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A film mixing illusion & reality, telling the story of ALS diagnosed sports coach Jeff Fogel, who uses his imagination to stay positive
A film mixing illusion & reality, telling the story of ALS diagnosed sports coach Jeff Fogel, who uses his imagination to stay positive
248 backers pledged $66,710 to help bring this project to life.

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"WHO IS LOU GEHRIG?" -an inspiring film about ALS project video thumbnail
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$66,710

248

EDIT:

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! 

Jeff Fogel & Udonis Haslem 2007
Jeff Fogel & Udonis Haslem 2007

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. 

Jeff & his team 2014
Jeff & his team 2014

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. 

Jeff Fogel & Udonis Haslem 2014
Jeff Fogel & Udonis Haslem 2014

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.

Gil & Udonis stop by WSVN to talk about the project.
Gil & Udonis stop by WSVN to talk about the project.

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

Our $305 level poster shot by Joe Labisi on Gil Green's Miami Heat film shoot set.
Our $305 level poster shot by Joe Labisi on Gil Green's Miami Heat film shoot set.

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.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Thanks for your contribution to the project! We can't wait for you to see the final result!

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    Get exclusive email updates about the film + Your name will appear on our website's Thank you page!

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    All of the above + Access to bonus footage before the film is released + a private link to screen the film, good for 24 hours! You see it first!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above + a Digital download for your own personal private screening at home + a downloadable digital photobook with behind the scenes stills from the film production

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    All of the above + a Digital download for your own personal private screening at home + a downloadable digital photobook with behind the scenes stills from the film production + A Udonis Haslem 'Who Is Lou Gehrig' Phone case! (compatible with iphone 5, 5s, 6 and Samsung)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    All of the above + An official 305 films limited edition "Who Is Lou Gehrig?" t-shirt + Your name in the credits as a contributor + a throwback printing of the popular 305 Films sticker!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    All of the above + Unique 8" X 10" stills from the set signed by Gil and Udonis with a special thank you from Jeff and an upgrade in the credits as a Special Contributor!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    All of the above + a basketball autographed by director Gil Green and star actor Udonis Haslem. Get these while they last!

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    Pledge $305 or more About $305

    THE "305" PACKAGE
    All of the above + a limited edition poster of Udonis Haslem photographed by Gil Green signed by both UD and Gil.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    All of the above + 2 tickets to the movie's Miami premiere in December plus V.I.P. reception. Come mingle with the cast and crew! (travel costs not provided)

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    All of the above + 2 Miami Heat Tickets! We have limited amounts, get them while they last! (Miami Heat tickets include the best games: Cleveland, San Antonio, Chicago, etc, but are on a first come basis - seats are in Upper Bowl).

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    All of the above + an Associate Producer credit in our film. Includes a copy of the script signed by the director, Gil Green.

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

    All of the above + A walk on role in the movie + 1 night lodging at The Hotel of South Beach during the film's festival premiere in December (does not include travel costs) + The pair of Heat Tickets are upgraded to Lower Bowl & Dewars Lounge Access)

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    All of the above + THE UDONIS HASLEM MIAMI HEAT EXPERIENCE: Hang out with UD and the rest of the Miami Heat in the Locker Room before a Miami Heat Game. Be on the Heat court with UD as he warms up and practices in pre-game shoot around before the game + a signed pair of Udonis Haslem's personal game sneakers + The pair of Heat Tickets are upgraded to Lower Bowl & Dewars Lounge Access) + An Executive Producer credit in our film

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Funding period

- (35 days)