About this project
SEE OUR FULL RESPONSE TO ONGOING RELIEF EFFORTS OF RECENT NATURAL DISASTERS IN OUR FAQ. "Please know, we had no intention of 'competing' with two major hurricanes (earthquakes) and multiple wild fires throughout the USA (and the world) during our campaign. By way of disclosure, we actually petitioned Kickstarter to allow an exception for us to donate some of our proceeds to the relief efforts but our petition was denied. We sincerely thank ALL of you for believing in this film enough to pledge your hearts out even with so many worthy causes to support. Unfortunately, there are no mulligans with Kickstarter. For our part, we launched a 30 day campaign on August 14th with the intent to finish it, just as we will make our concept short with the intent to leverage it into the full feature. In this light, we stand by the import of this undertaking. We are most honored for those pledges we have received and those we will yet receive to surpass our goal and beyond."
- Minimum Goal Achieved on 911, 2017!
- 3rd ALL-TIME Highest Funded Short Film on Kickstarter
- TOP 3% ALL-TIME Kickstarter Campaigns.
- TOP 1% ALL-TIME Film Kickstarter Campaigns.
- NUMBER 2 Hottest Live Kickstarter under Film/Video on Kicktraq.
- As featured on HUFFINGTON POST & KSL
PRESS: DOWNLOAD EPK HERE (updated 9-8-17)
STRETCH GOALS: $300,000 raised / 5,000 Backers
- Achieves the ALL-TIME Highest Funded and Highest Backed Short Film on Kickstarter.
- Unlocks 20 times the armor creation and a Visual Effects Battle Scene.
- Unlocks 150 more spots to be an Extra in our concept short.
- No pledges charged until the campaign closes (Sept. 14th).
- You can only pledge once per Kickstarter account. You can increase your pledge any time before the campaign closes (Sept. 14th).
Hello friend of liberty,
What if I said you could help our film ignite a worldwide Spirit of Freedom?
What if I told you one of the greatest struggles for liberty in America happened before the revolutionary war? What if I told you this great struggle was one of the most far-reaching war epics ever known? And what if this war epic features a hero 2000 years ago— A “strong and… mighty man” who rallied his country to the call of freedom and healed a fractured nation?
My name is Darin Southam. I’m the writer and creator of Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty. This is a period-action film, like Braveheart, but set in the 73 BC pre-Columbian New World. A humble soldier rises unexpectedly as the protector of a young republic. Now Chief Captain of a war-weary nation, Moroni defends his country with revolutionary prowess, but his greatest struggle will be uniting a beleaguered people.
Would you buy a ticket to this movie?
Welcome to the first Kickstarter for a major motion picture.
Here’s the plan. Budgets for major motion pictures are massive. But, if we do a concept film short (basically, a smaller version of the film but still blockbuster quality), that budget is a LOT smaller. And get this, the buzz we get from our concept short has a very high chance of funding our full feature. Here's a graphic to illustrate this:
Take a look at these films, all based on and made possible by concept film shorts:
So where does our story come from?
Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty is based on a book that’s sold over 120M copies worldwide. 5th best-selling book of all time. An additional 177M copies have been sold or given away by its original publisher. The United States Library of Congress held a nationwide survey where the public voted and chose this book as the “4th Most Influential book in America”. A book so acclaimed that a first edition copy recently sold at a New York Auction for a stunning $180,000.
SCROLL DOWN OR CLICK FOR 15 EPIC SHOWSTOPPERS ABOUT THIS BOOK!
So what is this book?
Our film is based on the Reign of the Judges in The Book of Mormon.
As unbelievable as it may seem, Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty stands to be the FIRST Book of Mormon war epic EVER made. This film is also the first of a planned trilogy. Like Star Wars, our story starts in the middle of the saga. Based on a controversial book with over 200M copies in circulation, Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty is most definitely a film for everyone. Here’s what an Atheist had to say on our Facebook:
On July 4th 2014 we launched and released the first 19 pages of our script publicly. Those 19 pages have been downloaded 7,000 times. Hundreds of supporters have asked for crowdfunding. But... after three years, some may ask is there really a market for our film? Absolutely. Let me give you another example: Marvel’s Deadpool with Ryan Reynolds.
Because Deadpool was so controversial, Reynolds worked for nearly a decade to get the green light. What made Marvel finally pull the trigger? A leaked concept short film that went viral. We’ll shoot our concept short as soon as our Kickstarter funds-- No leaking needed.
By this time next year, we could even be shooting our full feature:
We have over 24,000 Facebook followers. Our latest video update had over 100,000 combined views and over 1500 shares. Imagine what our audience will be by the time we release our full film at the box office.
We’ve contracted the renown FBFX Studio who made Wonder Woman's armor, Achilles armor in Troy, Gladiator, and more to make Captain Moroni's incredible armor. Here’s how it all breaks down:
Some war films today are made with 90% visual effects.
- At 150K we will be able to make Captain Moroni's amazing armor and deliver a powerful film short, but this tier doesn’t allow us to make a sweeping visual effects battle scene.
- At just 300K we can make 20 times the armor, build sets, and double our visual effects, providing you an amazing visual effects battle scene.
Now, let's reach higher for a moment.
- If we reach 1M, we don’t need any more armor than we did at 300K. This gives us 20 TIMES THE VISUAL EFFECTS. Think of how amazing our film short will look with twenty times the visual power! This tier also enables us to attract high-level cast, which will expand the reach of our film short dramatically.
For the visual folks, like me, we have a cool graphic below in the "How We Use The Money" section to break all this down.
As stated before, this is the first Kickstarter for a major motion picture. Your pledge today isn’t just for our concept short; your pledge is an affirmation of your support for our full feature. We have just 30 days to prove there’s an audience for Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty. We have 30 days to make a statement. . We have 30 days to make a statement. The more pledges we receive PAST our minimum goal, the louder the statement becomes.
This is a clarion call, far and wide, to all who have waited so many years for the first Book of Mormon war epic ever made. BUY YOUR TICKET TODAY.
What this means to me:
"I'll also confess, on a very personal level, the combined money and time my wife and I, as well as everyone who has worked with us so far, have given to this undertaking exceeds the minimum goal we’ve set. This has not discouraged or kept us from soldiering on. In fact, a year after we went public, my wife and I sold our home of eight years so we could continue pursuing this endeavor. It means that much to us. Everything we’ve done thus far has led us to this point. This, right now, is ALL or nothing. If we could fund this film ourselves, believe me, we would. But, even if we could, would this not rob you of the once-in-a-lifetime chance to become one of its creators? Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty is a mighty film that will inspire the world. I say unequivocally, it CAN be made. It MUST be made. Today, you and I insure it WILL be made."
Darin Southam (click to see film credits on IMDB)
Billy Badalato (click to see film credits on IMDB)
PS- Anyone with questions about this project, please contact me through the "connect with the creator" link. I'm happy to speak with you personally over the phone and answer any questions you may have.
We have two simple but extremely important goals with our campaign:
1. Raise $1M in Kickstarter pledges. Believe me, we know this is lofty, BUT reaching this goal will unleash the power to saturate our film short with blockbuster visual effects. Now, to put this into perspective, the going rate for visual effects on major motion pictures in Hollywood is $1M per script page! Wrap your head around that one for a minute. Thankfully, we're not paying the going rate but it's still the most costly part of our film short. At $1M, we can compete at the highest level, which will help us wake the sleeping giant of Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty fandom!
2. Prove, authoritatively, that Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty has a lively and robust audience. Even if all you have is a few bucks, anything you pledge will help us prove there's an active and zealous audience for our film.
KEEP SCROLLING DOWN FOR 15 EPIC BOOK OF MORMON SHOWSTOPPERS.
1. Pledge as much as you can.
2. Share our Kickstarter campaign link personally with at least 10 friends via private message on Facebook. Nothing means more to a friend than a private personalized message. Think of it, if all our backers do this one thing and only 2 of 10 friends make pledges it will give us more than 7,500 additional pledges!! We cannot emphasize enough how valuable this step is. As much as we'd like to say we know everyone in the world, we don't. That's why your social circles are critically important to reaching as far as we possibly can. Here’s a sample message, if you’re looking for inspiration (feel free to copy and paste):
- “Hi [First Name], hope you’re doing awesome! I wanted to share this Kickstarter project with you. It’s a period-action film about a mighty Captain named Moroni, based on the war chapters of the Book of Mormon. It looks really epic!! I pledged as much as I could because I REALLY want to see this movie. You should check it out, I think you’ll want to see it too. Either way, I appreciate your friendship. Talk to you soon! (http://FundReignofJudges.com)”
3. Share our Kickstarter campaign link to any email lists, media contacts, or other social media you may have (Twitter, Instagram, etc.).
PLEASE NOTE: Steps 2-4 cost no money and are extremely valuable to getting the word out! Please do these steps, even if you don't have any dough. But, let's be real, you're still paying your internet and cell phone bills or you wouldn't be reading this right now. So just go for it and buy in already :)! Our lowest pledge is only a buck. That's less than a Redbox these days. We appreciate anything you can do.
Coming soon... video demonstration on how to do these 4 easy steps.
Hey all, Darin Southam here.
Let's be candid. The truth is, it doesn't really cost $150,000 to make a short film. Believe me, I get it, that’s more than double what most people make in a year. So where does it all go? Prepare yourself, the answer is really boring (and a little disheartening) but it is very important. Here's the explanation:
We don't get to keep all the money we raise on Kickstarter.
Let me break the costs down:
- CAMPAIGN FEES: Kickstarter's fees, together with the credit card processing fees comes to about 8.5%. So, at our minimum goal, that's about $13K right off the bat. If we raise $1M its $85K!
- REWARDS & FULFILLMENT: Then we have to design, print, organize, and pay for rewards to be shipped out. This includes paying someone to help fulfill the orders (so we can be off making the film you've helped us fund). This is why we appreciate you paying the extra shipping cost. That said, Kickstarter charges their fee on shipping costs too. So we're charged the fee on shipping costs even though we have to use those costs for shipping. Go figure. With everything, order fulfillment comes to roughly 25%. At $150K raised that's about $35K. If we raise $1M, we'll get discounted bulk rates, but its still about $200,000.
- "DEATH AND TAXES": Believe me, we’re pulling all the tricks to keep taxes as low as possible but we’re also above board around here so everything’s gonna be legal. Unfortunately, we do have to plan for the worst and the tax gorilla still remains at about 15-18%. At $150K that's $25K in taxes. At $1M it's $165K-- yikes! This is why we're gunning to shoot our film short BEFORE the end of the year. Doing so will help us reduce our tax burden by writing off the cost of making the film. To film before the end of the year, we have to finalize our armor order as soon as possible because FBFX is 12 weeks out. Help us film this short before the end of the year by funding our goal quickly. We'll float the full armor costs and get them ordered early in the campaign.
- STARTUP COSTS: We have a good amount of prep costs for our film short (making armor for an army, costumes, building period sets, etc.). Another start up cost is our artwork. Many of our concept artists deferred some of their payments to reduce the up front costs. All said, startup costs are about 20%, so $30K if we hit $150K. But get this, at $300K the startup costs rise to $57K BUT THEY STAY THERE; start-up costs remain the same for every dollar over $300K. In other words, this is why reaching $1M gets us 20 times the visual effects.
If I haven't already lost you, here's a helpful graphic to break all this down:
Help us shatter our goals and make an epic film short that will infuse the world with the Spirit of Freedom!
Keep scrolling down for our 15 EPIC BOOK OF MORMON SHOWSTOPPERS
Now, on to the goodies...
WE ARE NOT A CHARITY. We wanted to try something different; 10 awesome reward choices. We hope this clean menu makes it easier for you to support of our film. Plus, you'll get to feel like a super decisive person, which will boost your already amazing self of steam!
We’ve tried to give you as much reward value as possible while also considering that Kickstarter order fulfillment can be a nightmare. Of course, we have systems in place to fulfill all orders like champs (and we WILL), but it should be mentioned, several notable Kickstarter campaigns, including some of the highest-funded, have been unable to fulfill their orders. Yikes!
We will NOT be one of those campaigns.
But we are also not store owners—we’re filmmakers. We want to use your hard-earned pledge funds to make an amazing film short we can all be proud of.
All said, we think our rewards are pretty dang awesome! We have everything from nice fitting T-Shirts to full authentic replicas of Moroni’s armor, made by the one and only FBFX Studios. Think of the conversation piece it would be to have Moroni’s armor sitting in a glass case in your foyer!
So, have fun choosing, and above all, we’re grateful for your support in making the loudest statement you can. Remember, Kickstarter only allows you to pledge once-- so make it count!
We're still working on the designs but here are some T-shirt examples:
We are still designing Moroni's medallion but the image will be the same one on his breastplate and also his shield, as you see here:
Now, without further ado... Our list below:
1. There are 3,925 references to Jesus Christ in The Book of Mormon (that’s once every 1.7 verses). The Book of Mormon was published in 1830 as a direct translation from ancient records, spanning from 600 BC to 421 AD. These records were kept by pre-Columbian Hebrews who fled Jerusalem and established themselves in the New World before the Babylonian raid of 586 BC. These facts cast halting doubt on the argument that it is not a Judeo-Christian record comparable to the Bible and that it is not, as it professes to be, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ.”
2. In spite of the fact that Joseph Smith had only 3 years of formal education, he translated The Book of Mormon in roughly sixty-five working days. The current edition is 531 pages.
3. According to a Huffpost article in 2011, The Book of Mormon was listed as number 5 among the “Biggest Bestsellers EVER After The Bible”. The article states, over 120 million copies have been sold worldwide. The Mormon Church itself has printed over 177M copies to date, not including the copies sold by additional publishers.
4. Some of the largest publishers in the world have recognized the tremendous influence of The Book of Mormon, publishing their own full versions of it: Yale University Press, University of Illinois Press, Doubleday, and Penguin Books (published as a Penguin Classic).
5. The Book of Mormon has been translated into an impressive 110 different languages. The Mormon Church actually claims to have more members outside the United States than inside. These facts suggest, the foreign market for The Book of Mormon could be more diverse and far reaching than any other book save the Bible only.
6. In a nationwide survey done by the United States Library of Congress, the PUBLIC voted and chose the Book of Mormon as the 4th “Most Influential book in America”.
7. 2 Nephi 9:20–27, from The Book of Mormon, is directly quoted in a funeral service of Alfred Hitchcock's film Family Plot.
8. Former American President, Abraham Lincoln, checked out The Book of Mormon from the Library of Congress and kept it for 8 months, turning it back in just 7 days after his first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation. Though unproven, some have hypothesized The Book of Mormon influenced the language of the proclamation and Lincoln’s decision to abolish slavery.
9. Henry A. Wallace, former Vice President of the United States 1941-1945, said, “Of all American religious books of the nineteenth century, it seems probable that The Book of Mormon was the most powerful.”
10. In 2007 a rare documents auction in New York City reported to have sold a first edition copy of The Book of Mormon for a stunning $180,000. It is estimated its worth today is well over $200,000.
11. Virtually all media experts agree, titles are paramount. They say you don’t sell books you sell titles. Well, in 2011, a now famous Broadway show entitled “BOOK OF MORMON Musical” swept the world with 9 Tony Awards including “Best Musical”. Highest sold seats cost as much as $477. The musical grossed well over $200M and is the 7th highest-grossing Broadway show of all time. If this type of success can be achieved from a musical with BOOK OF MORMON as its title, does this give us any clue about this book’s ability to draw curiosity, controversy, and ticket sales? And lest it be said a satire musical has nothing to do with a narrative Book of Mormon war epic like Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty, consider that the Mormon Church has taken out full page ads in the audience programs of Book of Mormon Musical and has reported a marked increase in the book’s interest since the show premiered. If satire success is not synonymous with original success, then Spaceballs and Hot Shots! would've been massive flops. Moreover, if satire were an indication of future failure then surely Donald Trump would never have achieved the United States presidency.
12. In 2014, BYUTV released a documentary film called A New Day For The Book of Mormon. This documentary was so informative— so powerful it was recognized with an Emmy Award for best Historical Documentary.
13. The Book of Mormon is a record of some of the most heroic, intriguing, riveting, and miraculous stories ever told. You don’t even have to believe it to appreciate this fact. Of the book’s 239 chapters, 174 of them (73 percent) deal with gripping themes such as: war, terrorism, political conspiracies, murder, threats, family collusion, and secret combinations. Not only is the book saturated in these precarious themes, it tells of heroes who were able to survive them. Ask yourself; do we not need such heroes today?
14. Perhaps The Book of Mormon’s most recurring theme is that of a free people struggling to defend their liberty from domestic insurrection and foreign acts of war. Are struggling for liberty and foreign acts of war themes our world can relate to? Here’s a comment from an Atheist who posted on our Facebook page, “As an atheist who has read the Book of Mormon numerous times the story of Captain Moroni (and) the Title of Liberty… was the most interesting... If any Book of Mormon story was going to make it big in a Hollywood blockbuster, this would be it.”
15. In 1988 former President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Ezra Taft Benson, said something profound. Whether you believe it or not we leave to you. He said, “The time is long overdue for a massive flooding of the earth with the Book of Mormon… in this age of electric media and mass distribution, God will hold us accountable if we do not now move the Book of Mormon in a monumental way… The time is now… Few (people), either in or out of the church, have caught the vision… the part it has played and will play.” And then Ezra told us a major tool he foresaw aiding the Book of Mormon to flood the earth, “I have a vision,” he said, “of artists putting into film the great themes and characters from the Book of Mormon…” He finished with this curious statement about timing to the congregation of 1988, “Some of us may not see the day when the Book of Mormon floods the earth…” That was almost 30 years ago.
I know what you’re thinking so I’ll just say it-- After reading this list, can you believe Reign of Judges: Title of Liberty stands to be the first Book of Mormon war epic ever made??
Risks and challenges
This film project has the same risks as any other TV/Film project. Mainly, that it may not be as successful as hoped or anticipated. Though we do not have control over how our film short is received, we do have control over the quality of the product delivered.
If we reach our goal, with the exception of rare extenuating and unforeseen circumstances, we GUARANTEE to complete our concept film short within 12 months. The worst case scenario is the completed film short does not create the interest needed to generate full feature funding. We commit to do EVERYTHING in our power to make sure this is not the case by providing a powerful and epic film short that blows people away. We are partnering with the best talent in the industry to insure our concept film short meets the absolute highest standards of production.
We promise to our supporters to pour every bit of passion we have into this undertaking (just like we have already demonstrated thus far). At the end of the day, if it isn't enough, the chips will have to fall where they may. This much we can tell you: The louder the statement our supporters make through this campaign the easier our job becomes.
The writer/creator of this project, Darin Southam, has written and directed over 30 successful film projects. He's never gone over budget and always met his deadlines.
Our ongoing commitment is this: we will, in good faith, advocate the full feature film until it is produced and made available with an intended worldwide release.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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