Jan Oliver Lucks

Wilbur Force (Feature Film)

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Wilbur Force the Feature Film

Based on last year's Loading Docs short, Wilbur Force the Feature Film will expand the story of William McDougall in his quest to overcome his demons and be reborn as a changed man, a new wrestler.

In early May Will will have 80% of his stomach removed. A dangerous procedure, limiting the amount of food he can eat to one tablespoon at a time. Through a combination of intimate diary cams, personal observational footage, re-creations of key events in Will's life, as well as wrestling-inspired vingettes that distill his conflict into cinematic climaxes, the documentary will explore whether Will can really change his life forever and whether or not he can find a new wrestling persona that has the strength to defeat his previous alter ego...  Wilbur Force.


The story so far

Last year we made a documentary short called Wilbur Force. It was funded by Loading Docs (NZ on Air / New Zealand Film Commission) the Dunedin City Council and YOU, you good looking bastard! THANK YOU.

The film did pretty well. It premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival, got covered by The Atlantic, Huffington Post, CNN's Great Big Story and Short of the Week, has more than 230,000 views online and most importantly, it did actually get Will off his ass.

"We loved how much you fitted into the film, how many ways into the subject you gave the viewer. Like many of the films, you left us wanting more, but not because you didn't deliver - but rather because you did!" Paul from Short of the Week


Wilbur is risking his life

Getting his life back on track, Will applied for a gastric banding surgery late last year which is a procedure that basically straps half a condom around Will's intestine, making it impossible to eat more than two table spoons of food at any time. The operation has risks as Will has to go fully under. Plus it happens in Invercargill…

On the 21st of April we found out that the surgery has been granted and that Wilbur will go under… on the 11th of May.



While great news for Will its a stress for us, we need to film in just over two weeks and thats why we need your help.

We need to raise $7000 to cover the costs of our crew filming Wilbur at the hospital, the events leading up to it as well as the immediate aftermath. This is a crucial part of our film as it marks the beginning of Will's transformation outside as well as inside the ring.

Anything raised above the goal will go straight to more filming for the film and post production. This is a passion project, designed for us to slowly kill ourselves through maximum work overload - and we love it!

Not only would you be an active part in making a film happen, you would help everyone involved take their career to the next level. We would love for you to be a part of this feature documentary!


I love Wilbur, but who else is involved?

Writer, Director: J.Ollie Lucks has a striking visual aesthetic, and a strong belief that the filmmaking process can be transformative. His work often plays with documentary conventions, challenging the line between fact and fiction. Ollie's 2014 documentary short The Characteristics of C-Minor, made for the BBC, has been screened and won awards at 20 international film festivals. His 2015 documentary Wilbur Force premiered at the New Zealand International Film Festival and was viewed more than 230,000 times online. 

Producer: Julia Parnell is an Auckland-based producer who is overseeing the production. Julia co-founded Loading Docs, a short film initiative for which the 2015 Wilbur Force short was made. Because of our successful collaboration, Julia and I have decided to team up again and continue to tell the story of Wilbur Force. Her recent short film Dive won the Show me Shorts competition and was eligible to compete in the 2016 Academy Awards.

Co-Writer: Paul Stephanus has written and produced 6 plays to acclaim. He has co-written 5 short movies - among these are Brains!, NZ 48hour Film Festival 2012 national champion; and Rubble, 2014 national runner up in the same festival. He was also a staff writer on the History Channel documentary series The World From Above. He is the co-writer and producer of the television series, Milton the Monster Hunter, the first episode of which is currently in post-production. On top of this he writes short stories, novels, poetry and songs, which can all be found on his website.


The Funds
We are planning to secure vital crew and equipment to film in the time around the operation. This includes:

- Director of photography / camera gear - $2,600.00

- Sound / sound gear - $2,000.00

- Travel (Flights) - $900.00

- Accomodation - $650.00

- Petrol / Milage - $300.00

- Additional Equipment - $200.00

- Incidentals - $350.00

If we shoot past our goal of $7000.00 we will be putting that money straight into more shooting and the post production budget.


What is our aim with the film?

The creation of last years' short documentary proved to us that film can have considerable impact not just on an audience but also on the talent in front of the camera. Thanks to the lime-light that Will found himself in, he blossomed. He became active, happy and started to wrestle again. He found a job and got rid of his debts. He applied for a gastric sleeve operation and with it is seeing his personal transformation through.

Through watching Wilbur Force we want audiences to be reminded of the value to hold on to ones best self. To go the hard way, to self improve. We all know what it is like to go off the rails and feel guilty for it. We think film can be a medium for intimate change, when translated into a captivating story with engaging talent.

Thank you for your support!!

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