Funded! This project was successfully funded on October 8, 2011.

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Twenty-year-old Jarrett became paraplegic after a base jumping accident, but he continues to skydive & live an adrenaline-fueled life.

Synopsis:

Sky High is an original documentary based on the life of Jarrett Martin, a skydiving paraplegic. Jarrett started skydiving when he was nine. At sixteen, he had almost 1,000 dives and 20 base jumps under his belt. A tragic base-jumping accident in Hawaii left Jarrett paralyzed from his chest down

when he was only eighteen. Now 20 years old and in a wheelchair, he continues to live an adrenaline-fueled life.

This year, Jarrett is competing in a prestigious national skydiving competition and is also on track to obtaining his degree in air traffic control. Hours of helmet-camera footage provide a first hand point of view of his most memorable jumps, including uncut footage of his life-altering accident. This combined with cinematic style footage shot by Newfangled, Sky High promises a raw & beautiful look at his life and the sport of skydiving.

Why Do We Need Your Help?

Jarrett lives in Seattle, our production company is located in Boston, and the skydiving competition is in Phoenix. We also want to take Jarrett back to Hawaii to visit the site of his accident. We need your help to offset travel & shooting costs! Thank you!

Our Crew:

Our company, Newfangled Studios, is a cohesive team of professionals who have created dozens of successful videos together in the past. Each person brings to the table many years of experience and various talents in media production.

Newfangled Studios’ Founder and Creative Director, Macaela VanderMost will lead this production. Macaela has eleven years of experience with storytelling, producing and editing. She is the winner of a MIXT Award and a Hatch Award. Both awards are focused on editing User Generated Content, which is where the heart of Jarrett’s documentary will be focused. She has created videos for major brand names including but not limited to: Tide, SPEED, Buick, GMC, and Staples. Her background and experience is a valuable force behind this documentary.

Macaela discovered Jarrett’s story through her younger sister, who shares an apartment with Jarrett. Through this connection, Macaela has an unparalleled access to his daily life and an inside view into his personality.

Executive Producer & Business Manager, Jenna VanderMost, will be in charge of constructing and implementing our strategy to find and secure funding. With 7 years of investment management and financial prowess at major investment firms, she is well suited for the job. For the past 4 years, prior to joining Newfangled, Jenna worked as a Supervisor and Senior Account Manager at Brown Brothers Harriman, a privately owned investment management bank.

Producer, Alicia Sitz, will organize, research, and co-ordinate logistics for the documentary. Alicia brings to the table many years of experience producing for Newfangled for prestigious clients such as Proctor & Gamble, Staples, & Dunkin Donuts. Prior to Newfangled, Alicia worked in broadcast media at a major market news station in Detroit as a writer, web producer and assignment desk editor. Her skills at multi-tasking and coordinating shoots are invaluable.

Director of Photography, Wilfredo Ramos, has worked on television spots and corporate videos for renown clients such as: Bacardí of Puerto Rico, LOREAL and EURO RSCG.  Through his career, Wilfredo has shot and directed over a dozen short films and music videos. On top of being a gifted cinematographer, he has also worked as executive producer and creative director for the San Juan based reality show “Model of the World”, and for the “Caribbean Handicap Poker Tour” where non-professional poker players competed against professional poker stars from all over the world.  He has a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Production degree from the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). 

Production Assistants/Assistant Editors, Christine Stavrou, Sheara Siegal and Laurie Ayotte have helped log and transfer all of Jarrett's personal videos.  They will continue to stay on through the project working on logging, transferring and logistics.

Approach:

The documentary is already underway. We have received and logged hours of footage. We are now in the process of coordinating a two weeklong shoot that will document Jarrett’s daily life (one week in Seattle and one in Hawaii). We will also conduct a series of interviews with Jarrett’s father, family members and friends. Using a mix of high quality digital cinematography and the point of view footage from Jarrett’s camera, we can give audiences a visually stimulating, modern and in-depth look into Jarrett’s personal life. We already have weekly interviews via Skype and FaceTime underway.

Editing Approach:

The editing will appeal to a younger crowd, with fast cuts and edgy graphics, but will also slow down in parts to reflect on the seriousness of his situation. We also plan on using an adaptation of Errol Morris’s Interrotron.

Schedule & Timeframe:

Our production schedule consists of 6 weeks for pre-production. During that time we will look into travel costs and coordination, as well as permits and permissions for shooting on Jarrett’s campus and at his work. Two to four weeks are being set aside for production. One to two weeks will be spent with

Jarrett as he starts his last semester of college at Green River Community College in Auburn, WA. 

In October we hope to fly to Phoenix to shoot Jarrett in the USPA National Skydiving Championship. If lack of funding won’t allow us to get out there, we have a signed release from the USPA stating they will provide us with their footage. We will venture to Hawaii with Jarrett to revisit the site of the accident, and to interview the rock climber that found him after the crash. 

Ten weeks will be scheduled for editing and any graphics that will be needed for the documentary.

Audience & Distribution:

This documentary will reach a wide, general viewership. It’s a story of addiction, tragedy, overcoming the odds, the strength of the human spirit, and the pursuit of happiness. By using Interrotron, we will be able to make that emotional connection more prominent between Jarrett and the audience.

The United States Parachuting Association statistics show that about 350,000 people skydive a year, completing more than 3 million jumps annually. There are 34,000 members of the USPA. These numbers are continuing to grow and its popularity has prompted the opening of several indoor skydiving facilities. Base jumping is less common but very well-known due to its high level of risk. When searching ‘skydiving’ or ‘base jumping’ on YouTube, you receive over 64,000 results. Regardless of these staggering numbers, we have found that there are surprisingly few documentaries based on skydivers or BASE jumpers.

Since our audience will likely be in the 18-32 demographic, we are looking into online distribution. We are also reaching out to Netflix, Apple TV, and iTunes. We will create social networking profiles and a website for the film. The trailer will be posted on Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo and will have a strong presence on Twitter. Additionally, we will submit the film to national film festivals and pitched to broadcasters such as HBO, OWN, Sundance and IFC.

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