Thank You Biff!
Now as you may or may not know, I discovered the world of ‘Bible Style’ speed baggin’ just about 2 years to the day (March 10th, 2011) and haven’t looked back yet. At the same time I was lucky enough to find Alan Kahn’s “Speed Bag Centeral” (www.speedbagcenteral.com) & Tim Platt’s “Speed Bag Forum” (www.speedbagforum.com) web sites, both outstanding sites filled with helpful information, friendly people and a dedication to the “Art of the Bag” like no other present on the internet. Yes, there are a bunch of speed bag videos on YouTube, but like a lot of the content there, you don’t get a personal response like you do on the above sites…and that brings me to the point I’d like to share in this post.
As crazy as the internet can be, with all it’s false information and bloated egos…you can still find some really good, honest, REAL people out there.
Case in point; The two sites mentioned above and the people who run & frequent them. I have never found a better community of like-minded people…EVER (with the exception of the llama people, but that’s another story!).
Here I was, a total NOOB, knowing nothing about the speed bag other then I happened across a video of Alan Kahn on YouTube and said to myself, “I can do that”…then searching further finding a video by Speedbag Skunk I said to myself, “….Maybe not? Damn!”. I then joined the Speed Bag Forum and within seconds of my first post was welcomed with open arms. I was instantly encourged by the community and received countless bits of information on what I needed to get started…and the offer of help anytime it was needed. Alan himself was one of the first to respond…The KING…I mean here I had just seen a video of him hitting…and moments later, I’m hearing directly from him and he’s offering great advice on getting started!
From there, many friendships have been built and some have gone above & beyond.
My new friend & fellow bagger…. Biff. I mean, here’s a guy who I’ve never met in-person (I promise that will change soon) who offered to shoot some video for the film ON HIS ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME VACATION TO AUSTRALIA! Really? Who does that these days? In the “me, me, me world” we live in these days, here’s a guy willing to take the time & effort to not only donate financially to the film, but shoot some interviews and bagging footage of our fellow baggers down-under! Really? Needless to say, I was floored. He even purchased a camera just for the occasion. In the months to follow we communicated back & forth about cinematography, camera settings, the rule of thirds, lighting…and all things ‘filmish’. Biff took his vacation and returned with some great footage & interviews that will surely find it’s way into the film.
…but it doesn’t stop there, turns out Biff and his wife where invited to stay with….wait for it….another member of the forum he had met at the very first SPEED B.A.G. gathering in Keyport, NJ. Enter dean Goodwin and his father Ted who had traveled all way from NSW Australia to attend the gathering of speed baggers. The Goodwin’s represent 4 generations of ‘Australian-Style’ speed bagging and after joining the forum, felt compelled to make the trip to the other side of the earth to share their unique bagging style.
…and the story goes on…Biff, Dean & Ted really hit it off and a deeper friendship had grown…and here we are. I can’t thank Biff, Mrs. Biff, Ted, Dean and Dean’s son Tom (I’m even seeing footage of ROC, another Aussy member of the forum in the clips) enough for taking the time to do this for the film (and me), but being the great people that they are, they thought nothing of it and wouldn’t have it any other way. Dean has even offered me an open invitaion to come visit if I can ever make it to Australia! Be warned Dean… I just might have to take you up on that! 🙂
I could go on forever and talk about all the lasting friendships I’ve made in this tight community of speed baggers, but I think you all get my point…and can see what is driving me to tell this story to the world and document the “Art of the Bag”.