You can find lots of things on YouTube. Dogs eating bubbles. Swanky RVs. A man making his 4-year-old look like a 90-year old man. But can you find inspirational and heartwarming videos that remind you of those long chain e-mails your great aunt forwards you, saying they make her weep? Filmmaker and Internet entrepreneur Rob Fried doesn’t think so.
Fried, who produced such movies as “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and “Rudy,” said that most Internet videos he’s seen involve cats falling off bridges or riding scooters. He thinks that people want something more inspirational.
“I have two young children and wanted to show what Daddy does for a living with pride,” he said. “I wanted to create a collection of films they and other kids could watch in the hope it would inspire them to emulate this behavior.”
Read more at The LA Times
“Americans watched 558 million hours of online video in July, according to new numbers released by comScore Media Metrix this week. A staggering 5 billion clips were watched on YouTube alone. Given that July comes smack in the middle of summer’s vacation days, over the course of a year the average monthly numbers are probably even higher. What does that tell you? For starters, we sure do like our free videos.
And yet, a new company has launched this week betting that people will be willing to pay to watch high-quality original Web content—and forward it along as a video greeting card. Los Angeles-based SpiritClips went live Tuesday with nine short videos—three to five minutes in length—with heart-tugging themes. “These are all films designed to warm your spirit,” says founder Rob Fried, a longtime Hollywood producer with film credits that include “Hoosiers,” “So I Married an Axe Murderer” and “Rudy.”
“These are inspirational stories that reflect my personal sensibilities. It’s a contrast to the vast majority of what’s online.” Fried has so far completed 20 short films that he’ll be rolling out gradually, and hopes to eventually shoot 50 of them. The clips cost 99 cents to watch and $2.99 to send as an e-card (an entire episode of a TV show on iTunes starts at $1.99). An annual subscription gives you unlimited access to the clips for $24.95.”
Read more at Newsweek
SpiritClips successfully completed its first on-location shoot in Montgomery, Alabama for the script Montgomery. Montgomery is a film about Rosa Parks’ historic act of civil disobedience in 1955. Told from the perspective of a fictitious African-American bus rider, Montgomery captures the courageous spirit that ignited the modern civil rights movement. To maintain historical authenticity, local extras, period costumes, and a refurbished city bus were used for the shoot.
Check out the finished film – Montgomery
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Welcome to SpiritClips, an online community centered on inspirational films and stories dedicated to universal themes of compassion, hope, courage, and strength.
In 2002, a friend sent a touching email story about a little girl seeking to purchase a miracle to save her younger brother who was very ill. It occurred to me at the time that this beautiful story could make a terrific animated short film – one that would not only entertain, but also inspire. When the boom in Internet video followed in 2006, I recalled that idea and saw a timely opportunity to form a venture devoted to sharing the messages of such stories through film. SpiritClips is that endeavor, and “The Price of Miracles” is the SpiritClips film based upon that email.
My second impetus for creating SpiritClips emerged from the idea of directly connecting audiences with filmmakers. As a veteran of the entertainment industry, I know that Hollywood is a place with tall barriers to entry. Unless you have personal connections or a very thick skin, the walls that surround the studios can be very difficult to penetrate. Even for those few that are successful, the audience with whom they want to communicate can feel like a very remote entity. However, thanks to the Internet, the opportunity now exists for artists to connect directly with their audience without the noise of a studio or other third parties altering their original message. SpiritClips is designed to be a place where the writers, actors, and crew who created these films can respond to the questions and thoughts of viewers and online visitors, and where the audience can contribute their own stories and ideas to the creative process in return.
The third and most significant reason I founded this company is more personal. My wife and I have two wonderful children, now ages 10 and 6. Together, we spend each day striving to teach them consistent values, provide meaning to their lives, and inspire them as they grow up. We hope that the messages about character and strength of human spirit that embody SpiritClips reflect the behaviors and attitudes towards life that our kids – and kids everywhere – might choose to emulate.
It is my hope that you are moved to share these works with your friends, family, classmates, congregants, students, or whoever holds a special place in your heart, and that you come back to share your own stories and ideas with us all.
With sincere gratitude,
Founder and CEO