I never considered my business a “startup” before. The term startup is something that’s generally associated with Silicon Valley and the tech industry. We’re not a tech company. What we do is tell and sell stories. Whoever you are, whatever you are, wherever you are, you have a story to tell. There is something interesting that has happened or is happening in your life. For decades we have tossed these stories aside because as a culture they were considered ‘boring’ or not in line with the ‘if it bleeds it leads’ brand of journalism that was so prevalent in the 1990’s. Now that we’ve been through the horror that was the Bush administration and the largest economic downturn since the Great Depression we understand as a culture what has value. People – intrinsically – have value. Pets have value. Your house and car have value even if that value is diminishing. Companies – as evidenced by the bailout – have a huge amount of value and influence which was extended even further by the 2010 Citizens United ruling.
Everyone and everything has a story that needs to be told. Ad agencies are starting to realize that you can’t sell something without a story. Sites that cater to things like crowdfunding tell you that your campaign will get much more attention if there’s a personal story attached to it. There’s an art to telling a good story and it takes a revolutionary army of artists to sell that art. We are those artists and we are that army. Corporations, brands and ad agencies are getting scared because cable TV is drowning. Companies no longer have a go-to reliable source of advertising – or at least that’s what they think. What they don’t realize is that the new marketplace is on sites like YouTube and Facebook. The advertising that they create for these websites needs to have a strong story that the users of these platforms can identify with if they’re going to make any traction. If you’re anything like us you hate waiting those fifteen seconds for that ad to be over so you can watch that video about cats riding around on a Roomba.
We need a shift in advertising that mirrors the shift we’ve seen in people going from employees to entrepreneurs. There was a ridiculous article on Inc’s website about how this one CEO thinks that the “startup culture” isn’t sustainable. Well, guess what? No one cares what some CEO thinks about our movement to create more freedom in our lives. People are tired of working to advance the status quo. That’s why employees at startups are willing to put in 70-90 hours a week no problem. They believe passionately in what they do and the idea that they would throw that same passion behind a corporation of a Fortune 500 company is ridiculous. The Startup Culture is really a culture shift. It’s a shift away from the idea that you can work at the same company for twenty-five years. We’ve figured out that this isn’t what our economic future is going to look like. We learned that when our parents lost their jobs during the Great Recession and us college graduates couldn’t get a job despite having gone to college just like you told us to. Though corporate CEOs may want you to believe that your ideas are nonsense and that this “trend” of startups advancing worthwhile ideas is going to crash, nothing can change the fact that they are dead wrong.
The truth is that your ideas are worth something. If you have a story to tell your ideas are worth even more. That’s why we’re so excited about the project that we’re working on right now. We’re making a film called This is Flyball about the sport of Flyball. The sport has a lot of short videos describing what it is on YouTube, but there is very little that documents what actually goes on within a flyball team and what happens between teams. That’s why This is Flyball is so powerful. We give viewers an insight into the flyball culture and the team dynamic and community that makes flyball the unique sport that it is. We’re telling a story with This is Flyball. It’s a true story that we experienced firsthand. It’s a story that continues each and every day and will keep going until we reach our logical ending point. I don’t know when that will be and neither does anyone else. This is Flyball has been a fly by the seat of your pants kind of experience. We had an outline of how the documentary was supposed to work. Emphasis on the word “had.” The truth is though that things change. Indeed, people change and so do ideas. What doesn’t change is the passion that we’ve seen from the flyball community. They have welcomed us with open arms and helped us every step of the way and for that we will eternally be grateful.
We could not have asked for a better experience for our first project. This is Flyball has been an eye-opening documentary to work on. What resonates for us is as I said before the clear passion that these folks have not only for their dogs and the sport of flyball, but for each other. It is that sense of community that we want to convey more than anything in this film. It is this unique flyball community that has invited us into their sport with no questions asked and taught us so much about a sport that so many people know so little about. In short, they made the storytelling process easy for us. All we had to do was ask. We find ourselves at a juncture where we have something else to ask, but it’s something that the flyball community alone cannot address. The fact of the matter is that even the combined passion of my film crew for filmmaking and the passion of dog lovers for flyball cannot overcome the financial obligations we must meet in order to complete this film. That’s why we need your help. We need your help to make This is Flyball happen because without additional funds we cannot continue production. We’re going to fight for every opportunity to share our passion for filmmaking and the Flyball community’s passion for their sport with the world. Now we need your help to get us over the hump. Can you help us? Check out our GoFundMe campaign at http://www.gofundme.com/flyball and donate a little money if you can, share our campaign across your social network, and help us keep our dream of telling passionate stories alive!