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Introducing MadRim Productions! We are Madison and Miriam, new filmmakers, two seriously funny, bad-ass Millennials from the mountains of Colorado. Self-Made is the story of sustainable industry, a documentary about the vibrant world of Fabrication Labs, where artists and engineers are collaborating to reinvent the way we make things. The planet is changing, and MadRim Productions will be there to define this new century we’re exploring.

In Self-Made, Madison and I will bicycle from Copenhagen to Barcelona, a true sustainability tour, stopping along the way to explore the European maker movement, which is especially dynamic. In fact, the maker movement began in Berlin in 1995 at a MakerSpace called c-base, which still boasts 450 active members. It wasn’t until 2007 that the first MakerSpaces started popping up in the United States.

A MakerSpace is a little different than a Fab Lab. Though both kinds of workshops are hubs for knowledge sharing, creating, and experimenting, a Fab Lab has a more structured environment than a MakerSpace. The simplest difference is that a Fab Lab is sponsored by the Fab Foundation, which comes with certain benefits and expectations.

Fab Labs were first developed in 2001 as a research project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to experiment with “the science of turning data into things,” as Neil Gershenfeld, professor at MIT and director of the Center for Bits and Atoms, expresses it. He introduced a course called “How To Make (Almost) Anything,” and thus Fab Labs were born. The Fab Foundation was established in 2009 to support the growing network of Labs.

Self-Made, the story of sustainable industry.

Self-Made, the story of sustainable industry.

The maker movement is bigger than just Fab Labs, of course. It encompasses MakerSpaces, HackerSpaces, and my grandfather in his woodshop. It’s “bridging the gap between prototype and production,” bringing us closer to the objects that fill our lives, bringing the previously unattainable to our fingertips by virtue of accessible equipment and knowledge. This movement makes it possible for ordinary people to experiment with extraordinary projects.

And MadRim Productions wants to meet those people. We’ve already begun. I wrote two posts last month, one about the MakerSpace run by Doc in Chesterfield, Virginia, and another about Fab Lab Baltimore, managed by Mollye. This weekend Madison and I will attend the NoCo Mini Maker Faire in Loveland, Colorado to talk to locals about their projects. Next week we’ll be in Fort Collins to interview Colorado State University students at their Fab Lab. We’re gathering footage and talking to real people with real purpose.

And meanwhile we’re cultivating an online presence and scrambling around the Rocky Mountains shooting a campaign video and running around in the dark in gorilla suits, and practically living out of Madison’s truck and drinking way too much coffee, and sending so many emails, and meeting Kygo and William & Mary’s President Reveley, and crafting a calendar, and writing lists of lists of lists. There’s a lot to do and we’re still in the early phase, but it’s coming together. Self-Made rings prophetic.

Hula hoopers outside CU-Boulder's Balch Fieldhouse for Chance the Rapper and Kygo.

Hula hoopers outside CU-Boulder’s Balch Fieldhouse for Chance the Rapper and Kygo.

Kygo performing a sold-out show in Boulder.

Kygo performing a sold-out show in Boulder.

The Road to Madulthood is our journey, both the actual physical bike tour from Denmark to Spain, and the trip leading up to it, all this juggling and laughter. Life is a freaking circus, man, and madulthood is the movement in your soul and soles. It’s the blood pulsing in your hard-working hands, the blazing aspens whispering good night for the season, the tune in your head like a Kygo remix. Madulthood is the state of being youngish, a joyful insanity, all the freedom and all the energy. I have a direction, I have a destination. The maker movement is changing the world and MadRim Productions is going to make a documentary about it.

 

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