Soul for sale

Many people suffer from depression at some point in their lives. When a person becomes depressed, the world can change for them – and that’s exactly what happened to Gerald Fraller.

A few years ago, everything was going just as he planned. He was married, working in Taiwan on what he called his dream job and was pretty much happy. When it came time for Fraller to be given a bonus at the end of his first year, however, he was terminated. At the same time, his marriage was ending.

As a result, he fell deep into a pit of depression.

While working at a new job, Fraller decided things needed to change again, only this time on his terms. He quit his job and launched winmysoul.com.

The Web site enables viewers to donate money for a chance to win Fraller’s “soul.” Every dollar donated is one entry to win.Because no one can technically buy a soul, Fraller set up a contract detailing the aspects of his life over which the winner can take control.

Fraller said setting up the Web site was his way of taking his life back. It was his way to make things better for himself.

So far, the reaction to Fraller’s Web site has been mostly positive.

“(About) 95 percent of the e-mails I get are all encouraging,” Fraller said.He said the other 5 percent are from devout religious people who believe what he is doing is against religious texts.

As of Sunday, $4,283 has been donated. Fraller said he hopes to get $90,000. At that time a winner will be chosen.

“All it takes is one person in every 10,000 to donate $3, and we can begin to change the world,” Fraller said on his Web site.

Fraller said he wants to use the money to set up a depression foundation different than those already available. He believes he can reach people who are uncomfortable with traditional support groups and therapy sessions.

Since he quit his job and isn’t using the money gained from the site for his benefit, Fraller is selling his belongings on EBay to get by.

“I haven’t touched a penny from the site,” Fraller said. “I’m not really concerned about money. I didn’t do this to get rich.”Fraller’s effort has gained the attention of Hollywood via Maguire Entertainment, Tobey Maguire’s production company. According to Fraller, Maguire Entertainment intends to make amovie of his life.

Maguire wants to produce it with Mark Ross alongside Nash Entertainment’s Bruce Nash and RobertKosberg.

The movie deal is supposed to be finalized soon. Every time the phone rings, Fraller said he hopes it’s his agent telling him it’s time.

“I’m really excited about it,” Fraller said. “I can’t wait to see what happens. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”It’s not just coincidence. It’s gotta be for a reason.”

According to Fraller, Sony Pictures is negotiating the terms for the movie. Sony wants the movie rights and the book rights, just in case a book comes out of this.

Fraller’s agent, Brandon Stein, told him Sony should make a very good offer soon. If Sony passes on the movie deal, DreamWorks and New Line Cinema are lined up to make offers on the movie, Fraller said. But he hopes that doesn’t happen. Fraller said he wants everything to go well with Sony so he and his agent don’t have to “shop the story around.”

Fraller is concerned about the drop in publicity for his Web site. He said that if everything goes well with the movie deal, the film will legitimize his cause and show the public this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme.

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