In Support Of Thunder Road

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 FilmTwitter, 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. 

What do you do April?

Having been to two Creation Entertainment conventions for the Vampire Diaries this year I’m still rather new to the world of conventions. I was lucky enough to talk with one of the lovely volunteers who make the events run ever so smoothly. April Lawson Hancock is one of the many volunteers Creation employs to help in various positions during each convention. April started out as a fan herself when she attended a Twilight convention in 2010, and from then she was hooked. As a stay at home mom she rarely spent time away from her family but loved the convention environment so much that in 2012 she started to volunteer.
As a volunteer April can be asked to cover many different duties depending on where she’s needed. She’s worked in the vendor’s room, security and her personal favorite; photo ops. When working as a photo-op volunteer her duties can include: ticket taking, line control, and helping the convention attendees through the photo-op process.
April loves interacting with the fans and seeing their excitement during the events; getting to meet a lot of people is one of the best parts of her volunteering. She’s also made many lasting friendships through working the events. Though it may seem like it’s all fun there is some work involved and April’s least favorite part is the exhaustion that comes Monday morning when the convention’s over.
Having volunteered at Twilight, Supernatural and Vampire Diaries conventions, April admits her favorite convention to volunteer at has been Supernatural and she doesn’t even watch the show! Favorite celebrity guests she’s worked with are Daniel Cudmore and Christian Camargo, from Twilight, whom she describes as gracious and down-to-earth. She tries to treat everyone she interacts with the same regardless of whether they are a celebrity or fan. Her craziest fan experience was when she got caught up in the madness of the Twilight Breaking Dawn 2 premiere. She loved being right in the middle of all the fandemonium on their black carpet. Though she doesn’t believe she’s been starstruck she thinks if she had a chance to meet Stan Lee she may just fangirl a little, and would love to be able to work with Sandra Bullock. April says, “I absolutely love working at the Creation Conventions, I’m a mother of 6 and this is my fun time with friends.”
For information on applying to volunteer.

Personal Legend: Charlie Bewley

A piece I wrote about Charlie Bewley

Charlie Bewley Fans

“I know you’re tired of not fitting in

But it’s not fitting in that will help to begin to show you your beauty”

-Lyrics from Charlie by Ingrid Michaelson

With his piercing blue eyes and looks best described as boyishly handsome mixed with an unpolished ruggedness, it’s easy to understand Charlie Bewley’s appeal. Now put his physicality aside, what would you be left with? Lucky for Charlie there’s more to this man than a pretty face. Best known for his comical antics and light heartedness, it’s easy to dismiss him as nothing more than a good looking guy who caught a break. This couldn’t be further from the truth; with no formal training and an undying desire to fulfill his dreams of ‘doing everything’, Charlie decided he’d become an actor and wouldn’t let anyone stand in his way. The passionate up-and-coming actor takes life in stride and is determined…

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