Eduardo was dealt another shock: he had Stage 2 testicular cancer. Pending surgeries were put on hold and he returned to Montana to begin aggressive chemotherapy. Finally, after months of chemotherapy treatment, he returned to Salt Lake City to complete his surgeries.
Months before the incident, Eduardo’s long-term girlfriend, Jennifer Jane, left him after she received a shock of her own. Still struggling with the knowledge that Eduardo was not the man she thought he was, Jen sidelined her own recovery and immediately flew from England to be by his side. Jen was his primary caregiver throughout it all, by his side 24 hours a day in the ICU, documenting the initial months with her camera and supporting him through his recovery as those months turned into years.
Since his hospital release, Eduardo has become an athlete and speaker for the Challenged Athletes Foundation, has mastered the use of his prosthetic hook in the kitchen and is back exploring the great outdoors. As inspiring as his physical recovery is, it is just a small part of the transformation ignited by his traumatic injuries.
Charged is a survivor story, the survival of a man and a friendship. But it is about more than just surviving, it is about building stronger relationships and a better life after tragedy. It is about finding your best self so you can live life fully Charged.
Eduardo's bizarre story needs to be shared. It is a compelling and inspiring example of what it means to be human. What separates his story from other survival documentaries is that we have footage of Eduardo before his traumatic injury, Jen's raw behind the scenes footage from the hospital, and we’ve been filming throughout his recovery. We are still filming right now as Eduardo grows his food business, Montana Mex, becomes an inspirational speaker for the Challenged Athletes Foundation and continues to overcome his past and build better relationships. We will film Eduardo's inspiring life for the next six months to capture this next chapter in his recovery before delving into post-production. We hope to have a finished project by the summer of 2016. Upon completion, we will submit Charged to film festivals and then release the film to the world! Our goal is to create a riveting 90-minute documentary intended to inspire others, no matter their challenges, to live their life fully Charged. Eduardo said it best: "Being alive with a few handicaps is better than being dead. That's for sure. That's for damn sure!"
From Eduardo Garcia - Telling the Story and Making Change
By all accounts I should not be alive and sitting at my desk writing this today! Having my health and the clarity of mind to write these words and pursue my dreams fills me with such gratitude. As with most things in life, what happens on the outside is only a fraction of the complete picture, 90 percent of my story is about what lies beneath the surface. Reflecting back almost four years since that day in the woods, it is unmistakably clear that the pain and trauma I felt was not an event exclusive to me, but rather something that my family, friends, community and medical team also experienced. When I was wracked with pain so were they. As I struggled to survive, they were struggling right there with me.
The person I am today is not the result of one, two or three people’s efforts, but countless people all joining together to work as one supportive unit to help me rebuild my life. This documentary is about telling that 90 percent. It’s about giving credit to the team that is required to make it through a traumatic event, and the steps I made personally to be the strongest team player I could. My intention with this film is to give back. I have been given so much help, by so many. How can I repay that help? How can I say thank you? There are so many underlying layers to trauma, recovery, relationships and caring for others. I want to dig deep into my own bizarre experience and share the raw details of what survival and true recovery really look like. Through this intimate look at my own story I hope to help others recognize that we all have our mountains to climb, and to ignite within them the courage and commitment it takes to look honestly at ourselves and tackle our own challenges by the horns.
Many people do not manage to get back up after a traumatic injury. This is because it sucks and because it’s hard! A smile is one of the most powerful ways to say, “Yes, I will try. I can do this!” If this documentary brightens at least one face with a smile and sets off that spark of energy needed to embrace one’s own experience and start living life fully charged, then I will have succeeded in my mission to help others.
From the Director, Phillip Baribeau - About the Film
I met Eduardo and Jen five years ago when I worked with them on a trailer for their TV show called Active Ingredient. I could see right away that Eduardo had a huge passion for life, cooking and the outdoors. I shared his belief in living a healthy lifestyle and knew I had made a lifelong friend with whom I could explore Montana’s wilderness. The show was just about to sell when we got the bad news of Eduardo’s injury. During his time in the hospital, Jen took it upon herself to film his recovery with the idea to someday make a documentary. When Eduardo made it back to Montana, I started to follow him with my camera as he went through chemotherapy and began his journey to get back into his life through fly fishing, hiking, hunting and cooking. It was incredible to see him tackle all of his obstacles while keeping a positive attitude. Eduardo is reaching the stage in his life where he wants to give back, say thanks and use his tragedy to help others. I want to be there to film this journey and to see the effect he will have on everyone around him. His story is something worth sharing and will make a difference in people’s lives no matter what kind of struggles they are having. Please help us make this film happen!
We are fortunate to have footage from Eduardo’s life before his injury, while in the hospital and of the initial years of his recovery and rehabilitation. To complete his story, we need footage of where he currently is in his recovery journey. We plan to film his family, relationships, especially the connection between Eduardo and his primary caregiver Jen, and his involvement with the Challenged Athletes Foundation. The goal we are setting for this campaign will get us through principal photography. The next step will be to find private investors to cover our post-production costs that will require an editor, composer, color, audio mix and distribution.
The percentage breakdown: Professional Cinematographers: 37%, Production Expenses: 17%, Kickstarter’s Share and Incentives: 17%, Gear Rental: 13%, Computers/Servers: 10%, Legal Fees: 6%.
Connect with Us!!!
For all updates, behind the scenes info and more, follow us on:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/chargedfilm
- Instagram: @chargedfilm
- Twitter: @chargedthefilm
Our website www.chargedfilm.com is coming soon!
Thank you for helping us make this film!
Thank you so much for your support on this project! It is impossible to put into words how much your support means to us, thank you for helping us make a film that will have a positive impact in the real world. We hope you like the rewards we have put together and hopefully they will give you an idea of how grateful we are that you've joined our team!
How does Kickstarter work?
Kickstarter is a funding platform dedicated to making creative projects possible with direct support. When you back our project, you’re saying that this is a film you want made. We’ve chosen Kickstarter because it’s designed to make donating as convenient as possible and we ourselves enjoy supporting projects on this platform. Here’s how it works: We set a funding goal. Our supporters make pledges. If we reach our goal, your pledge will be processed by Kickstarter, and we can get to work. If we don’t reach our goal, our supporters will not be charged for their pledge. It’s all or nothing. Please help us make it an all! :)
Resources We Love
If you know someone who is affected by anything in this project please reach out to the fantastic organizations listed below:
The Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) www.challengedathletesfoundation.com - CAF’s Mission: It is the mission of the Challenged Athletes Foundation® (CAF) to provide opportunities and support to people with physical challenges, so they can pursue active lifestyles through physical fitness and competitive athletics. CAF believes that involvement in sports at any level increases self-esteem, encourages independence and enhances quality of life.
First Descents (FD)
www.firstdescents.com - FD's Mission: Provide life-changing outdoor adventures for young adults (age 18-39) impacted by cancer.
Risks and challenges
The next chapter in Eduardo and Jen’s story is happening right now and we don’t want to miss this important part of their recovery journey. Currently we are shooting on our own time, hoping our Kickstarter campaign will come through so that we can keep our production going. We have a proven production team, having just finished the award-winning film Unbranded. With your help, we are confident we can produce an inspirational, high quality film.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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