Beyond The Chair Movie

"A character driven documentary following Andrew Shelley, a 90 lb man with Muscular Dystrophy, as he backpacks across the world in search of happiness.”

At the age of 29, the idea of being stuck in the same predictable 9 to 5 job was only the start of what terrified Andrew Shelley. Looking back on his life, he realized that over the years he had been constantly watching the man he wanted to be drift away. Everything started at birth; the diagnosis of a muscular degenerative disease predetermined a larger portion of his life, this included needing a wheelchair before the age of 25.His career was also inherited. Coming from a family of engineers (both grandfathers, all uncles, his father, and brother)he naturally fell into the trade with no consideration of personal happiness. Life in a cubicle meant exchanging the extreme adventurous life he had pictured as a child, for settling with fleeting weekend getaways. And while most guys can’t stand commitment, Andrew doesn’t find the same joy in bachelor life. It appeared that his life was whittling away day by day, along with his 90 lb body, to become nothing of what he wanted.Every person reaches a crossroad of whether to continue down the path that they unwillingly finding themselves on or discovering the courage to start down a new path that leads to somewhere better. For Andrew that time is now as he sets out on a backpacking journey around the world to find himself, who ever that may be.

Dusty Duprel - Director/Producer

Dusty Duprel grew up on a farm outside the town of Sturgis, South Dakota. Despite being in the least likely place to become a filmmaker, he developed a lifelong dream that seemed beyond his reach. He graduated high school without the money for college, like most farm kids he joined the army to get out of rural America. For four years, he still harbored a great passion for filmmaking. After the army, he moved to California and found himself at San Diego State University film program, finally living out his dream. In 2006, Dusty serendipitously answered a craigslist ad for a “room for rent”. His new roommate was Andrew Shelley, who soon became the subject of Dusty’s first feature documentary. Dusty found Andrew’s story was too amazing to pass up the chance to tell it to the world.

Rachel Pandza - Director/Producer

Rachel Pandza grew up in the quiet beach town of Ocean Beach, California, but a few miles from where she spent most of her summers at the boardwalk. All her life she had a lifelong passion for the arts. In searching for something that would satisfy her eclectic interests, she found music, theater, writing, painting, poetry and photography. Sparked by her high school theatre and film class where she participated in creating a play and directing a film, she went on to San Diego State University film program to pursue her love of the arts through filmmaking. It became an outlet for her creativity, her love for collaborating with others, and her want to improve the world through films. When Rachel heard about Andrew’s story, she also thought that his journey should be documented and shown to the world.