Let’s face it- aviation in general is not for everyone. And only a subset of those interested in flight, are looking to do so without a motor. And of that segment, only some are looking to fly easily portable, foot-launch and landable wings.
But, while being a realist for a moment, I think we also need to recognize that there are plenty of people that WOULD be interested in hang gliding and paragliding… if not for their fictitious pre-conceived notion of these activities.
This means, we shouldn’t just be trying to reach those likely to be interested in hang gliding and paragliding… we need to show that larger group what hang gliding and paragliding has to offer THEM. And to show what we’re all about, and what flying has to offer the individual willing to take on the responsibility of flight… we need FILM!
If a picture is worth a thousand words… and a video is 24 or 30 pictures every second… then how many words is an entire film about hang gliding worth. Forget words, words are cheap. WHAT IS AN ENTIRE FILM DEDICATED TO THE FUN AND THE BEAUTY OF HANG GLIDING WORTH?!
To a sport with limited participants, limited industry, and limited resources… it is my opinion that a film like that is worth more than money could ever represent.
Luckily for us, there is not one, but TWO film projects just like this on the horizon! And they need our help if they are going to happen. What can you afford to give? Better question- if you love flying like I do, can we afford to have these films NOT happen (or happen in a half-budgeted way where they don’t achieve their potential)?
The first film is called The Rhythm of Flight and it features two highly skilled, young, and energetic pilots (Wolfi Seiss and Jonas Lobitz). Production is being led by the highly experienced and capable Tony Ritter.
More info is available here: http://www.rhythmofflight.com/
They were funding on indigogo.com, but only reached 35% of their goal before they had to start production. They are currently on the road, flying and filming on location. I’m sure they could still use your financial support to improve their product!
The second film is actually a resurrection of a project that started a few years ago- Dreaming Awake- led by David Aldrich. Dave’s a hang glider pilot with an aerospace engineering degree, and his “day job” is making high-end professional cinema tools for filmmakers. All of these skills result in what is most likely the most beautiful, cinematic images ever captured of our sport. The initial push for Dreaming Awake ran into some snags, and never came to be for a multitude of reasons. This is particularly shameful, because Dave had made massive personal investments into Dreaming Awake, chartering helicopters and cineflex cameras to shoot breathtaking aerials. His out-of-pocket expenses were easily 5-digits, possibly closer to 6? Well, good news, the Dreaming Awake project is alive again, with lessons learned from the last round, he’s recollected and more focused than ever. At this stage the project NEEDS our funding, or it won’t happen.
We, as a community, can not afford for this film to not happen!
For more info, and to support Dreaming Awake: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1262624297/dreaming-awake-web-series
When I learned of The Rhythm of Flight project from Wolfi, and that they might make their way up to my neighborhood in Ellenville, NY… and might need help shooting while here… that pushed me over the edge on upgrading a lot of my gear. I’ve put in over $3,000 of my own money into making sure I’m properly outfitted to help. Sure, I have some projects of my own to shoot, too… but they weren’t enough to justify the upgrade. Rhythm of Flight is.
Then I learned about the resurrection of Dreaming Awake. I contributed the day the kickstarter was posted… and frankly I’m considering giving more. I’m in the hang gliding business… my “income” is laughable. Interns probably take home more than me. The point is- I’m not suggesting anyone do anything I haven’t already done, and plan to do again- SUPPORT THESE FILMS.
I respect that every dollar you have is hard-earned… and everyone involved in these projects understands that… but I also know that hang gliding gives us all something greater than words can say, and greater than money can buy. To fund these projects is to open people’s eyes to the life experiences they could be having, in free flight. And damnit, isn’t that more important than your Starbucks or a steak dinner? To me, it sure is…