About this project
Thanks to over 300 generous souls, we have reached our goal, but it's not too late to join the movement!
If you are just finding us now and want to receive inspirational articles, updates on the project, and a heads up when the series finally launches, then sign up for the Shine On Series Email List by clicking here and also like us on Facebook!
And if you would like to support the project, you can still make a donation by clicking here. Your support will help us make future episodes and spread the message to an even larger audience!
Back this Kickstarter to make the first three episode season of SHINE ON a reality, nominate someone you know to star in an episode, and join a movement to inspire people to pursue their passions.
By day they are your co-workers and servers. By night they are rockstars in their own domain. A 76-year-old farmer who tears it up at the local speedway. A piercer in a tattoo parlor who rocks the Roller Derby circuit. A nursing assistant who dominates at underground hip hop dance battles. Their goal is not to “make it” but simply to have a few moments in a week where they can leave their other lives behind, bring time to a standstill, and do what they love. This is an inspirational short film series about people like them.
Each mini-episode dives into the life of a different character and a different subculture, contrasting the two aspects of their lives, and exploring both the 'what' of their unusual pursuit and most importantly the 'why'. In a society driven by money why would they spend countless hours on an obsession with no obvious payoff? What do they find in it that they can't get in their other life? And what can our work obsessed culture learn from them?
More than a series, this is a movement to inspire people to dig their own pastimes out of the closet or pick up new ones and live richer, more engaged lives. #findyourshine
Episode 1: A NEED FOR SPEED
Ken Micheli is a second-generation rice farmer. At age 76, his body isn't what it used to be and he spends much of his free time taking care of his wife who suffers from Alzheimer's. During long days driving tractor, he dreams of his real passion, dirt track auto racing at the local speedway. While some think racing is too dangerous for a man of his age, Ken's son Matt insists that the thrill of racing is the one thing that keeps his father alive.
Episode 2: FULL CONTACT
Tiana McGuire is a punk girl with a sweet face who works as a piercer at a tattoo parlor. While she spends her days cleaning toilets, she spends her nights putting on war paint and doling out punishment as Demanda Riot of the Bay Area Derby Girls, one of the toughest roller derby skaters around. Though she can never make a living as a skater, nor can she ever give it up. For Tiana, life's too short to not do what you love.
Episode 3: CROWDSOURCED
We have a long list of possible stories but realized this campaign is also an excellent opportunity to source stories from you. Stories that we could never find on our own. If you know someone who could be a good fit for the series, become a backer and share their story with us.
After finishing a feature documentary last year, I sat down to brainstorm new film ideas and noticed that several stories I was pursuing were following this same pattern of people pursuing their passions on the side. I realized that they resonated with me because I too long for something more in my life - another passion outside of filmmaking to complete me.
As we work longer and longer hours, too many of us have passions postponed, delayed, and forgotten. Yet as I dug deeper, I learned that study after study has documented the importance of serious pastimes. They recharge our bodies and minds, alleviate stress, boost creativity, promote long term happiness, and in turn energize every aspect of our lives. This campaign is a call for everyone to pursue their passions in whatever ways they can.
Episode One is mostly shot, Episode Two we filmed a teaser for this campaign, and Episode Three awaits your ideas. We have done as much as we can on our own. Your support is essential to completing these episodes. Without your backing, this project will not be able to move forward.
As importantly, we are here to connect with you, our audience, We want you involved as early as possible to help shape the direction of this series and to build this movement.
The goal is to leverage the success of this campaign and the first 3 episodes into a full run on an established digital platform and spread the message to an even larger audience.
Kevin is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who has screened films at festivals across the world and produced projects for PBS, Discovery, and The New York Times. He is drawn to inspirational, cinematic, character based storytelling. His first feature-length film TRUE SON, about a 21-year old kid from the streets trying to save his home town, premiered at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival and was acquired by Fusion TV. Kevin received his MFA in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University. When not making movies, Kevin can be found backpacking in the High Sierras.
Director of Photography
Matt was born with his boots on in the North of England. Matt found his first love in photography and theatre before years of travel led him to California and film. Matt combines the observational skills of a documentary shooter with the artistry of a commercial DP, having working on projects for Gap, Virgin America, Pinterest, LInkedIn, and Twitter to name a few.
Laura loves the challenges of shaping raw footage into compelling stories. She and Kevin met at the Stanford Documentary Film Program and first collaborated on True Son which Laura edited. Her own award-winning short films have screened at numerous festivals and she is currently at work on her feature-length directorial debut. She teaches film at Stanford University and the Art Institute of California. Her previous passion: playing rugby.
Sean is an all-around post-production whiz. He most recently edited the Sundance award-winning film Advantageous. He also directed the fiction film CXL and shot and edited the documentary Corner Store.
We have put together a variety of rewards for you and wanted to highlight a few items here:
1. Back us at any level you can. Every contribution gets us closer to our goal and every backer shows how much support there is for the project.
2. Let us know your thoughts, ideas, and passions. We want to hear from you!
Risks and challenges
As a short film series with fewer days of shooting and no unfolding story, we face fewer risks than a long form documentary film. That said documentary is an art, not an exact science, and there could be some bumps along the way. If production obstacles cause delays, that could mean that we get the film out to you, our backers, later than anticipated. But, based on our experience making films and the strong team we have put together, we are confident that we can make a great series and get the episodes out there soon!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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