Bidding for Gold is a documentary following 13 of the greatest Ultimate players the world has ever witnessed as they plan, practice, and eventually play at The World Games on July 28-30 in Cali, Colombia.
I followed the team here to Cali, where I am now writing from. I was able to gain unprecedented access to the team that exceeded even my expectations. I am extremely grateful for the team's welcoming attitudes and openness to the camera. I was able to film the team as they arrived in Cali, hung out in the hostel, went out to eat, shopped around Cali, and prepared for the World Games. The behind-the-scenes access has allowed for the film to become a personal account of what playing for Team USA is really about: creating lifelong friendships, managing hardships (fighting through sickness and migraines), and playing the games themselves. I was able to film many huddles and locker room talks before games. The players opened up about their experiences and spoke of moments on the field that tell the story of earning Gold at The World Games.
The documentary has become an all-consuming project since its inception over a month ago. I have had the opportunity to spend a great deal of time with the players both in Colombia and the United States and have grown to respect not only their skills as players but even more paramount their equally monumental level of spirit. Each of the players, coaches, advisors, and even observers (that's you, Dengel), have the highest regard for the sport along with an unsurpassed level of Spirit. The sport does not stay on the field. It becomes part of every one of us who has been lucky enough to be able to call ourselves an Ultimate player.
Bidding for Gold is attempting to write the history of the sport as it unfolds before us. We are at the most pivotal time in the history of the sport, with its recognition by the International Olympic Committee; ESPN coverage; the invention of not one, but two pro leagues; and USA Ultimate's golden child, The Triple Crown Tour. Paraphrasing Dr. Tom Crawford, USA Ultimate's CEO, the goal of USAU and the Triple Crown Tour is to both highlight the highest level of Ultimate in the world and put on a "show" so that the sport will further develop at the youth level. As an Ultimate player who has been touched by the sport, I truly believe it is my duty to help in the best way that I can to bring the sport to more people of all ages across the country.
The film will set up the sport and tell its history so that any passerby may understand both its simplicities and its nuances. I hope that they may find inspiration in the athletes representing our country at The World Games, and in turn become both players and fans of the sport. As I mentioned, it is my and the rest of the Ultimate community's duty to proliferate the sport across borders, boundaries, and cultures.
Thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart for reading this, and I hope you can join me as I march forward for what is proving to be the adventure of a lifetime.
Ultimate, which combines the non-stop movement and athletic endurance of soccer with the aerial passing skills of football, is played by two teams with a flying disc or Frisbee™ on a field with end zones, similar to football. The object of the game is to score by catching a pass in the opponent’s end zone. A player must stop running while in possession of the disc, but may pivot and pass to any of the other receivers on the field. Ultimate is a transition game in which players move quickly from offense to defense on turnovers that occur with a dropped pass, an interception, a pass out of bounds, or when a player is caught holding the disc for more than ten seconds. Ultimate is governed by Spirit of the Game™, a tradition of sportsmanship that places the responsibility for fair play on the players rather than referees. Ultimate is played in more than 80 countries by an estimated 7 million of men and women, girls and boys. The international governing body, WFDF, represents 59 member associations in 56 countries.
Risks and challenges
I have been in Colombia with the team filming. My original intent for this kickstarter was to help me cover the expenses of filming in Cali. I am already finished filming with the team during the games. I was able to gain much more access than I ever expected. However, I do not have the funds for a ticket home. Right now my money is quickly running out.
I have found a free place to stay while I wait out my time to book a ticket back home. I will say, staying in Cali is not too expensive, and the hundred dollars I have in my pocket, along with the help of strangers will keep me off of the street.
If you can help now there are great gifts that you will be eligible for and will gain access to many special features and behind the scenes cuts.
The greatest risk I have taken so far is pouring every cent of mine into the project. It began so fast, that I have had no choice but to put all I have into the project. I have already received over $1000 in donations, which has been sufficient up until this point. Now I need your help.
I am hoping to raise much more than $1000 to help begin the post production process and continue working on the film. I still need to film interviews in Atlanta on my way back to my home. And then I will be hiring an editor to edit the first version of the film. The more money I raise today, the easier it will be to continue working on the film right now.
Below is an earlier post from when I expected to have the kickstarter running during the trip to The World Games. I left it in because I think it gives a good idea about where my head was at before the games.
(Earlier Post) 7/22/2013
I am not as concerned as far as safety just traveling while in Colombia. Having read a lot about how the country has developed since the days of Pablo Escobar, it has become a much safer and touristy country. And luckily we will be at Team USA's side for the whole trip. So we will not be wandering off to dangerous areas. I have travelled on my own to Costa Rica (hitch hiked), Italy, Scotland and Denmark. Each trip was about a month. I have become comfortable getting around foreign countries on my own. Also, my spanish is half decent. While this is not to say that I must not worry about thieves and kidnapping, I am very away of the dangers, I am not entering the same country that it was 20 years ago.
(Cali has been an amazing city, and they people here have been extremely friendly and open to tourists. This trip has come together better than I could have ever expectied) 7/31/13
I have been able to be with Team USA, but have not be allowed to film the games themselves. The rights have been sold to a German Production company, which now with a completed Indiegogo Campaign by the World Flying Disc Federation, will be covered in its entirety. So the tough hurdle will be getting the funds together to gain rights to the games. My greatest worry would have been if the games were not covered. And to be honest, the fact that a professional company is covering the games is quite a blessing. The coverage will be much more comprehensive and allow for a more compelling final product!
Once we have come home and begin editing, I already have an editor lined up. His name is Kyle Kelly, from Bullmoose Productions in NYC. I was brought on to a documentary Kyle was doing with Chris Buchannan of the College of Wooster mens basketball team. I ran the camera and helped with interviews. Kyle has experience editing and we will need to raise a second round of funds for him to cover post. It will be between 5 and 10 grand depending on how fast we would like the turnaround to be.
My goal is to have something in the hands of ESPN by October so that they may get rolling on something that could around my birthday, June 14th. My goal is to have the World Premiere air at Poultry Days a year after it began.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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