Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Media Academy - It's not about Fame or Glory, It's about Community

The year I graduated from Film school, was the year DSLR cameras hit the market.  It was also the same year that HD technology was released.  Before digital technology, filmmakers had to spend around $120 per minute of film.  Digital technology erased that cost completely from the equation.  It was an exciting time.  I saw the power of media, was being placed into the hands of the artist.  So I started creating my own content, with my husband, and over the course of 10 years we created a box of IP (Intellectual Property).  As we were growing our family, and starting our business (Free Flow Academy) we kept creating.  I had a vision of taking our Academy and our students to build "New Hollywood" right here in our own community.  We started talking about this vision, and people started listening, and coming on board.  An old friend, Michael Poole joined our team, and he had his own box of IP.  We partnered with Jack Kohler, a teacher and artist, who also had a box of IP. Our dear friend James Burton, a comic book writer and artist, also a box of IP.  Between all of us, we have about 50-100 years of solid content, all of which have been developed over the course of a decade or more.  And our list of partners, and our list of IP, keeps growing. 

Michael, an animation graduate out of Silicon Valley then introduced me to an important essay written by Paul Graham (VC) called "How to be Silicon Valley".  After reading this essay I realized something, "New Hollywood" was already happening, and it wasn't just me and my friends that were creating something special, it was happening on a global scale.  Artists are the media.  We just have to be willing to invest in ourselves.

In January 2017 our Academy launched our Stunt & Film Program (aka Media Academy)  We shot 1 feature film, 1 tv pilot, and 17+ other projects (shorts, tutorials, behind the scenes documentaries, and more).  This is just through our Academy, and doesn't even touch on some of the side projects we are working on.  Now we are like an oiled machine, ready to churn out content and products to match that of a real production studio.  We plan on creating jobs and opportunities for artists and athletes right here in our backyard.  Don't spend thousands of dollars moving to Hollywood.  Stay right here, and join our vision.  Join a company and a community of artists and creators you can trust.  Invest in yourself.

Red Carpet World Premiere of our film "Immortal Fist" screened at the Action On Film Festival - Palms Casino and Resort, Las Vegas, NV

Students and Staff getting the good seats at our world premiere screening.

One of the reasons I love working with kids, is that they know how to enjoy the journey.  They know what's important, making friends and having fun.

In our environment students and artists are encouraged to follow our 3/7 Core Values, and are never pressured to do something they feel is against their own personal values.  We make family friendly action oriented content, and it's important to us that families feel they can enjoy this experience TOGETHER.
Many of our artists are working professionals, or just getting their career started.  Our Stunt & Film Program accommodates artists from the beginner to professional level.

Whether you are in class, or on set, we have a good time.

The coolest thing about filmmaking, is that there is truly something for everyone.  You may not like being in front of the camera, but perhaps you love creating props, doing makeup and hair, or creating special effects.

Perhaps you're a tech junkie and love making fireballs.  You are only limited by your own imagination, and in the world of filmmaking, you are constantly on the cutting edge of technology and innovation.

Filmmaking is a physical activity.  During the pre-production and production process, you are on your feet and working out sequences.  Actors and Stunt Performers learn choreography, and movie magic tricks.

Check out this Clip from Class
Photo Credit:  Dann Mann

Filmmakers are part storyteller, artist, athlete, pirate, explorer, entrepreneur, magician, techie, musician, general of an army, event planner, social commentator, and community cultivator wrapped into one package.  Filmmakers have to know a lot, about a lot of things, and are often criticized harshly for their work.  Filmmaking is not for the faint of heart.  And one thing is for certain.  Filmmaking is the most influential and powerful artistic medium known to man.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Free Flow Academy Class Description - PERFORMING ARTS...Guitar, Voice, Acting, Art

GROUP GUITAR (September - May)

Sit back, relax and enjoy learning the basics to mastering acoustic guitar in a fun group setting. Each session is 8 weeks long (or two months/8 classes). You will learn chords, chord progressions, and how to play all your favorite songs by using some simple easy to learn techniques. This class is designed for beginners who would like to learn how to play, while singing along to their favorite songs. Music brings peace to the soul, and it's a great way to unwind, connect with others, as well as improve mental clarity, alertness, and memory. Guitar is also highly versatile and allows you to easily create your own style.

Students in Group Guitar with Coach Lon

Quinn Jackson performing in our Student Showcase
GROUP VOICE (September - May)

Voice class is great for people who enjoy singing for their own benefit and/or for the benefit of others. Learn pitch, musicianship, and proper breathing and vocal techniques to increase the quality of your vocal sound. Our classes are kept small and personalized, and emphasize goal setting for each individual. Learning how to sing is a very practical and useful skill in that it can be used in a variety of circumstances, such as general vocal health and speech articulation. Students need to bring a notebook or binder to hold sheet music.

Students performing in our Student Showcase
Students Caroling at Nevada City, Victorian Christmas
Students Caroling at Nevada City, Victorian Christmas (...and enjoying Hot Chocolate afterward)

Students performing in our Student Showcase

ART (Currently on Hiatus)

Free Flow Academy of Hybrid Arts is pleased to offer a full access art class consisting of portrait, comic art, and still life concepts. This class is open to beginner and advanced level artists. Drawing is one of the most relaxing, holistic, and therapeautic classes we offer. Drawing awakens the senses, develops hand-eye coordination, teaches problem solving, and fosters a love of learning and creativity, all while supporting and developing Emotional Intelligence.

DIY art class is for the those looking to develop their craftmanship skills. This class features 3D art such as sculpting, paper making, wood working, sewing, jewelry making, and more. Each week features a new project that students can enjoy. DIY teaches the value of being able to hand craft, and engineer beautiful and functional items, all while being resourceful. Supplies are included (but donations are always welcome).

Students learn to sew, paint, draw, woodwork, and create 3D media

Coach John creating epic decorations for our Annual Haunted Obstacle Course (October of every year)

ACTING (See Media Academy)

The Art of Acting is one of the most neglected disciplines of our society, yet probably one of the most useful, and natural to human kind. Acting fosters a genuine search for truth, and identity, all within the realm of endless possibility and creativity. Acting develops the "researcher" in all of us, and develops the body and the mind in a variety of ways, such as use of body language, poise, understanding viewpoints, teamwork, and conversation skills. Acting class makes us better communicator's, and instills confidence, while teaching public speaking skills along with many other important life skills.

"The Land of Woge" Production Still

"The Land of Woge" Production Still

"Immortal Fist" Production Still

"Immortal Fist" Behind the Scenes

The PPAC Class Description - STUNT & FILM...MEDIA ACADEMY

Free Flow Academy (now the Parkour & Performing Arts Center) is the first and only school in Northern California to launch a Stunt & Film program, along with an enriching Media School.

Our Mission: To mobilize Passionate Athletes and Artists by cultivating collaboration with Content Creators.

"Immortal Fist" Movie Poster - Official Selection of "Action On Film Festival" - Screened at the Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV Aug 21, 2017

Our Strategy:  To create media and artistic content in an enriching and educational environment, while keeping a stable focus on encouraging the development of commercially viable "products" that would open up doors of opportunity for our students and practitioners.  We believe people invest in our academy because they understand that the environment we create helps provide a sustainable future for themselves as practitioners and artists.  Furthermore, we aim to create content that strengthens our industry of "movement" and "artistry".  From action films to musicals, we reach to inspire people to move and to create.

Our Opportunity:
  • Harnessing the Power of Visual Storytelling
Every industry in the world has already moved, or is now moving toward content marketing. Videos are the most powerful and influential tools for content marketing.
  • Translate your physical training into marketable skills
There comes a point in every athlete/artist journey, where you wonder why you have trained so long and so hard to attain a particular skill set? Creating and sharing content is how you can put those skills to use.
  • Increase your Tech Skills
Every industry uses video, it's likely, about 60% - 90% of the newest skills you have attained in the last 5-7 years, were learned off youtube, or some other video based learning platform.
  • Learn Stunts at the Largest & Most Diversified Parkour Gym on the West Coast
Free Flow Academy is a gym, but at it's core, an ACADEMY.   We are a family friendly, all age operation that focuses on building up BODY and MIND.
  • Create Content
Our Academy is focused on producing TV shows, feature length films, and web content
  • Be Visible
We will distribute our films through traditional and non-traditional mediums. More visibility = more opportunities for our artists and our community.

"Immortal Fist" Behind the Scenes
"Immortal Fist" Movie Poster - Official Selection of "Action On Film Festival" - Screened at the Palms Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, NV Aug 21, 2017

"Immortal Fist" Behind the Scenes

Media Academy - Camera
Media Academy - Editing
Stunt & Film Program
"Immortal Fist" Behind the Scenes
"The Land of Woge" Production Still
"The Land of Woge" Production Still

"Immortal Fist" Good Day Sacramento Segment Part II

Collaborations with On Native Ground (a Non-Profit Media Production Company)

"The Land of Woge" Behind the Scenes

Summer Intensive Behind the Scenes (South Dakota)

Summer Intensive Behind the Scenes with On Native Ground

Mystic Fight Scene

1 Minute instagram zombie movie

Something Inside is Broken (An Native American Rock Opera)

Projects/Collaborations Complete:

Immortal Fist 
(Award Nominated at "Action On Film Festival")
Received International and Domestic Distribution, currently available on Vudu)

The Land of Woge
(Official Selection at "Kids First Film Festival" and "First Nations Film & Video Festival")

Something Inside is Broken
(Award Winning at "Native American Music Awards")

Projects in Development:

Feature Films:
The Ninja Bunch
Merry Xmas
Final Fantasy Warriors of Light
Happy Camping
Woman Chief
Monks vs. Zombies
Immortal Fist Sequel

What does it mean if a project is in "Development"?  It can mean several things.  It could mean we have a completed script(s) and/or outline(s).  It can also mean we have already shot footage and in the process of editing.  It could also mean we have accepted an IP to develop from a creator.

Free Flow Academy Class Description - LITTLE NINJAS

Little Ninjas is a class under the Free Flow Academy Martial Arts Department.  Our Little Ninjas class is catered towards children ages 5-12 and is rooted in Ninjutsu and Kung Fu style of Martial Arts.  Little Ninjas is a complete self defense system, as students learn a broad range of defense for a variety of attacks and scenarios.  They also learn "The Color Code of Mental Awareness" stand up, ground fighting, and reasoning skills that assist in threat analysis and awareness, as well as conditioning the body for speed, proficiency, flexibility, balance, strength, acrobatics, and coordination. Little Ninjas also emphasize personal development and mindfulness.

Little Ninjas have fun in class with useful and skill building games, sword play (padded weapons) as well as train in rolls, flying jump kicks and acrobatics.  They build confidence by moving through drills and progressions, and games are designed to build skill, as well as inspire continued learning and creativity.

Little Ninjas Class use the Kung Skill Sheets (with variations) to track progress.

Our gym Pro Shop will be a Direct Sales Hub NOT a Retail Center

Since we opened in 2012 we have been cultivating ideas on opening a pro shop.  We had clients suggest we have our own clothing brand, gear, jewelry... All these ideas have been taken into consideration, but I never wanted to open yet another run of the mill pro shop.  Pro shop's have extensively high overhead, and there is usually a great deal of debt that comes with that high overhead.  Furthermore, I don't want to feel the pressure of pushing more product on our valued clients.  Plus having to store, display, ship, and mark up product at retail prices doesn't seem green, nor does it help our clients save money.  I'm not interested in being a middle man.  So I started cultivating thoughts and ideas around the values of sustainability, and here is what I have come up with:

1) Direct Sales.  I know, it doesn't seem obvious.  But hear me out.  When I was in my early 20's I had really negative experiences with MLM (multi-level/network marketing companies) and I steered clear.  I would distance myself as far away as I could from anyone that was involved with an MLM.  But a few years ago my bro-in-law got a job at NuSkin corporate.  He sent me packs of product that I could try, and I was pleasantly surprised at the technology, and results the product produced.  But the price tag was beyond my budget.  But at the very least, I knew there were MLM's that could provide quality, cutting edge products.

2) Client Satisfaction.  Being a gym owner means I am the target of every health and wellness MLM sales pitch on the market.  So I started trying it all (heck most of it was free!  Why not?)  And, if my clients were pleased with the products, I might as well give it a shot.  What I found was that I wasn't a fan of a lot of the stuff that came our way.  Many of the products were filled with synthetic fillers, or simply didn't work that well.  Or if they did, it came at a serious cost.  BUT not all of them were like that.  In fact MANY of the products worked fantastic, AND my clients were extremely excited about them.  Not only that, but I liked how direct sales companies were training people in business, sales, and networking.  I liked how many of the companies were tied to a great cause, and I loved seeing mom's and dad's find ways to improve their quality of life for their family.

3) Community Building.  Direct sales companies help build communities, and motivate people to get out and work together.  I think that is the most valuable thing that comes out of direct sales, and that is not something you can achieve in a retail sales environment.

If you're up for it, check out the proposal I have put together for our online/physical pro shop, and I'd like to hear from YOU, our clients.  Your thoughts, ideas, and energy fuel our ideas.

The PPAC Class Description - KUNG FU

Kung Fu is an excellent choice if you are looking for a fine balance of high impact and low impact workouts, while learning practical and useful skills.  Kung Fu is a complete self defense system, as you will learn a broad range of defense for a variety of attacks and scenarios.  You will learn stand up as well as ground fighting, and reasoning skills that will assist you in threat analysis and awareness, as well as conditioning the body for speed, proficiency, flexibility, balance, strength, acrobatics, and coordination. Kung Fu is also an excellent choice for practitioners who prefer to study disciplines that emphasize personal development and mindfulness.

Our Kung Fu system is rooted in Shaolin Kung Fu, which is based out of the Henan Province, in Song Shan, China.  Shaolin Kung Fu has been developed and evolved over the course of 1500 years, and is considered the oldest, largest, and most famous styles of Chinese Martial Arts.  Because it has had much time to evolve, as well as stood the test of time, the range of skills are vast and broad.  The study of Kung Fu can be pursued over the course of multiple lifetimes, and can be studied and practiced well into a person's lifetime.  Students young and old can practice Kung Fu, and experience it's physical, emotional, and metal health benefits.

Kung Fu can be observed in 3 categories:
  • Warrior Training (Self Defense, Conditioning, Strategy, and Threat Analysis)
  • Internal Development Training (Mindfulness, Deep Breathing, and Mental Prowess)
  • Performing Art (Acrobatics, Weapon & Animal Forms/Styles, Choreography)
Our Kung Fu program focuses on each of the 3 categories, and students are encouraged to "self-direct" their focus.  For the most part, younger students prefer to develop their abilities in the warrior and performing art regions of their training.  While older adults prefer to develop their internal training, as well as utilize Kung Fu as a form of physical and mental rehabilitation.