A year to remember.. and the movie that almost wasn't
One year ago I was on top of the world.
Ok maybe it was a smallish world but still...
I had, in the six months prior, begun taking positive action (Did you hear that Tony Robbins!), into changing my nomadic, uncertain life pattern.
Here's what firm steps I'd taken to change my life since July of 2018:
- Placed an ad for collaborators to help me make a movie about my bicycle past - The Story of Homestead Bicycles
- Landed on a pair of filmmakers and wrote up a contract
- Begun shooting my fourth film!! (and paying for it myself $)!
- Called on friends I hadn't spoken to in over 20 years and asked them for help
- Found out my bikes had made a bigger impact than I'd been telling myself for 23 years
- Tried stand-up comedy (X4)
- Found a decent job and was moving into an apt. Jan 1.
- Had a finished trailer by Christmas day
What could go wrong having a finished trailer?
Uhh... how about everything.
I thought the trailer was great (it was).
I thought I had started something (I had).
I hoped I was closer to finishing than further (nope, definitely further).
I thought the rest would be an *almost* breeze (something to NEVER wish for).
So what happened?
- I launched my crowdfunding campaign on Christmas Day
- Despite the verbal support I still launched 100% on my own
- I *almost* lost the filmmakers
- I only raised 10% of what I needed to finish.
- I fell backwards on a barhop - smashing my elbow - and it now looks differently than it did - and probably will for the rest of my life.
Hey it's not like I didn't think before launching -
Ok fine I didn't think.
Not thinking is how most of the awesome things in my life have happened. Of course that's an exaggeration - not thinking is an incorrect way of saying - risking with a plan. I've "risked with a plan" more times than I can count, and over 90% of those choices haven't just been good - they've been the very foundation of what has made my life rich.
But once in awhile you bunt right to the catcher.
That's what I did.
But we all hit forks right?
Forks of where to go to college or to not
Forks of who to marry - or who to not
Forks of traveling to Europe or staying to work at dad's shop
Forks of trusting in ourselves or trusting in logic and safety
As you can probably guess I don't think too long about forks. About which path to take. I take one and make it work (or I'll spend an inordinate amount of time trying to bush-whack over to the other path - yes that's happened).
Either way I don't spend much time thinking. And after all I've seen and gone through...
I'm ok with that.
But I freely acknowledge the forks in our lives can be... daunting to say the least.
So what would you do?
I decided to go all in.
I tracked down more bikes.
I uncovered more old photos.
I patched things up with the filmmakers
I designed new shirts.
I asked directions when I got lost.
I tracked down the movie's nemesis.. Mr. Joe Martino of Cycle Craft.
And learned what I'd been wondering since 1995...
what happened to those missing bikes.
More or less.
And then just like that... I had a movie
- A year ago I was one-fifth of the way through a movie I wasn't sure I'd finish
- Today I have a finished movie that is better than I hoped
- A year ago I was moving off the couch into a cool apt.
- Today I'm moving out off the couch into a ... don't care where
- A year ago I wasn't sure the brothers Flint would see the movie through
- Today I'm talking to people about the brothers Flint in case I can get them another gig
- A year ago I wondered if I was over thinking the early praise I got for Homestead Bicycles
- Today I have multiple requests to relaunch Homestead Bicycles - many from strangers
- A year ago I was doodling new ideas and sketches for Homestead Bicycles
- Today I'm calling on welders to make an actual run of 20" and 24" frame sets
- A year ago I wondered what I'd do if people actually wanted more bikes
- Today I'm finding companies to supply the complete bike parts so I can sell more than just frames
- A year ago I was hoping to meet a good woman
- Today I'm confident that when I do meet a good woman - I can tell her confidently what I do - with no regrets
My name is Alden.
Pretty good films.
And I make bikes.
Damn good bikes.
Wow that feels good to say.
Because now - after 30 years and 30 bikes.
I believe it.
May the forks of life -
and bikes -
be with you.