Columbine: Wounded Minds Project Next Stop - L.A. & CT - to find better solutions for long term healing after traumatic events.
DURING THE MAKING OF THIS KICKSTARTER CAMPAIGN, THE TRAGEDY AT SANDY HOOK ELEMENTARY HAPPENED... IT HAS NOW BEEN ADDED TO THIS PROJECT WHICH WAS ORIGINALLY ONLY INTENDED FOR A TRIP TO L.A. ANY ADDITIONAL FUNDS OVER $7,000 RAISED WILL ALSO HELP US GET TO NEWTOWN, CT.
"They keep saying this all happened for a purpose,” he said tapping on the legs he can't feel anymore, “but I'm still waiting for that purpose"...
2nd Kickstarter Attempt...
Yes it's true. Our original campaign was very successful even though our goal was not reached. It opened us up to the world and has created a broad awareness of the importance to this project.
Since this project has been created, numerous shootings have occurred worldwide, and continues to highlight the need healing for those who suffer through traumatic events.
Efforts and plans are now underway to make a trip to Newtown, CT with Columbine principal Frank DeAngelis, Phoenix 999 and The Rebels Project to connect with Sandy Hook Elementary communities and offer support from one surviving group to another. Additional funds raised here will also help fuel that trip.
Before we head out there, we will be waiting for things to calm down in CT. They will need the most help once the media frenzy subsides, the chaos lessens and when the emotions begin to really sink in. It will be that time when they will be more ready to absorb help and outreach.
Columbine: Wounded Minds. is a documentary about our story as survivors. Surviving tragedies like the shootings at Columbine High School have shaped our lives. Healing takes time and still, 13 years later, we need help, therapy, and support. And so we’re on a journey to find a solution. This isn’t just a message; it’s a movement to bring hope to survivors both now and into the future.
Our friend Richard Castaldo was injured during the Columbine Shootings. His story since has been one of continual struggle as he tries to pursue his dreams in music while struggle with physical and emotional wounds. The financial “help” originally given to him and his family after the shootings has done nothing but bring more tragedy to his life. His story provides an excellent cross section of why the current support plans for survivors are not sustainable or helpful. His dream is to make a difference in the world and we hope to help him get there by making a difference now and helping him find healing.
A brief insight to my experience of the event:
April 20, 1999, a junior at Columbine High School and 17 years old, I was having lunch in the cafeteria when the shootings began. I spent nearly 3 hours with 17 people trapped in a kitchen office without a lock on the door. The sounds of pipe bombs, shotguns and violent silences filled the air along with the smell of gun resin and smoke. Eventually, we were rescued by SWAT team members and escaped through a broken window in an adjacent room. We ran past pools of blood and dead bodies as we were moved to safety by police officers and firemen. The next several eternal hours were spent finding and reuniting with friends and putting the pieces together. What we discovered, as the night approached, was that some of our closest friends never made it out. Those left behind would lay lifeless on school grounds for the next few days while the authorities investigated the massacre.
Followed by a blur of back-to-back funerals, drained emotions and media frenzies, we struggled for normalcy. Many came to help, some came to take advantage and others began to rebuild. We were told along the way that counseling would be available to us for whenever we needed, for as long as we needed, free of charge. Perhaps our teenager minds were not yet ready to know what we wanted to get out of therapy or how to deal with the very adult emotions that plagued us. For me, the idea of counseling and therapy was new and uncomfortable. I wasn't ready. Now that I am older and have a more clear goal of what I want to get out of counseling, the funds have disappeared and I am left alone.
The situation now:
History has a way of repeating itself time and again. What we see now are parallels between our tragedy at Columbine and shootings that have happened since. The recent shooting at the theater in Aurora Colorado and now Sandy Hook Elementary is a horrific reminder that such events may never cease to occur. Although we strive to prevent them in the future we still need to focus on how we can better handle them now after they have happened.
There are thousands of us left in the position to deal with this trauma on a daily basis without any resources. We have become our own therapists over the years and we need a better solution. This documentary can be a foundation to someday build a better system not just for us, but for anyone and every one who has been witness to a traumatic event.
The backing raised from Kickstarter is going towards:
- The rewards of appreciation come first Without your help this project would not be possible. In a way, some of the money comes back to you! I may add to the rewards as creative incentive ideas strike my brain...
- Hiring a great crew and paying them fairly for the work that they do. This will take more than volunteers to accomplish the task at hand and they need compensation. This includes pre-production, production and post-production crews.
- Travel, lodging and meals. This is where things really add up fast, but are necessary for our journey to L.A. This will help provide us all with a roof over our head, food in our bellies, and a way to zoom around the city.
- Equipment rentals are necessary to make each shoot successful and beautiful.
- Post production and editing is very expensive and time consuming. Especially if you want to do it right, which I do.
- Commissioning animators to help illustrate pieces of the documentary that can't be told through literal images, such as dreams and recreations of scenarios and memories.
- Music rights to songs can be a bit pricey. So can hiring a composer to score original music for this project.
- Marketing for distribution including the premiere and getting the film out there. This needs to be done properly, and you/we deserve the best!
- Unforeseen expenses. We can't plan for everything no matter how hard we try. New ideas will arise, road blocks will pop up and some things may require more funds than planned. More backing will allow us to stress less and problem solve quickly.
THANK YOU FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE. You are now a part of this film!
Please don't hesitate to contact me with comments or questions.
Video and photo updates on this page will be often to keep you posted on all the latest and greatest!
Also, check out my bio on the right side of the screen after reading the sweet rewards that will be coming your way ---------->
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
With any goals set in life, there will always be obstacles, challenges and unforeseen roadblocks. The success of this project heavily relies on the fact that we must all work together to make this happen.
On a personal level, the most challenging task is facing this head on everyday. Constantly submerging myself in reliving the past is always painful, but it has also proven to be immensely therapeutic for my own healing process.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.