Obstacle course racing (OCR) is all the rage these days. It's on the Today Show. It's on Wheaties' boxes. And this month, the Spartan World Championship was televised on NBC Sports Network. In 2013, upwards of 4 million people will suffer through ice, fire, electricity, barbed wire, burpees and mud. Which is pretty wild when you consider that in 2010 that number was around 40,000. These "sufferfests" have charged into ubiquity with lighting speed, which begs the question:
WHY the hell everyone is suddenly paying for pain?
Rise of the Sufferfests is a feature documentary that explores the history of obstacle racing, the psychology behind it and most importantly, what it says about the world we're living in. I've assembled a team of excessively bright minds to help shed light on the phenomenon: behavioral scientists, biologists, bestselling authors, psychologists, sociologists and such. And of course, I'll introduce you to some of the athletes and industry insiders that help tell the story of this new generation of mud-loving masochists.
As a journalist, I've been entrenched in this world for the past two-and-a-half years, and one of the aspects that most impresses me about OCR is the community. And that's why I'm here. When I decided to make this film, I took the idea to the public - and the response has been amazing. With over 12,000 Facebook fans, over 400 individual pledges totaling almost $35,000 in a previous (albeit unsuccessful) crowdfunding attempt, and countless shares, retweets, personal messages, and contest participants, I'm humbled. I know that the OCR community wants to see this film made as much as I do, and this is their chance to put in their literal two cents.
For a bit about the film, check out this interview I did with Outside.
If you want to laugh, check out this song my wife Amber wrote about our crowdfunding efforts.
And definitely check out this promo clip with Mark Morford, the San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate's award-wining culture critic.
Not even close. BUT... after an overly ambitious (and failed) Kickstarter we decided to simply ask for what we need right now to keep the wheels turning. As the campaign progresses, we'll unveil a series of "stretch goals" that will cover various aspects of production. All the while, we'll continue exploring other avenues of financing - from institutional backers to corporate sponsors.
GOAL #1: Get us to Tough Guy!
Tough Guy is ground zero of the obstacle race phenomenon, and in January, we want to bring our film crew to capture epic footage of this legendary event. We also want to fly out a couple of our film's stars to test themselves on what is hands-down the most sadistic obstacle course. Plus, fans of this sport will be in for a treat when they meet the eccentric mastermind behind the industry, Mr. Mouse...
SHARE – Spread the word! Send this page to anyone and everyone you think might have an interest seeing this movie. Use the SHARE TOOLS above... and do so while logged into your Indiegogo account. That way we can track which of the friends you refer kick into the campaign. We will soon announce super cool prizes for the people whose referrals result in the most funders and funding.
JOIN THE SUFFER CLUB – Sign up for our (100% spam-free) newsletter so you never miss an important contest, exposé or update.
We've come up with a series of fun perks we hope you like. And we'll be adding more as we go along. Here's photos of just a few of them.
We think it's important to reward everyone who kicks $10+ into the cause by featuring their favorite pic as part of The Suffer Club Backers Mosaic. It will permanently live on the film's official website, and better yet, it'll be interactive. You'll be able to scroll over the mosaic, zoom into any pic, and see all the early believers. Again, this is just a free bonus perk to all our funders. (If you want to frame this movie poster and/or hang it on a wall, we're also offering a Poster + Movie perk for $100.) Here are a couple mock-ups for illustrative purposes. The final image will be even better because YOU will be in it!
We hope this inspires you to BACK IT and SHARE.
Let's make it happen!