The HandCrank “Power of Film” Series Pilot is Here!

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So far, we’ve had a lot of talk from this blog – now it’s time for some action.

This is a very exciting week at HandCrank. A dream we put into motion over a year ago is finally coming to fruition.

The time was December 2016 and we gathered the HandCrank crew together to discuss our future. Things were looking pretty bleak creatively for us. Our directors and editors were burnt out from seemingly endless talking head and b-roll films. You know, the case study videos and testimonials that are the bread and butter of corporate film production houses. Our team had produced them beautifully, and with the usual HandCrank attention to beauty and detail, but we wanted more. We dreamed of bigger things.

It was at this time that we decided as a group to set HandCrank back on track towards focusing on high concept creative. Creative that explored and pushed the powers of the film medium itself. As part of this reigniting of our torch, we offered our directors a deal. We would give individual directors $10,000 to produce a film series completely of their choosing with only one stipulation: the series had to showcase the power of film.

“The power of film” is a pretty broad term. What we didn’t mean was just to produce a powerful film series in and of itself. Rather, what we were looking for was a series that somehow showcased just how much film permeates, informs, and shapes our universe today. It was a tall order to be sure.

Thankfully, none of the directors took us up on the offer right away. I say thankfully because we didn’t actually HAVE the money at the time! But, we were anxious to get started with this ambitious plan. Serendipitously, one of our good friends and part-time contributors, Sam Giffin of Right On Brother Films, showed up just at the right time.

Sam was looking to see if we wanted to sell an old set of Red Pro Prime lenses that we’d bought years before and we’re using that much anymore. That’s when I got the idea to trade him the lenses if he’d produce and direct an idea I had for a series based loosely on one of my favorite ski shorts of all time, Sam’s own “Downhill Affair“. “Downhill” was an exceedingly intimate look at the behind-the-scenes lives of pro-skiers, that just left you wanting to see more. This idea, coupled with the fact that I knew Sam constantly had mixed feelings about making “typical” ski movies, led me to ask him if he’d make a short, very intimate series about what it’s like to be the film team behind these pro-skiers – particularly when you’re related to them. And further, we wanted the film to explore just how powerfully the film medium itself effects the actions of the skiers themselves.

Sam immediately jumped at the idea and even had an immediate and wonderful name: “Kodak Courage”. Sam had long struggled with the responsibility he felt as the shooter when friends and relatives were risking their lives for his lens. He was intrigued by the possibility of exploring this often dangerously co-dependent relationship that brought the skiers glory and sometimes much-needed cash, but also caused them to regularly risk their very lives. Sam took our old lenses away from us and immediately put them to use filming some of the most gorgeous, introspective, and honest ski material put onto memory cards.

The result is now before us, and this Wednesday we will release to the world the first 5 minute episode of the three-part “Kodak Courage”. We have officially put our money where our mouth is, and we are so proud to sponsor and produce the film series Sam has put together; it truly sums up exactly what we mean when we talk about the power of film.

Can’t wait to share it with you!!


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We’re going for the emotions. Joy, sorrow, laughter, love - we want it all. And we want to work with people that understand that language. Partners who will challenge us to be better and push us to grow, so when we share it with the world, we've made something that matters.