Most commonly asked question, that answers a lot:
Q: How did you come up with the idea to make this documentary?
A: This idea, as like most big ideas, came in many stages plus one good 2am-wakes-you-up-big-ahhah!-moment.
Stage 1: The company that I work for (Ruby Receptionists) announced a new benefit: A five week paid sabbatical that encourages you to pursue something that you are passionate about. I know what you’re thinking and yes, my company is all kinds of amazing.
Stage 2: A flood of about 5 bijillion ideas came to me, since I have a lot of interests. However, the 2 things that kept bubbling to the top were (1) I wanted to work on a film with my awesome documentary filmmaker husband, Jason Hay. (2) I wanted to do something that benefitted kids, help them find ways to learn and do more, help them find things that inspire them to achieve greatness.
Stage 3: I found out about the FIRST Robotics program through a vendor that I work very closely with in my line of work (telecommunication and technology). My initial thought was to volunteer to work on the Regional and National Competitions with FIRST. The more I thought about it though, the more I wanted to help spread the word about this amazing, mind-bendingly awesome organization. I began combining the idea of working on a documentary with my interest in FIRST. The idea didn’t feel complete though, so it lived in the back of my head for a bit.
Stage 4: I woke up at about 2am, sat straight up in bed and gasped, then said (a little too loudly for that time of night) “Oh! Oh! I’m an IDIOT!” After assuring my husband that I had not set the house on fire, I explained that the idea had fully came together. I’m a woman who works in technology. I work for a company that is about 96% female, but when I work with our vendors it is so rare that I work with other women. It has been something I have been aware of for many years. So, why not lend a hand to the next generation?! The idea finally came into focus: I wanted to talk specifically to the women and girls who participate in and organize the program. I wanted to help women and girls pursue technology. A film about FIRST could really do that.
Stage 5 - Present: I have been filming since January 4th, following a team through the build, into the competition, getting to know everyone on the team and their amazing strengths and great personalities. I have been talking with organizers (so many of them just happen to be women). The film is definitely not just about the women and girls in the team, but the focus remains true. I knew going in that I would film the whole team, who would want to discriminate? They are all fantastic.
Second most common question:
Q: Wait... Chickens?
A: The team that I have been working with is called The Flaming Chickens, Team 1540. They are super awesome. Check out their Facebook page!
The big question:
Q: Why do you need money now? You’ve been filming for months!
A: The super awesome team mentioned above is going on to the National Competition in St. Louis!!!!! I’m also moving into the interview filming section of the project, where a new lens and lighting would be very valuable to the production. These things add up, as so many things do. We will also be hosting a screening in Portland, OR when the film is complete. Getting the space to make this happen and advertizing also requires funding.
How you can help?
- Support our Kickstarter campaign!
- Spread the word! Email your friends! Post to Facebook! Tweet it!
Thank you SO MUCH for your support!
Risks and challenges
As is the case with any labor of love project, this all takes place in my spare time. While a lot of the editing, filming, organizing and kickstartering is being done during my sabbatical, there is a lot of work that will continue once I return to my amazing workplace. The biggest risk is Time. The screening is slated for summer, before the Seniors on the team leave for college. I want to give them a great send-off to that next big phase in their lives. Thankfully, the support network that I have and the constant influx of energy and excitement that I get from this project is the #1 way that I will keep it on track.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (16 days)