Local filmmaker Calderon kickstarts fundraiser for Ted Bundy documentary
Portion of the money will be donated to RAINN
October 21, 2017
Last spring filmmaker Celene Beth Calderon and her producers Timothy Psarras and Sean McKenna began working on their film "Theodore: The Documentary," which would focus on the serial Ted Bundy's connections in Utah.
Since then the scope of the project has grown to include Bundy's childhood in the Pacific Northwest, his escape from jail in Colorado to his execution in Florida.
"We are about 60 percent finished with the film," Calderon told The Park Record. "Since (last month) the film has gained six new characters, and a seventh, Ted Bundy's former bishop in Utah, just came on two weeks ago."
To help continue the project, Calderon, who graduated from Park City High School in 2005, has applied for various grants and turned to crowd-sourcing through Kickstarter.com.
The goal is to raise $50,000, and the campaign ends at midnight on Nov. 3. The page can be found by visiting this website.
"The Kickstarter will give us a push until the grants start opening in the spring," she said. "Funds will help us complete the interviews and get legal representation for the film."
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Calderon and her crew are also donating 5 percent of the funds to Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), a nonprofit that is known as the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization.
"We felt it was important for us to do this on behalf of the women who were victims of Ted Bundy," Calderon said. "It also touched a nerve with what was going on in today's social climate, and as a survivor myself, I wanted to show that we still want to do good on behalf of Ted's victims, which is one of the primary reasons I wanted to make this film."
Calderon reiterated that making the documentary is in no way glorifying Ted Bundy.
"We understand that some people are upset that we are making this documentary," she said. "The purpose is to raise awareness on different levels. And we want to bring to light that there are organizations such as RAINN that help women and men get through their challenges."
Calderon and her crew plan to use part of the funds to return to Seattle and meet with Bundy's childhood friends, and travel to Colorado to meet with individuals that worked in the penal and court systems.
"Lastly, we will go to Florida to the state prison where he was executed," she said. "We hopefully go to Tallahassee and Florida State University for more interviews."
Bundy, who would eventually confess to the murders of 36 women from around the United States, was executed in 1989.
Half of the interviews Calderon and her crew have conducted so far have been with people involved with Bundy on a personal level. The filmmakers recently returned from Los Angeles, where they interviewed Dr. James Fallon, a neuroscientist who is known for his studies about serial killers.
They also met with one of Bundy's defense attorneys, Judge Bruce C. Lubeck, who provided them with stacks of Bundy's private documents.
"These include letters he wrote to judges, attorneys and ex-girlfriends," Calderon said. "They also include poems and short stories that he wrote. So we had Dr. Fallon analyze these writings, and he weighed in on what Ted was trying to portray in these documents."
The other half of the interviews were people who had to unfortunately deal with the aftermath of what Bundy did, Calderon said.
Calderon said nothing prepared her for the emotional roller coaster she has been on since the filming began.
"It's been difficult, and I would be the first to say that I'm shedding tears with these people," she said. "We watch them open up in the interviews and see them forget that there are cameras and lights catching them in their stories. After incredibly emotional interviews, I just have to go back home or to the hotel and just sit surrounded by silence."
Those emotional pitfalls aside, Calderon is determined to finish the film.
"By diving into the brain of a psychopath and murder, I think with this film, people will have a reference for what the red flags are when it comes to a serial killer," she said. "We feel as if we have been blessed with these interviews, because if we can save one life at the end of the day, it will be worth it."
To donate to Celene Beth Calderon's "Theodore: The Documentary" visit this website.