Testimonial from Richard Young
I first became aware of Darlene's efforts to raise money for the production of Heart of the Beholder in the summer/fall of 2003. I can no longer remember exactly how I became aware of it. I think there was a post on one of the mailing lists I subscribe to. On a whim, I Googled into the background of Darlene and the production, and I saw something that startled me: Darlene Lieblich Tipton appeared to be a Hollywoodster with integrity. I wasn't prepared for that.
I read of her previous attempt to raise the $500k required for the production. She vowed to return every penny to the contributors if the $500k couldn't be raised by a certain date. The date came and went, and in total $437k was raised, which is pretty darn good. Having achieved this small miracle I think most people would be tempted to say, "Hey, that's close enough. Let's shoot the film! Surely the contributors will understand." But, as I've come to know first hand, Darlene is not most people. She returned every penny and started from scratch. This is integrity of biblical proportions. A large miracle.
I'm not a wealthy man, by any standard (but I have my health), so I didn't have any pinstriped crystal balls to consult. But I surprised myself in that I did feel a strange compulsion to seriously begin to think about considering perhaps investing, partly because I believed that the film had an interesting and important story to tell and partly because--quite frankly--it looked like a sound investment opportunity.
I slept on it. Not only did I sleep on it, I mulled it over for a few weeks. Sending thousands of my hard earned dollars to Hollywood made as much sense as driving my car off a cliff. Which reminded me of the opening scene of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." How I love that old film!
So, inspired by Jimmy Durante's bold--but fatal--gesture, I took the plunge.
Later, I visited L.A. While down there, I had lunch with Darlene and Ken. Whatever apprehensions I still had evaporated.
Under two years have elapsed since my initial investment, and I have found my big W. My investment has been returned, with a generous topping of interest. As promised.
Richard Young, a real guy in a real, cold city.