In February 2012, a group of five guys converged on Wilmington, Ohio, with an ambitious goal – to make a film on the stories of every day people who’ve given up their dreams and settled into a complacent lifestyle.
No member of the crew had ever made a movie before. In fact, there were hundreds of reasons why they should have scrapped the idea, put it on the back burner, and moved on.
Instead, they picked up their cameras and decided to plow forward.
Simply put, their lives would never be the same!
The movie went on to become one of the most funded documentaries in Kickstarter history with over 4,500 people raising $100,000 to complete the editing and marketing of the project.
Since then it’s premiered in a dozen theaters across the United States (and now across several countries).
Who are these guys? Read on.
GRANT PEELLE | DIRECTOR
For over a decade, Grant had put his dream of making movies on hold. After majoring in theater in college, he chose to take a “more responsible” path where he found himself deeply buried in a complacent career in the real estate industry. Inspired by the support of his wife, Carrie, and the vibrance of his two young boys, Grant knew it was time to reclaim his lifelong dream – and show his boys what it looked like to chase your dreams with everything you’ve got.
ADAM BAKER | PRODUCER
Four years ago, Baker and his wife Courtney sold all their possessions, paid off tens of thousands in debt, and hit the road to backpack Australia and New Zealand with their 1-year-old daughter, Milligan. As part of their journey, the Bakers founded Man Vs. Debt – a community of people who choose a debt-free, non-consumerist lifestyle. The Bakers now live in Portland, with the newest addition to the family, their second daughter, Charlie.
JOHN CROPPER | ASSISTANT EDITOR AND CAMERA OPERATOR
Famous for his ever-changing facial hair, John Cropper is an award-winning photojournalist from Ohio. After spending months with the crew as a second camera operator, he moved to California with Grant and Baker to see the post-production and editing through to the end. A crucial part of many aspects of the film, John and his wife, Frankie, are permanently heading to live on the West Coast in the coming months.
BRYAN OLINGER | DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY
After studying cinematography and film in college, Bryan spent several years as multi-talented industry professional in Hollywood. Although he had never created a movie from scratch, his experience and passion was essential to pulling off this project on such an intense time frame. When he wasn’t shooting the beautiful cinematography you see in the movie, he was busy singing in the back of van (just ask the other team members).
DUSTIN KOESTER | SOUND & AUDIO COORDINATOR
From an early age, Dustin has lived behind a drumset. A top-notch musician with international experience, he made the perfect candidate to run audio on our make-shift tour. In additional to his musical talents, Dustin also designed the majority of graphics for the movie, including the DVD, posters, and website. After the movie, Dustin is even more committed to his passion for music and drumming. He currently lives and performs in Southern California.
COURTNEY BAKER | COORDINATING PRODUCER
You don’t think those 5 guys could successfully navigate across the USA on their own, do you? Adam’s wife, Courtney, coordinated the travel details, booked the hotels, scheduled the flights, and helped secure many of the interviews – all while 8 months pregnant. The film is complete, but her work hasn’t stopped. She’s continued to help get the DVDs and posters printed and figured out how to ship several thousand packages around the world!
JOAN OTTO | COMMUNITY MANAGER
In addition to helping coordinate the production on the road (including the NYC and L.A. premieres), Joan is responsible for supporting the community of Kickstarter backers and new customers. Making sure everyone is taken care of – and everything runs smoothly – is no small task, but Joan juggles it all in stride. Bottom line: if you need a problem solved, Joan is the person to talk to! She runs everything out of her home in York Country, Pennsylvania.
KARL | MODERN-DAY CHARIOT
Certainly the most important team member by some standards, Karl is a beastly maroon F-350, the antithesis of a soccer mom minivan, a powerhouse on wheels. He carried the team around the country, logging more than 10,000 miles, kicking butt and taking names. He was last seen driving into the sunset somewhere along Route 66.
Support the team by grabbing a copy of the movie – and sharing with your family and friends! Get yours here!