Blind John Movie - Phase 2

$2,063 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 20 months
John Fleming, known as Blind John among skydivers, made over 1938 jumps in his lifetime -- more than 1200 after losing his sight. Now, we are on a mission to tell his story in a full-length documentary.

Sadly, John passed away in 2016, but he continues to inspire people with his courage and willingness to "think outside the box" so he could continue to pursue his passions after retinitis pigmentosa robbed him of his vision.

We have already completed a number of interviews with John and people who knew John, which allowed us to put together this short film, Free Falling: The Story of John Fleming, Thrill-seeker. There is so much to tell, though.  During Phase 2, we need to send our camera crew to some of the drop zones where John jumped to interview more people who knew him, we have insurance premiums coming due, and we need some equipment. Our estimated budget for this phase is:

Editing computer: $2,000
4k video camera: $3,000
Sound/lighting equipment: $1,000
Insurance:  $4,000
Travel for interviews/location shoots:   $3,000
Editing Consultant:  $2,000

Ultimately, we hope John's story will inspire all who see it, raise awareness about retinitis pigmentosa, and show people that life after vision loss can be full and rich, though some creative thinking is required.

Since we are a very small, independent production company, financial support from folks who want to see this movie made is critical to this project's success. Are you inspired by this little slice of Blind John's story? Would you like to see a full-length film about how he did it? Please, donate today.
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Are you allowed to have a sense of humor about going blind? BJ did.

One of the things people most admired about John was his irrepressible spirit. It’s not that losing his sight didn’t affect him and create hardships, it did and he was honest about that — but he was also determined to live life on his own terms and, for him, that meant seeing the humorous side of living the life of a thrill-seeker who was going blind. So, don’t be afraid to chuckle while you watch this vid. John talks about going blind, retinitis pigmentosa, and some of the funny predicaments his adventurous spirit got him into as his sight waned.

Blue skies!

P.S. If you love John’s stories and want more, consider a donation of $100 or more. Your gift will help support production costs for the full-length documentary and you will receive a copy of John Fleming’s ebook, No Shit, There I Was, I Thought I Was Going to Die. It is full of John’s stories of living a thrill-seeking life while losing his sight, and eventually, becoming totally blind.
John Fleming on Losing His Sight
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Welcome home Derek, Jenny, and Darian Slayton Fleming!

Our production team had a successful southern California trip: 11 interviews for the documentary, some fundraising, and a tour of Colton, California -- the town where John grew up -- courtesy of John's brother Matt.

Huge thanks to Skydive Perris for all their generosity and all the did to make this trip a success.

Blue skies!

Image 1: The hard-working crew poses at Skydive Perris before the fundraiser to promote the documentary.

Image 2: Lee Hansen (John's cousin), Kristy Hansen, Cathy Crawford, Charles Cason, Darian Slayton Fleming, and Derek Ewell at the Perris Valley drop zone.
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What Does Retinitis Pigmentosa and Macular Degeneration Look Like?

What did “Blind John” see? The link below will lead you to a blog post with a series of videos that do a great job of explaining RP and macular degeneration, along with one man’s description of what he sees.

John Fleming’s experience with RP and macular degeneration may not have looked exactly like this, but it will give you an idea of the challenges John faced as a skydiver who was losing his sight.

Blue skies!

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Long before he started jumping out of airplanes, John Fleming had a reputation for being an adventurer. In this clip, taken at the Blue Skies Boogie celebration of his life, John shares the story of the time he and some buddies went train hopping as kids — and what happened after they ran into a police officer!

Would you like to see us make a full-length documentary about John’s life and how he continued to skydive after he lost his sight? Please consider a donation today and let's get this movie made!

Blue skies!
John tells story of jumping trains
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$2,063 of $15,000 goal

Raised by 27 people in 20 months
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