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Grant, a promising student-athlete, had his dreams crushed when he was accused of a crime he didn't commit. Soon after, he found redemption in MMA.
Grant, a promising student-athlete, had his dreams crushed when he was accused of a crime he didn't commit. Soon after, he found redemption in MMA.
62 backers pledged $5,025 to help bring this project to life.

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A Violent Dance: The True Story of Grant Neal

$5,025

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I have to wake up everyday and know that my dreams are not on the table anymore...- Grant Neal

"How does a university suspend a student with a 3.67 gpa without even a pretense of due process?” - Fox News

The sun peaks over the horizon as Grant overlooks the city.
The sun peaks over the horizon as Grant overlooks the city.

Will you partner with us in creating this short-form documentary about the extraordinary story of Grant Neal?

We're a dedicated team, but we need your help and support to complete this film. We wholeheartedly believe in Grant's story and have already funded close to 25% of the costs ourselves in order to begin shooting the principal photography. Now, we are asking for your assistance to finish developing the story, fund post-production, and find an audience for the film - first at film festivals and later, if possible, through broadcast and digital platforms.

Among other costs, these are the primary expenses that your tax deductible contributions will go towards:

  • Additional Shooting: 25% 
  • Editing: 20% 
  • Sound Design & Mix: 15% 
  • Color Grading: 15% 
  • Score & Music Composition: 10%
  • Festival Fees & Distribution/Social Impact: 10% 
  • Legal Fees: 5%

WHAT'S THE SCOOP WITH KICKSTARTER?

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing crowdfunding platform - that means we need to reach our campaign goal of $5,000 in order to receive the funding. If we're short by just one dollar of our goal, we won't receive any amount of money.

Moreover, our campaign goal of $5K is the bare minimum needed to guarantee we can complete the production of the film. In reality, we need much more than that to cover the travel expenses of going to Grant's fights in Las Vegas, hiring the best film crew in Colorado, bringing on an Emmy-winning team of editors, and a lot more. Every dollar raised over our base goal of $5K will be reflected in the quality of the final cut of the film.

IF WE RAISE MORE MONEY, WE'LL BE ABLE TO:
1. Add jaw-dropping footage of Grant's next fight from the edge of the Octagon in Las Vegas.
2. Gain access to the best film equipment and crew that's in Colorado.
3. Bring on an award-winning team of editors from all over the United States to develop the story in post-production.
4. Distribute the film and share Grant's story with audiences around the world.

Notable members of the team include: Rocco Zehnle, Bobby Frank, Gunnar Sikorski, Bailey Bradford, Andrew Garfield, Nathan Crabb, Mike Hudson, and Lucas Flores.

All smiles from Grant after a tough sparring session.
All smiles from Grant after a tough sparring session.

We've already collected hours of footage using the best digital cinema cameras, aerial drones, and audio-recording equipment. On shoot days, we began as early as 4 AM and didn't finish until after midnight... only to repeat that same schedule on the following day. It was critical to the team that the visuals we captured were as compelling as the story that's being told. This film has been a tremendous labor of love but we couldn't be more eager to continue working on it.

When we first met with Grant to discuss his story and the plan of turning it into a documentary, he was hesitant. In addition to the technical challenges of filmmaking, Grant's narrative was very sensitive and we'd have to navigate our way around legal obstacles in order to have an open dialogue about his Title IX case. Regardless of the challenges, we were all determined to make this film and just a week after our first meeting, we received full legal clearance and kicked-off production.

Grant training at Genesis Training Center in Colorado.
Grant training at Genesis Training Center in Colorado.

Here's a brief synopsis of the major events that occurred in the story's timeline:

▸ December, 2014: Grant Neal, a student-athlete at Colorado State, was having tremendous success both on the football field and in the classroom. He played a key role in winning the 2014 NCAA Division II National Title and received accolades for his work in the pre-med program.

▸ December, 2015: Grant's life took an unexpected turn when he was indefinitely suspended from Colorado State on false charges of sexual assault. He wasn't able to return to football in the NCAA and his dream of becoming a professional football player was destroyed.

▸ January, 2016: A full Title IX investigation ensued. 

▸ March, 2016: Seeking redemption and an outlet to escape his crushed reality, Grant took to MMA and quickly demonstrated a gift for fighting. Soon after, he was taken under the wing of the UFC's Nate "The Great" Marquardt.

▸ June, 2017: A settlement was reached between Grant Neal and Colorado State. Grant was not charged in court for sexual assault or any other crime. 

▸ October, 2017: Grant was accepted into the prestigious University of Colorado-Denver where he will continue on his journey to be an Orthopedic Surgeon.

▸ Today: Grant is undefeated and ranks 1st in Colorado's Amateur Light Heavyweight division. What will happen next?

Grant taking a moment to rest and reflect during shooting.
Grant taking a moment to rest and reflect during shooting.

Among many other questions that'll be explored in the film, these are some of the primary ones that it will seek to answer:

▸ If Grant’s life dream is to play professional football, will he find true satisfaction from success in the UFC? 
▸ How does it feel to work relentlessly towards your dreams and then have them wrongly taken from you? 

▸ How has Grant's character been impacted by the incident at Colorado State and becoming an MMA fighter?  
▸ What has the incident caused Grant to learn about himself?
▸ How has Grant’s relationship with fear changed since becoming a fighter?
▸ How did Grant muster the strength to pivot and pursue a new dream?
▸ How have Grant’s hardships molded him as a man? 

▸ How has Grant's case against CSU-Pueblo been resolved? 
▸ What does Grant’s case say about the legal system within American                                universities?   
▸ Will Grant’s case set a new precedent for the way that universities will handle future sexual assaults?    

Let's work together to help Grant Neal receive the recognition that he deserves...

Risks and challenges

"A Violent Dance" is almost entirely finished with production - only a few shoot days remain. So, while documentary filmmaking always comes with some unexpected risks, we're past those early incidents of uncertainty.

What's left is developing the story into a compelling narrative, funding post-production, and finding an audience for the film - first at film festivals and later, if possible, through broadcast and digital platforms. Our initial goal of $5,000 will aid us in getting a finalized cut of the film, but there's a lot of additional funding needed to turn it into a masterpiece.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Thank You

    You'll receive a shout-out on social media and exclusive backer updates throughout the campaign.

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    Personalized Movie Poster

    For your support of the film, we'd like to gift you the official movie poster personalized with your name and Grant's signature on it.

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    Behind-The-Scenes + Exclusive Interviews

    In addition to the above rewards, you'll receive a digital download of behind-the-scenes content that offers exclusive insight into the production of the film. We're also going to give you a full hour-long interview with Grant Neal as well as other uncut interviews with his coaches, family, and friends.

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    "A Violent Dance" T-Shirt

    In addition to the above rewards, we're going to give you a one-of-a-kind shirt (black or white) made exclusively for supporters of the film.

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    Early Access + Download Of Finished Film

    In addition to the above rewards, we're going to send you a special access link to the film before it's officially released. You'll also receive a personalized drive with the full-length film and other goodies.

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    Personalized Video + Signed Gloves

    In addition to the above rewards, you'll receive a personalized video from the director, Magellan Rubin, thanking you for your contribution to the film. Also, we're going to send you a pair of gloves that've been signed by Grant Neal.

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    Ticket To Premiere Screening

    In addition to the above rewards, this pledge will earn you one ticket to a screening of the film during the film's festival premiere week.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Associate Producer + Framed Photo

    Thank you! You're one of the official associate producers of the film and your name will appear in the credits of the film and any promotional material.

    Without you, this film wouldn't be possible! To properly thank you, you'll receive a full-size framed photo of Grant Neal with his signature on it.

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    Executive Producer (IMDB Credit)

    WOW! You're one of the executive producers of "A Violent Dance". Your name will appear on IMDB and across all official promotional material.

    In addition to the above rewards, you'll be the first to see early cuts of the film and, for every new cut, we'll provide you the opportunity to give feedback that'll directly impact the final draft.

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Funding period

- (30 days)