We made it to our goal!!! Without the help of our 200+ backers this would not have been possible. This funding will allow us to start production on the film immediately. We can't wait to start sending you updates!
With that said, we are asking for your support to help fund post production as well as film festival submissions. Any amounts that go over the cost of the film go right back to the ALS Recovery Fund and Jeff's medical expenses. We still have rewards available, so don't forget to share!
Thanks again for helping us spread the word about this special project!
Welcome to our Kickstarter!
Hello, my name is Gil Green and I am a director based out of Miami, FL. You may be familiar with many of the music videos that I have directed, but I'm here to tell you about my latest project, a short film called “Who Is Lou Gehrig?” This project is very personal and dear to me. It's a story that follows the wild imagination of one of my good friends, Jeff Fogel as he deals with the day to day challenges of living with ALS.
This isn’t a 'tear-jerker' tale to make you feel sorry for someone living with a handicap. This film is more about Jeff's unique perspective, one that takes his body and mind on a fantastic voyage to live life without limitations. I look forward to directing this film and sharing this experience with each and every one of you.
This project is not affiliated with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that has recently gained national attention. While the Ice Bucket Challenge has brought a tremendous amount of awareness to ALS, this film is meant to do something beyond that. Our goal is to provide an insight not only to the effects of the disease, but to have people be inspired by Jeff’s courageous ability to maintain a positive daily outlook, amongst life’s biggest challenges.
This film has become a passion of mine and we are racing against the clock. Because Jeff’s condition is deteriorating and he is casted to play himself, we have a constantly decreasing window of time to get this film made.
Who Is Lou Gehrig is a universal tale that will inspire people faced with any obstacle in life. This is Jeff’s story.
About The Film
I first met Jeff Fogel when I was 16 years old. We were working together as basketball coaches for the Michael Ann Russell JCC Summer Camp. Jeff is your typical good guy. He is fair, fun, and feisty! He is always smiling and ready to crack a joke. We have maintained our friendship for over twenty years, always playing together in basketball leagues throughout Miami. On the court, Jeff is the assist guy. He throws the perfect pass, making you look good as you score!
About three years ago, Jeff called and told me the shocking news that he had Lou Gehrig’s Disease. My first reaction was, “Who The Hell Is Lou Gehrig?!” Jeff was diagnosed with Amyotrphic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's Disease. ALS is basically a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spine. ALS has already confined Jeff to a wheelchair and has the potential to affect his speech, breathing, swallowing, chewing and will ultimately completely shut down his body.
Being diagnosed with a terminal illness must have been the scariest moment in Jeff's life. Some people would understandably allow this news to depress them, taking away their reason to live to the fullest. For Jeff, it was the opposite. Jeff used the news to motivate himself and put all his effort into maintaining his role as the coach of his girl's basketball team, staying active in the community and inspiring everyone around him.
I knew the best way to spread my friend's story had to be unique and deserved a large audience. I don't want to make a film that feels like a ‘sad story’ PSA or makes anyone feel sorry for Jeff. I want to highlight his incredible personality and allow viewers to get in his head and see how he faces these challenges by weaving in and out of reality.
"Who Is Lou Gehrig" blurs the line of reality and imagination. Jeff mentally achieves simple tasks such as eating a plate of food or driving to the supermarket by imagining them as being incredible Olympic style challenges. Throughout the film, we will enter into Jeff's colorful mind and see how he goes in and out of reality to create a more positive outcome for himself.
For one of the scenes, Jeff is coaching his girl's basketball team and takes it so serious that in his mind, he's coaching the Miami Heat. To make this scene feel as explosive as I envision it, I reached out to another friend of mine, Miami Heat power forward, Udonis Haslem. Udonis' father and my father played basketball together back in the day, and UD and I have been friends for many years. Udonis is committed to the project and will make his acting debut to make the scenes of Jeff's altered realities come true. This is just one of the many different altered realities that we portray in the film. I can't wait to show you more.
"Who Is Lou Gehrig” goes beyond ALS. This is a universal tale of the mind and spirit pushing any of us to rise above life’s difficult challenges. I urge you to become part of our film, our team, and our community to INSPIRE.
Every Contribution Helps
Our team is committed to making Jeff's reality into a film. We are working with the ALS Recovery Fund to make sure this film reaches their audience, as well as partnering with The Borscht Film Festival to screen the film in December for a Miami audience. A film with these time constraints needs to happen immediately. Your contribution will help to fund:
- securing locations
- permits to shoot throughout South Florida
- film crew including camera department, lighting, grips, art department
- film equipment including lights, camera, audio equipment, cranes, etc.
- post production - including an editor, colorist and sound design
- music licensing
We can reach our goal with your support and help! Any funds raised over our initial goal will be donated towards the ALS Recovery Fund, a local charity committed to creating public awareness, promoting research and education, and raising funds for South Florida's patients care and research for a cure for ALS. Your contribution will do more than just make a film, but will also touch an entire community!
Make sure to check out our rewards! We have exciting ways to get you involved at all levels. Help make this film and spread this unique story!
Graphics donated by: Artisan Media Group
Music in video donated by: Strat Carter
Risks and challenges
Our largest challenge is a unique one: Jeff's disease is constantly deteriorating his physical self, making immediate production necessary.
This film is Jeff's story and while a number of actors could do the role justice, it is imperative that Jeff plays himself. Your support to our project plays a role in our ability to immediately begin production, allowing for Jeff to play himself before the disease affects his speech.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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