Last Friday I was asked to tag along with for a SUP (stand up paddle boarding) lesson with the Puerto Rico Surf & Skate Club feat. the Sirenas Taínas (link leads to video of the events) and I was blown away by the magic that children with autism and down syndrome have when learning something. Anything.
There were about 20 children at the Vega Baja summer camp, all of which have been diagnosed with autism. I knew that they were going to do well, what I didn’t expect was the exceptional way these children took to water, the SUP boards and how easy being in the ocean came to them. There is no other way that I could describe it as incredibly special, motivating and breath taking. Here are some photos of the event, you can see more on my flickr account (see side bar to connect to it) and please watch the 8 minute video I’ve linked above, you’ll be sure to see what I mean by magical.
So, I’ve started these two campaigns on booster to help raise funds for my second film! These two separate campaigns are for two (t-shirt) designs and it’s meant to raise funds and bring awareness of the importance of coral reefs. They are surf themed, because people like surfing and will pay more attention to that before looking at coral reefs – it also makes for a fun design that even non-surfers could wear. I think it’s more effective than other fund raising methods since it’s meant to provide the donors/buyers with something in return.
I’ve been working incredibly hard on this – and so far I’ve sold a few reusable tote bags on my own. But local economy has led me to reach out to the international public for further and larger fundraising.
What am I doing to make this happen? I’ve reached out to several organizations in a production/sponsorship stand point to finance this project. I’ve submitted my first docu-short to 2 film festivals that will enable me to have more exposure (and hopefully acquire producers that way), but while I’m waiting on the responses from the already applied agents, I’m readying applications for three more agencies. as well as having come up with new tote-bag, and t-shirt designs that I will be making myself – yes, I will be cutting, measuring and sewing fabric into awesome original designs, as well as a implementing new designs for body board covers/sleeves at the suggestion of a local rider – which is absolutely brilliant really.
It’s all very exciting, all very challenging, but also fun. So please, help me get the word out there and even venture out to getting shirt for yourself and/or your partner! (if you have one…hehehe)
Thanks so much for your help and continued support
Someone asked me recently: “Why focus on surfing, it seems so different from your previous work?”
Well, although surfing would seem like the opposite of environmental and human rights reporting, it really isn’t. It’s all connected in more than one way.
to put it simply: Human Rights require a healthy way of living, a healthy way of living require a healthy planet, to have a healthy planet we need to conserve the environment and who better to tell about such conservation than the men and women who are in the water all the time. As the pollution in the oceans increase, not only is marine life affected, but also those who surf. Skin infections, and diseases have riddled more than enough surfers, SUP’ers and other water sports enthusiasts because of the lack of care of the land. We need to remember that even if we’re think that contamination inland, say the rocky mountains or the alps – it eventually finds its way to the ocean. Why? because we are all connected, everything in this planet is connected. With that, I leave you with a gallery of photos from the making of Forever Boogies
I’ve been really busy the past couple of weeks. After shooting and editing an intense workout video for a friend (see the video here), I’ve been busy at work promoting my first short documentary Forever Boogies.
Since the releasing the workout video, I’ve: designed and printed some nifty new business cards for myself, updated the fundraising page for my next project, designed some awesome graphics for t-shirts and tote bags for sale – a way to further fund raise for further projects (I’ve already had a few people asking me when they’re going to be ready because they want to support my work). I’ve sent sponsorship request and/or proposal letters to two companies (GoPro, Proteus Clothing Company), and I’ve sent my film to both the People’s Film Festival in NYC and the Rincón International Film Festival here in Puerto Rico. All exciting, I’m a little bit more nervous than what I anticipated, but it’s good right? If you have a little bit of fear when you’re doing something, that means you’re doing the right thing…right?
I’ve also acquired a Public Relations person! She’s a good friend of mine who’s transitioning from being strictly in the PR world to producing and managing in the entertainment world. So far, she’s gotten a few people interested in my work and I couldn’t be happier to bring her on board. She’s brilliant, she’s an incredibly hard working person, and she understands my drive to make things happen at a much faster and fanatical pace than many other people would. Last night I had a long conversation with her as to where I would like to take these environmental and surfing, SUP, body boarding and dk riding projects and she told me “I need you to speak with this guy because he’ll see the vision, the passion and drive that you have for your work that he’ll sure to give you backing after one conversation.” I grinned like a maniac and said “I’m available to Skype if need be.”
The rest of the conversation was about my van and how every one of the guys falls in love with it when they see it. It’s a 1993 GMC Astro Van – Special Edition. I run it pretty much everywhere it allows me to run it, and it’s also made me a mechanic of sorts, since it’s so old I have to really be on the alert of what’s happening to it and what rattling noises are coming from where. There have been plenty of times where I’ve had to pop the hood (the best time was while I was wearing a summer dress) and deal with the engine and/or battery because my fat buddy wouldn’t start. She was probably upset that I was running her through all those horrible back roads this island has and decided to take a break before allowing me to drive her back home. Yes, my car is a woman, she’s my fat buddy, and she’s awesome. She also has an insane sound system that I blast with all these song mixes and people tend to look into my car and smile because I’m so short, the car is so big and they usually expect a man to be driving it.
While I was talking to my new PR agent, I was remembering a conversation I had earlier that day with of my other friends, and told her about some designs I have for future apparel and she told me “You’re so creative, you’re like I’m going to make movies, write books, do fashion AND save the world!” I smiled and said “well, it’s what you do – if you were me” we both broke out in manic laughter. All the people that I surround myself by have the same insane work ethic I do. Work hard, complete several projects (lately it’s been about four or five) at once and move on to the next group of projects…because that’s what we do.
It isn’t because I want to get rich quick, no, it’s because I’d like to help people a lot soon than later. I’d like to be able to buy my father a house and not have him worry about paying rent, or needing to look for a place to live because the landlords are being assholes. I’d like to be able to help with my grandparents medical expenses because they’re piling up and social security and Medicare don’t cover all their medical needs. I’d like to get myself a nice place to live, close to my father’s house so I can keep an eye on him while having my own space. He keeps on getting ill and I don’t want to leave him alone, not for too long anyway.
In the meantime I’ll keep working hard to promote the work I’ve already completed, and keep trying to get funding one way or another for future projects – because the work I’m doing is important for the world to see. It has a lot to do with them; environmental and human rights reporting, has everything to do with society as a whole – I’m not peddling fantasy, I’m showing the reality of what’s happening in the world. Maybe that’s why people are so hesitant to pay attention.