The STARS Pictures feature lineup, both current and future, includes:


The latest film from STARS Pictures, “Surviving the Wild” is based on the true story of Chris Tempel and his dog as he lost his job and home, forced to live in the mountains of Montana and survive.

We are currently seeking funding for this film.  You can contribute below.


In the spring of 2012, my dog and I found ourselves homeless, living out of my car in the mountains of Montana.  It wound up taking over a year to get back onto my feet.  This movie is my story.

"Home" - My camp, complete with a cooking fire and woodshed to keep the rain off my firewood.
“Home” – My camp, complete with a cooking fire and woodshed to keep the rain off my firewood.

Named after my mildly successful YouTube survival show, “Surviving the Wild” is the story of one man and his dog and the struggles faced when they find themselves homeless, jobless, and eventually car-less.   These trials and more put the man’s survival skills to the test as he tries to get back on his feet, one day at a time.

Teaching fire-craft on my show, "Surviving the Wild" - Ep06 "Lost Hiker" 2013
Teaching fire-craft on my show, “Surviving the Wild” – Ep06 “Lost Hiker” 2013

In February 2018, my friend and producing partner, Chris Trechter, suggested I turn my experience into a movie.  I spent a year writing and refining the script, now it’s scheduled, budgeted, and ready to be shot this June!

One of the aspects of this project that I’m most excited about is that we’re filming it on location, where I actually spent a month living out of my car!  Shooting on location in Montana will take a small, personal story and give it a large, grand scale.

Another reason I’m excited is that this will be my fourth feature length movie!  It’s been a while, but we made “Leap: Rise of the Beast” for $2000 and were able to get it into select video stores.  With video stores becoming a thing of the past, we’ll be reaching for a larger audience with “Surviving the Wild” by getting it on VoD platforms like Amazon.

Directing "Leap: Rise of the Beast" in 2010
Directing “Leap: Rise of the Beast” in 2010
"Leap: Rise of the Beast" on a video store shelf
“Leap: Rise of the Beast” on a video store shelf

“Surviving the Wild” will be shot over the course of 12 days, six in Montana, and six days in Washington/Idaho.  My dog, Bodhi, will be playing the main character’s dog as my previous dog (that I went through all this with) passed a few years ago.

Bodhi and I checking out framework from a previous shelter, December 2018
Bodhi and I checking out framework from a previous shelter, December 2018


My three previous movies were all shot with volunteer cast and crew on nights and weekends.  While it all worked out in the end, doing that meant working around everyone’s schedules and the last movie took seven months to shoot.  Taking into account the fact that we’re shooting half of “Surviving the Wild” on location in Montana, money we receive right now is going toward some hot meals and gas.  We also want to be able to pay our lead actor.

Over the past nine years, I’ve acquired professional film and audio gear, as well as built up a high-end editing system that will let us handle anything we can throw at it.  This means we don’t have to worry about renting or purchasing anything to make this film.

The camera.  We call it, "Rambo".
The camera. We call it, “Rambo”.
The sweet post-production suite! Editing, music, visual effects - we got it all covered!
The sweet post-production suite! Editing, music, visual effects – we got it all covered!

For an idea about what we can do for no money, check out this one minute short film that we made for a total budget of $15-


Since this is a movie based on my experiences, and it’s named after my show, I really wanted to come up with some unique perks/rewards that tie in with the theme.

A contribution of $25 or more will secure you a place in the credits of the movie, a digital download of the finished film, pdf of the script, PLUS access to an exclusive Facebook group where you’ll be able to interact with the cast and crew, as well as see behind the scenes video and pictures not shown anywhere else!

We’ve got some other cool things too, but the reward I’m most excited for is the $500 level.  In exchange for a contribution of $500, I’ll take you out for a weekend of survival fun.  You will be the special guest on an episode of STW the show.  We’ll go out into some beautiful wilderness where we’ll try to find food, build shelter, make fire, and basically SURVIVE!  This reward is limited to the first three people to contribute at this level though, so act quick if this interests you.

Official Rewards List:

Pledge $10 or more

Script Download

A movie is made three times. Once in the writing, once in the shooting, and once in the edit. Find out how the film looked in the script stage with a PDF download of the script!

Pledge $25 or more

Facebook Special

Aside from the contest entry and the script, your $25 contribution also gets you a download of the finished film AND access to an exclusive Facebook group that is just for supporters like you! Interact with the cast and crew, ask questions, and get exclusive behind the scenes content not seen anywhere else! You’ll also find your name in the credits of the film under a special “Funded By” section!
Facebook group available now, movie download will ship when the film is complete.

Pledge $100 or more

Shout out!

For $100, you’ll get all the above, plus a shoutout on the next episode of Surviving the Wild.

Pledge $250 or more

Premiere Treatment

As our way of saying thank you, you’ll get two tickets for the premiere in Spokane, WA. Join us for the film and then stick around for drinks at the historic Davenport Hotel. (travel costs not included). See you at the movies!

Pledge $500 or more

The Surviving The Wild Experience

This is the reward I’m most excited for! You’ll get all the above- the movie, the script, contest entry, premiere tickets, Facebook group, PLUS I’ll take you as a special guest star on an upcoming episode of the show, Surviving the Wild! We’ll make fire, find food and build shelter, all against a breathtaking backdrop of wilderness! (Airfare to Spokane not included)

Pledge $1,000 or more

Associate Producer

We’ll get you your own IMDB page and have you listed as an “Associate Producer” for this film! Definitely looks good on a resume!

Pledge $3,000 or more

The Executive Producer

Have you ever wanted to be in the movie business? Help us out by contributing $3000 and we’ll give you the star treatment! Join us on set for two weeks of filming, including one week in the mountains of Montana! You’ll be part of the creative process, and see how movies are made firsthand. Of course, you’ll get everything above too! (airfare not included)




To download the Study Guide for the film, click here

LEAP (2010)

WULF (2008)

Our first feature, but so bad it’s a trunk novel

3 comments on “Films

    • I am now a Seventh Day Adventist. Watch the first 8 minutes of “The Blueprint: Earth’s Final Movie” to see how I transitioned from a typical Sunday Christian to a Sabbath keeper.

  1. Love the story in Leap Rise of the Beast but please, please, please at least get better acting [if you’re working with volunteers, then keep retaking the scenes until it comes out smooth] for the next film. If the actor isn’t immersed in character it seriously damages a film’s ability to immerse the viewer to deliver its message.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s