January 26, 2010
Thank you for visiting our page, and your gracious support of this project! We are currently closing in on 5 days left to raise our total goal of $25,000 to produce this feature documentary film about the life of Jens Pulver!
I am deeply grateful for all the contributions that have brought us this far. In these final days I truly need your help, more than ever, either via contribution, or spreading the word about this campaign to all your friends, family, internet communities, fellow MMA, and film loving fans, alike! I know this goal is attainable, we've come this far, and Jens's story is absolutely worth telling.
In a recent radio interview, Jens divulged his thoughts on the film:
"To me, if this film can reach just one kid, who is living through abuse, and it can open his or her eyes to the fact that there is more to this life, prompting them to put on some wrestling shoes, or pick up a football, or basketball, or to write a song, or paint a picture, whatever it is that is their thing...if it can help them recognize that their dreams are worthwhile, should be held onto, and with perseverance, dedication, and hard work, can absolutely be achieved, well, that's what it's all about."
I share this sentiment, and this hope for the film. Thank you for joining with me in making it happen!
The first chapter in Jens Pulver's autobiography, "Little Evil, One Ultimate Fighter's Rise to the Top", is titled Day of the Gun. It begins like this:
"When I was seven years old, my father decided that he no longer wanted children. On a cloudy Seattle afternoon, he grabbed my two younger brothers and me by the collars of our shirts and hauled us into the living room. After lining us up in a little row by the fireplace, he stumbled into the kitchen to fetch his shotgun."
Named after the father that would torment his youth, Jens, from that horrible day forward, has fought to change exactly what it means to be a Pulver. That fight led him all the way to the UFC as a three time World Champion.
I recently had the good fortune to meet Jens, a casually unassuming guy, with a quick smile and big heart that has endured many battles to become the man he is today: a loving father, husband, and mentor. And, now (at age 34, and after four straight losses), he is facing a new battle as he sets off on a journey to return to the cage, free from the demons of his past, to take what may be his final shot at once again becoming a champion.
He is determined to come out on top, and I am determined to capture every moment of this journey.
Jens is set to fight on March 6, 2010 in Columbus, Ohio. To ensure that I can film the entire lead up to the fight, (his training, his day to day family life, any wrenches that get thrown into the mix), and join Jens in Ohio, I am seeking to raise $25,000 in just 20 days.
These funds will be used to secure additional the additional gear, and people I need for production. Specifically additional HD Camera, lighting, and sound recording packages, as well as to cover insurance costs, and all the costs of (transportation, lodging, etc.) associated with bringing the crew to the fight in Ohio, and our continuing production after the fight, that will take us to Seattle, Ohio, and California to conduct interviews with those close to Jens, and who have helped him along the way.
While this doesn't represent the entire scope or budget of the film, it is the most pressing financial need as I hope to capture this story as it unfolds.
In the end, I will shape a feature length documentary that follows this journey through to its end, while probing Jens's early life, his rise as a mixed martial artists, and the art of fighting itself.
Why this film, and why Jens?
I am new to MMA, but completely fascinated by it, and by the artistry, discipline, and intellect of these professional fighters. I also have a pretty voracious curiosity to understand how things work, and this curiosity drives my filmmaking. So, it was after just one meeting, that I knew I had to make this film with Jens. He is a completely engaging personality, the very definition of a 'fighter', and the perfect introduction to this world I am seeking to understand, and share on screen. After reading his book, it also became very clear to me that he represented our collective American psyche of right now.
Many people out there are feeling beaten, bruised, and battered. They are carrying a heavy burden, feeling alone, and in many cases...are losing hope. But, across the board, deep down, there is that spark, that drive, that need to overcome, to succeed, to conquer. We are all fighting for something. Whether we're fighting against our pasts, fighting for a better future, fighting for what is right, in our families, our communities, and our country, or fighting to simply stay alive, we share in this universal human struggle. Jens’s life story has run this entire gamut, and reflects this need to overcome adversity at all costs.
His story has inspired so many, and I feel deeply privileged to be the one to tell it.
Thank you for taking the time to review this campaign. Any amount of support is greatly appreciated.
With warm regards, I thank you...
You can keep up with the project on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php...
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And, view additional clips on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/gregorybayne