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Fund This Film: Inspirational Batman Documentary ‘Legends of the Knight’

By  · Published on February 24th, 2013

Do you wonder why so many people are sooooooo obsessed with Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies? The new documentary Legends of the Knight may not directly address that specific question, but it does explore the ways in which the character resonates for so many people and inspires them to be stronger individuals. The fact that the Caped Crusader is just a regular guy (well, a regular rich guy) without any magical super powers who has experienced tragedy in his life apparently makes him more identifiable. This film will present stories of fans, including those with handicaps, for whom Batman is not just hero but also a motivational figure.

“Batman has become contemporary mythology,” says the film’s producer/director Brett Culp in a press release. “We want to show how enduring stories like this shape us. Our goal is to inspire everyone on the planet who loves Batman to embody his spirit, engage with the world, and make a difference. Together, we are Batman.”

Culp doesn’t have any previous film credits you’d know or that are listed on IMDb. In Sheila Curran Bernard’s well-known book “Documentary Storytelling” there is a whole chapter devoted to him with an introduction stating that he “is not, strictly speaking, a documentary filmmaker.” But he is a renowned and award-winning videographer who “specializes in crafting stories from key moments in the lives of individuals, families, communities and even corporations.” This isn’t necessarily his leap into commercial feature filmmaking, either. Legends of the Knight is a not-for-profit documentary that seems intended for helping others.

And you better believe that this is a popular project, because Culp launched a Kickstarter campaign on Wednesday to help finance the film’s production and he’s already surpassed his goal of about $32,000. There are still 28 days to go, and he says he can use any excess funds for color grading, audio mixing and distribution costs. Most of the doc has already been shot and includes interviews with Batman film franchise producer Michael Uslan and the fittingly named author Gotham Chopra (his real name, which sounds like “Gotham,” is spelled Gautama), as well as doctors, teachers, therapists and, of course, fans.

Here is a video in which Culp explains the point of the film:

There’s also a trailer already cut for Legends of the Knight, which has been making the movie blog rounds. Watch that here:

It’s interesting to see a documentary project like this circulated so widely simply because it involves Batman. It wouldn’t be as notable for so many if it were about the inspirational influence and power of some character that isn’t so significant to pop culture. It probably wouldn’t even be so appealing if it were about a religious figure, at least not to those posting it around the web. And this is the film’s second crowdfunding campaign too. Last year, Culp used Indiegogo to start the production, and he exceeded that goal, too.

You can find a lot more info on this documentary and watch a webcast with the filmmaker from earlier today at its website here.

Do you want to see this film? Enough to help fund it?

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.