Monday, December 17, 2007

Alaska Film Fest

The Anchorage International Film Festival -- held annually in mid-December -- bills itself as "Films Worth Freezing For" but man, what a warm audience of belly-laughers. And, after the Q&A, when we asked if any kids wanted to come on stage to jump, about 30 kids were up there within 5 seconds.

The Juneau Jumpers journeyed to meet up with us -- they performed after the screening and also hosted an awesome free, public jump rope workshop the following day. It looked like they got some kids hooked on starting new teams--we see fantastic potential. They were also interviewed for a feature story on Alaska Public Radio (link soon) -- hopefully Isabella got props for her Guinness World Record of 151,036 jumps in 24 hrs!

All in all, an amazing trip -- euphoriant landscapes, fantastic food, adventure, great people, games. Can't wait to return...hopefully to make another documentary.

Lt top to Rt bottom: Glaciers • LA->AL posse • Juneau Jumpers workshop • Juneau Jumpers interviewed for Alaska Public Radio • tragic News headline • JUMP! Co-filmmaker/editor Scott with Miss Teen Alaska Courtney Carroll • Reindeer

Saturday, December 8, 2007

anchorage news

JUMP! was the pick of the day today in the Anchorage Daily News. "Don't Miss It!" Click below to see a feature article about documentaries, including JUMP!, from last week's ADN.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

JUMP! wins Audience Award

We are soo happy to have won the Santa Fe Film Festival Audience Choice Award! This is our first award -- we're grateful and proud...this validation means a lot to us and we hope it will help us to share the film with more people. Tremendous thanks to the film-goers for giving us this honor and to the programmers for including us in the line-up!

Both of our screenings sold-out and two new American Heart Association jump rope clubs from Albuquerque did pre-show performances -- the Red Hot Peppers from Manzano Day School and New Mexico Synergy, which includes jumpers from 5 area schools. Soon, Nick, one of the stars of JUMP! from the Texas team Razz Ma Tazz, will be making a trek to NM to help these jumpers improve their skills and no doubt sign some autographs...he's got some serious fans. Neither team has been to a major competition before but now they are all fired up!

Most likely, we'll do a limited theatrical run in Sta Fe sometime in early 2008. If anyone is interested, please sign up for our mailing list here to receive updates.

Factoid: Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the USA.

drive from Chimayo to Santa Fe • jumpers from New Mexico Synergy bounce on a pogo stick while jumping rope • Marina Goldavskaya, honored with a lifetime achievement award • Santa Fe Film Fest exec dir Jon Bowman & JUMP! prod/dir Helen

thanks to Linda Lyn Carfagno for the fab picture of Marina

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

JUMP! on front page of Santa Fe New Mexican Newspaper

Our first -- and maybe only -- time as front page news!

Line one: "You don't have to bring a jump-rope to the Santa Fe Film Festival's screening of the documentary JUMP!, but be prepared to sweat."
To read full text, click here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

stellar Starz Denver International Film Fest

The Starz Denver International Film Festival has a gigantic generous spirit. One of the first big events of the festival was an attempt to set a Guinness World Record for Largest Toy Drive by collecting over 12,000 pounds of toys (in partnership with Toys for Tots and Walden Media for the World Premiere of MR. MAGORIUM’S WONDER EMPORIUM, a Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman movie about a magic toy store where everything in it comes alive). Kids and families walked the red carpet before the film while paparazzi snapped away. The Jumping Eagles and Skip-Its did an interactive jump rope demo to entertain the 2,000+ people who attended.

JUMP! screened 3 times and the audiences were ENTHUSIASTIC! When our animated opening title sequence (which gives a quirky history of jump rope) showed that USA Jump Rope (the league that JUMP! follows) has its origins in Colorado, you could hear the cheers of a full-house crowd from the popcorn line in the theater lobby!!

Before and after each screening, the Jumping Eagles and Skip-Its took turns coming out to perform and teach locals to jump. People loved them and the festival & theater staff were psyched at the atmosphere the jumpers created. Lee & Shane from the Summerwind Skippers happened to be in town helping the Jumping Eagles improve their skills -- that was an extra bonus. Thanks again to American Family Insurance & the Iske Family for donating ropes for us to give away.

Skip-its teach locals to jump while the audience lines up for JUMP! in the background • Jumping Eagles teach girl to jump a single rope while jumping double Dutch • JUMP! dir/prod Helen poses with film subjects Lee & Shane under marquee

My favorite doc of the festival was Off the Grid: Life on the Mesa, a character-driven story about a loose-knit community of radicals that live in the desert, a million miles away from mainstream society, and struggle to survive with little food, less water and no electricity, as they cling to their unique vision of the American dream. This doc has been called one of the 10 best films of 2007 without distribution -- and I have to agree. I'd love to meet these filmmakers and commiserate.

In addition to a great slate of films and lots of parties, the film festival arranged fun excursions and introduced me to the wonders of a mechanical bull. What more could you want of a festival? The Starz Denver International Film Festival is definitely on my A list.

Fossilized dinosaur footprints en route to the continental divide • Noel, a former psychiatrist who volunteered as a festival driver, doesn't know his own strength; he pulled the gear-shift console right off the loaner car in mid-ride • The bull

Thursday, November 1, 2007

"A Jump Rope Frenzy Grips Middle School" writes THE EAST HAMPTON STAR newspaper

"Two unlikely heartthrobs wowed an audience of fifth, sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at East Hampton Middle School on Friday: the stars of Helen Hood Scheer’s documentary, “JUMP!” making a surprise appearance after the eighth grade returned from a screening of the film at the Hamptons International Film Festival."

Read the text of the entire article here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Aloha wau iâ `oe Hawai'i Film Festival

We had a fantastic time at the 27th Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival and are soo grateful to the Bank of Hawaii for sponsoring JUMP! We met a bunch of cool people, connected with tons of students at a screening of the film for local high schools, did 5 jump rope workshops and performances, received half a dozen beautiful fragrant flower leis each, and even managed to have some Hawaiian r&r. Thanks to the rad staff, we also got to see a great new Korean movie in a spectacular old movie house, where a hundred girls surrounded the handsome visiting star while snapping photos on their cell phones. Beautiful Son, a truly moving doc about a family's struggle with autism, won the audience award.

Here are a few of the highlights:

honolulu sunset • fun crashing an Imperial Court party

Hawaii State Senator Will Espero with JUMP! director/producer Helen Hood Scheer & members of the Summerwind Skippers (Calli, Lee, Shane & Kelsy) • Hawaii Theater

Approx 300 kids attend student screening...JUMP! & Summerwind earn fans

Delicious. And the best ramen place in Hawaii accepts Japanese yen or US$.

Thanks to Don Chan for most of these pix.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

JUMP! on Hawaii tv news

Yesterday, there were five different (!) television segments on KHON Honolulu Fox TV about JUMP! See one featuring Summerwind Skippers double dutch pairs here. (it may take a few minutes to load.) Thanks Monolo!

At least 4 news crews are among the crowd gathered to watch Summerwind perform at
Bank of Hawaii courtyard in downtown Honolulu. You can see them in the background, while Kelsy gets locals jumpin'.

Lee uses his noggin'.

Thanks to the tireless Don Chan for these images.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Hawaii newspaper streams video of us

The Honolulu Advertiser is streaming video of us here. The most impressive part of the lady jumping in those high heeled sneakers is not her fashion sense, it's her age: 81 years old!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Want to Start a Jump Rope Team?

We just finished a jump rope performance in Honolulu. Several people said that they want to be on a team here...and a former jumper from the Hot Dogs (who now lives on the island) said she's interested in coaching! If you want to join an existing team or start a new one, contact

Come see JUMP! at the Hawaii International Film Festival on Saturday, October 27th at 12:30. Buy tickets to movie screenings here or here. Whether or not you see the movie, you can come to our free, public jump rope workshop after the screening, from 2:30 - 4:30 in the Dole Ballroom (2nd floor, above Regency Theater at 735 Iwilei Road). Watch and/or Learn from Kelsy, Lee, Calli & Shane of the Summerwind Skippers. Mucho mahalo to Bank of Hawaii for sponsoring us and for giving away over 1000 ropes.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hamptons International Film Festival ROCKS

We had THE BEST TIME at the Hamptons International Film Fest, thanks to our new fairy godmother (also known as Linda Fuller), the Greater East Hampton Educational Foundation and the Middle School. We're gaining fans of all ages -- based on their reactions, we know there is a strong market for this film. What do we want? Distribution. When do we want it? Now. More soon, but for now, some pictures.

An enthusiastic ovation for JUMP!

JUMP! film subjects Jeff, Nick & Tori on red carpet with Hamptons International Film Fest programmer David Nugent • middle school students race to hug Jeff & Nick after screening & special assembly • Tori & Nick demo for about 200 people at public workshop

Loads of kids waiting for Nick's autograph • Nick, Alec Baldwin & Jeff • Tori w/our poster and distribution dreams

Jeff asks for a volunteer • After seeing the documentary, over 200 kids signed up to start a jump rope team

Post-heart surgery, Linda's got the best ticker in town.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

THANK YOU to us from Chicago Int'l Film Festival's Educational Outreach Program

Dear Helen,

Thank you so much for allowing the educational outreach program at the Chicago International Film Festival to screen your documentary film JUMP! We were able to screen this film to 200 inner-city Chicago public school students who absolutely adored this film! .... Teachers and students who participated in the screening commented on how this screening was one of the most exciting field trip experiences they had in a long time! They also commented on the jumpers commitment to community and the sport of jump rope; they were inspired to get physically fit....

TO READ THE FULL TEXT of this letter, select the "comments" link below.

New Orleans

Sunday, October 14, 2007

New Orleans Film Festival

Thank you to American Family Insurance (esp Jeanne I.) for donating ropes and to Nick & Jeff from Razz Ma Tazz and Louisiana jump rope teams Slidell Skippers & Heart'n'Soul for coming to New Orleans to spread the love.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

We Heart Chicago

Chicago must be one of the friendliest cities and there's soo much to do! We wish we could have had more time to explore the different neighborhoods, eat eat eat and see other films in the festival -- especially America the Beautiful and Iska's Journey.

Cincinnati's West End YMCA Rope Twisters (featured in the doc) and the Heartbeats from the Cleveland area, trekked to Chi for our weekend screenings and a free interactive jump rope demo in the fabulous Millennium Park. It was awesome to see how much West End's freestyle improved and also to see these two teams work together to teach others to jump. It's still a little scary and totally exciting for me to watch the film with jumpers who haven't seen it before. They all went crazy with enthusiasm when they saw themselves on the big screen. Whew.

Another festival highlight was an impromptu party at Roger Ebert's home, where he & his wife got many of the guests to sing standards with a piano player.

West End YMCA Rope Twisters + Heartbeats

hicago Int'l Film Fest programmer Philip Bajorat shows his stuff • Robby & Jaz teach munchin