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Having gained and lost the American Dream to a work related accident our heroes journey is about "I can" without both my arms or legs. Read more

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Funding Unsuccessful

This project's funding goal was not reached on January 27, 2012.

Having gained and lost the American Dream to a work related accident our heroes journey is about "I can" without both my arms or legs.

About this project

 We will use the $25,000 to film the last needed interviews and cinematic close-ups or proving footage for the film. We need to hire a film editor, a graphics designer, an assistant editor, a special F/X editor, color correction, music composer, a voice over talent, a web site for the film, an attorney for the film to incorporate the film and for an amazing soundtrack.  Then hopefully to get a 35mm Master copy made of the film and numerous DVD and or Blu-Ray copies made.  Distribution will then follow if enough monies are raised, if not we press on.  Now a brief synopsis of our story.

http://susandelano.wordpress.com/

What do you get when you take a medical documentary film about a Hispanic young man, from a small white town - who goes on to achieve the American Dream. Good health, a cool car, a good job, a beautiful wife, two wonderful step children, cats and dogs and then loses both his arms and both legs to a horrific work related accident. Eventually losing his health, wife, step-kids, job and simply put his freedom. Then view it from it's spiritual, medical and social documentary film aspects?
“Starting Over” - perhaps the greatest comeback story ever told.
What is it we value more than anything else?
Life.
What in life do we value the most?
Love, intimacy and friendship.

Shortly after his unthinkable accident, Manuel Salazar asked “Why did you even bother to save my life? I'm not going to be able to do anything.”
Thankfully for our society he couldn't have been more wrong. Manuel has gone on to inspire thousands through his courageous carrying on with everyday life, TV appearances and speeches of hope, patience and persistence. He gives these speeches to school children, fellow burn and amputation victims, doctors and disabled war veterans. Simply put he sums it up with “Hey, look at me, I lost both arms and both legs and most of my body was scared from burn. If I can keep going, setting goals and reaching them, you certainly can!” No one who sees him and hears him speak of his personal tragedy is left unchanged for the better. He inspires, he motivates and he helps everyone who comes into contact with him to dissolve their own debilitating “bag of excuses”.

Thanks to evolving medical advances in both surgery and organ and tissue implantation. We as Americans are seeing an ever increasing ability to extend people's lives following traumatic injury or burn. Resulting in an ever growing population of whom we label as the disabled in our country.

“Don't judge a book by it's cover” - we've all heard this saying growing up but when we actually try and apply this seemingly cliche' phrase to a specific person – What happens?
We begin to understand that a person's cosmetic appearance is - just that. The way they look – only a part of them. But this has very little to do with all the other elements that constitute a person as a whole.
Namely, their spirit, their mind, their feelings or their abilities to do. Not to mention that innermost desire – the desire to live.
“Starting Over” is a birds eye view to what constitutes a person as a whole and a beautiful example of what it means to live, regardless of your race, gender, social status, sexual orientation or your appearance.

Many who have come into contact with Manuel Salazar since his accident have said - “You cannot help but be changed for the better and to become more grateful for your life, just the way it is - after seeing him.”
Coco Saltzgiver, Manuel's main caregiver for the past eight years said "I helped solve my sister's homicide - a 30 year cold case, I'm a seven year cancer survivor and had a mastectomy – Knowing Manuel and his situation has allowed me to view my own situation as just a scratch and to gain feelings of gratitude and wholeness again.”
As the film makers of this story we have this hope for you – our audience.

Come along on a wondrous and trans formative journey of your psyche as we examine the tumultuous life of Manuel Salazar and his struggles to stabilize and re-learn how to live in a society of both love and stares.
Tom Cycyota, CEO of AlloSource, one of the nation's top tissue banks, said “Manuel inspires everyone at AlloSource everyday, he's become the poster boy for success of what we do here”.

In one of the bravest disclosures of an individuals personal life ever recorded – Manuel Salazar allows cameras to follow him through every aspect of what most of us would consider off limits. We wake up with him and witness his new inability to arise on his own, to shower, to brush his teeth, to comb his hair or to even go to the toilet by himself – and that's just the start of his day.
After more than four dozen surgeries to save and stabilize his life, doctors gave him approximately a ten percent chance of survival. Not only has he survived but Manuel through super human efforts and a never say “I can't” attitude he's thrived.
When one of the nation's leading amputee doctors, Dr. Robert Meier first met Manuel, he said “I've been involved with over 3,000 amputation cases over the years and this one is the most severe I've ever seen.”

Dr. Meier, a very encouraging and optimistic person sat down with Manuel and said to him - “We want to be realistic and due to the nature of your physical situation, You will never walk again.”
Sometimes it's good to be wrong.
We were there for Manuel's first steps on Stubbies and so many other milestones – that it will blow your mind.
Along with one of his main caregivers, Coco Saltzgiver, Manuel wrote out what is commonly referred to as a bucket list.
Since then he's run a business, bought a house, appeared on a Reality TV show, been on a float in the Rose Parade, given speeches, gone bowling, water skied, snow skied, started dating, got engaged and just had a baby with his girlfriend. He also went tandem skydiving and we've got the pictures and video footage to prove it.
Yes, indeed, Dr. Meier would be the first to tell you – sometimes it's good to be wrong.

Our cameras follow Manuel and Coco, into a group psychological therapy session, with Dr. Belon. We learn with him about the “stages of grief” following something traumatic in our lives.
You'll see the birth and growth of patience - through his work in numerous sessions of occupational therapy – learning how to work with mechanical arms, computers and as he re-learns to tackle the simplest of tasks like grasping a fork or a CD. We witness his body transforming, non-ceasing, day after day after day, rigorous and grueling physical workouts – which inspire all that watch him.

Film producers keep asking me “who is your audience?” Funny thing. Whoever is watching this film will get the feeling it's about themselves and their struggles. So, ultimately this film “Starting Over” is about you—our audience. It just happens to be told through another young man's journey.
Everyone struggles with limitations in their lives. Some due to the fear of “I can't” or “I'm not deserving or good enough”-- both Manuel Salazar and Coco Saltzgiver serve as living examples of -
I can do this. What? Anything you desire and they give you the impetus and motivation to get started. How will you be inspired? What life's lessons will you learn? And most importantly...How will you improve your life after having seen “Starting Over”?

Some people have commented that he may be an angel, living among us in the flesh, to remind us just how good we have it. To elicit a sense of gratitude within us. To serve as a living example of patience, persistence and to serve as a point of reference to “judge ye not!”

He without question teaches us to “cease to dwell on days gone by” and to live in the now—that continuing to live in the past serves no purpose.
His example of carrying on with life in a powerful, loving, and zestful way despite his outward appearance certainly can and should teach us much about our value system.
“Looks aren't everything” but if you slow down and take the time to look closely even at his current state, you see a beautiful man. Vibrant, curious and capable. A doer. More importantly if we as individuals can slow down and take the time to look at our own abilities and possibilities – we also can gain a new found appreciation for our lives, just the way they are.

 Thank you for taking the time to read this. Hi, I'm Martin McGuire an independant film maker in the truest sense. I've completely self funded this project for eight years and it has been an eight year labor of love that's taken me to the brink of broke more than once. I'm not asking for your sympathy but your own personal realization as to why this story must be told. That goal will take money, lots of money but with your help I will finish this monumental and wondrous project I've been so very blessed to cover for the past eight years of my life.  

  Please give all you can and then I'm going to ask another favor of each of you. Please take the time to forward this link to everyone on your e-mail lists, everyone on facebook, myspace, linkedin, vimeo and youtube that you know. Tell your friends, your family, co-workers and loved ones about this film. Why?  Because, I truly believe this film is a healing tool for everyone that will see it and you can help to be that catalyst of healing.

  Thank you,

   Martin McGuire - Film maker, friend.

p.s.  A BIG Thank You to Michael Sharon for editing the 1st "Starting Over" trailer, to Amanda Polk for digitizing all the footage, to MOBY and Mobygratis.com for the song, to Ward Lucas for the voice over in the trailer and to Manuel Salazar and Coco Saltzgiver for allowing me to follow your interwoven journey and to everyone else connected to the project.

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