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What do a military flight attendant, breast cancer survivor and pediatrician have in common? A healthy addiction. Read more

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This project was successfully funded on April 27, 2012.

What do a military flight attendant, breast cancer survivor and pediatrician have in common? A healthy addiction.

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About this project

What do a military flight attendant, a breast cancer survivor, and a pediatrician have in common?  A healthy addiction to competitive figure skating.  During the filming, Andy, who could be whisked away at a moment's notice from California to a war zone, suffered from anxiety, fear and stress-induced injuries, and fought for time to practice his skating program.  Doctor Chris was consumed with his busy practice in Minnesota, but was separated from his wife and son, which weighed on his mind as he trained with his pairs partner.  Shannon from Texas had quit her job as an architect to become a mother of three, and struggled to keep her skating going through life-threatening cancer treatment processes.  Skating Through It chronicles their lives over a year as they battle their challenges and prepare for an adult national figure skating competition.  They each gain and share valuable insights about themselves, and one unexpectedly wins a gold medal.

Skating Through It is a thirty-two minute documentary featuring multiple interviews and b-roll of Andy, Shannon and Chris in their homes, with family members, at rinks and additional locations such as doctor's offices and hospitals.  Also featured are interviews with former Olympic skaters Charles Tickner, Mark Janoschak, and Mark Militano, as well as other champion adult skaters and coaches. The profile footage was shot by professional film/television DPs and I shot all of the on-ice practice footage of the skaters.  The competition programs at the U.S. Adult National Championships in Dallas, Texas were covered by a local six-person crew. Many wonderful pros were involved in the production. The credits are listed on the documentary website

The documentary has finally reached the FINE CUT stage!  This Kickstarter campaign is to raise funds for some of the urgent finishing costs (at discounted rates): color correction, title design, sound mix, and music underscore (by Joel Diamond, who has been composing for over twenty years with credits including Milarepa and Welcome to the Dollhouse). Contributions far exceeding the goal are very much needed and will be used for screenings around the country throughout the next year, as well as efforts to get the documentary into festivals, television broadcasts, distribution deals, and online platforms.  Funds are needed as well for recoupment of research, production and editing costs.  The total documentary budget is $295k.

When the full budget amount has been raised, I will also be able to complete: ten-minute portraits of two additional competitive skaters that were filmed during the production phase (Leslie and Tara); memorial video tributes to two wonderful, dedicated skaters who participated in the documentary (Paula Smart and Kenny Isely); and the documentary footage archive, connected to the website, featuring funny and moving clips from various competitions and interviews with champion and famous elite skaters. 

Please contribute at the highest level that you're able to. I will endeavor to send rewards to you as quickly as possible, ideally before estimated delivery dates.  Kickstarter has a limit of $10k for contributions, so the International Documentary Association is serving as my fiscal sponsor to allow for contributions at higher levels that are fully tax-deductible (or partially tax-deductible with rewards). The high levels that I'm offering are: SILVER - $15k for Associate Producer credit (2 people); PLATINUM  - $25k for Producer credit (2 people); and GOLD - $50k for Executive Producer credit (1 person). Details are posted on the "contribute" page of the documentary website. Please contact me for more info and any questions.  

I look forward to your support and the opportunity to share Skating Through It with you and the world!  


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  • You selected
    Pledge $12 or more

    4 backers

    "NICKEL": A thank you on the website for the documentary + a circular patch of the Skating Through It emblem design

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    Pledge $25 or more

    29 backers

    "ZINC": Nickel-level rewards + a link to watch the preview version of Skating Through It online

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  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    18 backers

    "ALUMINUM": Zinc-level rewards + a DVD of highlights from the two Skate for Hope events that I videotaped and edited, featuring Shannon Keeler and famous elite skaters such as Emily Hughes, Katy Taylor and Parker Pennington + Andy Schell's Kindle-edition book, "Flying Camels and Tiger Mothers"

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  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    15 backers

    "CHROME": Aluminum-level rewards + an autographed Skating Through It DVD with extras + a signed circular poster featuring the Skating Through It emblem design and a general calendar of adult competitive figure skating events

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    1 backer

    "COPPER": Chrome-level rewards + online access to additional clips from the documentary, including interviews with famous Olympic skaters and other amazing adult competitive skaters + copper-finished Skating Through It medal

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  • You selected
    Pledge $2,000 or more

    2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)

    "BRONZE": Copper-level rewards + your name in the end credits of the documentary + a figure skating lesson by me (if you're a beginner, or a higher level coach if you're a skater) + a glass paperweight with the Skating Through It emblem design

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (30 days)