“Keep Ithaka always in your mind.
Arriving there is what you are destined for.
But do not hurry the journey at all.
Better if it lasts for years,
so you are old by the time you reach the island,
wealthy with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to make you rich.
Ithaka gave you the marvelous journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She has nothing left to give you now.” – C.P. Cavafy
The “marvelous journey” that Cavafy is speaking of in this poem is a beautiful and sometimes painful story. It is one that we are attempting to capture in all of its raw emotion and sheer power. The men of the Ohio Regional Training Center in Columbus, Ohio are on a mission to achieve Olympic and personal glory in this documentary series, full of human passion and emotion. The stories behind the individual journeys of these 8 men are incredible in terms of the scope of the dream they are all striving to achieve. The world of amateur wrestling, although foreign to most of the common public, is one of the most intense and grueling settings I have ever found myself in. While living with basically no financial assistance or public support these athletes have become some of the most elite on the planet. Constantly pushing, grinding, and reassuring themselves that it will all be worth it at the end of their journeys. They soldier on day after day towards something uncertain that they have believed in since they each were children, a desire most people on the planet can relate to.
We have brought a professional and creative eye to showcase not only the sport, but the personal lives of these competitors in a beautiful and compelling way in which it has never before been shown. We look to do the “reality” genre a favor by showcasing exactly that, the harshest realities that this world has to offer. The cast has already shown openness never before witnessed on the screen. There will be no staged drama or written lines, only the hearts and dreams of these men, on full display for the world to see in a four part hour long episodic series.
As a former wrestler I have always been a very firm believer in the importance of chasing your dreams and working your hardest to get where you need to be to achieve them. After graduating from Ohio University with a major in TV Production and minors in Film and Sociology I immediately entered the work force, trying to chase my dreams of becoming a filmmaker. I quickly realized that working for other people’s productions was not what I wanted to be doing. I also found myself becoming increasingly unhappy the longer that I found myself away from the sport of wrestling. I decided it was time to make a change and follow through with all of the beliefs that had been instilled in me by this wonderful sport. I had seen the sacrifice and dedication that the Ohio RTC athletes showcase day in and day out and was immediately inspired. I feel like every person on this planet has a dream at some point in their life and 99% of the population walk away from them for one reason or another. I have become tired of putting off my own dreams on account of people telling me this “is not how things work”. I believe that, not unlike 'iron sharpening iron", passion sharpens passion and I cannot think of a more important journey than the one taken to chase down a dream. The greatest things I have learned about my true self in this world have come from the sport I love so dearly and I want nothing more than to share that gift (the journey of self discovery) with the rest of the world. You can become a part of the journey by helping us follow them through their Olympic dreams and sharing their stories with you. The support of this project is the support for every person chasing a dream, every person refusing to back down from adversity, and every person willing to fight and claw their way to their destiny. Become a part of history as these athletes attempt to win an unprecedented 6 Olympic gold medals in London this summer.
How Your Contribution Will Help
Your money will go towards:
1.) Funding further shooting of Ithaka (production costs will include crew and equipment)
2.) Funding travel to competitions up to and including the US Olympic Trials and the Olympics in London this summer.
3.) Funding editing/music liscensing of final episodes.
4.) Helping hungry young filmmakers chase down their dreams and share passionate stories with the world.
What's In It For You?
We have planned many perks for the contributors and supporters of Ithaka. Below is a short list thatwe will be adding to very soon:
- Signed copies of finshed Ithaka project.
- Tickets to premier/parties with Ohio RTC athletes.
- Signed wrestling merchandise.
- Sneak peeks of rough cuts of Ithaka segments
Win these or other perks by becoming a part of history and a contributor of the journey to capture Ithaka!
If the funds we aim to raise aren't raised by the completion of this campaign we can still use the funds raised to march towards our dreams of finishing this journey alongside the Ohio RTC athletes, cameras rolling the entire way. We will use whatever money we raise to fund our abliity to follow the athletes 24/7 for as long as it holds up. As wrestlers, we are fully prepared to fight and earn the completion of this project with every dollar and every amount of support you contribute!
This project is so important to the wrestling community by showcasing what the sport is really about and sharing it in it's full raw nature to the world. Our great sport deserves, at the very least, to be witnessed by the general public. Ithaka is important to people who are ready to be inspired. People wanting to chase their dreams who need just that little push in the right direction. This project is important to anyone that has ever supported a friend or teammate. The wrestling community has leaned on one another and held our great sport up for generations and will continue to do so. This project will only help to strengthen the bond amongst wrestlers or anyone interested in the sport by helping you live side by side with these phenomenal athletes. And on a very personal note, you will be making the largest of impacts on a kid from a small town who has dreamed of sharing his stories with the world since he was a child. You will be helping me to realize my dreams while helping progress the single biggest passion I have ever had in my life. This project means the world to me and every ounce of support, in whatever way you can give it, will go towards helping me fight every single day to chase my passions no matter the adversity.
Other Ways You Can Help
We completely understand that some people just can’t contribute, but that doesn’t mean you can’t help!:
- Spread the word about Ithaka! Let's make some noise and let the strength of the wrestling community and anyone chasing their dreams be heard!! Use your social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and YouTube to get the word about Ithaka out! Heck, get crazy and just TALK about the project. Tell your friends, coaches, teammates, trainers, opponents, refs, grandparents, neighbors, tell EVERYONE!
DON'T FORGET TO FOLLOW THIS MARVELOUS JOURNEY ON TWITTER AND FACEBOOK: