Arts & Entertainment
'Bully Chronicles' fundraising deadline approaches
Spinning class helps with raising awareness and dollars
By Kate Opalewski
Originally printed 6/21/2012 (Issue 2025 - Between The Lines News)
Local filmmaker Amy Weber is nearing the final fundraising days for her true-to-life fictional documentary, The Bully Chronicles. She remains hopeful that she will reach her goal of $100,000 by June 23.
"Every penny counts in this game changing project that will help bring understanding and healing to an epidemic that has plagued our youth for far too long," said Weber about the 100 percent Michigan-made project.
The Bully Chronicles http://www.thebullychronicles.com/ begins as a documentary investigation into the story of 16-year-old Jessica Burns, who lies in a coma after a nearly successful suicide attempt. The filmmakers examine Jessica's life to uncover the reasons why. Confessional tapes recorded in secret by Jessica and her best friend Brian surface. The recordings show an unblinking look into the world of bullying through the victim's eyes. As she languishes in a coma, her story unfolds in the "found footage" style through self-recorded interviews and actual confrontations with her bullies. Jessica's primary bully, Avery, initially denies that she's been tormenting Jessica. But once given the opportunity to film her own thoughts and experiences, we see the other side of the story for the first time - the bully's side.
So far, supporters have donated more than $20,000 toward making the film at Indiegogo http://www.indiegogo.com/TheBullyChronicles, the world's largest global funding platform. Every dollar raised will go toward the making of the film. "This is a true example of a grassroots effort. We need supporters and we have to pull together as a community in order to make this happen," said Weber.
Leslee Blatnikoff, co-owner of Real Ryder Revolution in West Bloomfield, is doing anything she can to help with fundraising efforts for the film while introducing a brand new workout to the community at her indoor cycling studio, the first of its kind in Michigan.
"Amy and Tina are our riders and they're also good friends of mine. They are two very hip, young, successful women. I love what they stand for. I respect them so much and I care for them as individuals. I want to support the film, which they are so dedicated and passionate about," said Blatnikoff.
She and her business partners, Traci Raitt and Dan Barish, take cycling to a new level and actually simulate an outdoor ride. The Real Ryder bikes offer a total body workout allowing riders to turn, lean, steer, race, climb, and strengthen their core while generating an increased calorie burn.
"Spinning has been around for a long time. This is the next level of exercise...an intense, exhilarating and motivating 45 to 60 minute workout primed to inspiring, hot music," said Blatnikoff. "It's my pleasure to promote good health and raise awareness."
Visitors are encouraged to come and work hard, but to do things at their own pace. "Any level can take a class. Have something light to eat before, bring water and a towel. People will be amazed at what a great workout they will get," said Blatnikoff, a hardworking mother who is philanthropic in her community.
"This bullying thing has become such a big to-do with people judging and hurting each other. I'm not about that anymore in my life, which is why I want to be a part of this and see this grow. This film is so important," said Blatnikoff, adding that donations are accepted at the studio whether people take a class or not.
"We are very honored that Real Ryder Revolution is making efforts to raise money for The Bully Chronicles," said Weber. "What a wonderful opportunity to exercise, have a great time and contribute to a much-needed cause."
Real Ryder Revolution
6716 Orchard Lake Road
West Bloomfield, MI 48322
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