Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year Blow Out in Louisville

After seeing JUMP! at the Los Angeles Film Festival last summer, a restaurateur and raconteur named Lynn Winter approached me and Jeff saying that she was determined to bring us to Louisville, Kentucky.

A few months later, she phoned me and asked "What do you think of when you think about leap year?" Excitedly, she continued: "Leaping! Jumping! I'm going to create a Leap Year Blow Out!" And she has done just that.

Today, Leap Year 2008, Jeff, Nick and Tori -- all jumpers featured in the film -- plus Kaylee and Andrew of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are calling themselves EXTREME HEIGHTS as they introduce competitive jump rope to over a thousand kids in assemblies at several schools.

And, thanks to Lynn, tomorrow JUMP! is screening to a sold-out audience of 650 people at the Kentucky Center for the Arts' Bomhard Theater. Following the film, EXTREME HEIGHTS will perform with The Louisville Leopard Percussionists, a dynamic group of musicians (ages 7-12) that are as innovative and inspiring as the jumpers. The band and their awesome teacher, Diane Downs, were recently featured in their own sweet documentary titled "The Music in Me" (HBO Family).

This show is bound to be truly spectacular. I've always loved the musicality of jumping -- the sounds of the whooshing ropes and feet hitting the floor. It is going to be great to witness the athletes and musicians riffing off one another and taking each other to, cliché as it sounds, new heights.

You can read about the Leap Year Blow Out and here. Again, thanks to Lynn & Patty at Lynn's Paradise Cafe and to Jeff for putting this together.

updated 3/2/2008: here is another article with two videos about the Leap Year Blow Out.

updated 3/3/2008: rumor has it that a girl fainted when Nick ripped off his pants to jump at a school assembly! (yes, he did have shorts underneath.)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

JUMP! trailer finally on the web

We've finally entered the youtube generation. See the trailer here.

I'm so curious how this viral campaign will work. Please forward the trailer link to your friends We want JUMP! to reach a wider audience and we need your help!

I'd love to make this website a source for posting other amazing jump rope videos -- like this one of the Summerwind Skippers. If you have have any suggestions about good ways to have people submit other clips, please comment here on this posting.

I'm new to this and would love your suggestions. Hit the "comment" link below.

Nashville calls JUMP! an "absolute crowd pleaser"

SCENE, the main Nashville weekly, offers a sneak peak of what's in store at the upcoming Nashville Film Festival. "As usual in recent years, documentaries may prove the festival’s strongest segment," they write. Programmer Brian Gordon is quoted describing JUMP! and Gustavo Vazquez’s Mexican-wrestling doc QUE VIVA LA LUCHA as “absolute crowd-pleasers.”

They've got a great line up! I'm particularly excited to seeing "At the Death House Door," a doc about capital-punishment by Peter Gilbert and Steve James (the duo that made "Hoop Dreams"), the Sundance award-winning doc "American Teen" by Nanette Burstein and "Join Us," by "DiG!" director Ondi Timoner, who was so nice to us at our world premiere at the Los Angeles Film Fest (where she was also debuting her new doc). You can see the full Nashville Weekly SCENE article here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

JUMP! on Good Morning Arizona

Ever wonder what became of former national jump rope champions? Laura (Mercer) Filoso -- single rope pairs freestyle champ, 1999 -- teaches band in Phoenix and has recently started coaching a new team called the "Saguaro Skippers".

Earlier today, in conjunction with our screenings at the upcoming Sedona International Film Festival, Laura and her team were joined by jumper/coaches Lauren Klipp and Hseth Burch of the "Tucson Twist-Its" as featured guests in 6 segments -- yes 6! -- with Brad Perry on "Good Morning Arizona", the #1 rated morning show in the state! Twenty minutes of live news coverage! View a clip from their appearance here. (Thanks to Laura's husband for uploading this!)

Also, I just learned that JUMP! has been selected as one of the HOT PICKS of the Sedona Film Festival by the local weekly.

Monday, February 18, 2008

All-Star Jump Rope Workshop in Santa Monica

Left to right: Jeff (from Houston, Texas), Lee (Boise, Idaho), Mike (Akron, Ohio) and Nick (Houston). Photo courtesy John Fletcher/USAJR.

This past weekend, 15 of the best jumpers from around the country descended on Los Angeles for California's first-ever USA Jump Rope All-Star Workshop. On Friday, they did 4 performances at Santa Monica public schools and a Boys and Girls Club; on Saturday, they taught about 100 kids how to improve their skills; and on Sunday, JUMP! screened at the Monica Laemmle movie theater to an audience of 150+ people. Before and after the screening, the jumpers performed outside of the theater and got loads of bystanders to participate...until the police asked us to stop.

One of the first questions in the post-screening Q&A was for Lee: "Do you have a girl friend yet?" His answer: "Nope." But he did recently graduate first in his class with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Boise State University. He's hoping to put his brain and his brawn to good use as an jumper for Cirque du Soliel. We're rooting for him.

Marian & John from USAJR and Nikki Jackson, founder of the new Santa Monica-based Jump Squad and co-host of the All-Star weekend, deserve big props for making this event happen. After seeing JUMP! last summer at the Los Angeles Film Festival, Nikki -- whom I had never met before that screening -- said that jump rope had changed her life; she had recently lost 130 lbs thru jumping and was committed to helping to fight childhood obesity. She decided to quit her day job and start an after-school jump rope enrichment program. Her plan worked and quickly expanded to several local schools. No doubt Nikki will help get a few great new teams going strong in So Cal.

Of the weekend, Nikki said: "The results of our collaboration have proven to be very successful it has had an amazing impact on my immediate community. The sport of jump rope gives its participants a great sense of confidence, discipline, fun, physical fitness, leadership, inspiration and determination. Personally, I'm rejuvenated and and inspired in a tremendous way. Witnessing the transformational effects of our efforts on the faces and in the hearts of the children and adults we impacted this weekend is truly rewarding and provides the necessary fuel to move full speed ahead." Go get 'em Nikki!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

SPORTS ILLUSTRATED story about Shane!

Check out this great article in Sports Illustrated on Campus about Shane -- one of the guys featured in JUMP! There is just way too many cool tidbits to summarize.