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A driven perfectionist suffers a career crisis and goes on a cinematic quest that forces her to confront her child refugee past.
A driven perfectionist suffers a career crisis and goes on a cinematic quest that forces her to confront her child refugee past.
A driven perfectionist suffers a career crisis and goes on a cinematic quest that forces her to confront her child refugee past.
81 backers pledged $7,601 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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The Story

A highly successful but disillusioned financial exec leaves her job and sets out on a cinematic quest to India where she falls down the proverbial rabbit hole as the project unravels. Berni discovers the real purpose of her journey as the film becomes her story of courage, vulnerability and the search for her true self.

Berni’s Journey in Wanderland is a narrative reminiscent of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth hero’s journey in a real-life “Alice in Wonderland” adventure. Berni is a married mother of two children who flew in the face of convention to reach for a dream she once thought impossible. She went to India to film a documentary about a group of conference speakers from North America, but the production doesn't go as planned. In a pivotal moment with a cobra, the camera focuses in on Berni's reaction as she uncovers her real fear.

In this turning point, the Conference Speakers become sympathetic mentors to help Berni on her journey. Berni’s fears began as a child refugee who evacuated from Saigon during the Vietnam War and again from Iran during the anti-Shah revolution. Fears that are the foundation of Berni’s complicated character as she overcomes childhood trauma and perfectionism as a control-freak adult.

Through Berni's story, the film serves as a mirror for us to reflect on universal themes of searching for happiness, living authentically and following our heart to pursue a dream. All of us have our own journey we  embark on to find purpose. This film is meant to inspire you to answer the call of adventure and to become the hero of your own story. 

Why We Need Your Help

The documentary’s message is relevant and universal. It is meant for viewers to see themselves and what they want to accomplish. Help make this dream project come true so that others can be inspired to live their passions without being derailed by the expectations of others. With your contributions, this film can reach out to many people who need assistance cleansing the lens and uncovering the hero within. If something resonates for you in this message, think about why and how you interpret the message in accordance with your own life. The amount doesn't matter, what matters is that we reach as many people as possible.

We were fortunate to have a Director of Photography who captured incredible images of colorful India. Principal photography is done, and now we need help to finish the film. We have an award-winning writer who wrote a wonderful script and an incredibly talented award-winning editor. The funds from this campaign will be used toward post-production:

  • logging
  • transcribing
  • script-writing
  • teaser trailer
  • editing
  • stock footage expenses
  • music scoring (does not include licensing)
  • color correction
  • sound mixing

The Impact

We want this film – and this campaign – to be an interconnected human experience. That we want to help people become aware of their inner passions and confront their fear of the unknown to pursue and act on their dreams. We believe that the world could be a happier place if more people are able to let go of the expectations of others and embark on the journey they dream of.

This is on the last day of shooting in India and one of my favorite moments of the production. These are Hindu students in Rishikesh who asked me to autograph their books after we filmed them reciting from the Bhagavad Gita.
This is on the last day of shooting in India and one of my favorite moments of the production. These are Hindu students in Rishikesh who asked me to autograph their books after we filmed them reciting from the Bhagavad Gita.

Other Ways You Can Help

Everyone has a unique story, and we want to hear yours. If the trailer and the message resonated with you, we would love to know why. Tell us if you saw your own experience reflected in it by sending your story to bernisjourney@gmail.com. If you feel like you've followed your dream, we would like to know what caused you to become aware of it and what were the first steps you took toward implementing it. At the end of the film, we would like to add videos of our contributors talking about their experience. 

A Special Reward

We want to highlight one reward that is really important to us. At the $1,000 level, we are offering this beautiful original acrylic paint on a 36"x 36" canvas created by Denver artist Laurie Maves especially for the film. She is an amazing artist, and you can watch her working on this piece in this timelapse video.

Original painting by Laurie Maves
Original painting by Laurie Maves

Risks and challenges

We are thrilled about our supporters who have donated to the first campaign! It is essential that donations transfer to the new campaign so that we have funds to meet the picture lock deadline of November 1, 2013.

The film's committed crew is determined to complete the film so we are moving forward with the post-production calendar. Post production involves logging the footage (listing clips), transcribing (typing out dialogue) scripting, composing music and editing to pull everything together.

Logging, transcribing and the script are completed. We just had a successful session to record voiceover. Three additional music tracks are needed for the film so it depends on how quickly these pieces can be composed, but that should not delay the editing. Editing is planned in two stages based on the initial funding and is the most expensive budget item in post-production. The quality of the final product depends on the cost of each editing stage. The sound mixing and color correction make a huge difference. It's like a cake without frosting. Tastes ok but doesn't look pretty and certainly not as delicious!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Call to Adventure: You are becoming aware of something bigger than yourself, and you are ready to embark on your adventure. Thus, you will receive a thank you posted on Twitter and Facebook with name recognition.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Crossing the Threshold: You have crossed the threshold from the world of comfort into a new world of mystery and adventure. You will receive a "Berni's Journey in Wanderland" screensaver to remind you of the vastness of the universe and to keep on being courageous. Plus everything from the previous level.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Apotheosis: You now realize your purpose in life, expanding your consciousness to see the world in a new way. You will receive an HD download of "Berni's Journey in Wanderland." Plus everything from the previous levels.

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    18 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Seize the Sword: You are ready to spread your new perception of life with others. Receive a "Berni's Journey in Wanderland" T-Shirt and an autographed movie poster. Plus everything from the previous levels.

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    19 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    The Magic Flight: You are returning home from your journey. Receive an autographed DVD copy of "Berni's Journey in Wanderland." Plus everything from previous levels.

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    5 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Master of Two Worlds: You are now able to balance you everyday life with the life you dream of. Receive autographed movie transcripts and a "Berni's Journey in Wanderland" coffee table book of beautiful production stills from the movie. Plus everything from previous levels.

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    0 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Freedom to Live: Your journey is complete and you are ready to help others on their own journey. Receive a VIP invitation to the Denver Premier of "Berni's Journey in Wanderland" and an invitation to dine with Berni and her cast & crew at a fabulous dinner to get all the behind the scenes dish! Plus everything from previous levels.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Art Imitates Life: For your support, you will receive the Laurie Maves original acrylic paint on a 36"x36" canvas, created especially for the film. It's one of a kind. Plus everything from the previous levels.

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (21 days)