One story leads to others. One story can create change. One story can do a world of good. I'm asking for your help with this documentary because there are causes we can all stand with, and there are changes we can make through the power of visual storytelling.
The story so far...
I'm a visually impaired photographer facing the prospect of total blindness. But here's the thing. If I have anything at all to say about it, that's only the beginning of the story, not the end.
A bit of background. I was always the kid with the camera. Field trips, family vacations, even just around my neighborhood growing up, I had a camera close at hand. I took that early passion for picture snapping into a lifetime of visual storytelling. Whether it was as a news photographer and reporter, a freelance videographer, a motion graphics artist or a documentary editor, I've lived in a world of pictures for as far back as I can remember.
I've also been losing my eyesight, a little bit at a time, since the age of thirteen, thanks to a degenerative retinal disease called proliferative vitreoretinopathy (PVR). It is, to say the least, a frightening process to watch your vision leave you, almost line by line on the eye chart, over the course of your life.
But this documentary starts with the idea that the world is a big place, full of color and full of stories just waiting to be told. The tools I use to tell those stories may be changing, but it doesn't change who I am or the passions that get me out of bed every morning. I may be losing my sight, but I'm not going to stop seeing the world.
That's what the Palette Project is all about - exploring the world through the rich vibrancy of color, and from my perspective. From the deep reds of the Australian outback to the rich blues of the Pacific Ocean. From the green fields of Ireland to the yellow sands of the desert, and so much more. I've put together a team of like-minded explorers, and colors are our base camp.
A Circle of Community
There's no way around it. This project is big, and it needs help in order to succeed. People who back this documentary are going to be helping with production expenses, the unique gear we'll be using so that even a visually impaired photographer like me can still be part of the creative vision, and the team training that we'll undergo to do everything cooperatively - climbing mountains, sailing a racing keelboat, hiking backcountry trails around the world and more. This training is already underway, and you can read about it here. Hopefully, the video that accompanies this page helps tell this story... that whether it's training or retraining, losing your sight does not mean losing sight of what you love to do. There is a world of opportunity for anyone who reaches for it, and i believe in seizing those opportunities. If we exceed our funding goals, that means we can be even more ambitious and tell even more stories. From a blind Aboriginal folk singer to the force behind blind sailing to the creator of the app that turns everything from a menu to a street sign into spoken text on a smartphone, there is no shortage of stories to tell. Let's tell as many as we can.
Dream big. Do bigger
I believe that doing something also means standing for something. While backers of this project help make the actual documentary happen, the documentary itself will be in the service of five themes: urgency, action, awareness, outreach and results. Yes, there's an urgency to my goal of exploring the world, but I hope this action leads to an awareness of what is possible, and by this kind of outreach to others who face their own complicated challenges, we can achieve the results of changing perspectives and expectations for what anyone facing those challenges can accomplish. On each leg of the trip, we'll stand as an advocacy partner with groups that advance these goals.
We'll do this by highlighting the tools and technologies that enhance ability and accomplishment. The film is a statement... but it's about so much more than one person. It's about the stories and people we meet along the way. I may be the conduit for those stories, but that's the passion that's driven me since I was a child, and I'm asking for your help in making that happen.
Risks and challenges
This is a big idea, with big challenges, and some degree of risk. We'll be be traveling to some of the farthest points of the globe from our home base of San Francisco. The conditions in many of these locations will be harsh and unforgiving. For example, when we film in Australia, we'll be experiencing temperatures approaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit... even though we'll be there in the Southern Hemisphere's early winter.
In addition, these are potentially dangerous times for a film crew to be traveling to various international locales. We're prepared to shift specific locations and itineraries based on the ever changing course of world events, and we will be taking precautions while in-country to be mindful of crew safety.
However, we expect what any documentary crew would and should expect during a shoot - that the stories will be constantly changing and that flexibility from the crew - and our backers - will be a key factor in our success.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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