“Kickstarting” a Passion Project

For anyone who has been reading my blog, you know a few things about me – I love to dialog and share with others, my work and my pleasure are one in the same and I always have a passion project that I’m working on.

I can’t say that I’ve always been like this.  In the beginning of my career it was a lot harder to dialog and share with people – pre-social media and email.  And as my career took hold and I became busier with work, I didn’t have time for sharing or personal projects.  But for someone like me who is a dreamer, I was starting to burn out.

When I started exploring the video medium in the late 90’s, it triggered a spark in me.  I started thinking and dreaming about all the stories that I wanted to tell – that would be possible for me to tell – through this medium.  One of my first attempts at telling a story with video was a short documentary I did on my daughter’s youth symphony.  I couldn’t have picked a harder subject if I tried because it was all about sound, which I knew nothing about.  And anyone who has ever shot a musical concert knows that it’s almost impossible to do with only one camera.  But I naively pursued with this project and learned a lot in the process.

My next passion project was The Delta Blues Musicians that I envisioned as a multimedia project combining still environmental portraits of these musicians along with video interviews, capturing their life’s stories.  It was a lot of work and for the most part, I went it alone – doing everything myself.  For anyone who has ever tried to shoot both stills and video on the same job, you know it’s not an easy thing to do.  That project will always be near and dear to my heart and continues to reward me in ways that I never knew were possible.

There have been other passion projects since these first two and my head is usually full of ideas that are rumbling around, just waiting for the right time to surface. I am in the midst of a project now, Opening Our Eyes that is perhaps the most ambitious one I’ve ever dreamed up. This past weekend I launched the project on Kickstarter.  Kickstarter is a website that posts creative projects for the purposes of finding funds. It’s a perfect example of crowd funding where one can donate anywhere from $1 to $10,000 to the project of their choice, and in the process make someone’s idea come to life.

I launched Opening Our Eyes on Thursday and within 3 days we reached 30 % of our goal. We still have a long way to go and have another 71 days to get fully funded.  The way Kickstarter works is that if you don’t get funded 100%, then all bets are off and you don’t receive anything.  So, I’m doing my best to do what I like the least and that is make a pitch for pledges.  My intent is to secure enough funds so that I can collaborate with a professional editor and raise the bar on the film that my daughter and I shot this past summer on our 99-day adventure around the world, about people who are making a positive difference in the world.

It’s really a win/win for anyone who chooses to give – even a pledge of $25 will get us closer to our goal and you’ll receive a DVD of our film when it’s finished.  So please check out our project on Kickstarter and pass this link along to others.  Ultimately our goal is to inspire and motivate other change-makers through the power of our film. We know we can do it with everyone’s help and it will make you feel good to give – it always does.

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4 thoughts on ““Kickstarting” a Passion Project

  1. chris peters November 17, 2010 / 9:35 pm

    hi
    I am at a personal fork in my life, which sounds similiar to your past… anyway, I hope you reach your goal and I hope I figure out mine. I look forward to receiving a copy of your dvd when its completed.

    I wanted share with you a candidate for your missing US social entreprenuer – I don’t know his name but I heard his story on NPR last week, the week of Nov 8. he tinkers and makes water purifiers for families in Africa from his backyard here in the US. I think he lives in VT? not sure now. hopefully you can find him from the NPR website, the segment is called Social Entreprenuers. ps: I love Maggie, I saw her story on Nicholas Kristof’s blog.

    chris peters

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