Campfire Origins:The story of Five Stone Media began in the fall of 2006 at a men’s weekend event. Steve Johnson, Scott Sample, Mark Bierle, and Ray Pruban were members of the team that led the Heart of a Warrior Men’s Advance weekend. John Turnipseed attended along with several men involved at the Urban Ventures Fathering Center. One of the men with John was his son, Little Johnny. The father and son had not spent any time together in many years and Little Johnny was set to begin a prison sentence the day after the weekend event. John shared his story around a bonfire in the presence of 100 other men. He shared his upbringing in a home shattered by domestic violence. He shared his introduction to dealing drugs and how he seized power over the family gang and became one of the most feared gang leaders in the Midwest. He shared the stories of his numerous run-ins with the law and how he now has 30 immediate family members in prison with life sentences.
Expanding Perspective:Steve Johnson felt compelled to tell John’s story in a video documentary and convinced Scott Sample, Mark Bierle, Ray Pruban, and Paul Chapin (Scott’s business partner) to contribute time, talent, and resources to capture and record John’s story. It quickly became apparent the proposed documentary on John’s life was to become more than a quick capture and press project. Through friends and relationships, word of John’s story spread to a group of Hollywood artists and film producers who volunteered their time to help create the first installment of the Turnipseed trilogy of short films released beginning in 2008.
John Turnipseed:For the past 20 years, John Turnipseed has been pouring back into the very same community he used to rob, cheat, and terrorize. John was the first client of the Center for Fathering at Urban Ventures in South Minneapolis. He is the now the Executive VP of Urban Ventures. John’s story is a story of hope, redemption, and transformation. Five Stone Media exists to tell stories like John’s to positively impact individuals and communities around the world.