"The world changes not because of the big acts of a few people but because of the daily small acts of many."
You may remember a month or so ago when I emailed about the experience of me convincing my daughter to watch a documentary, which inspired her to ask me if we could deliver a care package to homeless individuals, the next morning.
Well, we did exactly that, and I’ve been blown away by the impact that the film made for her and our family.
The film was Look To The Sky, and after being so moved by it, I reached out to the man who made the film, and asked him if I could interview him on the Achieve Your Goals podcast. It is my pleasure to introduce to you, Brett Culp.
After serving as a personal cinematographer to Hollywood stars, iconic musicians, authors, athletes, and even royal families, Brett Culp has built a unique career telling tales of everyday superheroes. His heartwarming films capture human experiences and inspire people all over the world, and his work has been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Tonight, Wired, and The Hollywood Reporter.
- How I got my daughter to watch Brett’s film Look to the Sky despite her lack of interest at first – and the magical experience it led to us having together.
- How Brett started working with A-list celebrities and realized his vision of building a unique career as a filmmaker and keynote speaker.
- Why Brett’s childhood love of Batman led him to make Legends of The Knight – and how Batman inspires people of all ages to overcome struggles, do good, and help people.
- How Brett screened his movie in over 110 cities and raised $100,000 for charitable organizations without spending a single dollar on marketing or advertising.
- Why people feel hopeless because of a very specific version of reality – and how Brett sees light, purity, compassion, and kindness, even in dark times.
- What Brett is doing with his upcoming film to challenge fathers to deepen their relationships with their daughters.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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Hal: Goal achievers, this is Hal Elrod and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast and my guest today is Brett Culp. I’ve become a fan of this man over the last couple of months since I discovered his work and he is an acclaimed filmmaker whose work has inspired audiences around the world. He’s the personal cinematographer for Hollywood stars, music icons, beloved authors, hall of fame athletes, and royal families. And from everything including tales of everyday superheroes to the stories of children in the villages of Haiti, Brett uncovers and captures powerful human experiences through his heartwarming films and Brett’s been featured in USA Today, Entertainment Tonight, Wired, The Hollywood Reporter, Netflix and many more. And rather than thinking as a traditional filmmaker, Brett’s projects are collaborative efforts holding together diverse groups of people into a dialogue and ultimately leading to a greater impact and Brett’s also the founder of The Rising Heroes Project, a not-for-profit that supports charitable organizations and empowers community leaders.
Goal achievers, I present to you the highly acclaimed filmmaker, international keynote speaker, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and all-around just really incredible human being as you will soon find out for yourself, Mr. Brett Culp.
Hal: Brett, how are you doing, my friend?
Brett: I’m doing wonderful. Thanks for the lovely introduction and for inviting me to be part of your world for a few minutes today. Thank you.
Hal: Yeah. It’s definitely mutual. Thank you as well. What is new and exciting for you right now?
Brett: Oh, my goodness, you know, it’s interesting here in the month of July which is when we’re talking here, I’m taking a little bit of a rest. I’m actually catching my breath. I’ve had a crazy, crazy three years and I’m working on a brand-new project that we’re going to really dive into in earnest next month called The Voice That Carries which is a brand-new documentary project for me.
Hal: Wow. So, you’ve got a lot going on even though you’re trying to take it easy.
Brett: Yeah. You know, that’s kind of a – I’m resting but still keeping the balls rolling down the hill.
Hal: Absolutely. So, Brett, the reason that I reach out to you is because a mutual friend of ours, Jon Vroman, recommended your film Look to The Sky. Jon leads the Front Row Dads, it’s a dad’s group, and I think he posted in the community or sent out an email or something and said, “Check out this film.” I happen to go on to Hulu and check it out and I wanted to watch it with my daughter just based on the reviews and what it was about, and the subject matter and she was resistant, “Ah, dad, let’s watching something fun.” And I go, “Sweetie, we’ll just watch the first 10 minutes and if you’re not totally into it, you will shut it off,” which by the way, parents, great way to approach this and get your kids into documentaries like mine. And, Brett, so I hit play and I set a timer for 10 minutes. The timer went off. I’m like, “So?” She goes, “No, no, definitely keep watching. We definitely keep watching it,” and by the end of the film and we’ll get into film in a little bit. I want to start kind of earlier than that, but I just want to open up with this and that’s by the end of the film she said, “Dad, I want to do something that helps someone else less fortunate. How about like the homeless people?” And I said, “Okay,” and we had a daddy-daughter day planned for the next day where we’re doing all sorts of fun stuff and she said, “How about instead of our daddy-daughter day, I hope this is okay, but can we go give food or something that homeless people really need?”
Brett: I love that. That’s so good.
Hal: Yeah. I’m going, “You’re telling me you want to forgo the fun stuff that you’ve been like begging for to go feed people that have become homeless?” and the next day we had just a magical experience. I posted about this on my social media channels. Just a magical experience and it was so fulfilling for her and we went into a restaurant. I told the waitress what my daughter was doing that day that we were doing and the waitress at the end of the meal came and she said, “You know what, doing good does get rewarded,” and the bill was zero dollars. And my daughter thought it was the coolest thing and suggested that we tip her $50 so we did. So, I think we lost money on that meal but, yeah, all because of your film so I just want to thank you for that and that you’re doing in the world is really making a difference.
Brett: That is the great joy. In anything you do in life, to be able to hear those stories is wonderful. It’s a gift to be able to know that the work you’re doing makes a difference, it’s making the world better, it’s making people’s lives better, it’s giving them joy, and maybe even more than all that is bringing out the best in them is exposing and revealing the light that is in them. And so, for me to be part of that experience for the light to be revealed in your daughter in that way is a great honor for me.
Hal: Yeah. Beautifully said, man. I appreciate it. So, let’s go way back in time. When did you first know or even have the inkling that you wanted to be a filmmaker? And then following up on that, I’d love to know when did you make a real goal like an official goal? Is it that same moment? Was it years later? Can you take us back to that?
Brett: Yeah. So, when I was in college I started filming weddings for people. I was working a job at Target at 4 AM in a college town and wanted to get out of that and so I put flyers all over my college campus, those little things where you can rip the tab off the bottom up with the phone number that I would do your wedding. I’d film your wedding for $100 and by the time I graduated from college I was actually pretty good at that and I started a business right out of college doing wedding videos and I got better and better and better at that and essentially I ended up in this world, longer story than this, but I ended up in this world where I was traveling all over the planet with celebrities and high profile people filming their events and their special moments in their lives, birthday parties, weddings, special events for their families. I mean, I was literally their personal cinematographer for this A-list group of people and I did that for a while and what happened was they were also, many of these people were on the board of directors for these not-for-profits that they cared about. And they’d be sitting at some meeting and someone would say, “Hey, we’re trying to raise $5 million for this initiative in Haiti. We want to bring people together for a black-tie dinner. We need to make a five-minute video that will make everybody cry and write us a check.” And somebody would say, “I know a guy that makes videos for our family that makes them cry and we should bring this guy in to do this.”
And so, I started this kind of weird transition into making these not-for-profit videos that told stories about people and their lives and it was funny how doing these weddings and special events for 10 years really trained me for that kind of work and trained me to be a documentary filmmaker even though I didn’t know that’s what it was preparing me for. And so, I did that and at some point in the process, A-list celebrity, I was actually filming an event for him on his private island and he looked at me and said, “You should be making documentary films like why aren’t you making your own films?” And I realized I’d spent 15 years in my career telling stories that express other people’s dreams, other people’s hearts and I had dreams and stories that were in my heart that I wanted to tell.” And so, these films have kind of become an expression of what’s in my heart not only in what the films are about themselves but the initiatives we have built around these films that have made a positive difference and I’m just as proud of those initiatives and what that has inspired in people as I am about the films themselves.
Hal: I am curious and/or fascinated about how did you get into this world of filming A-list celebrities. There’s got to be a little story in that.
Brett: Yeah. So, I mean, really what happened was that I eye was kind of among a very small group of people who when this digital technology took over, I mean, if you look back and I’ve been doing this for, I’m 41 years old, I started filming weddings when I was 21, 20 years ago and I mean that world of digital technology has evolved. I mean the first weddings I filmed were on tape. They were on VHS tape and then it slowly moved into this digital world and so I was an early adopter to digital and I can remember the first time I was looking at wedding footage in my office and I was like, “We could put this in slow motion. We could make it black and white. We could add music and time the video up right to the beat of this music.” I can remember being 23 years old when digital technology was still very new, and YouTube didn’t even exist yet, and mobile phones did not exist yet, all these things that we were experimenting and trying these things.
And one of my VHS demos ended up in the hands of an event planner, celebrity event planner in New York City named David Tutera and David is still a very – he does a reality television show, he did reality television show on ETV for a decade about weddings and parties and events. Before that, he was doing all these celebrity events. David and I are still friends and I attended his wedding last year and he just started inviting me into these parties, saw my work and there was nothing like it that existed at that time and YouTube started to come out and a few of my wedding videos went viral on YouTube in the very early days of that. And so, it was just weird sort of right place, right time, right vision, there was a gap in the market and I ended up in it. And now I mean if you look through the inter-webs you can find tons of people doing amazing wedding work. That industry has evolved so much but 20 years ago there really, the vision of a wedding video was I’m going to show up with a camera, at the end of the night I’m going to eject the VHS tape in the camera and just hand it to your mom and that was your wedding video. But I was doing these 15-minute movies which is a little bit unheard of at that time and very fresh and very avant-garde.
Now, you can see them everywhere but that was pretty new and there was only a handful of people doing it and also, I was generally a pretty nice guy. I was doing great work. I was good at marketing. I had a natural instinct for marketing and sales and building websites in the early days when websites were still a new thing and I’ve built my brand and my image very well when no one was talking about the word brand. And then I would fly into these meetings in New York City and I was pretty nice and charming, and they love the idea of having somebody make something for them that none of their friends have. So, it just moves very, very quickly and I found myself in the world that was very interesting, very unique, very fast.
Hal: Wow. Really. And how long were you in that world before you ended up in the documentary filmmaking?
Brett: Yeah. So, I mean, I was in that world for 12, 15 years. It was a slow kind of move out because even as I was doing my first feature-length documentary which was Legends of the Knight which was currently you can watch it on Amazon Prime and that’s legend of the Knight, K-N-I-G-H-T like the Dark Knight because this film is related to Batman. Even when I was working on that, I mean, I didn’t have any money, so that was a passion project that I was working on. Again, I had all the equipment. I had all the gear. I’d spent 15 years refining my skill set but I wasn’t making money for that. That was a completely pie-in-the-sky, who knows what’s going to happen sort of initiative for me. And so, I was doing corporate projects and weddings and working with these not-for-profit organizations all through that time and so really it wasn’t, I mean this is a little side note, but it wasn’t really until I started doing keynote speaking which I’m doing a lot of now. I probably do 35 to 40 keynotes a year and because of that, now I’m not doing hardly any work-for-hire video projects at all. It’s just the documentaries and the keynote speaking.
Hal: Got it. Very cool. Now, so Legends of the Knight again it’s the tie-in with Batman. I’m assuming, are you a huge superhero fan?
Brett: I am. I’m lifelong. I mean, if you look at my first birthday picture, I’m wearing a Batman hat standing next to a Batman birthday cake sitting on Batman tricycle. I mean it’s been part of my life forever. I love these characters. Batman is my favorite in terms of all that for a lot of different reasons but, yeah. And this film, Legends of the Knight, came about because I had this vision. I’ve spent my life 12 years of mine, 15 years of my life telling stories and watching how people were changed by stories and I wanted to make a film about the power of storytelling, about how stories change us, and I wanted to pick kind of a modern-day myth, a modern-day folktale that kind of had run through multiple generations so that I could talk about the power of storytelling through a very specific lens and at some point I realize, okay, what’s the character that’s been around for multi-generations? I could interview older people, younger people, and everyone in between, what’s a character like that? And then I realize it’s like my favorite character. It’s Batman. Here’s this character that has been around for 80 years now, has evolved, change, had multiple different formats, multiple different, he was on the radio, he was on television, he’s been in movies, he’s been in comic books, video games, cartoons. There’s Batman for – there’s Christopher Nolan Batman for 30-year-olds which has complex, political, emotionally deep sort of dialogue but then there’s also the brave and the bold of Cartoon Network which is three-year-olds. And so, Batman kind of is for everybody and everybody knows Batman, but they know him in different ways. You say Batman to the 50-year-old and they sing you the na-na-na-na-na na-na-na, but if you say Batman to somebody at my age, they say Michael Keaton’s, “I’m Batman.” If you say it to a different person they’ll say, “Why so serious?” from that Heath Ledger Joker.
And so, here’s this character that is ingrained in the culture. Parts of him have stayed the same, parts of him have changed, and I was very curious about not only the bigger cultural impact. That’s really not what this film is about. This film was really about the individual impact, how does a heroic story like that become so like ingrained in your psyche, how has that affect the way you see yourself, the power that you see within yourself, and what you could be and what you could do in the world. And so the film, Legends of the Knight, it’s a documentary that tells the stories of people who are inspired to become heroes in their own life to do good, to overcome struggles, to help other people because of their childhood love in Batman, because they love this character, and they could see in retrospect how it affected their life. So, the film isn’t about people that put-on costumes and go out and punch people in the face. It’s not about that. It’s about people who fought through physical challenges, who decided they wanted to become a police officer because they wanted to be like Batman when they were a kid, who decided that they wanted to do something good for others and make a difference like Batman did. And I felt like it was a great way to talk about these things but talk about it in a way that would make sense to us culturally because we understand Batman. We get it. It’s kind of in our DNA on some level.
And so, I didn’t realize at the time that that was going to kind of create a sort of viral sensation that when that trailer was released for that film, how much people were going to really respond to it on an emotional level because it’s not an academic movie. It is an emotional very personal. I mean, if you watch my films, you will cry. I mean, one of the executive producers on this project said, “The tagline for this film should be Batman will make you cry,” because you’re getting into these very deep things about what it is to be human and what it is to suffer and what it is to overcome that suffering and to redeem it which is in many ways at the heart of what Batman story is on a deep psychological, emotional level. And so, we were telling stories that were really pretty heart-wrenching on some level but beautiful and Batman was right at the core of it. So, it was weird when the trailer came out, and there was a day when filmmaker Kevin Smith, legendary indie filmmaker Kevin Smith and Deepak Chopra tweeted about my film on the same day.
Hal: On the same day. Wow.
Brett: On the same day and it’s like that’s super weird. I mean here’s Kevin Smith on his podcast dropping the F-bomb like crazy about my film and here’s Deepak Chopra talking about the chakras or whatever and he’s talking about the film and so you realize in that moment you’ve got something that’s bigger than your normal sort of documentary film. So, it was beautiful to watch.
Hal: Awesome. Now, interestingly enough, I read somewhere that you – and by the way, I watched the trailer to that movie this morning and now I’m pumped to see it on Netflix. I didn’t watch it yet in its entirety, but I saw the trailer this morning and, yeah, it was very compelling.
Brett: Now, that film’s on Amazon Prime just so you know. It was on Netflix. It’s moved over to Amazon Prime now.
Hal: Okay. Even better, well, I guess equally. I’ve got both. Yeah.
Hal: I like Amazon Prime Video. So, I read though that you, without spending a single marketing dollar that that film has played theatrically in 110 cities and raised over $100,000 for charitable organizations and I, personally, I have a documentary. We just finished and we’re about to release our first documentary so selfishly I’m curious as to how you did that.
Brett: Yes. So, that’s a great question.
Hal: And we could talk more offline but just at a high level here.
Brett: Totally fine. So, when I finished that film, every step along the way people would say to me, “Well, what are you going to do with this film?” And I would say, “I have no idea. I don’t know,” and it’s one of those weird things where I know what you’re supposed to do is make a full plan and you’re not just supposed to dive into the deep end of the pool on projects. People say, “You got to think through how you’re going to do it, what you’re going to do it.” I didn’t do any of that. I knew in my heart what I wanted to achieve which was to inspire people to do good, to make a difference, as we said before, to bring out the light in people. I knew that was my goal. I just didn’t know strategically how I was going to do that and so we finished the project and I decided that we did a world premiere for it here in my hometown in Tampa, Florida and like 600 people came to the world premiere and we committed that the proceeds from that screening were going to go to a local charity that helped families that were homeless, and we raised like $1,000 that night.
And I remember waking up the next morning and saying to my wife, “I know what I want to do with this film. I want everyone in the world to have the opportunity to feel the way I feel right now,” and my wife was like, “Well, I don’t know how they do that.” They have to make a film and do this, and I said, “Yeah. But what if they could use my film?” Like, what if my film could be the catalyst for them to do this?” And so, what we set up was a unique theatrical distribution opportunity where people through our website could type in their zip code, pull up all the partner movie theaters and they could act within their area and they could actually request a screening at no cost. They could request a screening of Legends of the Knight in their local movie theater with the proceeds benefiting whatever charity they chose. So, essentially, we gave away all the proceeds and I mean that was like my best finagling, my best strategic way of achieving what I had myself at the world premiere and we didn’t know if anybody was going to do that, if anybody was going to care but the reality is, is that what you just mentioned, Legends of the Knight has screened in 110 cities. Those screenings have raised money for all types of different charities, but I didn’t do that like I didn’t make that happen. These amazing people all over the world did that. They saw this film, they loved the idea, and they essentially stepped up into that space we had invited them into and they requested the screening. They picked the charity. They invited their friends. They reached out to the community. They appear on local television news show. They sent a press release to the news that got it in.
And so, my little film that I had no marketing budget or advertising budget for ends up going all over the place. It ends up then on Netflix for two years because of all that and now on Amazon Prime not because I was such a savvy marketer or I was so good at getting into the right film festivals or anything like that. It was truly a grassroots movement that reminded me how much good there is in the world and reminded me how often people will respond to the good when you invite them into that space and it really redefined leadership for me which is what I speak about in keynotes. I mean, I share that experience. I mean, it showed leadership in people who had never done anything like this before, had never organized a screening, had never been involved in really a charity effort in a real way, who never shown up as a community leader or organizing these screenings, who were in all their nervousness and hand-wringing appearing on live television morning show to promote it, who were calling their friends on the phone to get them to come out to this charity event, to celebrate the heroic spirit in this movie theater but also raised money for charity that they felt was doing good in the world.
And it was a really – the pictures from that that came through social media and they were – the hashtag for the film was #WeAreBatman and so when you look through Instagram and Twitter and search that hashtag and particularly from a couple of years ago when this was happening, we see all those pictures, a lot of which you were on my website, it’s just beautiful. It’s just beautiful just to watch people to come together like this.
Hal: Yeah. Absolutely. So, and that by the way you said Legends of the Knight, that’s on Amazon Prime and is it available to watch anywhere else?
Brett: Yeah. It’s on Amazon Prime. It’s also on iTunes.
Hal: Okay. Got it. Amazon Prime and iTunes. Now, the film as I mentioned earlier that introduced me to your work is Look to the Sky, and similar to the Batman theme of Legends of the Knight, it’s a superman theme and it’s kind of bringing out the superhero within themselves for viewers encouraging them to do that. And so, the movie is the stories of 10 inspiring young people and obviously, as I said, my daughter was moved by it, I was moved by it, so it really applies to all ages. In fact, I think if you’re a parent you might even be moved more than if you’re a kid because you’re seeing these young people either overcome struggles or help others overcome their struggles. What was your inspiration for Look to the Sky? What led to that film and what was that process like for you?
Brett: Yes. So, the year that Legends of the Knight came out, I did that theatrical run I just described to you, I’m spending a year looking at these photos of these young people dressed in superhero costumes, attending these screenings, raising money for charity, being inspired that night like your daughter was to sign up for this charity and volunteer with them and that sort of thing. I was seeing all that. And so, I would be at dinner with a friend and have them say, “Oh my goodness, the world is so terrible. Did you see what happened today?” And then I was like, “Yeah, what I saw today was 100 young people in Philadelphia get together to have a screening of my film. What did you see?” And they would tell me some terrible story about what came out and I realized that we’re all living in these worlds and whether we realize it or not, we’re choosing these worlds and we’re choosing to live in worlds that see life through fear and through negativity and through all of that stuff that we’re choosing to see the light. We’re choosing to focus on the good things that are happening so that we can lift that up and inspire more of that in the world.
And I just said, “Look, I think people are feeling this level of hopelessness in the world right now but they’re not feeling it based on truth. They’re not feeling it based on reality. They’re feeling it on a very specific version of reality that they’re being told.” And so, because of that, they’re feeling pretty hopeless. They’re feeling like the future is not going to be a good place and I think that is why as a culture we’re struggling right now with a character like Superman. It’s the reason why a character like Wolverine or Deadpool or Batman is much more popular than a character like Superman and it’s because we identify much more with the darkness and the bad parts of ourselves than we do the light and the purity and the compassion and just this pure sense of kindness. That sense of what Christopher Reeves stood for as Superman when I was a kid, we’re not sure that’s true anymore. We’re not sure that’s real anymore. That nobody really is like that. I mean, that’s just like a Mr. Rogers make-believe world, isn’t it?
Brett: And so, because of that, it makes it very hard for us to imagine a guy dressed in a bright blue and red costume flying through the sky saving cats from trees and smiling and waving at people. We can’t imagine that kind of hero today because we don’t buy that anymore. And I was like, you know, I’m not sure the world is any different than it ever has been. We just are not as comfortable with that story as we used to be.
Hal: That also have more – sorry to cut you off – more media that’s constantly shoving that narrative of the world as a scary, evil, dark place and it has to be different is before there was the Internet, it wasn’t – you weren’t bombarded with those messages.
Brett: That’s exactly right and we talked about that in Look to the Sky, the fact that you can make a lot more money selling fear in the news than you can selling kindness and compassion. And it’s easier to get people to stay and watch the commercials when you tell them that up next, we’re going to give you the five reasons why you might be dying tomorrow, and your children are in danger in their schools tomorrow. Now, do we have to deal with all that stuff? Absolutely, we do. There’s a level in which these constant bombardments create a reality that isn’t truly the reality of the world we live in. That’s not the world I live in every day and most of the people I meet every day are nice, kind people that care about their family that want good things for their community. This is who they are. They’re not these scary stories we see but we feel afraid. You don’t feel like we can talk to people at the supermarket. We feel afraid to help someone because they might stab us or whatever. And so, the question becomes the tagline, the hashtag for this film, Look to the Sky is Superman is real. Superman is real. And we wanted to say with this film that that sense of what Superman has represented in the public consciousness for 80 years, that is just as real today as it ever has been.
And so, in this film whereas Legends of the Knight was about people inspired by Batman, this film is not about people inspired by Superman. It’s about people who had embodied his heroic spirit, young people in particular specifically, and I feel like that’s the best way to show that there’s hope in the future that the future is going to be a good place full of possibility and kindness by showing that the truth is that this next generation of young people who are coming into our world every generation we say, “Oh, my goodness, we’re doomed. The next generation is going to damn us. It’s all finished because of Snapshot, because of social media. We’re done.” Well, I mean, they’ve been saying that since the beginning of time and the truth is, is that every generation brings us further into more goodness than the last did and I think the truth is this generation is filled with people that want authenticity, that wants good for not just their own little tribe, their own little family but they can see the hypocrisy of taking care of our own tribe without taking care of our global family at the same time and they see so much goodness in themselves and in others. Sometimes they have little roadblocks that they have some selfishness, those sorts of things, but I think this is a great generation of young people. I got two living in my house right now.
Hal: How old are your kids?
Brett: Yeah. They’re 16 and 13.
Hal: Okay. Got it.
Brett: And they’re two boys and that’s what we wanted to express with this film and so with Look to the Sky, we tell so many beautiful stories. I love the film. I’m very happy with the way it came out. This film Look to the Sky, it’s on Hulu. It’s on iTunes. It’s also on Amazon Video on Demand there. It’s not on Prime but it’s on Video on Demand there but it’s on Hulu. If you have a subscription to Hulu, you can watch it right now. And then we did the same thing, we did charity screens of this film, but we also have gone deeper with this film. We connected with the Boys and Girls Club of America and the screenings of this film were requested by 350 at this point, 350 local chapters of Boys and Girls Clubs of America all over the country and so there have been amazingly beautiful things that happened with this film over the course of the past year or so.
Hal: Yeah. I love the themes behind your films and the message behind it. We did an event every year in San Diego in December called Best Year Ever Blueprint and essentially, we lead our attendees through a process of identifying their strengths or what we refer to often as their superpowers and it showed them how to apply those strengths consistently in a way that makes achieving their goals and really, I mean, their goals really involved contribution. We really attract the heart-centered individual. So, yes, so I love that idea of A, focusing on the positive not only in the world but in yourself, that light that you spoke of, and accessing those superpowers that we all have to fulfill our potential and also help other people do the same.
Brett: No, that’s great. I love it.
Hal: What’s your, last but not least, the new film that you’re working on that’s coming out, A Voice that Carries. I know it’s empowering fathers to be a positive influence in their daughter’s lives. I have a daughter that’s hugely meaningful to me so I’m excited for this film but anything to share about it or where people can get on the list so that they can get your emails or when that movie comes out, how to be notified?
Brett: Yeah. So, you can go to my website which is BrettCulp.com. B-R-E-T-T-C-U-L-P.com. I’ve got an email list that I send every month or so but also, I’m posting constantly. I’m on a little break right now. I’m posting constantly on social media about these things and what’s happening with them and we’re super excited about this film. We’re capturing stories. Essentially, what we’ve done is we’ve invited a group of dads to go on a nine-week challenge to build a deeper relationship with their daughter and we’re working with them to kind of create their own challenges, their own opportunities to go deeper into that relationship. And then what we’re hoping will happen is and what we’re planning for is that when this film is released, we’re either going to release a website or an app that goes with this film that is going to invite dads that watch it to go on this challenge for themselves to see these dads go on the challenge in the film and learn about it and then to take their own nine-week challenge that they can design with her daughter to experience their life together in new ways, to do things they’ve never done together before, to say things to each other they’ve never said before, to be part of each other’s lives in ways they’ve never experienced before. And that adventure can be for dads of very young daughters or it could be for dads of teenage daughters or for dads whose daughters don’t even live in their house anymore but still they want to go to another level of depth in that relationship and we hope that this film, A Voice that Carries, will build more connection.
Hal: Wow. Yeah. I’m extremely excited for that. My daughter and I are going on our first trip together, just the two of us, and my wife’s nervous because I’m a little ADHD and I don’t pay attention and she’s like, “You’re going to watch her. You’re going to make sure she gets on the plane, right?” I’m like, “I’m fine,” but anyway so now I’m excited to take that challenge, man. I’m always looking to deepen my relationship with both my kids and of course with each one, my daughter, in particular, it’s a special relationship. She’s my firstborn, etcetera. Well, Brett, I’m so grateful of the work that you’re doing in the world and the impact that you’re making. Is there anything else that you’d like to share before we wrap up?
Brett: No. I will say that the experiences that I’ve had as a documentary filmmaker have shown me more and more over and over again that all of us have the capacity to do heroic things in our lives that it’s not just for the people that make the big headlines, it’s not just for the celebrities and the famous people that all of us in both big ways and small ways, in simple moments and smiles and kind words and kind acts, have the capacity to do heroic things that really changed each other’s lives and it really make the world a better place. I believe at the end of the day that the world changes not because of the big acts of a few people but the world changes because of the daily small acts of many people. And I think we all have the capacity to be a part of that, to contribute to that and through that to leave a legacy of kindness that makes our lives richer but in the process makes the world a more glorious and beautiful and like filled place and I admire and I’m grateful for all of the people who continue every day to choose to be on that kind of adventure in their life and I think that’s at the end of the day the big adventure of all of our lives.
Hal: Yeah. I think your films have a Gandhi theme. They could each be called, “Be the change you want to see in the world.”
Brett: Yes. I agree. Yes.
Hal: Yeah. You’re demonstrating that.
Brett: Yeah. And that’s what I’ve seen over and over again. And again, it’s not just in the films themselves but it’s in the way people have responded to the films, what they have done with these films, and at the end of the day I feel like I am not a filmmaker, I am a tool creator. These films are not just films. They are tools that people that I hope many people will continue to use to bring out the light in themselves and in others and at the end of the day, that’s what leadership is. That’s the capacity we all have to be leaders in the world.
Hal: Well, it’s happening. I don’t know. Too many movies that you watch that your daughter says, “I want to go feed the homeless people tomorrow,” and then you go to the store and make care packages and you’re out in the road the next day. I mean, it’s actually changing someone’s behavior to me is that’s what a book is about, that’s what a film is about in terms of if you really want to make a difference in somebody’s life so bravo, my friend.
Brett: I agree. Thank you.
Hal: It’s a pleasure talking to you and meeting you today and I look forward to, I’m going to text you and I’m going to see if I can bug you about some documentary distribution tips here moving forward. Well, hey, goal achievers, thank you for tuning in to another episode of the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. I hope you have enjoyed my conversation with Brett Culp today as much as I have and the films are Legends of the Knight available on Amazon Prime and iTunes and then the one that really changed my daughter’s life and my life, as a result, Look to the Sky, which is available on Hulu, iTunes and Amazon Video on Demand and the new movie, A Voice that Carries will be out in the next year and, Brett, we appreciate him coming on and thank you, goal achievers, for tuning in. I love you very much and I will talk to you next week. Take care.
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