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The true story of Abraham Lincoln and his bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, featuring sets created from actual Civil War photographs.
The true story of Abraham Lincoln and his bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, featuring sets created from actual Civil War photographs.
809 backers pledged $62,552 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$62,552

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With passion and innovation, we made an epic film on an indie budget. Now we're taking the same approach to film distribution.

Thanks to our Backers, we've surpassed 200% of our funding goal, expanded our theatrical release from 4 to 16 cities, and paved the way for a great release on DVD and other platforms.

This campaign has been a wonderful experience, and we thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

For those who missed us on Kickstarter, please join us here:

Sign up for insider email updates here

Learn more about the film and where to see it: SavingLincoln.com

Join the conversation: Facebook.com/SavingLincoln 

Ask U.S. Marshal Ward Hill Lamon a question: Twitter.com/SavingLincoln

Our trailer:

Saving Lincoln is a unique look at Abraham Lincoln through the eyes of Ward Hill Lamon, his closest friend and protector throughout his time as Commander-in-Chief. As filmmakers, we were inspired by the depth of their friendship, and by Lamon's unique perspective on the unrelenting pressure Lincoln faced from the moment he was elected. We always admired Lincoln for his triumphs, but through Lamon we came to truly love Lincoln for his courage during the darkest hours of the war.

We were also inspired by our rich heritage of Civil War photography and its distinctive glass-plate look. During our research for the script, we discovered a trove of mesmerizing images in the LIbrary of Congress, and imagined our scenes taking place within those locations. We realized we could use modern visual effects technology to create three-dimensional sets out of these historic images, and actually place our cast in the world Lincoln and Lamon occupied. The result is a new cinematic style we call CineCollage (see below).

Why we're on Kickstarter:

Now, the moment has come for us to launch Saving Lincoln into the world, and we are applying the same kind of innovation to connect with people who share our passion for creative storytelling and living history. This Kickstarter campaign is your opportunity to say, "YES. I want to see this new take on Lincoln. I believe in CineCollage, and I will help you bring Saving Lincoln to as many people as possible."

The funds we raise here allow us to expand our theatrical release, and transmit awareness of Saving Lincoln to audiences who will not otherwise hear about this unique independent film. We know we're on the right track because so many backers have already come aboard and supported us so generously. Accordingly, we have elevated our sights:

STRETCH GOAL: $60K - ACHIEVED!

"If we hit $60,000, we can add significantly more cities to our Theatrical Release, and get the word out to many more people for our DVD, Blu-Ray and Digital release."

Thanks to the tremendous support we've received from our Backers here on Kickstarter, Saving Lincoln will open in 4x more cities than we originally hoped! We're partnering with Emerging Pictures to bring the film to the cities listed below. That means more people will see Saving Lincoln on the big screen, and we simply cannot thank you enough!

Current list of cities in our theatrical release:

  • Music Hall Theater Los Angeles, CA, Feb 15-21 
  • Quad Cinema New York, NY, Feb 15-21 
  • Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago, IL, Feb 15-16 
  • Hill Center Washington D.C., Feb-12 
  • Opera House Live Shepherdstown, WV, Feb 17, Feb 18 
  • The Dairy Center for the Arts Boulder, CO, Feb-18 
  • Mos' Art Theatre Lake Park, FL, Feb 15-21 
  • Theatre N Wilmington, DE, Feb 15-17 
  • Cinematique Theater Daytona Beach, FL, Feb 15-16, 19-21 
  • Riviera Theatre Three Rivers, MI, Feb 18-23, 26/March 1 
  • Catamount Arts Center St. Johnsbury, VT, Feb 22-28 
  • Cape Ann Community Cinema Gloucester, MA, Feb-18 
  • Arthouse Cinema 502 Ogden, UT, Feb 15-21
  • FilmBar Phoenix, AZ, Feb 16-18

And more on the way!

We also hope to add an educational version of Saving Lincoln for schools. We've shown the movie to young people and it sparks their imagination.

We open on Presidents Day Weekend, 2013!

Official Red Carpet Premiere in LA: 2-13-13

Our Official Red Carpet Premiere will be held at the historic Alex Theater (just minutes from the L.A. Zoo) on Wednesday, February 13, 2013. We are looking forward to a terrific event!

Saving Lincoln stars Tom Amandes as Lincoln, Lea Coco as Lamon, Penelope Ann Miller as Mary Todd Lincoln, Creed Bratton as Senator Charles Sumner, Josh Stamberg as Salmon P. Chase, Saidah Arrika Ekulona as Elizabeth Keckly and Bruce Davison as William H. Seward. The film also features new performances by American roots rock legend, Dave Alvin.

Saving Lincoln in the news:

Hollywood Reporter

IndieWIRE

Huffington Post

Big Hollywood

The film has a unique look. How was it made?

To make Saving Lincoln possible, we invented an entirely new cinematic style called CineCollage. First, the performances were filmed on a green screen stage. Then we used high resolution, glass-plate photographs from the Library of Congress to create the 3D environments our characters inhabit. Sometimes we used a single image, sometimes we harvested photographic material from multiple sources and assembled the location. Over the course of the campaign we'll share more behind-the-scenes videos as well as scenes from the film.

Green screen footage from production.
Green screen footage from production.
Original wet-collodion, glass-plate image from the Library of Congress (the unfinished Washington Monument as it stood during the Civil War).
Original wet-collodion, glass-plate image from the Library of Congress (the unfinished Washington Monument as it stood during the Civil War).
Final composite image from the film.
Final composite image from the film.

Who is Ward Hill Lamon?

Our narrator, Ward Hill Lamon, was President Lincoln's closest friend in Washington, and his self-appointed bodyguard. He was the buddy who entertained Lincoln with songs and jokes, as well as a ready hand with a Colt .44. No one knew Lincoln better or loved him more than his former law partner and travelling companion on the judicial circuit in Illinois. Lamon was the only friend Lincoln brought to Washington, saying he would be "handy to have around." Lincoln was right. 

In those days, no President had ever been assassinated, and the Secret Service did not exist. When the first attempt was made on Lincoln's life in 1861, before he was even inaugurated, Lamon stepped into the role of bodyguard. He was commissioned as a U.S. Marshal and served Lincoln faithfully throughout his Presidency, saving him from several more assassination attempts. Perhaps just as importantly, he consoled Lincoln during the darkest hours of the war. From this unique perspective, Lamon saw it all, from the the great speeches to the private moments of doubt and despair. He also functioned as the President's Marshal of Ceremonies, and it was in this role that he introduced Lincoln at the Gettysburg Address.

Why make a Lincoln movie?

Tom Amandes, who plays Lincoln in our film, asked me this question the day we met. I said, "People see this man's face every day, he is almost universally admired, and yet the real Lincoln remains unknown." 

Even if you've read a book about him or seen a movie, you have only scratched the surface. For example, did you know Lincoln was the only President ever to stand in the line of fire on a battlefield? He did so at Fort Stevens in 1864, a key scene in Saving Lincoln.

Abraham Lincoln was a vibrant, sociable man who loved people, yet it fell to him to give the orders that cost the lives of 750,000 Americans. The story of Lincoln leading the nation through four years of civil war has not been filmed in generations, and it has never been filmed from the perspective of his closest friend and bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon - the man who saved Lincoln's life repeatedly.

What about the music?

The music of Saving Lincoln is as much a part of our living history as is the story of our 16th President. Abraham Lincoln was not the stoic politician seen on coins and statues. He was a man stirred deeply by strong emotion and his love of music exemplifies this. "Saving Lincoln" is not a musical, but our characters do sing Blue Tail Fly, Old Dan Tucker, Mary Don't You Weep and Dixie, just as Lincoln, Lamon and Mary did in life. Our composer Mark Adler complements Lamon's banjo with a palette of period instruments that touch the heart even as they honor our musical heritage. And Dave Alvin's Battle Hymn of the Republic moves us to tears every time we hear it.

Risks and challenges

Every film carries the risk of not finding an audience. To avoid that fate, we have been engaging with our audience for over a year. We are approaching 50,000 fans on Facebook, and 7,000 on Twitter. We post a wide variety of content they care about daily.

The good news is that the film is already completed, so it's a lot less risky than backing a film at an earlier stage. And if/when the campaign is fully funded, we have partners and outlets in place to help us fulfill all of the rewards listed here.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Truly appreciated and you are Saving Lincoln. You are also in the loop, your name will appear on our Honor Roll at SavingLincoln.com, and we will send you high resolution CineCollage wallpaper for your computer and other devices.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Well done. You are Saving Lincoln, you will receive a Digital Screener of the film and all the rewards above.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    We salute you. You will receive the "Saving Lincoln" DVD, a digital version of the original script, and all the rewards above.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    We rise to applaud you. You will receive the "Saving Lincoln" Blu-Ray Disc, digital versions of the original script and Ward Hill Lamon's Recollections of Abraham Lincoln, plus the $5 and $15 rewards.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    You touch our hearts. You will receive all the rewards above, plus a collectible printed image from the movie, and a hard copy of the original script.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $105 or more About $105

    You are both generous and wise. You will receive all the rewards above, as well as a limited edition script book that is signed by writer-director Sal Litvak and features the vintage, glass-plate photographs that inspired the CineCollage style of "Saving Lincoln".

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    Pledge $205 or more About $205

    Welcome to the inner circle. Your name will appear in the credits of "Saving Lincoln. " You will also receive all the rewards above, and a ticket to the "Saving Lincoln" L.A. Premiere (you undertake travel and lodging).

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $205 or more About $205

    New. Welcome to the inner circle. Your name will appear in the credits of "Saving Lincoln" on the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com). You will also receive all the rewards above, and a ticket to the "Saving Lincoln" L.A. Premiere (you undertake travel and lodging).

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    Pledge $505 or more About $505

    You're one of us, and you have full access. You will receive all the rewards above, plus a second ticket to the L.A. Premiere and an invitation for two to the after-party (you undertake travel and lodging). You will also receive a hard copy of the new, limited edition Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by Ward Hill Lamon, and writer-director Sal Litvak will sign the script book with a personal message to you.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $505 or more About $505

    New. You're one of us, and you have full access. You will receive all the rewards above, including your name in the credits of "Saving Lincoln" on imdb.com, plus a second ticket to the L.A. Premiere and an invitation for two to the after-party (you undertake travel and lodging). You will also receive a hard copy of the new, limited edition Recollections of Abraham Lincoln by Ward Hill Lamon, and writer-director Sal Litvak will sign the script book with a personal message to you.

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    Pledge $1,005 or more About $1,005

    We want to thank you personally. You will receive all the rewards above, your name will appear in an exclusive section of the credits, and Sal Litvak will call you to say thanks.

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    Pledge $1,005 or more About $1,005

    New. We want to thank you personally. You will receive all the rewards above, your name will appear in an exclusive section of the credits on imdb.com, and Sal Litvak will call you to say thanks.

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    Pledge $2,505 or more About $2,505

    You are a Cabinet Member. You will receive all the rewards above, and you will be an Associate Producer of "Saving Lincoln." You will receive an invitation to the Producer's Dinner with the creative team behind "Saving Lincoln" including director, screenwriters, and other surprise guests.

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,505 or more About $2,505

    New. You are a Cabinet Member. You will receive all the rewards above, and you will be a credited Associate Producer of "Saving Lincoln" on imdb.com. You will receive an invitation to the Producer's Dinner with the creative team behind "Saving Lincoln" including director, screenwriters, and other surprise guests.

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    Pledge $5,005 or more About $5,005

    You are a member of the family. You will receive all the rewards above, and you will be a Co-Executive Producer. At the Producer's DInner, you will receive a one-of-a-kind prop from the film, along with a certificate of authenticity establishing its provenance, signed by all present.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $5,005 or more About $5,005

    New. You are a member of the family. You will receive all the rewards above, and you will be a credited Co-Executive Producer of "Saving Lincoln" on imdb.com. At the Producer's Dinner, you will receive a one-of-a-kind prop from the film, along with a certificate of authenticity establishing its provenance, signed by all present.

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Funding period

- (33 days)