Patrick Rea meets Leonard Knight after seeing INTO THE WILD.
In his spare time, Mr. Rea makes numerous trips to the mountain, researching Leonard, and exploring the idea of writing a feature narrative script and/or producing a documentary about his life. He decides to write a script.
Photo by Dominic Disaia
Leonard chooses Mr. Rea to be his official biographer and signs an Industry Standard Exclusive Depiction Release. Later that year, Mr. Rea is diagnosed with a major colon tumor. Inspired by some words of wisdom from Leonard, Mr. Rea begins researching alternatives to the disabling surgery prescribed, and in October, becomes the first person at UCSD to have a cutting edge endoscopic micro-surgical procedure... which is a success.
Mr. Rea finishes the script, and after being reviewed and by three major script supervisors he begins shopping it, while documenting Leonard's brave decline. An Executive from a major studio suggests he cut a documentary to help his story gain traction. He also works on several promo videos (his day job) for worthwhile causes and ministries, including one for Mission Generation.
Mr. Rea begins a serious of fundraising attempts to finish the doc, including three unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns, and travels across the country to conferences and pitch sessions... all without success.
To fulfill his promise to Leonard, Mr. Rea cuts a self-funded short documentary focusing primarily on Leonard's famous testimony/tour which Leonard calls his "Love Story," hoping to attract Completion Funds. The film is an Official Selection in seven film festivals, receiving about a dozen nominations, winning Best Doc and Cinematography at Gideon in Orlando (Christian) and Best Doc at Docufest in Atlanta (Secular)... but the film does not receive Completion Funds.
Mr. Rea's gives up, goes back to work, and is diagnosed with a Brain Tumor in January. The surgery is a success and in his convalescence, works on several small faith based projects, including a Noir Short called DARK REDEMPTION as Cinematographer and Editor. And at the encouragement of friends, enters "Love Story" in a couple more festivals and is nominated in Newport Beach and Knoxville, and wins in Long Beach.
Feeling a strong calling to enter the film as a feature, Mr. Rea adds about five minutes, pushing it over the 40 minute line into Feature Category and enters The Pan Pacific Film Festival in LA, and is nominated for Best Doc and Best Director... winning Best Feature Documentary.
Encouraged, Mr. Rea adds a couple more scenes and enters his still unfunded film in ICFF (Orlando) and CEVMA (Holland), receiving multiple nominations, and distribution offers. Mr. Rea signs with Gathr Films to do the theatrical and Beyond Words to handle the VOD and DVD. Dark Redemption is also nominated at ICFF (see cast/crew pic to the right)
Mr. Rea adds some more footage making the film, with Epilogue, nearly 90 minutes (finally, proper feature length), and is currently preparing for a Fall release in theaters using Gathr's "On-Demand Model." He also enters into a development deal with the founders of Mission Generation to produce a feature (and this time FUNDED) documentary about their amazing story... Wow, what a journey!
November 1st, 2017
The Film is released theatrically with Gathr.us on what would be Leonard's 86th Birthday. Happy Birthday Leonard!
November 25th, 2017
The Premier is in Escondido, CA
Escondido - December 9th, 7:30pm
VOD/DVD Release - The Film is released to stream on Amazon and Prime, and for DVD purchase (with 25 minutes of extra footage) through Beyond Words Film & Publishing