filmmaking

The Magic You Are Carrying

The director of the new Aquaman movie watched my 19-minute video about his film.

He tweeted about it. And it stirred up a whirlwind of inspiration.

I feel a little insecure every time I post one of these videos. Showing this kind of emotion about superhero stories puts me in a vulnerable position. There are always people on the internet who make fun of me.

But, today, I’m reading hundreds & hundreds of messages from people who were helped by the video. It showed them a new way to be a hero to others. They feel more empowered to make the world a better, more loving place.

My life continues to be filled with wonders. I don’t plan these moments - they are always beyond me. Most of them happen because I’m willing to show my heart and risk looking silly.

Sometimes, I create things and nothing happens. Sometimes, they start a beautiful whirlwind. Either way, today I feel encouraged to continue sharing my authentic self.

And I’m reminded of the magic you are carrying within you. Maybe you’re holding back because you think the world won’t understand. Perhaps you think people will show anger or hatred. And perhaps they will.

But I know for certain that there is something in YOU that the world needs. Please share it with us.

 

Here’s my video about the Aquaman movie:

My new film is on Hulu, Amazon, and iTunes today!

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I'm so excited!  My uplifting documentary film LOOK TO THE SKY debuted today on HuluiTunesAmazon and other digital platforms. 

I can't wait for you to see it.

The film shares the uplifting stories of young people who have demonstrated the iconic spirit of Superman by becoming real-life superheroes.  Stories include: a teen who overcame homelessness, a boy who saved his friend’s life, and a young woman who turned her experiences of being bullied into a positive world-wide self-love movement.

LOOK TO THE SKY screened in 50 cities with proceeds benefiting charitable initiatives.

 For many of us, the world seems very dark.  It’s easy to feel that noble heroes like Superman have vanished from the earth.  I believe this heroic spirit is most clearly seen in the hearts of the young people who are shaping the future.  Our goal with LOOK TO THE SKY is to help renew our faith in tomorrow, for ourselves and our communities.

For LOOK TO THE SKY, we filmed in 20 cities, capturing the stories of young people and experts on superhero stories, psychology, and literature. 

Official Website:  RisingHero.org   

The Hidden Story of "Look to the Sky"

Our new film Look to the Sky has now screened in 40 cities benefiting charities!

But there’s also a HIDDEN story with this film that brings me such joy:

This year, I’ve been speaking at events all over the U.S. I’ve shared my heart with huge audiences, inviting them to use ‘Look to the Sky’ at no cost, as a tool for hope & inspiration in their world.

And they’ve been doing it.

There have been countless private screenings of the film in school classrooms, shelters, youth programs, and community centers. At this point, there are so many we can’t keep track.

I wish I had time to tell you all of the stories coming from these showings. They are beautiful.

And I’m certain there are many, many encouraging experiences people are having with this movie that we will never hear about.

If you have supported our journey with this film in any way, please know that you have helped a lot of people.

THANK YOU for believing in this project & for helping us make it a reality.

YOU continually remind me that the world is filled with real-life superheroes.

Stay tuned! There are more thrilling adventures ahead for this film. 2018 will be heroic! 

You've got some amazing stuff inside you

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I made 500 terrible videos with cheap equipment before I produced anything remotely good. The process refined my talent & revealed my voice as a storyteller.

If you dream of making an impact as a filmmaker, artist, musician, or creative-type, GO MAKE SOME STUFF RIGHT NOW.

You don't need better equipment or education. Learning to uncover & express your heart is more important.

Share your creations with people. Make some mistakes. Learn from the experiences.

This process took me years & years. There were hard days, but I don't regret any of it.

You've got some amazing stuff inside you. Let us see it TODAY!

Look to the Sky - Screening in Theaters Around the U.S.

"Brett Culp's documentary Look to the Sky proved even more inspirational than I anticipated. The film featured stories of hope from young people... and received a well-deserved standing ovation at Tampa Theatre this past weekend."
- The Tampa Bay Times

So inspired by these showings of our new film Look to the Sky!  Proceeds from each screening benefit charitable efforts.

Learn more at: www.RisingHero.org

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World Premiere of my new film, "Look to the Sky"

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The premiere of Look to the Sky was phenomenal!  A packed theater, an engaged audience, and several of the young people from the film joined me on-stage afterward.

Proceeds benefited Starting Right, Now, an organization that assists teens who are homeless.

The first reviews of the film are beautiful:

"Look to the Sky is an inspiring and deeply thought-provoking work."
"Just when you think there is no hope for goodness in this world along comes a documentary that proves that there is. And it is an amazing thing."
"Look to the Sky was every bit as inspiring and challenging as their first film, Legends of the Knight... It made me cry, it made me laugh, it made me want to go out in my community and make it better."
"This film is a remarkable creation of heroic stories that defines hope in a powerful way."
"I was once again blown away by the positivity that Brett Culp puts into his films."

YOU can request a screening of 'Look to the Sky' in your community benefiting the charity of your choice.

Learn more at:  www.RisingHero.org 

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The Middle is the Hardest Part

Three years ago, I was driving through a snow storm to get to the Boston premiere of Legends of the Knight.

The process of making & sharing these films is tough. Each film is 3 years of frustration, insecurity, & confusion. It's not glamorous. It often feels lonely & exhausting.

Our next film Look to the Sky is almost finished. This week I showed my wife Tricia the rough cut of the entire film. When the closing credits started, we cried together for a while, and she said, "It's beautiful. Probably your best work. It was worth it."

In every epic journey, the middle is the hardest part. The beginning & end are filled with excitement, passion, & hope. But the middle is brutal. It's mostly just you & the struggle. It's the part that very few people know about.

But the middle is where the magic happens. It's where you discover the beautiful stuff inside of you, & your unique kind of genius emerges. It's the hard place where you find yourself.

The dark moments in the middle of the journey are the inspiration you need to uncover the light.

Some days this feels impossible. That's normal. But these are the days where you will do your most beautiful work. These are the spaces where you need to dig deep & ask for help to keep moving.

And then, one day, you find that your struggles in the middle have transformed your heart. You have become something better than you were at the beginning. And you have created something that blesses the world. And you say to yourself, "It was worth it."

If you are struggling today, you are probably in the middle of the adventure. It's hard, & it hurts. Keep going, surround yourself with support, & decide every morning to choose hope.

It will be worth it.

Update on our next film, Look to the Sky!

For the next 3 months, my primary focus will be finishing our upcoming documentary film, Look to the Sky.

We are planning to begin charity screenings for this uplifting film Spring 2017, & we would love for you to join us on this adventure!

The film is about HOPE... what it is, how we lose it, and how we get it back. It will tell the stories of young people whose lives have shared a vision of hope that I think all of us need to experience. And 'Look to the Sky' is also about Superman. 

Just like our previous film, you will be able to host a screening in your community to benefit a charitable organization.

Stay tuned... It's going to be SO fun!

#SupermanIsReal

Wherever You Are, Invest the Best of Yourself

While filming an interview at a home in Tampa yesterday, I thought I recognized the wedding photos on the wall. After a little discussion, we realized we had met before.

Twelve years ago, I filmed the weddings for both their daughter & son! And they pulled out this VHS copy of one of the wedding movies! We then had a delightful conversation about the importance of family, history, and stories.

My life has never been a straight line. It has always been a beautiful mess of adventures I didn’t expect. But I am reminded that every stage of the journey is an opportunity to bless others.

Wherever you find yourself today – whoever you are with, whatever you are doing – invest the best of yourself into it. Look for ways to share love & light with others.

You never know when you will find a bit of yourself living in the home – or heart – of someone down the road.

Be a Blessing

"The world around us can inspire a new world within us." 

This is my buddy Margaret. We are spending 3 days in Haiti filming for Look to the Sky, our upcoming documentary film.

When Margaret was 7-years-old, she made a decision that has impacted hundreds of young people in Haiti. And today, we are headed out to meet those kids!

Wherever you are in life, you have the capacity to help somebody. Today, I hope you will look for an opportunity to be a blessing.

Here's a Live Chat we did on Facebook just before our plane took off:

Our Potential to Dream

This is the house where Superman was born.

In 1932, two high school students imagined the first modern superhero in this simple home in the suburbs of Cleveland.  While filming here for our next documentary Look to the Sky, I am reminded of the potential within every young person to create, imagine, and dream. And it fills me with hope.

Have a heroic week! May your imagination lead you somewhere super!

Discard the parts that don't work

I’m working on the Trailer for our next film, Look to the Sky. When I first envisioned the Trailer, I wanted a specific concept to be part of it. I worked really hard on this one part. But, after I finished the 1st draft, I realized it didn’t work. 

It was hard to cut it. Although I needed to let it go, I was in love with the 'idea' of it. But, to make the Trailer the best it could be, it needed to be changed. 

In life, sometimes you have to discard the pieces that don’t work. Even if they are the parts that required the most effort or feel closest to your heart. You have to be willing to separate & leave behind the things that are keeping you from what is best.

Often, this requires changing the image you have of yourself. You have to envision yourself without the person that’s hurting you, in another job, living in another city, pursing a different dream. When you can get a mental picture of a ‘new you’, it’s easier to make the change. 

After a few days, I was able to envision the Trailer without this part. It started to feel more natural, & I realized the Trailer was stronger without it. Can’t wait for you to see it on October 1!

The 1st attempt is ALWAYS terrible

A few weeks ago, I finished the first draft of the Trailer for our new film, Look to the Sky. I saw all the rough edges & a few editing decisions that clearly weren’t working. I felt so insecure. 

You’ve probably been there too. Your first attempt is terrible & leaves you feeling anxious. 

You bang your head against the wall at 3am. You say, “This is awful! I’m a failure! Why am I doingthis? What if it never gets better? What if my new ideas aren’t as good as my old ideas?” 

Then, you re-edit, and the next version makes you smile a little. Dawn breaks. You remind yourself that it will get better. You remember to trust the process. And to trust yourself. 

Today, the Trailer makes me SO happy! There are still several details to perfect, but, these days, I’m smiling a lot. Can’t wait for you to see it on October 1. 

FAITH is required

As I create the Trailer for our next film Look to the Sky, I am reminded of some important truths. 

#1 -- At first, a new idea looks unformed & pretty ugly. I had a vision, but I didn't know exactly how to get there. 

For every problem I saw, I had to believe there would be a solution, even if I couldn't see it at the moment. To continue the adventure, FAITH is required.  Faith knows that the completed journey will be beautiful, even when the present moment is challenging, lonely, or painful. 

Your life may look rough at the moment, but don't lose your faith. Keep going. Something amazing is coming. 

Making in through a tough day

Yesterday was hard. But it was also beautiful. I filmed an inspirational story for our next superhero documentary in the Smokey Mountains, just outside of Knoxville, TN. A gorgeous setting with a heroic young man. But the location required a 4-mile hike, carrying my gear.

I had to climb on slick rocks & wade through icy, rushing streams with my camera, getting bruises all over. I fell down often on hard rocks & always felt off balance while filming. My phone got wet & went dead. And I wrestled a bear. (OK, that last one didn’t happen.) The footage is wonderful, but I felt like a boxer after 12 rounds.

When I opened my laptop hours later, I learned that my friend Lenny B. Robinson had tragically passed away. He was such an important part of our film Legends of the Knight. It was heartbreaking. And I had received hundreds & hundreds of messages about it. I’m not kidding… hundreds & hundreds. The outpouring of affection was lovely, but after a long day, I felt totally overwhelmed.

As always during my travels, strangers became new friends. The family I was filming with allowed me to set-up an office in their dining room & helped me sort out the problems of having no phone. (Without my GPS, I didn’t even know how to get back to my hotel.) We laughed about my bruises, put my phone in rice, ate potato soup, & planned for the next day of filming. Thank you Diane & Emery for being so kind during my tough day.

Life is continuing to teach me this: Darkness never wins, because even the smallest Light chases it away. This morning, the bruises still hurt. The ones in my body & in my heart. But Love always gives me Hope.

Whatever happens today, I believe there will be enough Compassion in the world to get me through it. I’m prepared for a heroic day. I hope you are too.