Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
#{project_title}'s video poster

In 1971, a drifter came to believe he was called to tell the world, "God is Love." What happened next is of Biblical proportion... Read more

Niland, CA Film & Video
Share this project
50
backers
$3,825
pledged of $70,000 goal
0
seconds to go

Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on May 15, 2012.

In 1971, a drifter came to believe he was called to tell the world, "God is Love." What happened next is of Biblical proportion...

Niland, CA Film & Video
Share this project

About this project

NOTE: If I do not reach my goal of 70k in 40 days, I receive nothing and my backers loose nothing (no fees what-so-ever), so there is no risk in showing support for my project, now. Thank you for taking the time to view my campaign. 

Imagine reading only the end of the Helen Keller Story but never the beginning or middle. It would still be inspiring and interesting but would fall a mile short of the truth. I had many discussions about this film with Kevin Eubank (Leonard's late caretaker and biographer) and we both agreed that the real story of Leonard and his mountain has never been even attempted.

One of many screensavers every backer will receive.

Most crews/journalists film for a couple hours, or at best a couple days, never earn his trust, and never get past the "tourist explanation" of his story and stock theological replies.

I've spent over four years, off and on, living and working, with the man whom I am now convinced is the most fascinating person in the world. I have been truly blessed to have gained his trust to the point of him sharing, on camera for the first time, the events of his life, going back to his childhood, which shaped him to be the person he is today.

Digital Photo graciously donated by photographer, Lee Gawik.

Between these interviews, and hundreds of recently discovered songs he wrote 40-50 years ago, this film will take you into the mind of a man who spent most of his life struggling with feelings of unworthiness and abandonment to an extent that most could not begin to imagine.

Digital Photo graciously donated by Carol A. Bowen Stevens


With homelessness, alcoholism and intense feelings of failure constantly tearing at his mind, Leonard turned to Jesus in 1967, and today credits this "Love Story," with saving him from becoming just another bum talking to himself on skid-row. 

Prints from Acrylic Painting graciously donated by Naomi Haverland

In 1971, Leonard saw a hot air balloon fly over the Vermont Apple Farm he was working on. He jumped off his ladder, and chased it all the way into town. As he watched the people of small town Burlington scurry out of their shops to gaze into the sky, he had a vision of a hot air balloon which read, "God is Love..." And so began a forty year odyssey that is too unbelievable for anyone to dare make up. An obsession really... to tell the whole world that God is hopelessly in love with us.  

Archeologists have said that Leonard has developed engineering innovations with adobe what have never been seen in any culture in the world... This is also another Screensaver

Anyone else with the specific issues Leonard has would have ended up a statistic, but by 2010, he had become the most visited/filmed person on earth; declared a National Treasure by Congress; and in the process, PERSONALLY shared his remarkable testimony and the love of God with over half a million people, more than anyone, ever... and they all came to him.

This film will NOT go down the well traveled road of "Leonard loves God, and God loves Leonard..." That's been done to the point of ad nauseam. I am the first filmmaker to not only commit to Leonard long enough to get his full story, but to show him rough-cuts of my footage... gaining his support and blessing, on camera.

Leonard's journey to Slab City is as weird and wonderful, as it is tragic and gut wrenching, and upon arriving, it only got worse. To tell it any other way, based on what I know, would be an exercise in producing a lie.

2013 Calendar - The Official "Leonard" Documentary Calendar consisting of the best photos ever taken of Leonard and the mountain graciously donated by photographers from all over the world (pictures subject to change).

But, as happens with documentaries, my film evolved over the years into a story about the brave decline of the most unlikely spiritual giant, at the height of his influence (post INTO THE WILD), and how he clung to his faith while riding headlong into "the abyss" of dementia. Exactly, how that plays out, I believe, will not leave a dry eye in the house.



See, for me, the truth is FAR more beautiful than the myth, because it unpacks the meaning of Leonard's 2008 statement, "Sometimes, God picks little people to do things. He does that so He will get the Glory. Sooner or later, God is going to have to get the glory for this mountain... sooner or later, and God, I want you to do it sooner!"

Well, wish me God's speed, because it is one of my goals to finish this in time for Leonard to see his wish come true.

More examples of Screensavers (taken from actual footage from the documentary) received by every backer.

SALVATION MOUNTAIN "THE MOVIE": I spent the first three years interviewing Leonard mainly for the purpose of making a feature film about his life. In 2010, I secured the rights to Leonard's life story, and the script was finally finished last year. It is presently in Development. Most films never make if out of development because financially, it's a "Catch 22" scenario. This is why my ultimate goal is to raise at least twice my target amount. ANY MONEY RAISED OVER MY TARGET WILL BE PUT TOWARD DEVELOPMENT COSTS OF THE FEATURE FILM (Storyboards, Graphic Artists, Script Supervisors, Agent, Management, Publicist, Website etc. etc.) AS WELL AS, HIGHER PRODUCTION VALUE FOR THE DOCUMENTARY.

DISCLAIMER: Pictures subject to change: Some photographers promise to have even better pics still to show me, others pics are coming in from photographers all over the world daily...

The Official Movie Website: www.SalvationMountainTheMovie.com from there you can link to FB, Twitter and other sites.

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

Ask a question

Rewards

  • You selected
    $10 reward

    5 backers

    20 Screensavers of the mountain, created by pulling stills from the actual HD footage.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $20 reward

    7 backers

    40 Screensavers of the mountain. PLUS, a full rez digital download of professional photographer, Lee Gawlik's amazing sunset picture seen below to the left.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $35 reward

    12 backers

    All of the above (AOTA), PLUS, one Standard Def DVD.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $50 reward

    4 backers

    AOTA, PLUS, a Full Rez Digital Still of Carol A. Bowen Stevens's famous "Red Sweater" pic of Leonard which can be seen below, to the left.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $70 reward

    2 backers

    AOTA, BUT, instead of a Standard DVD you will receive a Blu-Ray DVD of the Film Festival Cut.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $85 reward

    1 backer

    AOTA, PLUS, an Over Sized Postcard of Naomi Haverland's acrylic painting done after her November 2011 visit with Leonard (his last days at the mountain). Listen to my interview with Naomi below to the left.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $125 reward

    4 backers

    AOTA, but instead of one Blu-Ray Disk, you will receive a Standard DVD & Blu-Ray Disk Set of the Film Fest Cut, as well as a second set of the Director's Cut.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $130 reward

    1 backer Limited (14 left of 15)

    AOTA, PLUS, one of Leonard's famous Picture Puzzles, (no longer handed out at the mountain) donated by Shawn Simao. Shawn and the director traveled together to Niland in 2011 to visit Leonard. Shawn's first visit (after driving 3000 miles straight upon seeing the film Into the Wild) resulted in a viral youtube video where Leonard prayed with Shawn.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $150 reward

    1 backer

    AOTA, PLUS, a Poster Size Print of Naomi Haverland's acrylic painting.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $200 reward

    3 backers

    AOTA, PLUS, a 2013 Calendar consisting of some of the best photo's ever taken of Leonard and the mountain, donated from photographers all over the world.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $250 reward

    1 backer

    AOTA, PLUS, a muliti-hour (2-4) standard def video of highlights of my interviews with Leonard. When I'm done shooting, I estimate that I will have well over 50 hours of footage, so this is a must for people wanting to hear Leonard's FULL Classic Tour (40 plus minutes) as well as fully understand his theology. This will be in his words, with no commentary, or editing apart from removing subject matter that was all ready covered by previous interviews.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $300 reward

    3 backers

    AOTA, PLUS, a muliti-hour (2-4) standard def video of highlights of my interviews with the people who knew Leonard the best, including Kevin Eubank, Mike Phippen, and AJ Pixler. For hardcore Leonard fans, these out takes will provide the final component to your understanding of Leonard because they are from the people who not only spent the most time with him but stood-up and made a difference when you and I simply couldn't. This content will contain stories about Leonard that only a handful of insiders know about. Again, no commentary, and almost no editing.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $600 reward

    0 backers

    AOTA, PLUS, a private screening at your church, business, or organization anywhere in Southern California, with up to one hour of Q&A with the director. Afterword, discounted and autographed copies of the film will be available for purchase OR preorder, depending on when the screening takes place.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $1,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (40 left of 40)

    AOTA, PLUS, a private screening at your church, business, or organization anywhere in the US or Canada, with up to one hour of Q&A with the director. Afterword, discounted and autographed copies of the film will be available. (Note: This does NOT include traveling expenses, hotel, rental car, etc. which will be arranged by the director, and paid for in advance by Backer)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $2,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)

    AOTA, PLUS, dinner for two (I'm buying... and choosing the restaurant) with the director at the film festival nearest you. This will include Paparazi style photos ops with the director in front of festival backdrop.
    Note: The Private Screening mentioned in the previous reward is available only if it can be done within a day of the fest screening/dinner. Does not include Festival Tickets, traveling, hotel, rental car, or any other festival attending expenses. "Est. delivery date" (below) is obviously dependent on the Film Fest date.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $5,000 reward

    0 backers

    AOTA, PLUS, Associate Producer Credit in Festival/Director's Cut/DVD version, as well as, on IMDB.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    $10,000 reward

    0 backers Limited (12 left of 12)

    AOTA, PLUS, Executive Producer credit in the Festival/Director's Cut/DVD version, as well as, on IMDB. In addition, a 3 Day San Diego/Salvation Mountain Vacation for 2: Two nights at the San Diego Hilton (or comparable), one night in the Calipatria Inn, and the opportunity to visit the mountain and Slab City with the Director, as well as, Mike Phippen (based in Colorado) who spent most of 2011 with Leonard living at and working on the mountain. Mike will be prominently portrayed in the film and is the only living person to have spent that much continuous time with Leonard since his childhood. We will also introduce you to Slabbers and/or Niland Residents who have known Leonard for years. The only other person to have had that close of a living/working relationship with Leonard is AJ Pixler who spent 9 months living and working at the mountain in 2009. If for some unforeseen reason, Mike is not available, AJ will be.

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (40 days)