America's Last WW 1 Survivor; The Story of Frank Buckles
A feature length documentary on Americas last WW1 survivor: Frank Buckles. Frank has lived an astonishing life. A true survivor.
We are making a feature length documentary to honor America's last survivor of WW1, 110 year old Frank Woodrfuff Buckles. 4.7 million American's served in WW1 and Frank is the last voice of a generation that has slipped through our fingers without documentation and without a national memorial. Frank is the last breath and the last soul to have witnessed the Western Front of World War One. BUT his story does not end there...
Frank has lived through HALF of America's growth. As an ambassador of the twentieth century he will be an astounding guide in this film. He was around when Ford rolled the first Model T off the line, he watched Jesse Owens win four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics in Germany. While in Germany he actually bumped into Adolph Hitler in a hotel! He was preparing to join the Army about the same time Albert Einstein wrote the equation E=mc2. And he's still around today to see Ipads and cellphones.
Frank has had over one million visitors to his website from around the globe in the last year alone and we cannot in good conscience keep his full story to ourselves.
At the present time, the film is between the pre-production and production stages. We have locked down "Richard Thomas" as a narrator. Richard played "John Boy" in the popular TV show "The Waltons" and has starred in numerous shows and movies since including "All Quiet on the Western Front".
We have DAYS of exclusive footage of Frank, his story and our travels from four+ years that is currently being held hostage by the funding. History and Frank's story must be shared! So, we need to hire a talented writer and team members to make this project ROCK!!! We have several lined up but need funding. There are key interviews that still need to be filmed along with various and b-roll and pick-ups. We still have all post production, distribution costs to cover, film festivals and travel.
Now some of you may wonder if asking for $150,000 is a little too much or simply not enough. That is a great question and where you and kickstarter really come in. You truly play a pivotal role in the documentation of history and the ultimate outcome of this film.
We have talked to dozens of producers and writers, editors and sound people, composers, digital animators and graphic design people. Hundreds if not thousands of people have contacted us to help. Some will donate their time (as we have done so far)- others will not. In the end as we all know you get what you pay for.
So here is the deal- kickstarter fans decide how good this film will be. We have set a modest goal (after talking to tons of experts) of 125k to do a nice documentary. However the more raised the better it gets- the sky is the limit.
There is SO much potential with this story we could do ALL kinds of cool things.
Here is a story from Frank: Frank was captured by the Japanese and became a POW during World War II and was held in Los Banos Prison camp. Always an optimist he had a shirt starched and pressed for the day of his rescue. 39 months later, weighing less than 100 pounds he was rescued with 2000 other people by the 11th Airborne.
That in itself is cool enough. But what about the shirt? Here is where it gets even more cool. Franks barracks was on fire, burning, full flames- Frank looks at the fire and probably said to himself: "Bag it- 39 months of eating rice? I am going out in style!" Frank walks into the burning building, changes into his pressed outfit and emerges as the barracks collapses behind him in flames and smoke!! Unbelievable? Yes! Verified? Yes! Wouldn't it be cool to recreate that rescue for the film? That would cost some serious money but we would love to do it!!!
So, when you consider that the average budget for a Michael Moore documentary is $11 million and a Ken Burns documentary series isn't made these days for less than $7 million, that may hopefully put a little more perspective on things. We are so incredibly dedicated to this project, we just really want to make sure it's done right. It can't just be good...it has to be great.
And...if we exceed our goal....ever dollar will still go into the film. The more money we make, the better the film will be.
Portions of your donation are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE as this is a partnership with our 501(c)3 organization Survivor Quest.
Frank's story is beyond cool. It will be referenced again and again as we approach the 100 year anniversary of World War One. His voice and life are inspirational and surely you will want to share this movie with your children and grand children as I plan to:-)
Here are some links to bring you up to date on everything Frank Buckles and the project:
"NBC NIGHTLY NEWS" This interview started it all! http://www.youtube.com/watch...
"RICHMOND TIMES- DISPATCH" http://www2.timesdispatch.com/news/2011/jan/31/tdmet01-bill-lohmann-last-us-veteran-from-world-wa-ar-809531/
"CBS: Early Show" http://www.youtube.com/user/DeJongeStudio#p/u/35/vet4orFhvDQ
"LOS ANGELES TIMES" http://articles.latimes.com/2010/nov/28/nation/la-na-wwi-memorial-20101128
"NEW YORK TIMES" http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/12/opinion/12rubin.html...
"ABC NIGHTLY NEWS" http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex...
"COMPASS FILM ACADEMY" http://blog.compassfilmacademy.com/2010/01/battling-to-remember/
"U.S. PENTAGON" http://www.defense.gov/home/features/2008/0308_ww1/
Today we walk in history and tomorrow we will make it. Please join our team and help share this story!
But don't just take our word for it. Here is a sample of just one of the THOUSANDS of emails I have received from teachers and students. By completing this film every student will have the chance to spend time with Frank:-)
## First and foremost I think what you are doing in promoting Mr. Buckles's story is time well spent. Thank you! I teach ninth grade world history at Circlevile High School, located about 25 miles south of Columbus, Ohio. My classes are currently studying the First World War. My students are absolutely amazed with the life of Mr. Frank Buckles. His courage and will to survive and endure two World Wars is is difficult for me as a 26 year old teacher to comprehend, let alone teach to my 14 and 15 year old students. I strive get my students to appreciate and understand the sacrifice that comes with protecting your homeland in time of crisis and war. Frank's story is a great opportunity for my students to achieve that understanding. ##
- (60 days)