Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Blessed with Obsession

“I have been either blessed or cursed with the capacity to pursue a single goal for six years.” This line comes from an email that I received from Ryan Bennett as he wrote about his first feature film Ramblin’ Round that will begin shooting in Maine around the middle of July.

The line connected with me because the ability to pursue a single goal is something that we can all relate too. We constantly watch athletes pursue single goals and I think that we forget that writers, artists and filmmakers have to achieve the same type of focus in order to succeed.

I have spoken with Ryan on the phone and exchanged several emails with him. In our communication I’ve been struck by this twenty-four-year-old’s intellect, enthusiasm and drive.

From his high school education at Maine Central Institute where he was a three sport athlete and captain of both the football and basketball teams for two years, to his film education at the Vancouver Film School and his work for Gosch Productions/Fun Little Movies in Burbank, California and Company 3 in New York, Ryan’s drive to produce his own film flourished.

In 2009 Ryan wrote, produced and directed the short film version of Ramblin’ Round that ultimately won the Maine Individual Artist Fellowship Award for the Performing Arts. Using that $13,000 grant as seed money, Ryan has been able to attract over $250k of in-kind support from Company 3, Sound One, Kodak and Deluxe.

Ramblin’ Round has also been selected to be part of Panavision’s New Filmmaker Program, which includes a camera package worth $240k.

He has formed American Whirlwind Pictures, LLC and with the support of the Finance Authority of Maine they are able to offer investors a 40% tax credit.

The combination of state grant, tax credit, investors and donations from family and friends increase the positive chances for Ramblin’ Round.

Ryan is bringing in actors and crew from relationships he has developed around the country and hiring local crew and local actors. There is an open casting call June 26th and 27th in Bangor. Follow the link for more information.

Success at anything in life is never guaranteed but just a like a great athlete, Ryan has followed a rigorous routine and surrounded himself with the best teammates to help assure the success of Ramblin’ Round and American Whirlwind Pictures, LLC.

Their success will also benefit the State of Maine and the visual media community.

I plan on following their process just like I follow the Red Sox. I’ll be cheering from the stands and trying not to drink too much beer.

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