Crowdfunding has been a hot topic in the media recently; commonly employed by independent filmmakers, crowdfunded campaigns allow the creators to maintain creative control through generous support of backers. As a supporter of independent film, I’ve backed projects on Kickstarter before and wanted to bring attention to an upcoming campaign.
On July 31 Astoria Entertainment launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their very first film Thunder Road. The film is “a no holds barred account of post war life” as described by Astoria co-founder and writer, Steven Grayhm. Grayhm was inspired to create the film because he felt that there was no current films that spoke to the issue of veterans acclimating themselves back into civilian life as well as their issues with mental health including PTSD. “We will work hard everyday to do everything humanly possible to make sure that Thunder Road gives a voice to the ghosts who walk amongst us.”
“There is no movie out there for this generation’s soldier which truly explores the psychological repercussions of life after war.” says Grayhm.
Grayhm was further motivated to create the film after going across the USA with Astoria co-founders Charlie Bewley and Matt Dallas, to speak with veterans and other people affected by the experiences of those who have served. Grayhm has taken first hand accounts of these struggles and used them to create the script, allowing Thunder Road to serve as a voice to millions who have a very important story to be told. “We will be the messengers for those who need to be heard. This we believe in and will keep alive.” says Dallas.
“We pledge to make an honest and authentic film that represents the true struggles and triumphs of the brave men and women around the world who have written a blank check to their god and government with their lives to uphold and fight for our freedoms…” — Matt Dallas, Steven Grayhm and Charlie Bewley.
More than a soldier’s story Thunder Road is a human story; it speaks to the greater issues of the stigma of mental health in society. Regardless of your personal stance on war this is a story that deserves to be heard. There are millions of men and women who have for various reasons chosen to serve their countries only to return irrevocably changed and struggling to find a semblance of their old lives. Many of these veterans feel isolated and unsure of what if any support systems are available to them. “Thunder Road is ultimately a story about a guy who’s trying to get his life back, the life that he left before he was deployed. But he never will…and the question is, can he adapt?”
In support of their campaign Astoria will be heading out on a nationwide media tour through August and September, and some incentives that backers of the campaign could receive include: commemorative coins, a BBQ with Matt Dallas and the cast of Kyle XY, bowling night with Charlie Bewley and members of the Twilight cast and the chance to be in the actual film Thunder Road.
Regardless of the prizes people should support this campaign because of the message the film intends to convey. “Thunder Road will unveil the hidden truths and unanswered questions for the masses” says Grayhm, in regards to the psychological repercussions of life after war. “Ultimately, we are all affected. We just don’t see it. This is why Thunder Road, as educational as it is entertaining, is so important.” Bewley adds, “We pledge to do our utmost to shift the consciousness of our audience towards the further integration of veterans and their families into our society. We pledge to do this without political agenda, bringing only the truth of what we have learned through extensive research into the public forum.
For more information and to support Astoria Entertainment follow them at Thunder Road Film, Twitter, Instagram, their official Facebook page: Thunder Road: Feature Film, their official Thunder Road campaign page, and live streaming video from their road trip.
Not sure how to start supporting Thunder Road, read this helpful article.
Beautiful video made in support of Thunder Road.
Great interview with Astoria Entertainment from About.com
All quotes and photos are property of Astoria Entertainment and used with their permission.
- Thunder Road: Kickstarter Campaign July/August 2013 (bewleyfans.wordpress.com)
- Bewley, Dallas & Grayhm Launch Kickstarter Campaign for ‘Thunder Road’ (thedailyquirk.com)
- Film: Newswire: The main dude from Kyle XY has started a Kickstarter to make a war movie (avclub.com)