About this project
Hello. My name is Andy Phelps, and I love telling stories. Just so happens the story of my life is a bit funny, tragic, and all-around curious...and it's about time I tell it.
I grew up in a small farm town in Central Michigan, and from a young age, I was unusually talented at many things. I was gifted at woodworking, and I was captain of a champion hockey team. I road my motorcycle across the country, juggled knives, played football, rode a unicycle, and even breathed fire...all before turning 16.
At the age of 16 I broke my neck. Though I eventually regained movement in my arms, my hands and legs were irreversibly paralyzed. I have not juggled, played hockey, or built a single thing out of wood in 14 years.
And yet, I've been incredibly busy.
At the age of 18 I decided to run away. Not to join the circus (as I had previously planned), but to go to film school. I moved from Michigan to Florida, and graduated with honors from my film academy. Afterward I came back to Michigan, where I've resided since, working on everything from 30 second commercials to feature films while balancing the ceaseless struggles that go along with a life of paralysis.
Now I'm being featured in a short documentary called Juggle & Cut. This film explores my story in a non-traditional and artistic fashion. It was directed by Caleb Slain, the multi-award winning director of It Ain't Over and The Lost & Found Shop. Slain spent the last year touring the festival circuit with his films, and aims to bring Juggle & Cut to the most prestigious festivals around the world. The edit of the film is complete (nearly done!), but we need to do a professional sound mix and color correction to ensure the story is told on a world-class level. Other costs we need include festival submission fees, web design, and the like.
I couldn't be more stoked with how the documentary turned out, but there's far more to my story than can be told in 13 minutes. That's why I've spent the past two years writing my autobiography, "It Never Ends." The book takes a deep, intimate look into the struggles I've faced and overcome: everything from losing loved ones at a young age, depression, video game addiction, sexual abuse, dependence on prescription drugs, and lots and lots of bad luck. The book ranges from many awkward and hilarious interactions I've faced to intense periods of suffering. Like the film, the book is nearly done. I've been working with an editor for the past six months, and after I touch up a few more chapters, I'll hand it over to him for the final polish. I'm on track to self-publish next spring, and the money that I'm raising through Kickstarter will cover marketing, web design, and creating a beautiful brand for the book.
Storytelling is something Slain and I have dedicated our lives to. And since we know people want to hear good stories, we hope you'll support our cause and share this project with your friends and family. To finish the projects, we need a bare-minimum of $13,000. We've already put forth a ton of effort and time into getting this film prepared for the festival circuit, and it goes without saying that I've spent a ton of time writing a 275+ page book, but we feel Juggle & Cut and It Never Ends have a lot to offer people.
Risks and challenges
Even though we're proud and excited for how Juggle & Cut turned out, as with any film, there is always the risk it won't be accepted into the festivals we're aiming for, or even be met favorably by audiences. We ultimately can't control how people respond to the film, but we're pouring our tireless effort into being the best it can be. We've worked with our colorist and sound mixer on various projects, and fully believe in their abilities to deliver the quality we seek, but it is never easy to complete a post master and challenges always arise. At the moment, we are scheduled to complete sound and color before the end of the month and begin our festival submission process, but should we run into challenges in the post workflow, we may be forced to delay submission until November.
Since It Never Ends is going to be self published, there's a chance no one will hear about it and it'll fall flat on it's face. To overcome this challenge, we've created a detailed marketing campaign with an acclaimed designer that has the potential to reach thousands of people. Obviously this comes with a treasure chest of challenges (considering neither of us has ever promoted a book), but part of this Kickstarter is dedicated to securing the counsel of those more experience in social marketing. It's not going to be an easy road, but we're committed to telling this story with beauty.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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