Soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are surviving brutal attacks from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), some without as much as a scratch. But the overpressure created in an explosion is producing adverse effects on Soldiers' brains. A 2008 Department of Defense study revealed that more than 20% of combat Veterans may have suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) while deployed. TBI can effect several areas of brain function, including cognitive impairment and behavioral distress. Because of the stigma attached to mental health in the military and the acute nature of diagnosis, particularly in a combat environment, 57% of Veterans with a suspected TBI avoid treatment. Beyond a difficult screening process, evidence-based treatments for combat TBI are limited. In the Vietnam War, injuries resulting in a TBI had a fatality rate of over 75%. In Afghanistan and Iraq the fatality rate is less than 25%. A consequence of modern combat's high rate of survival is that our nation is now tasked with the care of thousands of Veterans with complex and often invisible injuries.
Along Recovery is an intimate portrait of the signature wound of Afghanistan and Iraq. The film chronicles the TBI recovery process from the perspective of four Soldiers recently evacuated from combat operations. With unprecedented access inside the Brooke Army Medical Center, Along Recovery examines the exhaustive regimen of therapy each Soldier endures. Following months of treatment, the story continues as each Soldier enters an extensive medical evaluation that will determine their future--a return to the ranks or reintegration into civilian life.
More information on the film can be found at: www.alongrecovery.com
Beginning in March 2009, we filmed the recovery and daily lives of each of the four Soldiers in San Antonio and elsewhere. Principal shooting ended in February 2010, a point at which each of the Soldiers would be awaiting the results of a months-long medical review board that would determine their future in the military. In all, we shot 243 hours of High Definition footage at the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio and throughout the United States. We also have acquired combat footage from several Veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq that has never before been publicly distributed. Post-production began in Atlanta in April 2010 and continues at this time. The film will debut on the 2011 film festival circuit and we are currently pursuing theatrical, television, DVD and web-based distribution.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Thus far, the film has been independently financed through the personal savings producer Justin Springer earned serving in Iraq, grant money, and charitable contributions. In August 2009, we were awarded a highly competitive grant from the Austin Film Society-- http://www.austinfilm.org/Page.aspx.... Post-production is arguably the most expensive process of filmmaking. We have made every attempt to acquire post-production services from colleagues in-kind and at reduced rates. But in order to complete the film, we need a little KICKSTARTER! We would like to raise a minimum of $7500 to help cover the remaining costs of post-production. These funds will help with the cost of original music composition, sound mixing, color correction, and graphic design, all very important services. The funds will also help cover some costs of travel—we will be shooting some additional “epilogue” footage with each Soldier this fall during/after their medical discharge. $7500 will NOT cover all of our remaining costs, but we wanted to choose a reasonably attainable goal.
Having served alongside many Soldiers who sustained TBIs and other injuries in Iraq, I am extremely passionate about telling this story. Please help me by backing Along Recovery!
HOW TO BACK US (FOR KICKSTARTER VIRGINS)
1. Click on the green "Back This Project" button on the top right of the screen
2. Choose a "Reward" for backing us. Your reward is based on monetary amounts. We understand times are tough, and we truly appreciation ANYTHING you could offer (even if it is just an email telling us what you think about the film etc). Just $10 gets you a private website link to an extended preview of the film! (IPHONE/SMARTPHONE FRIENDLY)
3. Follow the instructions, you will be prompted to either create/enter your amazon.com account information. You can SECURELY donate/pledge with Credit/Debit/ATM Cards and other means.
4. Save money to donate by biking to work or carpooling with that attractive cubicle-mate or by not buying $5 lattes 7days/week.
5. You will ONLY be charged if I meet my MINIMUM goal of $7,500 by August 22, 2010.
6. Sleep well at night knowing that you helped us tell the remarkable story of four Soldiers recovering from both physical and mental combat wounds.
- (60 days)