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An inspirational short film series about people with typical day jobs but some unexpected passion outside of work that they live for.
An inspirational short film series about people with typical day jobs but some unexpected passion outside of work that they live for.
An inspirational short film series about people with typical day jobs but some unexpected passion outside of work that they live for.
324 backers pledged $40,922 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$40,922

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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!

Sincerely, 

Kevin 

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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 Gordon
Director/Producer 

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.

Matt Clark
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 Green
Editor 

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 Gillane
Editor 

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: 

Join us!  

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!

3. And after you become a backer, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and help SPREAD THE WORD. It makes a HUGE difference to this campaign.

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!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    SURFER Join the team! Get the opportunity to nominate someone to be the subject of an episode and also receive inspirational posts about finding your passion and updates about the project.

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    ROCK CLIMBER Get all of the above plus exclusive early streaming access to the first three episodes!

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    BREAK DANCER Get all of the above, plus an exclusive reel of bloopers and extras that did not make the final cut.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    DJ Get all of the above, plus your choice of EITHER an autographed 6x9 photograph of Demanda Riot from IGP Photography OR an autographed 6x9 photograph of Ken Micheli, plus two SHINE ON stickers.

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    LEAD JAMMER Get all of the above, plus a brand new 187 Killer Pads Pro Skate Helmet autographed by Demanda Riot, plus an autographed 6x9 photograph of Demanda Riot from IGP Photography, plus two SHINE ON stickers.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    FILM FANATIC Get all of the above, plus a digital download of three award-winning short films by the director: NO WINE LEFT BEHIND about a ragtag group of Iraq War vets trying to launch a winery, DREAMS AWAKE about a Mexican immigrant poet who works as a janitor in an art museum, and TUNED IN, about a nature lover who goes out into the desert to listen to radio signals from the Earth's magnetic field.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    RACER Get all of the above, plus a SHINE ON T-Shirt signed by your choice of Demanda Riot or Ken Micheli, plus one ticket to either the SF or NY SHINE ON Premiere Party (The SF Premiere will be a chance to meet Demanda Riot and Ken Micheli in person. It does not include transportation and accommodation).

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    VIRTUAL PRIVATE SCREENING Host a screening of the series at your home or office, and then Kevin will Skype in for a private 30 minute Q&A about the project, plus get everything at the FILM FANATIC level.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    JAMMER Be Demanda Riot's VIP guests to a Bay Area Derby Girls 2016 Home Bout and sit with her during a bout , includes a free ticket ($30 value), plus get everything at the RACER Level. Does not include transportation or accommodation.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    STOCK CAR Be Ken Micheli's VIP guests to a race at the Chico or Marysville Speedway and visit him in the pits between races, includes a free ticket ($40 value), plus get everything at the RACER Level. Does not include transportation or accommodation.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    CODER Make it a business expense! Get a free video consultation from our team for your startup or business. We will do a review and prepare a brief which you use to develop your video strategy. Includes everything at the RACER Level.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PIVOT Get a virtual coaching session with Demanda Riot, who will spend 30 minutes reviewing bout footage that you provide, and then have a 30 minute skype chat with you about your performance, plus get everything at the RACER level.

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    PRIVATE SCREENING Hold a private screening in your home or office and Kevin will attend in person for a presentation and Q&A. LIMITED TO BAY AREA ONLY. Includes everything at the RACER Level.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    BLOCKER Get a rare piece of Demanda Riot memorabilia, her own used helmet, now autographed, plus get everything at the RACER level.

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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    LATE MODEL Get a free professional driving lesson and test your mettle on a real racetrack with the National Auto Sport Association ($300 value, includes annual membership) with courses offered all across the country, plus get everything at the RACER Level. Transportation and accommodation are not included.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    ASSOCIATE PRODUCER Get an Associate Producer Credit at the end of each episode as well as on the website, provide feedback on edits, and come on a shoot schedule permitting. Transportation and accommodation are not included. Includes everything at the RACER level.

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    EXECUTIVE PRODUCER Get an Executive Producer credit at the end of each episode as well as on the website, help select the subject for the third episode from the audience selected finalists, come and observe all shoots and sit in on edit days as schedule permits, and provide feedback on cuts of each episode. Transportation and accommodation are not included. Includes everything at the RACER level.

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Funding period

- (29 days)