Jan 1, 2019

Words by Justin “Hoost” Wilkenfeld    

When I think about what has made the GoPro brand so successful over the years, I think about the amazing community of passionate people around the globe that want to celebrate and share so much of the beauty, adventure, excitement, Zen, joy and multitude of other adjectives or emotions that could try to articulate just how special this world truly is, and why we should protect it.    

When it comes to protecting our planet, our home and all the awesome playgrounds that we have been blessed with, we are so fortunate to have great organizations and stewards of the environment working tirelessly to protect it, not for our generation so much as it’s for the generations to come.    

The Redford Center, founded by the son-and-father team of James and Robert Redford, is one such great organization that GoPro has had the pleasure of working with in recent years. The Redford Center focuses on environmental topics and has produced a number of great documentary films about various topics ranging from water conservation to environmental justice to simply what’s “happening” in the world of renewable energy. Additionally, they have created a documentary filmmaker fiscal grant program that is helping fund and support filmmakers with their environmental film projects.    

This year, GoPro took part in the Redford Center Grants Program and provided seven different filmmaking teams with GoPro kits, complete with the HERO7 Black and lots of the accessories, to help them capture immersive shots, including behind-the-scenes looks and other uniquely GoPro aspects of creative filmmaking. In addition, GoPro offered up an expert team of storytelling advisors, including Phil Matteini and Daniel Sherer, combined with old-school GoPro Family members Mario Callejas, Brad Schmidt and myself, to provide a hands-on workshop enabling filmmakers to really get to know their GoPro. We also shared insights into marketing, content distribution and social media that will hopefully provide additional firepower to maximize the opportunity for their films to have the greatest positive impact.    

Set in the stunning setting of Utah's Sundance Resort, the experience was awesome.  Beyond the GoPro workshop, the filmmakers took part in storytelling workshops and listened to a diverse group of speakers covering topics like our food sources, solutions journalism, fundraising and much more. The goal was to elevate the filmmakers and help them achieve a higher level of success through the support of a new network of friends.

Making Friends Wins Again!

It is so inspiring to know that there are so many people out there with good intentions.  There are so many people that want to make a difference. Films about dancers and environmental waste, international group of women trekking across the Arctic and GoPro’s very own Daniel Sherer partnering on a project about how humans adapt to climate change in remarkable ways. Getting to know the people and to interact with them and to see their passions reminds me of the GoPro Community—so passionate and intertwined with our environment. It’s that energy that fuels the human spirit to make the impossible, possible.

Knowing that GoPro has a program like GoPro for a Cause, that stewards creating and supporting organizations like the Redford Center, gives me hope on many levels. To know that the GoPro team cares, actually gets involved and supports through donations, workshops and exposure to a fantastic audience around the world, makes me smile. At the heart of this great company, at its core, people care. And that speaks volumes to the character of this great brand. There are lots of kind humans inside and out and that is worth celebrating!

To kickoff the new year, start inspired and get motivated to be your best self and ask what you can do to make a positive impact on others and the planet! The future will appreciate it!