Just as all filmmakers do, we must ask ourselves, who is our target audience?For us, the answer has given meaning to this project from the beginning.
Our singular purpose for Endless Abilities is to empower the lives of the physically disabled. Regardless of disability, age, gender, location, access, and wealth, we seek to educate and inspire our audiences through the power of sport.
It may sound optimistic to surpass these physical barriers, but support from communities and advancement in technology has started a new era of ability. All across the country, more and more individuals are confronting and overcoming their disability.
Our story is theirs. And this story must reach its audience. Whether you've been an amputee for forty years, or in a wheelchair for forty minutes, this film will show that you have what it takes to become physically active.
Who We Are
At first, we explored surfing, sailing, and skiing in New England but after a groundswell of local support, we decided to take our project cross-country in order to capture similar stories of triumph over adversity.
From early May to late June, our crew of four best friends will drive our modified mini-bus from our home in Rhode Island to California, leaving the cameras rolling at every step of the way. We plan to meet with the newly disabled, Paralympic athletes, and everyone in between. To name just a few sports, we will climb up mountains, raft down rivers, dive through oceans, and surf both coasts with individuals with many different types of physical disabilities.
Our message is clear: Sports unite physically disabled and able-bodied individuals on a level playing field. While we all have different means of participating, we ultimately all share the same slope, road, wave, the same emotions of challenge, perseverance, and triumph. Our mission is to document the reality of broken boundaries and common goals among all who are active across this country.
$7,000 - Screening of Works-in-Progress at Narragansett Towers
$3,000 - In-kind donations
$10,000 - The Hartford Insurance Co's "Achieve Without Limits" Contest
$30,000 - Kickstarter Campaign
$50,000 - TOTAL BUDGET
Case for Support
For the month before we leave, we are asking you to please give your financial support to help make our mission possible. Any donation you feel comfortable making is highly appreciated by all four of us.
To date, we have been blessed by your support in its many forms. We never thought we could fill the Narragansett Towers to capacity for our screening of works-in-progress in June. We never thought we could secure enough votes to win the Hartford’s Achieve Without Limits Contest. We never thought PARI, an accessible living community in Rhode Island, would give us their Congressional Community Service Award of the Year. We never thought the Southern New England Rehabilitation Center would ask us to speak at their annual conference when we return in September. We never thought we’d be fielding phone calls and emails from individuals all across this country, able-bodied and disabled, who want to share their story and sport with us.
Yet all of this happened because of your unfailing support, and for this, we are incredibly thankful.
We are now in the eleventh hour of preparing for our road trip. Your support has carried us this far, and will allow us to make all of the mini-bus modifications before we hit the road. Our current funds have allowed us to purchase, repair, register, and insure the minibus, and continue production throughout New England. We're working with the Institute of Human Centered Design to build in an editing desk, a cook station, equipment storage, and a booth for us to work at.
As soon as we leave Rhode Island in early May, however, we face large costs, such as:
- video production
We ask that you please pledge the amount you can to help us complete our mission. Our financial goal is based on a very modest lifestyle for the four of us. We plan on sleeping in tents and homes of our supporters. We plan on provisioning economically and conserving groceries.
The four of us want to put as much of your donation to actual community service as possible, both in the process of the road trip and the product of the film. For us, Endless Abilities is about working directly with our supporters and audience, because our story is their story.
With a donation of $10 or more, we'll send you a postcard letting you know exactly how your donation contributed to your project. Your donation could go towards anything from helping a rehab patient go sailing for the first time, to renting scuba diving equipment for the day for one of the filmmakers to swim with adaptive divers, to helping us adjust for rising gas prices.
Finally, we want to repeat our incredible gratitude for your support thus far, and hope you will continue to stick with us to the end. This movement is grassroots by nature, organic in its growth. We are not a major production house or television studio, but rather four best friends with an unbreakable determination to tell a story. And we will not stop until our story reaches its final audience, the newly disabled in search of a path forward in life.
So please, consider a donation, and give us a call. We welcome your candid thoughts and suggestions, as the story we wish to tell is ultimately a collection of all of yours.
Zachary Bastian was born and raised in Rhode Island. Living just a few miles from the beautiful beaches of the Narragansett Bay, Bastian is a product of his environment. From sailing with his family throughout New England before he could walk, Bastian has an immeasurable love and respect for New England. Bastian became a paraplegic his sophomore year of high school, now almost eight years ago. Bastian soon re-discovered surfing in San Diego. He has since returned to Rhode Island to pursue a career as a merchant mariner, and currently studies to earn his Captain’s license from the US Coast Guard. In addition, Bastian has returned to school to complete his undergraduate education, with a focus in adaptive recreation for the disabled. From spearheading the accessibility of Newport’s Harbor Shuttle, to empowering others from all across the country through Endless Abilities, Bastian has a strong future in creating equal opportunity for the disabled.
Will Humphrey brings essential experience from the worlds of both disability and sport to Endless Abilities. While skiing competitively during his high school years, Humphrey studied adaptive mono-skiing in New Hampshire, a sport he committed to learning by forfeiting the use of his legs for a week. For the past six summers, he has volunteered as a mentor and instructor at Shake-a-Leg/Sail-to-Prevail, an adaptive sailing center in Newport, RI. Humphrey now studies recreational therapy with emphasis on physical disability at the University of New Hampshire. With consistent dedication to Endless Abilities, Humphrey is now partner of Wind Powered Productions.
Harvey Burrell pursued his passion for filmmaking during his high school years. His experience in both television and film, Burrell continues to produce commercial, narrative, and documentary work after co-founding Wind Powered Productions three years ago. This past summer, Burrell worked at Piers Park Sailing Center in Boston Harbor, recognized by US Sailing as one of the nation’s best adaptive sailing centers. Burrell now majors in Economics and Film Theory at Vanderbilt University. Over the last two years, filmmaking has brought Burrell to Tibet, Venezuela and Canada.
Tripp Clemens united with Burrell as they shared a mutual passion for filmmaking in high school, and have since established Wind Powered Productions, a partnership committed to producing high quality films. Clemens shares his passion for working on the water with Bastian and Humphrey, as the three have worked to obtain their merchant mariner’s license from the US Coast Guard. From working on the set of a major motion picture, to studying Film Production and Business at Emerson College in Boston, Clemens sees the educational value in every experience.
- (30 days)