Producer-Director, Cathy Irby Durant need your help to make the movie "Going Out a Champion," the Coach Joe Ellis Story. An inspiring, much anticipated sports, romantic, drama film, based on a true story, written by Doris M. Ellis. In 2005, Coach Joe Ellis made headlines when he coached the Surry County High School Boys Basketball Team to win the Virginia State Championship, but lost his battle with colon cancer 8 weeks later. This film comes at a time when people around the world need to see more positive role models who inspire us to be great leaders and followers who make a difference in the world.
Cathy Durant believes she has the passion to direct this action packed sports movie about a coach who refuses to give in to a terminal illness. Instead, Coach Ellis keeps his focus on God, Family and his determination to lead his team to their first State Basketball Championship .
Cathy Irby Durant has produced and directed nearly 100 hip hop and R&B music videos, documentaries, TV shows and commercials. As a former TV News Producer, for an NBC Affiliate, she has produced many 6 and 10pm news shows that included sports. Because of her sports background, Durant feels she's more than ready to direct "Going Out a Champion," the Coach Joe Ellis Story.
Cathy Irby Durant, Producer-Director
Two weeks ago, when news of the movie was released on the "Going Out a Champion" Facebook Page, in less than 24 hours it got over 600 likes from around the country. Today, with out any special promotions, that number stands at over 1,000 likes within three weeks. This kind of pure excitement could be an indication that this film is going to do well.
Fundraising can be one of the most challenging parts of pre production, which is why Cathy Durant is turning to Indigogo and social media friends for support, as she brings to theaters, one of the most heart warming movie tributes of leadership and triumph of this century.
Over 3,000 people attended his funeral, packing the school gym. Also, residents from near and far, lined the streets of Surry County to say goodbye to the town's hero.
It was a sad day for Surry County and the 13 Surry County Basketball players who became known as the 13 pills that kept Coach Joe Ellis going. They loved winning games for him and he loved showing up at court side for them.
Coach Joe Ellis was an incredible athlete in high school. He often made sports news headlines. Also, as a family man he was a great role model to the Surry County Community. For over 13 years he was known for coaching winning basketball teams.
When you donate to the making of this film your contributions will help keep Coach Joe Ellis and his Surry County Championship Team's legacy alive. It has been said Joe talked of his story becoming a movie due to his very public battle with colon cancer and his bond with his extraordinary, winning, basketball team. In fact the State Championship game made local and national news. At the end of game people who knew of Joe's Illness were shedding tears of joy along with him as he smiled and held the State Championship Trophy up high. As TV News Broadcasters reported live highlights on the game, one Reporter agreed with Joe when he said the win was like a scene out of a Hollywood movie.
Your contribution will allow you to follow the making of the film from production to red carpet premiers and to theaters. The movie is scheduled for release possibly during March Madness in 2015 or later during the Christmas Holiday season. We will keep you posted on all updates.
We need funds to recreate, shoot, edit and promote the movie "Going Out a Champion," the Coach Joe Ellis Story. This incredible heartwarming film will feature the 5 final games of the 2005 Virginia State Group A, High School Basketball Championship, where Joe Ellis never stop coaching until victory was won.
His unyielding courage to lead the Cougars to victory before his final days were over, was one of the reasons why Surry County School Officials voted to name the Surry County High School Gymnasium in his honor.
At this time our goal is to raise 700,000.00 plus matching private funds to help pay for film production, crew and cast. The budget will pay for production crews hired in Virginia which makes the film eligible for a movie tax incentive, and it will earn a movie tax incentive from the State of Georgia for the post production phase of the project. The film will be shot in Surry County, Richmond, Hampton and Virginia Beach, VA.
For your contribution we are offering perks as tokens of our sincere appreciation. Some of the perks are listed below:
"Going Out a Champion" Hats
"Going Out a Champion" t-shirts
"Going Out a Champion" Hoodies
"Going Out a Champion" Court side floor seat tickets
Featured extras camera placement
Co-Executive Producer Credits
Red Carpet invitations
The funds will pay for:
The story rights
Post Production Editing
Prints and Advertisement
Film Festival Fees
Cast wish list
Previous members of the Surry County High School coaching staff have agreed to help with the production as we recreate the final five games and retro games when Joe Ellis and his son Joey Ellis were star players at LPJ/Surry County High School. Some of the games will be shot at the Boo Williams Sports complex in Hampton, VA.
The final 2 games were shot at Virginia Commonwealth
We can fill the Siegel Center (VCU) with up to 8,000 Extras. Selling tickets for the morning and afternoon games would cover some of the cost to shoot the film there. VCU have offered production dates in October 2014 and April 2015. If we shoot in April the games will be the final scenes of production. It will cost over 3000.00 per day plus crew, production equipment and talent to film at VCU.
Other Ways You Can Help
Please tell everyone you know about this incredible true story sports film about the life of Coach Joe Ellis. On behalf of Executive Producer-Writer, Doris M.Ellis, and Producer-Director, Cathy Irby Durant we thank you in advance for your support and generosity.