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Claressa “T-Rex” Shields dreams of making Olympic history. This is her story.
Meet the fiercest teenager in America.
Meet the fiercest teenager in America.
652 backers pledged $64,507 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$64,507

652

THE LATEST

Thanks to each and every person who has helped us reach our minimum goal for covering our production costs. With just a few days left, we've set ourselves a stretch goal of 70k to help begin to chip away at our post-production costs which will include licensing fees for Olympic footage of Claressa's fights.  Not a cheap piece to the puzzle.  Any additional contributions will go directly to the costs associated with those licensing fees. We thank you all for your continued support and generous contributions! 

THE FILM

"T-Rex" is an intimate coming-of-age story about a new kind of American heroine. For the first time ever, women’s boxing is included in the 2012 Olympics. Fighting for gold from the U.S. is Claressa “T-Rex” Shields, just 17 years old, and by far the youngest competitor. From the hard knock streets of Flint, Michigan, Claressa is undefeated and utterly confident. Her fierceness extends beyond the ring. She protects her family at any cost, even when their instability and addictions threaten to derail her dream. Claressa does have one stable force in her life. Coach Jason Crutchfield has trained her since she was a scrawny 11-year-old hanging out at his gym. Jason always wanted a champion; he just never thought it’d be a girl. Her relationships with her coach and her family grow tenser as she gets closer and closer to her dream. But Claressa is fierce and determined. She desperately wants to take her family to a better, safer place and winning a gold medal could be her only chance.

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NPR 

WNYC

NEW YORK TIMES 

NEW YORKER

OLYMPIC WEBSITE

T-REX ON TWITTER

HOW CAN YOU HELP

We've been shooting for six months now.  Flint.  Canada.  China.  Las Vegas. Colorado.  And London is looming.  The almighty Olympic Games!  As you can imagine, making a film on 3 continents can get expensive.  Which is why we are here.  We want to finish strong but we need your support.  

The funds we are hoping to raise will be used to cover the hard costs of our production.  Flights.  Hotels.  Visas.  Hard drives.  Sandwiches.  Steadicams. Minivans.  Cameras. Batteries.  You get the idea.  We've have about another 4-6 months to go. 

Brass tacks: We need your help!  We need support and love and if you have any, we need money.  We wouldn't be asking if we didn't believe in this project, Claressa and ourselves.  We'll take whatever you are willing to give.  And we'll be forever grateful to you for giving it!

We don't make films in bubbles, vacuums or ivory towers so we promise a steady (but not annoying) stream of words and photographs from the road. In addition to all the fine gifts/rewards/prizes that are available, most importantly, a donation of any size makes you an official member of Team T-Rex.  So feel free to make little dinosaur arms and roar like an animal.  We do it all the time...

WHO WE ARE

Zackary Canepari and Drea Cooper began working together in 2009 right after Zack shot Drea's wedding and then proceeded to lose all the photos. Since then, they've produced an online series of short documentaries called "California is a place", and have directed a handful of commercial films for clients such as Apple, Toyota, Ray-Ban, Adidas and Chevrolet.  They are the proud owners of 3 fancy glass awards from film festivals you've never heard of and one that you have (Sundance!).  What else do you want to know? Drea is better at racket sports. Zack has a red beard. Neither one of them really speaks Hindi or Spanish but they sure do like to pretend...

Sue Jaye Johnson has worked in pretty much every medium there is -- radio, photography, video and sometimes all of them together in award-winning productions.  She has been following the women who are attempting to be the first ever to step into the Olympic Boxing ring for the New York Times Magazine, NPR and WNYC.  She boxed just enough to know that her best shot at the Olympics is probably in curling.  No offense to curling.  

Bianca Darville is a documentary and commercial line producer.  A film theory graduate from UC Berkeley, she has produced films and commercials for the Pearson Foundation, Apple, Toyota, Ray-Ban and Chevrolet.  She dreams of one day directing a mocumentary about professional skipping.  You'll have to ask her...  

HOW ELSE CAN YOU HELP

Spread the Word.  FACEBOOK.  TWITTER.  Handwritten letter.  Morse code. Megaphone.  TELL ANYONE!  TELL EVERYONE!  And we thank you.  

Sincerely, 

Drea, Zack, Sue and Bianca

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    A big thank you. A virtual hug. A digital hi-5. Good karma. Undying friendship. Smiles and sunshine. Any help is good help. All press is good press. Health is wealth!

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A hearty back pat (awkward shoulder squeeze is an option as well) AND a digital print of the official T-Rex poster AND a digital download of the final T-Rex film (when available) AND a whole lot of love on Facebook and Twitter.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    This is where things get really good. You’ll be one of the first to receive a fancy new DVD of the film plus you’ll be thanked personally in the credits of the film. If that’s not enticing enough, you’ll briefly be the talk of the social media world when your name appears in a font both bold and italicized. Beat that!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Party time! Official DVD of the T-Rex film. And the official DVD of Canepari/Cooper's epic "California is a place" series. Plus a bite-sized 5"x7" Canepari photo print with the word "Thanks" written on the back with a sharpie. Not to mention the wide variety of thank you's, back pats and congrats that are mentioned above.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    The shiny sizzling fresh-of-the-press T-Rex special! Everything from above but in crystal clear High Definition. Blu-ray copies of both the T-Rex film and the California is a place collection. And the Canepari photo is now a gigantically enormous 8in tall by 10in wide and I will even sign the front. Anyone interested in an upgrade?

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Same as above but with one special adrenaline shot. The one-and-only-and-original T-Rex film poster, printed on sexy paper (luster!) in a sexy size(16"x20")!!! And of course all the lovely items mentioned above. If that's not worth two hundreds and a fifty then I'm not sure what is...

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The bigger and badder special kit. Exotic hams and jams in a gift picnic basket! Just joking. More DVDs and more posters. This time the T-Rex poster increases to a full-sized-glorified 27"x40". And for good measure we'll toss in a 16"x20" poster from the ZCDC epic "Aquadettes", designed by the magicians at ilovedust. Plus all of the above. Plus the undying love of some very lucky filmmakers...

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

    Posters. DVDs. Glory. Fame. And Eternal Life (not guaranteed). Plus a photo print of Rex in action. Of your choosing. Signed by the photographer. A Canepari creation? A Johnson original? You choose. To be clear, the gift basket now includes...

    T-Rex DVD, California is a Place DVD, 27" x 40" T-Rex Poster, 16" x 20" Signed photo print, Thanks/Hugs/Love/Devotion

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

    Welcome to Hollywood! You are now a film producer. Specifically, you are an Associate Producer but no one at your cocktail party will know the difference. Any way you slice it, you're living the dream. Other goodies (DVDs/Posters/Prints/DVDs/Posters) will come with your credit but at this level, who really cares?

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

    Well, congratulations. You are now officially our boss. Executive Producer is your new title. You get all the other stuff from above but when you're the EP who cares about posters and photographs and DVDs cuz you've got a fancy trailer with leather seats that massage your lower back and surround sound speakers in the latrine (trailer/leather/latrine not included)…

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Funding period

- (24 days)