Leonard Knight is one of my greatest inspirations.  I feel honored to have spent the time I have with him, and always look forward to spending more in the future. If you don’t know who Leonard Knight is here is the back-story of “The Man Behind the Mountain”.

Leonard Knight is an 81-year-old artist who lives in the middle of the Mexi-Cali dessert not far from “Slab City”.  31 years ago; after his truck broke down, he decided to spend a week building a shrine to God. Fast forward to 2012; Leonard is still at the same spot in the dessert working away at his shrine now internationally known as “Salvation Mountain”.

I originally met Leonard on a soul-searching photo mission I embarked on in the summer of 2011. Friends in Nevada and California both suggested I go see him so I headed south with secret expectations of Leonard giving me priceless words of wisdom and inspiration. Upon meeting Leonard, I was not let down. Just spending a day with him on that trip helped place my views on life in a better perspective.

When I got home from my trip I found myself thinking of Leonard constantly. Some nights when it would get dark I would think about him being out there in the pitch black in the middle of the desert by himself 100% content. I would think about his whole story and how amazing of a human he was.

The rain came hard that November and I was spinning my wheels locked in a Vancouver editing lab. Thoughts of Leonard never left my mind. I decided to take my business partner back down to see him but this time spend a week with him and document it all. What came out of our journey was a refreshed outlook on our work and a 10-minute bio documentary called “The Man Behind the Mountain”.

As cliché as it sounds you get one shot at life and you are responsible for what you do with it. Seeing an 81-year-old man putting every bit of his life into his craft opened my eyes on the opportunities you have for yourself on earth. I can only be so lucky to one-day find my “Salvation Mountain”.

If you are wondering what is happening to our documentary on Leonard, it is in the post-production phase and we are shopping it around to find its home. The plan is to be able to showcase to you within the year.



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Benny Stoddard

About Benny Stoddard

Part time hustler, Full time Videographer. Fuks with it.