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A documentary that will inspire you to overcome.

It took Chris Norton 7 years to walk his bride 7 yards down the aisle after a life-altering football tackle. Chris could have let a tackle and the ensuing paralysis define him, but he inspired over 300 million people when he walked across the graduation stage to receive his diploma.

Crowdfunding for 7 Yards

We not only reached, but exceeded our initial 250K crowdfunding goal! Our stretch funds will go toward post-production, editing, composing, scoring and distribution costs.

  • 100%funded
  • $350,000pledged
  • 328backers
Back this project

Fotolanthropy is a Fully Tax Deductible 501(c)3 Nonprofit Corporation (Employee Identification Number: 46-1376576). The full amount of your contribution is deductible for federal income tax purposes.

How your contribution will be used

  • Feature Documentary Film

    Our film team is dedicating a year and a half of their time and many talents to produce 7 Yards and provide a source of inspiration for our viewers to summon the courage and resilience it takes to overcome. The crew will film for 35 full days. Collectively, the crew is donating more than $72,500 of time to keep the budget as lean as possible. 

  • Equipment

    To best capture and honor Chris and Emily’s story, we have budgeted for the best equipment in the business: including insured RED cameras, Cine-lenses, lighting and audio. Although we own professional gear, equipment rentals are needed for larger production scenes needing multiple angles, special effects, lighting and challenging audio situations. We have eight planned filming trips, averaging $8,300 per trip)

  • Post-Production

    Our talented post production team will have the massive task of meticulously paring down nearly a month’s worth of footage to craft a final 90 minute documentary. Budget includes editing, color correction, and sound mix. 

  • Music Score

    To capture the appropriate tone and emotions of this film, we have enlisted the talents of award-winning composer, Bradford Nyght to bring 7 Yards to life with professional musical scoring.

  • Wedding Photography & Videography

    As a part of our "Ultimate Wedding Gift" for Chris and Emily, we have arranged for renowned wedding photographer, Sarah Kate, to photograph their big day and will further gift them with a wedding video package by Jonathon Link Studios and highlights from our footage. ($15,000 valued gift)

  • Wedding Flowers & Decor

    As a part of our "Ultimate Wedding Gift" for Chris and Emily, Nathan Johnson, Creative Director of GRO Designs, is donating his time and wedding planning expertise to help create the wedding-scape of their dreams. Funds raised will help cover the expense of flowers, linen and decor. (Budget will be based on giving from our amazing backers)

  • Travel

    Our film crew lives in Dallas, Texas and our travel budget includes round trip flights for these scheduled trips to film entire story:

    Decorah, Iowa (film and re-enact football game, helicopter and hospital scenes) 
    West Palm Beach, FL (film Emily’s interview, real life, Chris’s workouts at Barwis Method’s) 
    West Palm Beach, FL (for the wedding walk) - 10 crew member round trips - Includes crew, photographer, event team
    Dallas (film "College days" with Chris and his four best friends, hospital and campus scenes)
    Rochester, MN – (Film crucial interviews with Chris’s Doctors, PT’s and nurses at Mayo clinic) 
    Des Moines, Iowa - (Film additional b-roll, interviews with family members, re-enactment scenes) 
    Dallas, TX – Fly Chris and Emily to Dallas, TX to shoot movie poster with Sean Berry, dating scenes, childhood re-enactments) 

    Total round trip flights: 48
    Lodging: 2 hotel rooms for approximately 35 nights
    Car Rental: Van for 35 days in various shooting locations.
    Check out our instagram page to see our hotel accommodations, our guys help us keep the budget lean by bunking up in one hotel room and we stay in the most affordable hotel option without risking getting bed bugs :) 

    If you would like to donate mileage or can help us get a discounted hotel or car rate, please email us at

  • Distribution

    Upon completion of this film, we will work tirelessly to distribute and inspire viewers all over the world with Chris and Emily’s story through digital distribution. Our previous work can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, and Pureflix and we hope to continue these great relationships to screen 7 Yards in homes across the globe. Funds will be used for marketing, advertising, licensing, closed captioning fees and attorney fees.

Click to Hear From Chris & Emily!

Meet Chris

As an 18-year-old freshman at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Chris Norton suffered a devastating spinal cord injury during a college football game. Told by doctors that he had only a 3 percent chance of regaining movement below the neck, Chris has continually defied medical odds and, in 2015, successfully accomplished his goal of walking his college graduation stage with the help of his fiancée, Emily. Video from the event went viral, inspiring millions worldwide. 

Facebook: @chrisanorton16 
Instagram: @chrisanorton16

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Meet Emily

Emily Summers has always had a heart for helping others. Raised in the small town of Muscatine, Iowa, she encountered many children living in unfortunate circumstances. Not one to sit by idly, Emily sought relational ways to care for those who were hurting. She served as a peer mentor, initiated an after school program for girls in middle school and created a talk show to share encouraging stories. 

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Why make 7 Yards the documentary?

Simply put, Chris and Emily's story deserves to be told and their journey needs to be experienced in the way only a documentary can offer. Through interviews and reenactments done by the real film subjects, we will capture the full vignette of their journey: from Chris' life-altering injury on the Luther College football field in 2010 and his viral graduation walk video to Chris and Emily's "swipe-right" love story and their goal of walking side-by-side down the wedding aisle. 

Furthermore, Fotolanthropy exists to inspire viewers and empower our film subjects. We believe there is a real need for more positive content - raw, honest stories that spark change and uplift the soul. We also often see our work being used as a platform by film subjects. Through our documentaries, we strive to help raise awareness for such causes, and hope that 7 Yards will be an effective tool for Chris to use in his continued advocacy for those with spinal cord injuries and motivational speaking career.

Where are we in the process of making 7 Yards?

We have completed filming for 7 Yards and have obtained over 100 hours of powerful footage, interviews, and re-enactments to bring the Norton's story to life. We are in the editing process, which includes producing the music score, sound design, and color correction. The team is taking over 100 hours of footage to create a 90 minute documentary.

We are still raising funds through online donations and recruiting sponsors who want to be a part of this documentary that will inspire the world with hope. We appreciate every person and company that has supported this film and excited to announce that we are in the home stretch to reaching our goal of raising $250,000!

We are also having some incredible conversations behind the scenes discussing distribution and the details of the official release. 

What is "The Ultimate Wedding Gift?"

"The Ultimate Wedding Gift" is what we are calling our crowdfunding campaign for 7 Yards. Between the funds needed to film, produce, edit, score, and distribute our feature length documentary gift to the soon-to-be Nortons (as well as arrange much deserved wedding day accoutrement), we are considering every donation a contribution to this ultimate wedding gift for the most admirable couple we know.

I donated, what else can I do to help?

Share! As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we choose to be very lean with our advertising budget and rely on super-fans like you to spread the word. Join our grassroots approach by sharing this unique opportunity to give on social media, emailing your network of friends, family, co-workers, and even reaching out to those you know involved in the wedding industry that would be interested in helping. 

Want to become an official ambassador for the film? Please email us at to learn more about how you can contribute by sharing this story!

A Walk that Defied Odds