#SupportIndieFilm Field of Lost Shoes IndieGoGo Campaign

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Last May I had the privilege of attending the premiere for the film Field of Lost Shoes, and though it’s opening in theatres September 26, it will only open in limited release. That is unless you help, there is an IndieGoGo campaign to help bring Field of Lost Shoes to more theatres. From their campaign page:

We are currently releasing this movie in 24 theaters across the country in 20 markets on Sept 26th.  We would love to expand this amazing feature film.  The money we raise will go towards the marketing dollars needed to expand to additional theaters. Our current theatrical release is completely funded and moving forward.  We need additional money to expand this theatrical release to more markets.  The top number of people donating in a particular area will allow priority placement of a theater in their market.

Field of Lost Shoes is based on the Battle of New Market fought in Virginia on May 15, 1864 in the American Civil War. The film is a touching coming of age story that follows the experiences of 7 young cadets from the Virginia Military Institute as they (and their school mates) are enlisted into active battle to defend the Shenandoah Valley. The film has a stellar ensemble cast including Zach Roerig, Max Lloyd-JonesLuke Benward, Nolan Gould, Jason Isaacs, and Tom Skeritt.

Like other IndieGoGO campaigns this one has great incentives to those who donate, including a behind the scenes DVD that is not available to the general public. The campaign ends in 13 days (October 4, 2014) so help spread the word and donate, and bring Field of Lost Shoes to a theatre near you. For more information on the film follow them on their official twitter or Facebook page.

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Bowling with Bewley

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While Astoria is still hard at work on Thunder Road a couple of weeks ago they took some time out for a great day of fun and incentive fulfillment. Bowling with Bewley is the first event of the many great incentives available to contributors to Thunder Road. Held at Lucky Strike in Hollywood fans and friends turned out to support a day of bowling and Super Bowl fun. Charlie Bewley had the support of his castmates from the Twilight franchise: Alex Meraz, Gil Birmingham, Erik Odom, Pat Brennan, Bill Tangradi, Justine Wachsberger as well as Matt Dallas, Steven Grayhm,  Andy Nguyen and his veteran friends from Honor Courage Commitment.

It was an once in a lifetime opportunity for fans to spend the day with these wonderful actors and even beat some of them at bowling! Charlie generously (and with much pride) lent his ever so stylish bowling shirts to his friends Matt Dallas, Steven Grayhm and Andy Nguyen to wear in honour of the event. The losing team was helmed by Charlie and their punishment involved a whole lot of push-ups. I was thankfully on team werewolf headed by Alex Meraz who was nice enough to offer me some bowling advice, unfortunately for Alex my abysmal bowling was not due to a misunderstanding of bowling techniques, the whole event was very casual and fun was had by all.

After bowling we spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the Super Bowl festivities in the VIP room of Lucky Strike. In honour of both the event and the recent birthdays of both Charlie and Steven, a special sweet surprise of custom cupcakes and cake created by Mary’s Cake Shop, was enjoyed along with other delicious goodies provided by the wonderful staff of Lucky Strike. There was another round of punishing push-ups for the losing team during one of the commercials breaks, the half-time show was a roaring success with many of the guests getting up and dancing, including the always entertaining Matt Dallas. All the guests were happy enough to chat and take pictures throughout the event making the atmosphere intimate and unforgettable, some incentive attendees were even lucky enough to get to re-enact Steven Grayhm’s ‘Boy Band’ pose!

If you’re sad you missed out on such a wonderful and unique opportunity don’t despair you can still join in the fun with many other incentives coming up including a BBQ with Matt Dallas and the entire cast of Kyle XY, or for the aspiring actors you can become part of the magic of Thunder Road by being an extra or a cast member, for more on how to contribute visit ThunderRoadFilm.com and their Thunder Road: Feature Film page on Facebook. 

Special thanks to Cherish and Sarah for being the unofficial photographers for the event.

Don’t Miss Out

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!

It’s almost Christmas so most of us have our gifts all wrapped but if you’re still looking for something unique to give here’s a great suggestion: give the gift of Thunder Road. The hard-working guys of Astoria Entertainment’s Indiegogo campaign to fund their first film Thunder Road may be over but you can still get in on the amazing incentives. Through their Thunder Road site they are still accepting donations, all you have to do is visit the site and follow their instructions. Not only are you  helping support a film that could help bring awareness to PTSD, a shocking epidemic that affects not only veterans but many others who endure in relative silence, but you’re also going to get some amazing things back. There are numerous levels of donations with equally awesome incentives.
For any movie lover the chance to attend a private screening of the film with the stars is an opportunity not to be missed. With screenings in various locations, including Los Angeles, Toronto, London, and Dallas, you have your choice of where you want to attend.

If you’re a fan of Twilight or know someone who is then you don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to Bowl with Charlie Bewley and a few of his vampire and wolf friends, including Daniel Cudmore and Bronson Pelletier. This event is happening February 2, 2014 so tickets are being offered for a limited time only. Taking place at Lucky Strike in Hollywood you’ll get the opportunity to spend a few hours partying with the stars! Seeing Charlie in bowling shoes more than makes this worth your while. Tickets are $250/each and you can get them by going to the site and specify you want to attend the bowling event.

And if you’re in the extra giving mood you can surprise someone with the gift of visiting the actual Thunder Road set! That’s right for a true supporter or fan they can have a chance to not only visit the set but can also be an extra in the film! And keep watching their site for news and updates on all things Thunder Road.

Happy Holidays!

Thunder Road Film: Movie With A Message

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When Steven Grayhm, Charlie Bewley and Matt Dallas of Astoria Entertainment approached mainstream Hollywood to pitch their film Thunder Road they were met with a less-than-stellar reception. Hollywood wasn’t interested in a gritty, honest tale of the human condition and the epidemic of PTSD among our returning veterans. Taking their story to the public they launched a crowdfund campaign originally on Kickstarter.com to raise funds to produce their movie their way. With two weeks left to reach their goal on Kickstarter they have now changed platforms to Indiegogo which allows more freedom for people donating, there’s been an outpouring of public support but much more is needed, please consider supporting this campaign which will create awareness of this important issue.
Throughout the campaign I have been fortunate enough to meet people who have been personally affected by PTSD and wanted to share why they support and want others to support Thunder Road.

“Help make an impact on this nation’s understanding of PTSD by supporting this film. Our hearts’ break because we have lost our sons and daughters in this war. Our brave young men and women are coming home with so many problems due to the sights and experience of war. With the loss of friends, brothers and sisters, they need to know that this nation understands the silent pain that they bear. No one who has served this country like our Heroes have should ever be in a place where they feel alone, misunderstood, or just unloved because of where they have been or what they have seen. Please help me in supporting this project, odds are that you have someone in your family or neighborhood who has come home from war and is “just not the same”. We need to embrace them, stand with them, and let them know they are not forgotten. We are thankful for their service and for having stood in the gap of FREEDOM for the citizens of this grateful nation. The young men that were with my son, Shawn Hefner, while he served in Afghanistan are now suffering from PTSD because of the sights of war and witnessing their brother in arms die by stepping on an IED. It is very important to me to help these brave young men know that they are loved by Shawn’s family. Each and every one of these young men have told me stories in which they feel they are responsible for Shawn’s death. The survivors’ guilt is so strong that some of them have had a hard time spending time with me. I feel like they relive Shawn’s death when they talk to or see me. I have made it my mission to reach out to them all. I want them to understand that I know what they had to do, I know the condition his body was in and that it no longer had to be “the silent memory” when they interacted with Shawn’s family. This last visual memory can be released, and they can remember Shawn laughing, telling jokes and just being a positive force in a place of war. I have heard amazing stories of the things my son did that saved the lives of many in this group. They hold his memory so dear, that we have become a part of their family as they are a part of ours. My marine sons are a very special group of men, they have my respect for their choice to serve this country and I am honored that my son touched their lives as he served and died for this great country. Helping to promote this movie “Thunder Road”, to educate America about PTSD and an understanding of just what war does to the hearts of these heroes, is so dear to me. We need to stand with my marine sons and all of our heroes, those who have stood in the gap for our freedoms, and help them to find peace, understanding, and a desire to go forth and live a long, happy and productive life. That is truly the way to honor Shawn and all of our fallen heroes” – Robin Hefner founder of Hico’s Hero her son Shawn P Hefner was KIA 11-13-09

“Woke up a 0300 to get a glass of water. I was extremely sore like most mornings but this was much worse. I pulled myself outta my bed using my attached bed-cane and walked about three steps and made it too the hallway when OH SHIT! My legs went out. I laid there for a moment, thinking what the hell. I tried to get back up but my legs were to sore. So I used my arms to drag myself to the kitchen sink to get water. Then proceeded to low crawl and drag my noodle legs to the recliner chair. It took everything I had to pull myself up. A while went by and eventually Dani (my wife) came out to see what I was doing. I told her “I can’t walk, everything I do to try and stand I fall.” I thought that the epidural I had from the VA went wrong or something. She call for an ambulance while I flopped on the floor with determination to somehow get the hell up using my canes the wall and anything around that was vertical. I know I have problems with my back and left legs after acquiring injuries in Afghanistan. But this was something new. I just seem to get worse as days go by.

Now imagine this is your everyday, pain and worsening pain. Your 29 and can’t hold a job and the government wants to take back some of your 100% disability check to save them money. What you do get does not add up in today’s economy and you still have the rest of your life to live..

The foundation for PTSD is set in stone for this young marine. What are we going to do to make sure he never feels like he’s better off dead? Suicide is a real problem with our young war vets, coping with a life that is nothing like he dreamed of just a few short years ago. Living with physical and mental hardship is something our grandparents deal with not a 20 something your old man with a family to support. Supporting this project to educate America is one the most important thing we can do as free American’s. Learn what PTSD is and lets stop this epidemic of suicide running through our young war HEROES lives.” -Chris O. –Wounded Warrior, Marine – served Afghanistan 2009 – served with Shawn P Hefner

“I just hope they depict PTSD & Veteran issues better than they do currently in the movies. Shit doesn’t end when they come home and attend therapy. The world they live in, we live in, is not the same. You can’t see it with the same eyes. Can’t judge their reactions by what is expected from society. Many have seen things that no human being should be exposed to, many have had to make choices that in a “normal” environment they would never make. And above all…they went to bed not knowing if they would wake up. The effects of PTSD on family members is almost as bad as the PTSD itself… and it is the number one reason for suicide among soldiers. The process of reintegration is too short and soon enough there is another deployment knocking at your door. No time to truly recover and try and pick up the pieces of what once was that person.” – Misplaced Soldier(currently enlisted so anonymity is required)

I’m grateful for these wonderful people for sharing their experiences and I’m hopeful that the public will respond in kind and prove to Hollywood that we as a society care about more than the next big blockbuster and want films to not only entertain but to educate. Pledge your support: www.ThunderRoadFilm.com