CAPE CORAL, Fla. - Any filmmaker will tell you, it all starts with a vision.
But for Joe Monks, the vision for his film, "The Bunker", is something he'll never actually be able to see.
"In 2001, I began having problems with diabetic retinopathy, which is essentially the death of the retinas," says Monks of Cape Coral. "In 2002, I lost my eyesight completely."
He's always been a movie buff, and eventually decided to try his own hand at movie-making by writing a script for a horror flick.
Finding the perfect director turned out to be tricky, until inspiration struck.
"I've been sitting with this story for 8 months. I know it best. Why don't I try to do it?"
So how exactly did Monks do it? He says he had a lot of help from his cast and crew and plenty of trust in his editor.
If you thought being sightless was his biggest obstacle-- guess again.
"We got wiped out on a number of scenes by Katrina and Rita Then we had cast members that had to be replaced because of an emergency surgery. We had a suicide," Monks says of the composer who took his own life just before a distribution deal was set.
After nearly 5 years working on the project, the end is in sight-- so to speak.
"To be sitting in a darkened theater with a crowd of people who jump and gasp when you planned for them to jump and gasp, there's an excitement that kind of makes up for some of what's lost."
Monks recently secured a distribution deal and he hopes the film will be on the big screen by Spring 2011.
He's looking to obtain some extra funding through micro-financing to make sure the movie is released.
If you'd like to donate, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sightunseenpictures/blind-directors-feature-film-the-bunker.