THUNDER ROAD - Feature Film

An epic war drama for a defining generation that Hollywood is too afraid to make.
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Astoria Film Co.
Film
Los Angeles, California
United States
1 Team Member

It Began With A Dream...


STEVEN GRAYHM & MATT DALLAS ON LARRY KING 



MATT, STEVEN & CHARLIE NEED YOUR HELP!!!

There is a growing epidemic happening across the country that is claiming the lives of 22 veterans every day and 1 active duty soldier and Marine every 25 hours.


Men and women all around the world have been affected and the numbers are growing exponentially. This epidemic is known as PTSD. POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER

CHANGE IS HERE!!!

By contributing to THUNDER ROAD you will join us in lifting the veil on PTSD and bringing it into the public forum. 

WATCH STEVEN & MATT ON FOX NEWS



Matt Dallas & Steven Grayhm with US Army Veteran, SPC. Nicholas Carbonell @ The Boston Globe Q&A. 


EVERY THUNDER ROAD CONTRIBUTOR WILL HAVE THEIR NAME IN THE FINAL CREDITS OF THE FILM ALONG WITH THE CAST & CREW!!!


GREAT PERKS DESIGNED JUST FOR YOU...

CUSTOM THUNDER ROAD T-Shirt's!!!

LUNCH WITH INTERNATIONALLY RENOWNED AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR MITCH ALBOM

THE FIVE PEOPLE WHO MEET MITCH ALBOM // Five lucky people will have the opportunity to have lunch with best-selling Author Mitch Albom (Tuesday's With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven) and Steven Grayhm, star of the film adaptation of Mitch's THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. You will get signed copies of the complete Mitch Albom book collection (Tuesday's With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven, For One More Day, Have A Little Faith, The Time Keeper AND NEW BOOK The First Phone Call From Heaven). Ask Mitch about his unique writing process and inspiration for his books. You will also get two tickets to any one of the red carpet premieres worldwide! Watch the film with cast, crew and other special guests. Come celebrate with us at the afterparty and dance the night away! You’ll also receive the lapel pin & patch, dog tags, a signed movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and production diary. You will have to provide your own personal travel and accommodation in Detroit.

Steven, Matt and Charlie...How Are You At The Helm Of An Epic War Film? 

...It was late one evening back in the winter of 2011 when after sharing a warm case of Guinness, Steven and Charlie mused about their overall discontent with the diminishing quality of work in their industry and their growing desire to lend themselves to a greater cause. Steven revealed that he was toying with the idea of returning to his roots as a writer. He was considering blowing the dust off a script that he began writing back in 2003 that was to be a follow up to his award winning short film based on his grandfather's experience as a POW during WWII (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0410866/), but that his acting career had since taken priority. The script would follow soldiers returning home from war during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom and explore the psychological repercussions of combat life and the collateral damage on the civilian world. Steven suggested that in order to continue to write a genuine and authentic piece, he would need to go directly to the source - the soldiers, doctors, veterans, families - themselves - and research and develop on a grass roots level. He also revealed that there was a strong supporting role of a British soldier whom he secretly had Charlie in mind to play. Charlie upped the ante by suggesting that the two garner corporate sponsorship to help fund their collective endeavor and agreed to join him on the journey. 

That's Great! How Did Matt Dallas Join Forces With You?

While working on the feature film Wyatt Earp’s Revenge, Steven and Matt bonded during filming, Steven playing an outlaw running from the law - and Matt - the law. Sat atop their horses one day on set waiting for the background to reset and the director to call action, Steven shared his newly hatched plan. Matt encouraged Steven to see it through. Later that night, Steven met up with Charlie and divulged that he had met an actor on set that had an innate sensitivity and honesty that was conducive to the role of Steven’s best friend Darryl Sparks in his script. The two decided that night that they should offer the role to Matt. The following day, Steven returned to set and expressed to Matt his strong feeling about him playing his best friend. With a gleaming smile, Matt accepted and was officially on board.

Awesome Guys! Why Indiegogo?

• First, Indiegogo allows us to seek alternative methods and partnerships. With the current Kickstarter structure, projects have one target only, and fans and supporters are left disappointed if a project doesn’t raise 100% of its fundraising goal. With Indiegogo, your investment in THUNDER ROAD can continue even if its goal isn’t reached in time. Because of the interest generated through the crowdfunding platform, we will be able to partner with investors who have agreed to come on board if a certain percentage of our goal is met. This means that the project doesn’t have to die when the clock winds down. The partnerships we cultivate can allow us to move forward and go into pre-production as early as this Fall/Winter as planned.

• Second, Indiegogo supports non-profits and non-profit fundraising. We’ve received interest from groups across the globe who believe in the importance of telling the story of veterans and soldiers suffering from PTSD, but we had to decline their help because of the restriction on non-profit affiliation by Kickstarter. Indiegogo will allow us to expand our dialogue with these groups, something we were unable to do in our current structure.

• Third, Indiegogo doesn’t cap donation amounts. Indiegogo wants each campaign to be successful, because they know whether you’re donating $5 or $50,000, you’re giving a part of yourself to see this project make it. Currently, any donors pledging more than $10,000 must jump through hoops in order to get their pledges made. Indiegogo allows larger donors the means to make pledges that push us closer to seeing this movie made.

After two years of researching, developing and writing the screenplay for Thunder Road, we began to take meetings with producers and production companies and learned very quick that Hollywood had little interest in making a film on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and even worse, with three relatively unknown actors. All of the elements to satiate the "Hollywood Money Making Machine" were there; a strong narrative, an anti-hero protagonist, a love story, epic combat scenes, a well researched underlying cultural education, but despite all of that, much of the feedback was, “really great script but...(insert nonsensical comment about bottom lines and A-Listers)”. We grew impatient with the conventional way of getting an independent film off the ground and with the success of Kirsten Bell’s, Veronica Mars and Zach Braff’s,Wish I Were Here, we felt compelled to explore the route of crowd funding to ensure that our film gets made the way we intended. Only what differentiates us from our more famous and established colleagues is that we have a CAUSE. We are aiming to both entertain and EDUCATE.

Ok, I'm Intrigued. What's The Film About?

THUNDER ROAD is the story of returning U.S. soldier SGT. CALVIN COLE (played by Steven) whom we meet in present day Detroit as a troubled veteran who suffers from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and tbi (Traumatic Brain Injury) from multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Initially resistant to the VA system COLE must find a way to assimilate back into civilian life before he ends up dead or in prison. 

Through his rekindled friendship with his estranged childhood friend PFC. DARRYL SPARKS (played by Matt) who he served on the “buddy system” with and his newly formed relationship with a doctor at the VA Medical Center, COLE finds redemption and salvation through sharing his captivating experience as a combat infantryman. The film also explores the psychological repercussions of war and seeks answers to the growing epidemic of PTSD and tbi in returning soldiers.

THUNDER ROAD also shows the allied forces involvement in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom as we intertwine COLE's story with CPT. CHARLES RHODES (played by Charlie), a Sandhurst educated Captain of the British Army who we learn has crossed paths with COLE and SPARKS during their service in the middle east.

Fantastic! ...But How Is Your Film Any Different From Others On This Subject Matter?

First and foremost, our screenplay has been thoroughly researched. We’ve spent hundreds of hours sitting in front of doctors and clinicians role playing a multitude of scenarios. We’ve collected vast amounts of personal accounts from soldiers experiences from the field. Most importantly, there is NO other film for our generation that truly explores the psychological repercussions of war from these current conflicts the way COMING HOME and THE DEER HUNTER did for their generation.

Many films aim to check off the boxes when it comes to PTSD (i.e. loud noise = veteran jumps). It’s much more complicated than that. Furthermore, many films neglect to show the rehabilitation process, both mentally and physically. We have created characters that you will CARE about. An UNDERDOG story that you can relate to and root for their most extraordinary journey!

Our Pledge To You…

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. 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. - Steven Grayhm

We PLEDGE to listen. To always be storytellers. We will make it our mission to bring to the people tales of bravery and strength as well as ones of adversity and hope. We will be the messengers for those who need to be heard. This we believe in and will keep alive.  - Matt Dallas

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 THRU EXTENSIVE RESEARCH INTO THE PUBLIC FORUM. - Charlie Bewley

I’m Sold! How Do I Join This Incredible Journey?

To become one of our contributors, just click on the big pink button to the right of our video and choose which reward you want. Signing up is easy and there is NO third party account necessary!

Who’s Directing?

We have compiled a list of directors whose work we have thoroughly researched and collectively feel would be the best fit for our project. It will really come down to scheduling but usually the Hollywood math translates to: the more money we raise = the better quality of director we can attract!

Casting

We have several strong supporting lead roles that we are confident will attract top tier talent who will help to elevate our story AND our budget. A successful campaign will ensure that we get to cast the right people for the job. 

Locations

Detroit - John D. Dingell VA Hospital, VA Shelter, Downtown, Cass Corridor. We are excited to announce that we have secured most of our locations in the Motor City and honored to bring our project to the state of Michigan!

Iraq - Baghdad, Hegnah. (Our team is working on similar location(s) that will double for this).

Afghanistan - The Korengal Valley - located in the northeastern part of the country (Kunar Province) and widely known as “the valley of death”. (Our team is working on similar location(s) that will double for this).

Budgetary Cuts

The amount of funds we raise will directly dictate how many action sequences we can include in our film (based on real accounts from soldiers that we’ve met and worked with), how many military vehicles we can acquire for these scenes, how many authentic extras we can hire (The Hurt Locker hired many refugees from Iraq from their national theater that were displaced but found work as their background and supporting cast). Thunder Road is a psychological drama at its heart but to understand PTSD we must show the cause and effect. The cause is the expensive part of our film. 

The Soundtrack

This is going to be a dooooozey! We’ve always been huge fans of original orchestral scores in film. In addition to an epic sweeping score, we intend to release a soundtrack that we hope will elevate our film and have already compiled a list of our favorite artists whom we intend to reach out to (we’re also eager to discover new artists and hope to include some unknown work on our soundtrack!). 

A Final Word From The Boys...

After two years of anxiety attacks, paranoia, night terrors and finally a stomach ulcer (I’m cured now!) caused by the stress that came with fully immersing myself in this subject matter to write an authentic screenplay, I am so excited (and perhaps relieved) to finally be at a stage to launch a crowd funding campaign. Even more so, to be doing it alongside two of my best friends that have worked so hard every step of the way with me. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t terrified of putting myself and the project out there like this. I feel a tremendous responsibility to all those who’ve shared their stories with us and are counting on us to see this through. We have no idea if this is going to work. What we do know is that we have a truly incredible script (thanks to all of those that shared so openly with us!) with an original and captivating story, an amazing team of people behind it and a passion and determination unlike any other campaign. While you are reading this right now, we are out on the road attending events, meeting potential backers, doing press nationwide in every city that will have us - everything and anything we can do to make sure that we reach our goal and bring this very special film to the screen - to you - our audience. Thank you so much for taking the time to consider your support for our project and know that we are so truly grateful and honored to have you on this journey with us! God bless. - Steven Grayhm

First of all, thank you for taking the time to check out our project. This has been a long two years of blood, sweat and tears so we appreciate every bit of support.

We set out to make a really special film and with the help of so many we are getting closer and closer to achieving that goal. It is because of the those incredible people that believed in us that we have been able to come this far and we are hoping that we can recruit you to come aboard this passion project as well.

As an actor I read screenplay after screenplay and I can honestly say it is rare that a script this special comes along. It has been a long time since I have loved a project as much as I do this one.

So we ask you, even if you can't back us monetarily, help us out by spreading the word and sharing this link. We will love you forever. We also promise to do everything we possibly can to deliver a movie that you can be proud to say you were a part of! - Matt Dallas

Thunder Road is a fictional tale based on the true stories of hundreds of veterans, soldiers and their families. It therefore represents the trials and tribulations of millions of people who live among us, many hidden away from society as a direct result of the incredible tales they have to share.

Bridging the gap between docu-drama and film, Thunder Road lifts the veil on veteran life allowing our audience a unique, voyeuristic glimpse into a subculture of society that is as heart warming as it is heart wrenching.

I am honored to have been a part of this journey. I have learned so much along the way, much of which I would have remained ignorant to without this experience.

It is my hope that our passion and spirit in our investment to the veteran community resonates within your hearts also... We'll get this funded ...And this same education I received will be hitting your screens by the end of 2014! Thank you.  - Charlie Bewley

Gold Star Mother, Bunnie Jacquay. Ms. Jacquay's son, SGT. Cody Legg was KIA on June 4th, 2008 in Hegnah, Iraq. The military operation for which he was killed is chronicled in THUNDER ROAD.

LET'S STAY CONNECTED

STEVEN GRAYHM @SGRAYHM

MATT DALLAS @themattdallas

CHARLIE BEWLEY @alchemission

ASTORIA FILM CO @AstoriaFilmCo

THUNDER ROAD Facebook Page

Find This Campaign On
$256,140USD
raised by 625 people in 1 month
102% funded
No time left
$250,000 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on October 13, 2013
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Select a Perk
  • $15USD
    STARTER PACKAGE

    Welcome to the journey! You'll now receive updates during our campaign and exclusive content during filming from the set. We will be sure to include videos, photos and interactive content. You’ll be the first to hear the soundtrack to THUNDER ROAD before it is released, via a streaming link. Lastly, you'll get your name in the credits as a massive thanks for taking a leap of faith and helping fund our project, we'll email you a PDF of the THUNDER ROAD shooting script before the movie premieres.

    89 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $25USD
    SIGNED POSTCARD

    A signed thank you note from Charlie, Matt & Steven on an exclusive THUNDER ROAD postcard. You will also get the production diary, soundtrack and pdf of the script.

    52 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $30USD
    CONTRIBUTORS SCREENING

    A live group movie screening across the world. We'll host several live online screenings of THUNDER ROAD. Watch from your computer or mobile device, and after each screening, we’ll answer as many of your questions about the film as we can via online Q&A. You’ll also receive the soundtrack streaming link, production diary,script and name in the credits.

    63 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $40USD
    THUNDER ROAD T-SHIRT

    Not just another T-Shirt. We promise. Exclusively sold only to our contributors, these unique Tee’s will be printed on a soft, high quality, cotton mix and designed by one of the most incredible teams responsible for bringing you some of your favorite musician's tour merch! You'll even get to choose from two designs. You’ll also receive the soundtrack stream, production diary, script and name in the credits.

    63 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $50USD
    LAPEL PIN, PATCH AND DOG TAGS

    Designed exclusively by www.CoinForce.com - the team behind the 9/11 10th Anniversary Challenge Coin Raising $911,000 for U.S. Military and First Responders via USO and NYPD. You’ll also receive the script PDF, t-shirt, soundtrack and production diary. ** www.CoinForce.com is Veteran owned and operated. *** We will have a design of the lapel pin & patch up as soon as it's ready. Thanks for your patience!

    47 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $100USD
    PREMIERE & Q&A

    Choose your city: San Antonio, Washington, DC, Detroit, New York, Virginia, Toronto, Boston, London, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Los Angeles, San DIego and Phoenix. We will show a private screening and stay for a Q&A session. You will have to provide your own personal travel and accommodation. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. **Los Angeles premiere is not the same as the Official Los Angeles Red Carpet Premier

    89 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $125USD
    SIGNED DIRECTOR'S CHAIR BACK

    Printed with the movie’s logo on it and signed by the cast of THUNDER ROAD. (Chair not included). You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits.

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $150USD
    SIGNED MOVIE POSTER

    The official THUNDER ROAD movie poster signed by the cast. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in credits.

    10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $150USD
    SIGNED THUNDER ROAD SCREENPLAY

    The official THUNDER ROAD screenplay signed by the cast. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in credits.

    18 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $200USD
    PREMIERE & Q&A FOR 2

    Choose your city: San Antonio, Washington, DC, Detroit, New York, Virginia, Toronto, Boston, London, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Phoenix. We will show a private screening and stay for a Q&A session. You and your guest will have to provide your own personal travel and accommodation. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. **LA premiere is not the same as the Official LA Red Carpet Premiere. *2x all ite

    36 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $400USD
    PREMIERE & AFTER PARTY FOR 2

    Cities: San Antonio, Washington, DC, Detroit, NY, VA, Toronto, Boston, London, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Phoenix. We will show a private screening, stay for a Q&A session and AFTER PARTY. You and your guest will have to provide your own personal travel and accommodation. Plus receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. *** LA premiere is not the same as the Official Los Angeles Red Carpet Premiere ** 2x all items

    24 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $500USD
    BOWL W CHARLIE & TWILIGHT CAST

    Bowl the night away with Charlie Bewley and some of his favorite Twilight cast members at Hollywood hot spot Lucky Strike. Win prizes, discuss your favorite Twilight scenes and rub elbows with the supernatural! You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. You will need to provide your own transportation and accommodation in Los Angeles. *** This package is for you + 1

    6 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $500USD
    BBQ W MATT & KYLE XY CAST

    That's right, we're making this a family affair! Matt will be Master Chef for the day and host this out door event with his Kyle XY cast in attendance. Get the inside scoop on behind the scenes antics from the set and take photos with Matt and the cast. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. You will need to provide your own accommodation and transportation in Los Angeles. *** This package is for you +1

    18 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $1,500USD
    SET VISIT FOR 2

    Visit the THUNDER ROAD set and watch us film a scene! You’ll get to have lunch with the cast and crew and likely make a cameo in our production diary. We will be shooting in Detroit this winter You will have to provide your own personal transportation and accommodation to whichever location you choose. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, a signed movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. ** 2x all items

    0 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $2,000USD
    BE AN EXTRA IN THE FILM

    Enjoy the day on set with the THUNDER ROAD cast and crew and be an extra in a scene. You’ll also get to have lunch with the cast and crew. We can’t guarantee that you will end up in the final cut, but we’re looking to please here so we’ll do our darndest! You will have to provide your own travel and accommodation in Detroit. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, a signed movie poster, backer's screening, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits.

    1 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $2,500USD
    LUNCH W MITCH ALBOM

    Have lunch with best-selling author Mitch Albom (Tuesday's With Morrie) and Steven Grayhm, star of the film adaptation of Mitch's THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. You will get signed copies of the complete Mitch Albom book collection. You will get a ticket for Detroit premiere plus receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, a signed movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits.You will have to provide your own personal travel and accommodation in Detroit.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $2,750USD
    BE AN EXTRA & LA PREMIERE

    Be an extra and join us at the Los Angeles premiere for the red carpet! (you plus 1). You will have to provide your own travel and accommodation in Detroit and Los Angeles. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, a signed movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. *** This package is for you +1

    2 out of 10 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $5,000USD
    HOMETOWN SCREENING

    Yes, we’ll come to your hometown and have a private screening of THUNDER ROAD for you and 50 of your friends and family. We’ll hang around for a special Q&A and even create our own little afterparty at your favorite local watering hole. You’ll also receive the lapel pin, patch, dog tags, a signed movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. *** Screenings outside the US/Canada are subject to increased costs.

    3 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $10,000USD
    BECOME A CAST MEMBER

    Spend the day on the set and we’ll give you one line to say in the film. Attend one of the film’s three OFFICIAL premiere’s. Plus get a hardcopy of the screenplay signed by the cast, lapel pin, patch, dog tags, t-shirt, soundtrack and name in the credits. Travel and accommodations provided by you. Choose 1 of 8 (first come first serve): Soldier (x3), Wal-Mart Shopper(x3), Taxi Driver, Airport Representative (Must be 18+). *** You cannot be a member of SAG/AFTRA. See you on set!

    2 out of 8 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
  • $10,000USD
    Associate Producer

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER // Be privy to ALL of the behind the scenes action. We'll share creative notes, casting choices, production diary, unlimited set visits (you must provide your own transportation and accommodation), 2 tickets to any official premiere & after party, IMDB.com credit, name & title in final credits of film, signed director's chair back, screenplay, movie poster, t-shirt, soundtrack.

    0 out of 5 claimed
    Estimated delivery: December 2014
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