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A documentary feature about the obstacle racing phenomenon that stops to ask: WHY THE HELL IS EVERYONE SUDDENLY PAYING FOR PAIN?
Scott Keneally
1,918 Facebook Friends
Healdsburg, California
United States
3 Team Members

Obstacle course racing (OCR) is all the rage these days. It's on the Today Show. It's on Wheaties' boxes. And this month, the Spartan World Championship was televised on NBC Sports Network. In 2013, upwards of 4 million people will suffer through ice, fire, electricity, barbed wire, burpees and mud. Which is pretty wild when you consider that in 2010 that number was around 40,000. These "sufferfests" have charged into ubiquity with lighting speed, which begs the question:

WHY the hell everyone is suddenly paying for pain?

Rise of the Sufferfests is a feature documentary that explores the history of obstacle racing, the psychology behind it and most importantly, what it says about the world we're living in. I've assembled a team of excessively bright minds to help shed light on the phenomenon: behavioral scientists, biologists, bestselling authors, psychologists, sociologists and such. And of course, I'll introduce you to some of the athletes and industry insiders that help tell the story of this new generation of mud-loving masochists. 

As a journalist, I've been entrenched in this world for the past two-and-a-half years, and one of the aspects that most impresses me about OCR is the community. And that's why I'm here. When I decided to make this film, I took the idea to the public - and the response has been amazing. With over 12,000 Facebook fans, over 400 individual pledges totaling almost $35,000 in a previous (albeit unsuccessful) crowdfunding attempt, and countless shares, retweets, personal messages, and contest participants, I'm humbled. I know that the OCR community wants to see this film made as much as I do, and this is their chance to put in their literal two cents.

For a bit about the film, check out this interview I did with Outside

If you want to laugh, check out this song my wife Amber wrote about our crowdfunding efforts. 

And definitely check out this promo clip with Mark Morford, the San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate's award-wining culture critic.


Not even close. BUT... after an overly ambitious (and failed) Kickstarter we decided to simply ask for what we need right now to keep the wheels turning. As the campaign progresses, we'll unveil a series of "stretch goals" that will cover various aspects of production. All the while, we'll continue exploring other avenues of financing - from institutional backers to corporate sponsors. 

GOAL #1Get us to Tough Guy! 

Tough Guy is ground zero of the obstacle race phenomenon, and in January, we want to bring our film crew to capture epic footage of this legendary event. We also want to fly out a couple of our film's stars to test themselves on what is hands-down the most sadistic obstacle course. Plus, fans of this sport will be in for a treat when they meet the eccentric mastermind behind the industry, Mr. Mouse.


SHARE – Spread the word! Send this page to anyone and everyone you think might have an interest seeing this movie. Use the SHARE TOOLS above... and do so while logged into your Indiegogo account. That way we can track which of the friends you refer kick into the campaign. We will soon announce super cool prizes for the people whose referrals result in the most funders and funding. 

JOIN THE SUFFER CLUB –  Sign up for our (100% spam-free) newsletter so you never miss an important contest, exposé or update.

FOLLOW US - Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


We've come up with a series of fun perks we hope you like. And we'll be adding more as we go along. Here's photos of just a few of them. 


We think it's important to reward everyone who kicks $10+ into the cause by featuring their favorite pic as part of The Suffer Club Backers Mosaic. It will permanently live on the film's official website, and better yet, it'll be interactive. You'll be able to scroll over the mosaic, zoom into any pic, and see all the early believers. Again, this is just a free bonus perk to all our funders. (If you want to frame this movie poster and/or hang it on a wall, we're also offering a Poster + Movie perk for $100.) Here are a couple mock-ups for illustrative purposes. The final image will be even better because YOU will be in it! 

We hope this inspires you to BACK IT and SHARE. 

Let's make it happen!

Ever Smiling,

Scott Keneally

Find This Campaign On
raised by 508 people in 2 months
180% funded
No time left
$15,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on February 6, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $10USD

    We know that the holiday season means there isn't a lot of extra dough laying around. For that reason we are extra grateful for your contribution. So grateful, in fact, that director Scott Keneally (and/or another star from the film) is going to send you a personalized video greeting.

    13 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $15USD
    Mini Suffer Club Swag

    We'll send you an embroidered patch for your gym bag, a rubber wristband for the course, and a few stickers for good measure.

    25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $15USD
    'The Killing Fields' Postcard

    We're no experts on memorabilia futures, but someday when this movie is made, you'll probably wish you spent $15 on this limited edition, custom postcard signed by The Man himself, Mr. Mouse. For more on this fun perk, follow the link: http://bit.ly/1h5NypK

    7 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $25USD
    Digital Download of Film

    This is a no-brainer and the easiest way for you to both help make the film AND see the film.

    67 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $30USD
    The Suffer Club T-Shirt

    Avid obstacle racer and standout graphic designer, Stephen Sinek (aka The Painted Warrior), has designed two different logos to choose from on either a white or a black t-shirt. We will try to get these out as soon as possible, but if you'd like to give this as a Christmas gift, we'll send a printable gift card to be used as a placeholder until the real thing arrives. (Please add $5 for shipping within the US and $10 for shipping outside the US. Or visit us to pick up your swag for no shipping!)

    60 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2014
  • $30USD
    Healdsburg Advanced Screening

    Come to our hometown screening of Rise of the Sufferfests! We'll do this in some ultra-cool locale (don't believe us? Google Healdsburg, CA), and have a Q&A with writer/director Scott Keneally as well as columnist and culture critic Mark Morford.

    17 claimed
    Estimated delivery: September 2014
  • $40USD
    Mr. Mouse Legacy Tee

    As the creator of Tough Guy, Mr. Mouse is the King of Sufferfests. Unfortunately, very few people know about him (for now). Help us change that! Score one of our custom Original Tough Guy tees and help spread his legacy. As an added thanks for helping us make this doc, we'll send you a Vimeo code to get 1st look at an EXTRAORDINARY short film we shot with him after Tough Guy 2014. (Please add $5 shipping in US, $10 overseas.)

    18 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $45USD
    The Suffer Club Swag Bag

    Along with the digital download of the film, you'll get a Suffer Club patch, a rubber wristband, a few stickers, and a handy Suffer Club tote! We'll send out the tangibles as soon as we can, but the movie will be ready this fall. (Please add $5 for shipping within the US and $10 for shipping outside the US. Or visit us to pick up your swag for no shipping!)

    35 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $55USD
    T-Shirt & A Movie

    Get the digital download, a t-shirt of your design choice, and a Suffer Club wristband to boot! We'll get the wearables in the mail to you as soon as we can and you can look forward to the movie this fall. (Please add $5 for shipping within the US and $10 for shipping outside the US. Or visit us to pick up your swag for no shipping!)

    73 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $100USD
    Backers Mosaic Poster + Movie

    You know the iconic movie poster for The Social Network? The one with the mosaic of FB profile pics? We're going to do that too, only we'll comprise it of photos/hero shots of our backers. It will permanently live on our film's website, BUT if you want a high quality print for your wall, we'd be happy to make one for you. We'll even sign and number it, if you like.

    11 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $150USD
    The Backers Hoodie!

    LIMITED PRODUCTION! Those who choose this reward between now and the end of this campaign will get their name incorporated into a rad ROSF/Suffer Club logo that will be printed on a high quality hoodie. You will also, of course, receive the digital download of the film. (Please add $5 for shipping within the US and $10 for shipping outside the US. Or visit us to pick up your swag for no shipping!)

    41 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $250USD
    The Post Race Care Package

    You did it! You finished the race! Now you need to clean up. At this reward level, you'll receive a Suffer Club beanie, tank top, boxer briefs (or boy shorts), socks, and a branded aluminum water bottle all in a reusable TSC tote. You will also receive a digital download of the film when finished. (Please add $5 for shipping within the US and $10 for shipping outside the US. Or visit us to pick up your swag for no shipping!)

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2014
  • $500USD
    Exclusive Advanced Screening

    You will receive a magical code that will allow you to screen Rise of the Sufferfests in your living room with all of your friends and then have a one hour FaceTime Q&A with the filmmaker. (Not so bad if all those friends chip in!)

    4 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: August 2014
  • $500USD
    Be In The Movie!

    Send us your favorite OCR hero shot, and it will be featured in the film. You will also see your name in the credits and receive a digital download so you can show all your friends your big screen debut!

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
  • $10,000USD
    Be A Hero!

    We'll fly ROSF star, James Appleton (a 3x Tough Guy champ and world-class photographer) to the obstacle course race of your choosing in 2014. Your race entry will be covered and you'll get the Post Race Care Package, a Backer's Hoodie, a photo book of your best moments and the download of the film, which will have your name listed as a PRODUCER in the credits. AND, so long as the film is not yet finished, WE WILL FILM YOU on the course and use the footage.

    0 out of 4 claimed
    Estimated delivery: October 2014
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