Most of you on this blog have likely already heard plenty about Chris Johnson and his “A Better Life” project (AKA “The Atheist Book”). The book was published, orders taken, and product shipped. And if you haven’t seen it—you’re missing something really gorgeous on your coffee table. The book provides photos and stories from the lives of 100 atheists, explaining what brings them joy and meaning in their lives.
And now that the book phase is over, Chris has turned his attention to all that video footage he’s been compiling, and realized it’s time to get back to work putting together the film portion of the project. With that in mind, he’s set up a kickstarter, and I wanted to make sure you were all aware of it, in case you felt it was a worthy project and cause, and something you might be interested in supporting. If not, that’s fine. But if so—I would say dispelling the myth that every atheist hates people, hates god, and is a miserable loveless, purposeless void of malcontent is kind of important. With that as my motive, I asked Chris to send me his 30-second plug, and whatever relevant links people might need, if they’d like to help push this forward, and below is what I got back.
I’m happy to share this out, and hope some good comes of it. I’m excited to be able to help out a fellow atheist (who happens also to be as nice as pie!) and the community, by sharing this material. Make good use of it. And so, here it is: A message from Chris Johnson…
Fed up with the false portraits of atheists as evil people leading empty lives, I saw an important story that needed to be told.
I want to talk about what we do believe in, not what we don’t believe in, and tell an honest, positive story—revealing people who are proud to call themselves “atheists.”
In 2012, I ran a successful Kickstarter campaign for my photography book, A Better Life: 100 Atheists Speak Out on Joy and Meaning in a World Without God. At the time, it was the second-highest grossing publishing project in Kickstarter history!
While shooting the photographs for the book, I filmed my interviews with the subjects as they spoke about the various things which gave their lives joy and meaning. Now I’m turning that footage, along with new material, into a film! The end product will be a feature length documentary called, A Better Life: An Exploration of Joy & Meaning in a World Without God.
The film will feature many of the faces and voices from the book as well as some new perspectives. It will also follow my journey exploring this topic, and the many ways we find joy & meaning in the world. With the money raised, I will be able to go through the 50+ hours of footage I shot while doing the book, edit the interviews, shoot additional footage, have music composed, as well as the audio mix, post-production work, etc. For just $15, you can get a digital download copy when it’s complete. For those who can give more, there are additional rewards, such being thanked in the credits of the film, and even a rare signed poster!
The book version of A Better Life featured acclaimed magicians Penn & Teller, and Derren Brown, biologist Richard Dawkins, actress Julia Sweeney, psychologist Steven Pinker, Nobel Prize winner James Watson, as well as a soldier, a commercial airline pilot and other everyday folks; sharing the intimate details of living rich, meaningful lives devoid of God and religion.
The project is nearly half-way funded, but needs your help to become a reality.
And isn’t that what a good bit of our community is all about? Reality? So, let’s help create some!
For more information, or to support the project:
Chris also submitted a couple of video ad spots that are nifty. If you can’t donate, but still would like to help, consider sharing these out to your secular or atheist-friendly friends:
“What can $15 buy?” — http://youtu.be/j7rraoyhPhk
“If this is the only life you have…” — http://youtu.be/9Eekl7q8YBo