Innovators of Vancouver is an online documentary video series produced by Chris Martin Studios and tells the stories of the leaders of vision, passion and action in Vancouver, WA and surrounding areas who use their creativity and energy to make the world a better place.
Where did the idea come from?
I often get asked the question, “where did the idea for Innovators come from?” There were two catalysts to the creation of the project. First, was a visit from my mentor who got me interested in making films. In all of the places in the world that we could have met, we met in Israel. He was filming the sights of the Middle East and I was searching for myself. Fast-forward 11 years, and I would be filming throughout the world and he would in turn be searching for himself. I realized after a week of listening to his reasons for why he wasn’t pursuing the projects that he longed to do, I didn’t want to be making those same excuses and regretting the time wasted in not doing what I needed to do.
The second catalyst was a television show on the Sundance Channel called “Iconoclasts.” Essentially, two celebrities meet, share life and interview each other about why they do what they do. Pairings such as poet Maya Angelou and comedian Dave Chappelle, TV producer Norman Lear and Horward Shultz of Starbucks, artist Chuck Close and magician David Blaine, actor and director Sean Penn and author Jon Krakeaur. Needless to say, I was inspired and intrigued to learn why these people do what they do and the transformative effect that has had on the lives of others. I felt that I could do something similar here in Vancouver. I knew that there were enough interesting people that I could interview and tell their story.
From that moment, the spark ignited the fuel of passion that was waiting deep inside.
I had all the equipment. My background in web design and development meant I could release everything in an online format, so I didn’t need to worry about distribution. Now I just needed a name. The ideas for what to call it ranged from “People to Know” to “People of Clark County” to “Innovators of America.” I needed to narrow down to a specific area, not just of location, but of what I was truly trying to get after. This narrowing of vision helped to create a sustainable project that I could tackle. One that I would start and see through to completion. I have always been fascinated with innovative thinking, so Innovators of Vancouver stuck and it became about documenting leaders of vision, passion and action. All I needed now was my first subject.
I called my friend Dale Chumbley, a realtor who has been doing 365 Things To Do In Vancouver, WA, a daily blog and I asked him if I could make a 5-10 minute video on why he does the 365 Things To Do. I interviewed him, followed him around as he did his research, edited the video and then released the video on YouTube, Innovators of Vancouver.com, promoting the video through various social networks and real-life relationships.
At this point, I was hooked and went on to create eight more episodes:
- Dale Chumbley
- Dave Scott
- Noland Hoshino
- Bruce & Gayle Elgort
- Carol Doane
- Zachary Gray
- Anni Becker
- Christopher Luna
- Brandie Kajino
Why do I do it?
- I get experience. Telling stories is a lot like exercise. You need to be consistently doing and applying yourself because that is how you grow and learn to tell better stories. Just as we know that by consistently exercising, we will get stronger and live healthier lives.
- People are interesting. Instead of sequestering myself in an office and talking with people in an online format, I get to meet them in real life, learn about why they do what they do, giving me the chance to learn how to tell my own story. By developing relationships, I get to share needs, dreams and desires for the future. People genuinely want to help the success of the Innovators project and I get paid in the currency of gratitude.
- I love making videos, and if I’m not making one for business, I want to be making one anyway. Documentary filmmaking is a valuable skill to have and develop and the more I practice, the more my vision is fine-tuned, and I think differently about my perceptions of life, business and what is truly important: my impact on others.