It’s been a year since we released the film. I vividly remember the day before and the day of the release. I had a mixed bag of emotions – stressed, sad, happy, excited, hopeful, and nervous, among other emotions.
Three months before the release date, Beau Davis, the film’s director, had moved in with me to work on the film’s post production. He was a great roommate! I’d wake up to see Beau working hard on the film, go to work all day, and come home to see Beau still sitting at the computer, working hard on the film, day in and day out. Still to this day, I feel so unworthy to have worked with somebody of his passion, drive and talent.
In the weeks leading up to the film’s release, life got in the way. It became tragically apparent that I’d have to move about an hour away to my new apartment on the day before the film’s release. Beau was scrambling, too. He had to find a place to stay after I moved out. Despite our stress levels being high, our focus was always on the film.
Now, 70,000 YouTube views later, I still wonder what kind of impact it had. My main goal in making the film was to get signers for the Free State Project. I’ve met people, had a clipboard with the FSP’s Statement of Intent and signed them up before – obviously, that’s easy to see when you get a signer. With the film, we’ll never really know how many signers it helped get.
However, I’ve seen hints of its effects here and there. For instance, I went to one of our Freecoast meetups recently and met a man who said he saw the film and it helped him and his wife make the decision to sign and move. Then, at another recent Freecoast meetup, another husband and wife told a similar story. Earlier in the year, a mother and daughter told a bitter sweet story. They saw the film and it led them to the Freecoast Festival. They desperately want to make the move, but they live in Vancouver, Canada. On a daily basis, governments make it extremely difficult for thousands of people like them to move to a place where they feel that they can live a better life. Their story was truly an eye opening moment for me – to see the struggle, to meet the struggle.
So, maybe Beau and I made an impact, after all. It’s great to see the signer number climb! At the moment, the FSP has reached 89% of its goal of 20,000 signers. If you feel that you’ll move to NH within the next 5-6 years, I urge you to sign up for the FSP today! And no complaining about the weather, please! Ian Freeman (the film’s Associate Producer), Beau and I all moved from Southwest Florida. I hope our stories help make signers out of people who I affectionately call “weather wimps”!
I’d like to, once again, thank anybody who helped with the film in any capacity. Its success is directly due to the massive support of the amazing community of Free Staters and friends of the FSP that developed in NH over the last 14 years. Thank you to FSP President, Carla Gericke, and the rest of the FSP Board for their support of our film, which was made independent of the FSP. Thank you to the 522 people who supported our Thunderclap. Thank you to Mike Vine and Joel Valenzuela for helping with media and promotion. Thank you to Ali Havens and Stephanie Murphy for being the Host and Narrator, respectively. Thank you to the more than 70 people who donated through our Indiegogo and Youcaring campaigns, that donated to our Bitcoin address and/or who gave us cash when they met us. I’d especially like to thank those select few who donated at such a generously high level, not even knowing what the film was going to look like in the end – Co-Producer, Carolyn Albert; and Associate Producers, Ian Freeman and Mark Warden.
And thank YOU for watching our film! Onward to 20,000 signers!