The dozens of instructional articles Steve Fisher has written over the years for Kayak Session Magazine are among the best received in the magazine’s history. As a result, Kayak Session and Fisher have decided to partner in producing an instructional film accompanied by a custom 60 page magazine containing the print version of the video’s curriculum along with images and stories from the field.
This will be more than just any instructional film: Along with award winning story telling, cinematography skills and state of the art equipment, Fisher will be bringing together a dream-team of instructors. Eric Jackson, Pat Keller, Dane Jackson, and Ben Marr will assist him in skillfully articulating and demonstrating the style and techniques needed to foster progression. Fisher will approach this video format in his unique way and with a well organized script that will show beginners and advanced paddlers alike that the mastery of fundamental skills will ultimately translate into a safer, more confident and enjoyable paddling experience. Kickstarter will be used to confirm interest, advertise, and fund the production, so shooting can begin in December 2015 in two scenic and inspiring locations: The big water of the Zambezi River and the rocky creeks of the Southeast USA.
We will launch the bluray/DVD/ magazine combo package in spring of 2016. We then intend to build a website, app and social media platform under the ‘Dreamline Ninja’ handle where paddlers can find excerpts, out-takes and additional lessons. This will become an instructional resource that we’ll also share with other instructional platforms.
Our instruction will show that, as kayakers, we’re using a pretty basic quiver of skills and a very understandable method to break down complex rapids into digestible pieces. We can teach almost any pro-kayaker something new on flat-water within five minutes while, simultaneously, teaching that same skill to a beginner, so we’re going to do just that. Each concept will be demonstrated on small, easy whitewater and then scaled up to the big stuff. High-end cinematography and epic whitewater will be used to keep the film entertaining, but we will be hyper aware that the skills first need to be shown on whitewater that a beginner or intermediate paddler can visualize themselves running in the foreseeable future.
Not only is this a band of top professional filmmakers and athletes, but we’re also great friends. We’ve all worked together before and we believe that this productive collaboration will not only make for a good product, but actually advance the technical base of our sport. The film will roll out like a story, so you’ll get to know the characters as they each deliver their unique style and brand of instruction.
“...An altered state of consciousness... The mind and body functions at its peak, time slows, and a sense of poise prevails. Truly alive and absorbed. Performance. This is the Flowstate.”
Formerly known as ‘Fish Munga', our production company, Flowstate Narratives, is based out of Asheville, North Carolina in the USA. Focused on outdoor specialty cinematography and action sports we go harder to get the shot. With our expedition background, we're not afraid. Check Congo - The Grand Inga Project and The Lost Valley of the Merced. If it's imaginable, we tackle the task. "No" means "now", easy is not an option. We find our flow where logic meets adventure and fantasy.
Expedition leader, Steve Fisher, has been a professional kayaker for almost as long as he’s been a cinematographer. He lives life like he paddles and has been recognized for his accomplishments by the likes of Nat Geo, The Explorers Club, Outside, GQ, Emmy, TED, X-Dance and more. Fisher’s continued long-term sponsorships with brands like Jeep, Red Bull and Jackson Kayak are a testament to his ability - turning dreams into true stories. That, combined with his ability to attract the right team for each project, makes us not only highly capable, but also adaptable to any challenge. This project will be challenging, yet rewarding, and that is why we’re here.
We will use our state of the art production equipment to capture high quality footage from ultra close-up super-slomos to awesome onboard angles. In the field we’ll use a teleprompter to keep the instructors concise and on track with the scripted curriculum, which will make the edit more organized. Sometimes a good instructor is not a good filmmaker, but with our film experience and this team we have the best of both worlds.
We’re here to pick up where your last session left off and help turn you into the paddler you’d like to become. We’ll start with basic strokes, concepts and proper scouting—things that apply to both big water and creek boating that even many pro kayakers still struggle with. From there we’ll move into more advanced concepts, like boat control during free fall and some of the latest advanced trickery. We’ll even do a complete lesson on safety equipment and methods and Pat will show you how he prepares for multi-day and major hike-ins.
When we provide big name sponsors with a menu of potential films to sponsor, they don’t all dive for the kayak instructional. That’s because its viewership is endemic to our sport - it will likely not appeal to a broad audience beyond the kayak scene. Indeed, sponsors support the athletes to a degree, but in order to raise the funds for the quality of production that we insist upon we need your help.
We also always pay the athletes for the work they put in. Asking the paddling community to fund our next kayak holiday would be inappropriate, but since we’re working hard to provide something entertaining, useful, and of value to all backers this method makes a lot of sense to us. We hope you feel the same way.
Each level of donation offers unique and exciting rewards that we feel provide value to you, our project backer. Check ‘em out and find an item that appeals to you and fits your wallet - We appreciate all the help we can get!
This is our first Kickstarter campaign, but it’s not our first rodeo. Using our experience in proposing, planning and implementing dozens of expeditions and film shoots we have mindfully crafted a frugal, but precise, budget required to pull this off. Quality film production does have a price and so does good teaching—In addition to high end shooting, we’re compensating our team of paddlers as they deserve to be and footing the bill for their travel, accommodations and food. Still, our goal may seem high to some, so we’ve laid out how these funds will be spent. Each line item is a vital part of completing production. We’ve also omitted any profit margin for ourselves in the initial campaign because if the project funds successfully we have faith that we will earn our margin through additional film pack sales on the back-end once the project is complete.
Whooo! We have reached and exceeded our goal! We are so thankful for the support but also have some big plans for overfunding! Plain and simple, the more money we raise, the more impressive this product will be in the end! Each Stretch Goal tier also covers the additional Kickstarter fees and reward fulfillment costs.
A recent clip produced, directed and edited by Steve Fisher:
Risks and challenges
While this project is a work in progress, we feel confident that we can follow through even if faced with challenges. Making expedition documentaries like ‘Halo Effect’, ‘Congo’ and ‘The Lost valley of the Merced’ is our specialty, plus we have experience shooting with these team members, in the locations that we intend to work (Our most recent shoot on the Zambezi was less than a year ago.)
We’ve been very thorough in our research and budgeting, but going over budget is a legit concern, especially with this minimalist goal. We have anticipated many of the possible curveballs through our experience, but if unforeseen overages occur in the shooting phase, which comes first, we can trim back in post production phases by removing subcontracted categories and handling more workload ourselves.
We’ve admittedly not given ourselves much time before the first shoot on the Zambezi, but the team is ready to act fast upon reaching our funding goal in order to take advantage of ideal water levels. Our delivery date may seem a long way from now, but we’ve intentionally given ourselves ample time for release as the spring paddling season kicks into full swing. Since this is not our only film project over the next few months we’ve hired help in the post production phase to ensure that we deliver on time.
Safety is at the front of our minds every time we kayak. Our experienced team is well trained and brings all the necessary equipment to the party every time we paddle. Indeed kayaking can be dangerous and that is exactly why we’re making this film, so of course we’ll be on best behaviour.
Our equipment is obviously vital to the completion of this project. That is why we always take the utmost care to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged, lost, or stolen. A part of that care is to have some backup equipment so that the shoot can continue if, for example, a camera breaks down. We also have on-location help for customs and permits and our equipment is all insured under the conditions in which we work.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding this project and thanks in advance for your support!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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