Thunderdome is a feature length documentary that follows the true story of Rob Lehr, a man haunted by death who chose to engage life rather than escape it. It is a film about how the power of community helps us deal with the tragedies and difficulties in our life.
This film follows Rob as he builds a Nerf battlefield in his backyard, immerses himself in Humans Vs Zombies, and how all that helped him to cope with PTSD after a deadly plane crash.
After surviving a deadly plane crash in Africa,
Rob came back to the United States consumed by deep depression and PTSD. Video gaming became an all engulfing addiction as Rob looked for an ultimate escape from his pain.
After friends pushed him to find less destructive ways to deal with his struggles, a creative therapy project that began with painting murals on every available space in his house evolved into transforming his entire house and backyard into a nerf blasting zone.
Through the friends, neighbors and local college students who were soon gathering for evenings of nerf warfare, Rob was introduced to the college phenomenon Humans vs. Zombies, a live action game fought with Nerf blasters that mimics a zombie apocalypse.
As Rob fought to survive as a human in these fictitious battles, he was struck by the parallel to his real life struggle with his own mortality.
Our first stretch goal is for $10,000. With that extra $1,500, Rob will submit Thunderdome to the NACA conferences. These conferences have been the most effective at booking college screenings of our film What Matters? Documentary around the country and we want to continue touring this film around as well.
With the extra $1,500, we could submit to all the conferences and pay the entry fee for at least one if we get selected. Getting on campuses, showing the film, helping start Nerf clubs and challenging the audience to "Face their fears & Build their Dreams" is our ultimate goal!
Thunderdome had become much more than a place of intensely focused nerf battles; it was a place of community. Students struggling with depression, suicidal tendencies, destructive habits, or loneliness found a place where they were accepted, where they had a common purpose to bond over.
The Thunderdome community was literally saving lives by offering people the healing power of acceptance. In the end, Rob’s goal has become challenging anyone who walks through the Thunderdome drawbridge that “There is so much to live for.”
Directed by Rob Lehr, Produced by Dan Parris
Featuring MSU Live Action Society and the Thunderdome Community. Made in collaboration with Speak Up Productions. Music by Starship Amazing, Visual Effects by Cherokee Turner of Avid Productions 479.
If you show up at Thunderdome on a Tuesday night, you will be invited into a few adrenaline laced hours of Humans vs. Zombies nerf battles. Thunderdome was built as a nerf-blasting arena, but it has transcended that. Thunderdome is a place where people find that they are not alone in their struggles, whether it be addictions, loneliness, depression or feeling like a misfit.
Thunderdome has been Rob’s saving grace and he is willing to do anything to bring people into it. Thunderdome transcends the nerf community. It is about telling people that what they do actually matters. Don’t waste your life. There is so much to live for.
“If it wasn’t for this group of people, not only myself, but a lot of other people would not be here today…. Nerf and Thunderdome saved me” – Harry
“When I die, I want there to be nothing left of my potential” - Rob
"It isn’t that Nerf is for kids… It’s that it’s okay for you to be a kid." - Drac
Risks and challenges
All projects have some level of risk, and ours is no different.
But at this point, Rob and the team have worked on this for over a year and half and have exhausted a lot of their resources. But this shouldn't stop us from increasing the magnitude of this film's reach.
This money goes to editing a final cut, color correction, motion graphics, film festivals, conferences, creating and duplicating the DVDs, etc
With your pledges, we will be able to make that happen.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)