(Last Updated On: October 7, 2010)
Today, I received an email from Bill Kerig. Many of you may know him for his book and film The Edge of Never, documenting Kai Peterson’s coming of age story in Chamonix. Anyone who has read Kerig’s book knows that he initially looked to friends and ski fans to raise money for his amazing documentary. Now, Kerig has a new muse- a documentary called Ready to Fly. This film tells the story of Lindsay Van and her ski jumping career, which is stifled by the fact that women’s ski jumping is not allowed in the Olympics for “medical reasons”. Ski jumping is the only sport in the Olympics that does not have a female competition. Kerig’s movie documents the efforts of female athletes at the forefront of women’s ski jumping who are trying their best to make it an official Olympic sport. As is the case with these admirable athletes, Kerig also is asking for support.
Bill Kerig from The Edge of Never here. I’m writing to ask for your help on a new endeavor: www.GetReadyToFlyFilm.com
A year ago, I showed The Edge of Never to people in small theaters from Seattle to Vermont. In Rockport, Massachusetts, a sold-out theater laughed, cried, and kept me answering questions for hours. In Madison, Wisconsin, a Dad told me that he was headed straight home to hug his son. The film inspired some to embrace their friends, others to go skiing with their moms — many to live just a little bit more. It was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
After the tour, I started looking for another story that could inspire me (and hopefully, you) I found it in the story in Lindsey Van, who set out to conquer the world, only to have it line up against her. I found it in the story of Peter Jerome who saved his daughter’s ski jumping team, taking on a multi-billion-dollar foe, armed with only a Non-Profits For Dummies paperback. I found it in the story of women’s ski jumping, the only Olympic discipline that allows men to compete but not women. And I found it in the eyes of my own young daughter who is not a ski jumper, but hopefully will never be denied the chance to pursue any of her dreams, merely because she’s a girl.
I figured that this story that spoke so loudly to me would be a slam-dunk with sponsors and investors, studios and broadcasters. Six months later the constant door slams have put a hundred exclamation points on just how little I know.
This is a story of underdog outsiders who risk everything to upset and change the arcane, outdated ways of an unthinking establishment. And yet I was asking the establishment to support the message – repeatedly. I may be dumb, but I’m dogged.
Now, I’m trying something riskier than anything I’ve ever done: I’m asking all my friends for a little help.
They call it crowd funding, a fancy term for a simple concept: community coming together to create and inspire change — grassroots giving gone high-tech.
With a little bit of your help, I promise to make the best, most inspiring film that I can. And if you give even one dollar, I will list your name in the credits.
What I’m asking is 4 minutes and 13 seconds of your time to watch the pitch reel here: www.GetReadyToFlyFilm.com.
If it speaks to you and you want to help, donate at the site. I will be forever grateful.
If it doesn’t move you, maybe you can send this email on to someone it might touch.
Thank you for your continued support,
Ready To Fly
Ready to Fly Trailer:
This film interests me for several reasons. First, I’m a firm believer in equality for everyone- whether it be gender, socioeconomic, or race-related. Second, I can identify with these women who have had to fight harder for something, simply because they lack a Y chromosome. Third, who doesn’t like an inspirational story? Fourth, my favorite quote comes to mind: “The greatest thing in life is doing what people say you cannot
do,” by Walter Bagehot. Fifth, it’s about skiing and female athletes who deserve their showroom for their sport. Though I have not seen Ready to Fly, knowing Kerig, its a genuine story full of laughter, triumph, obstacles, laughter, tears, and a lot of heart. I’m sure it’s destined to be great. Take time to support him and these female athletes if you can 🙂