Social Contracts – Making a Movie

Erik Antonson
Erik Antonson
June 23, 2016

I was the skinniest kid in my class up until 10th grade.  At some point during that year I realized that being the skinniest kid in the class, and having the nickname “Nothing but Legs” wasn’t going too far with the girls.  So I did what I do and dove head-first into bodybuilding.  When I do something, I do it 100%.  I hit the bookstore learned as much as possible.  Arnold’s Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding was my bible.  I read it cover-to-cover numerous times.  And spent 2 hours in the gym everyday, and the rest of the time eating.  I gained 17 pounds of muscle in the summer between 10th and 11th grade, and came back the strongest kid in class.  The guidance counselor brought me to his office and talked to me about steroids.

During that year I learned about making goals, and self-motivating to keep them.  It’s easy to start a journey,  much harder to finish, especially when you’re only accountable to you.  I discovered somewhere there that social pressures were a great motivator.  And I learned the trick of the one-way social contract.

The trick – put yourself and your reputation on the line by stating your goals as accomplishments, you’ll  find a way to come through.  In working out, I’d tell anyone who asked that I could bench press 5-10 pounds more than I’d ever done.  This wasn’t a lie, it was a verbal contract that I had to fulfill on the next opportunity.  It’s amazing how deep you can dig when there’s something on the line.

Since it looks like we don’t have funding for editing the Progression Project Origins movie (Colin, Boehne and Kalama) – and I ran out of runway well before the finish of the first Progression Project movie and am bootstrapping that –  I’ve decided to make Origins the movie myself.

The plan was to get incredible clips from incredible videographers and then turn the project over.  We got the clips, but there’s not budget to turn the project over.  I thought I’d be able to find sponsors for the first movie and not eat it all out of pocket.  That didn’t happen.  I underestimated the industry’s support of the performance wing of the sport. (The industry is underestimating paddling surfing’s potential) 

I’m putting it on record, right here, in this blog.  I’m going to edit, start-to-finish, the Origins movie with a September release.  This blog is my social contract.  I’ll bookmark it and use it for motivation when the project feels too daunting.  Your end of the contract is to ask me about the progress, and hold me accountable.



Progression Journal


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