Levi Leipheimer has stood atop the podium of cycling’s most celebrated contests: The Tour de France. The Olympics. The USA Pro Challenge. The Amgen Tour of California. The Vuelta a Espana. The Tour de Suisse. But beyond the race coverage lies a man whose impact on those around him is even more notable. From the millions in charity work to the reshaping of his hometown, he’s done it all nearly silently. Until now.
The Levi Effect is the true story of professional cyclist Levi Leipheimer who left behind the mountains of Butte, Montana for a life of cramped hotels, endless traveling, and shovelfuls of pasta across two continents. Many talented young athletes do the very same, but few can make a home for themselves amongst the agonizing competition of a grueling sport. After years of struggling against the world’s top athletes, Levi finally earned a spot in their ranks. Now, at the apex of his career, he finds himself in a place that he’d never considered: that his greatest legacy may not be his racing success on the bike, but rather how he’s carried that success off the bike and captured the hearts of fans around the world. In the end, Levi’s unlikely impact on the lives of those around him; the community he unwittingly created, will eclipse the headlines and the flashbulbs of his racing career.
Many films have been made about professional athletes over many years. But few have reached beyond their subject’s successes and revealed the tangible human components of those people. This film is about understanding a person beyond a dream of athletic success, about somebody who discovered a passion along the way, and how that’s manifested in himself and those around him.
Because we have become so passionate about what we are doing with this film, we’ve opted to distribute it in an entirely unlikely way. Instead of selling this movie to thousands of people, we’ve decided to give it away. For free.
We struggled with distribution and marketing, licensing and every other complex component of making a movie before we realized that, in order to follow through on what inspired us to make the film in the first place, we needed to get this film out as far and as wide as we possibly could. It’s not enough for a cycling fan in California to watch this movie; we want that kid outside Jakarta to watch it on his phone. We want gauchos in Argentina to watch it on laptops. We want people to huddle around screens in Rwanda to watch it at the local internet cafe. We want people to revel in the athleticism, whether they ride bikes or not. We want them to see themselves in Levi’s story, whether they’ve long realized that potential or have yet to achieve it. We want them to be inspired to invest in those around them to make the world a better place, if only by the barest of increments.
And we need your help to do that.
Please support this campaign and help us finish a movie that’s nearly across the finish line. Music licensing, race footage, and final edits have yet to be financed, but once done, we can potentially put this inspiring story into the hands of millions, regardless of their means or their location.
The Levi Effect is nearly complete. Help us to shout this story from our rooftops to the entire world.
WHAT WE’VE GOT SO FAR
We’ve spent the last couple of years cataloging Levi’s life at events like the Amgen Tour of California, the US Pro Cycling Challenge, the Tour de France, and the Leadville 100. We’ve collected race footage from his entire career including teams like Gerolsteiner, Discovery Channel, Astana, RadioShack, and even now in 2012 with Omega Pharma-Quickstep. Most importantly, we’ve reached out to his friends and contemporaries, including people like Patrick Dempsey, Jens Voigt, Andy Schleck, Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, on top of those of whom you may not have heard, those people who equally, if not moreso, demonstrate the Levi Effect. Behind-the-scenes access has (thankfully) been the norm, but never more than at Levi’s home, where he’s been uncharacteristically open to the camera.
Kickstarter is the largest funding platform for creative projects in the world. Every month tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, art, film, technology, design, food, and other creative fields. Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE DON’T REACH OUR GOAL
If we don't raise enough money to reach our goal, we don't get anything. Not one red cent. Donors pledge the amounts, but they don't actually pay until the goal is reached and the funding deadline has passed. So, the heat is indeed on. We ask you not only to pledge, but to tell your friends about your excitement for this project. Use Facebook and Twitter, email this Kickstarter link to interested friends, or, incredibly, actually tell people face-to-face what you think. Want to help in other ways? Shoot us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll figure something out, we promise.
WHY WE’RE GOING TO REACH OUR GOAL
We firmly believe in the power of this film and in the inspiring quality of Levi to generate that last bit of support to get this documentary out into the world. But we’re not about to let hope alone be our fundraising strategy. We got Levi to kick down from his own collection of cycling memorabilia to those who invest in this movie. We’re confident that we’ve got the best incentives ever seen in the annals of Kickstarter; at least that was the standard when we starting chasing these things down. We’ve even cooked up a short film of him explaining in his own words what’s up for grabs, including his Olympic road bike.
In the end, this is as much your film, your story, as it is ours. We hope people are going to understand that and support it simply because of the potential to see an element of themselves in there.
LINKS FOR MORE INFORMATIONOfficial Social Media:
Who is Levi Leipheimer?:Official Website:Filmmaker Information:WHAT YOUR SUPPORT FUNDS:
There are a range of prices associated with various aspects of the film. And many of them are dependent on the budget we have to spend. At a minimum, we need to meet our goal. But an over-funded project would be a spectacular thing for this documentary, and it would allow us to take things beyond the finish line.
- License the rights to additional race footage of the Tour de France and other European races that are pivotal in Levi’s racing career. Approximately ~$15,000 depending on the size cuts we’re able to acquire.
- Music licensing for an effective and powerful soundtrack. ~$12,000.
- Produce the final trailer. ~$3,500.
- Final behind-the-scenes footage at 2012 events and races to give this documentary the most current conclusion possible--this is especially important given his injuries after being hit by a car in Spain in early April and the resulting struggle to return to racing. ~$25,000.
- Marketing and public relations costs, in order to insure that a good film gets seen by the millions of people we intend to reach around the world ~$15,000.
- Editing and final production of over 100 hours of footage by a team of professional editors working into the wee hours of the night for almost two solid months. ~$80,000. Price will vary as we’re able to continue making things better.