"A Film to Decrease Worldsuck:
The Nerdfighters Documentary"
"A Film to Decrease Worldsuck is a documentary in which self-proclaimed "Nerdfighters" explore what and who a Nerdfighter is, where Nerdfighters came from, and what they do. Produced, directed, and edited by Hannah Lindgren as her senior honors thesis, this film, eleven months in the making, is comprised of convention footage gathered by two primary videographers as well as crowd-sourced interviews and video from dozens of Nerdfighters. A play on the Nerdfighters' charity fund, The Fund to Decrease Worldsuck, A Film to Decrease Worldsuck aims to shed light on what this amazing group of young people is doing to help the world. It will screen in ten cities around the world from March to August 2013." - Hannah Lindgren, http://nerdfightersdocumentary.tumblr.com/
The story of my involvement in this project began about three years ago, when my best friend Tara (who appears in the film) introduced me to Hank and John Green's amazing Vlogbrothers channel on Youtube. I became a big fan of their work, especially John's bestselling novels such as The Fault in Our Stars (JUST READ IT.), and Looking for Alaska. You can hear more about my journey to becoming a Nerdfighter in this short vlog I made in the early stages of pre-production on the documentary.
Hannah Lindgren, a fellow Ball State student and friend, knew I was a Nerdfighter, and asked me to be a cinematographer on this film for her Senior Thesis. I was incredibly excited to be involved. As we began pre-production, I filmed this interview/vlog of Hannah talking about our hopes and plans for the project. Then we set about on several social media campaigns aimed at getting Hank and John's attention/permission for the film, and also to raise money through a Kickstarter for the trip to California. Nerdfighters are an incredibly supportive and active community, and within 24 hours of our campaign start, we had received a tweet from John Green giving us permission to go ahead with the project. I helped Hannah with starting and running our Tumblr blog, and did a lot of work on the social media campaigns. It was the kind of thing I love to do, and all of the hard work paid off when we ended up raising over $1500 to travel to Vidcon!
That trip was one of the best experiences of my life. I am very independent and I love to go to new places, so I was excited to get the chance to fly for the first time. On top of that, I was flying across the country, with several thousand dollars worth of camera equipment, all by myself! California was gorgeous, of course, and though we only got to spend three days there, it was a blast. We spent most of our time filming at Vidcon. I got to see, meet, film, and/or interview lots of amazing Nerdfighters and Youtubers, including Charlie McDonnell, Felicia Day, Toby Turner, and of course, Hank and John Green. I could go on and on about all the crazy stuff that happened, from me finding $100 on the ground to all the great footage we captured, but I'll just say that if you want to know more about Vidcon, you can view our very entertaining Vidcon highlight video (wherein I interview Hannah), here.
After Vidcon, Hannah got to work editing, and we continued to spread awareness of the film through social media. We asked Nerdfighters to submit vlogs to us, and we ended up getting submissions from people all over the world. We also had Nerdfighters submit music for the film, and recently released the film's soundtrack, in response to popular demand. I got to see a few early drafts of the film, which really encouraged me about the end product.
Then I left America for three months to study abroad in London! Little did I know I would get the chance to see the Green brothers while there. They happened to be on tour for John's book, and one day while walking through Leicester Square in the middle of London, I looked up and saw Hank Green standing across the street from me. It was the most surreal moment of my life. I had met him briefly the summer before in California while filming the Nerdfighters documentary, and now here he was in one of the biggest cities in the world, and I randomly run into him! I am such a big fan of his; if you've ever run into (or imagined running into) one of your heroes on the street, you'll probably know how I felt. If you want more details on how much I freaked out (and likely freaked Hank out) during this encounter, you can read them in this post on my study abroad blog.
Of course, seeing Hank on the street filled me with an all-consuming need to find a way into Hank and John's sold out show two days later. I considered something along the lines of breaking-and-entering or bribery, but decided to go with turning up at the venue the day of and hoping for a returned ticket I could purchase at the last minute. Surprisingly, that's exactly what happened! I traveled an hour across London by myself to a part of town I didn't know, and then bought my way into the event like an actual law-abiding citizen. The show was amazing, and afterwards at the signing I worked up the courage talk to Hank and John about the documentary. If you'd like to read more about how this was one of the best days of my life, here is another post from my study abroad blog!
And while I was abroad, Hannah was invited to John Green's office to speak with him about the film! When they met, she gave him a poster and DVD, and got her picture taken with him! I was so proud of her and happy for her!
Then a few days after my return to the States, A Film to Decrease Worldsuck had a screening in Indianapolis. It was my first chance to see the completed film, and my family was able to come with me and enjoy it as well. I was so happy with how the film turned out, plus over 65 people came to the screening! My best friend Tara and I emceed the event, introducing the film and Hannah, then moderating the Q&A and Trivia Contest afterward.
- "This makes me feel awe-inspired and tremendously proud for finding this community and being a part of it. Just what I needed today! I'll definitely recommend it to friends that I talk to who want to learn more about how to be a part of Nerdfighteria. Thank you! DFTBA, everyone! "
- "That was so much fun to watch! Good job!"
- "I loved this! Really good job"
- "I didn't really get the whole [Nerdfighter] thing before, but now I do. No surprise it made me cry. All a mom can want for a child is for them to have a passion, a community to share it with and a place to feel that they belong. DFTBA"
- "!!! What a great film." because it was John Green who said it on his blog.