How to start a movement and make a movie without a plan

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The I’m Fine, Thanks Crew, left to right: Grant Peelle (Director), Adam Baker (Producer), John Cropper (Camera Op), Dustin Koester (Sound), and Bryan Olinger (Director of Photography).

I first met Adam Baker through stumbling across his site, Man vs. Debt, a few years ago. I was fascinated by his journey, documenting how he and his wife Courtney radically changed their lifestyle, paid off debt and started traveling with their then 1-year old daughter.

The Man vs. Debt site evolved into an active blog, and a whole business, where Adam taught people both how to get out of debt and how to build a thriving web presence.

About a year ago, Adam and his friend Grant Peelle, the director of the film, brainstormed ways that they could work together to create something really meaningful to share with the world, and help Grant realize a life-long dream to be a filmmaker.

With just a week planning, no budget, no experience making a film and not a totally clear idea how to do it, they hit the road for 6 weeks with a crew of 5 people and interviewed about 60 people for their documentary called I’m Fine, Thanks.

I was lucky enough to host the whole crew for 2 days at my house, and you could not find a more kind, fun and committed group of people. They survived my dogs, my kids and a 60 minute martial art class where they filmed me pounding the heavy bag and doing gun defense.

In this 17-minute interview, Adam and I discuss where the idea started, and where they are in the project.

(I apologize that unlike the superb quality of the film, my Skype video got a little wonky and fuzzy and there is a slight echo to Adam’s audio. Nonetheless, it was a great conversation, so I encourage you to listen in! )

Watch directly on Vimeo here:


You can read more about the film-making process on Adam’s blog:

If you are inspired by the film, I encourage you to contribute even a small amount to the Kickstarter project. Every $5 helps toward their goal of raising $100,000 by June 22. You will be in good company – 3,537 people have backed so far, on pace to set a record for most contributors for a documentary on Kickstarter, or any other crowd funding site. See the movie trailer here, including a few seconds of me pounding the heavy bag:

I will be at the premiere of the film in Portland on July 7 for the World Domination Summit – I hope to see you there!

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9 Responses to “How to start a movement and make a movie without a plan”

  1. Shawn Tuttle says:

    I (capital) LUV the creative bootstrapping. Kudos to you guys for making this happen. I look forward to the premiere at WDS!

  2. This is awesome. I can’t wait to see the film!

  3. Pam, you rock for housing this couch-surfing production team on their trip across America! Looks like a very cool project that you were able to contribute to in a meaningful way.

    I stumbled upon this trailer last week and watched it with a big ear-to-ear smile on my face. I backed it on Kickstarter and I see that the fundraising goal was crushed with time to spare. Congrats to you Adam Baker! And the fact it set a Kickstarter record for number of contributors goes to show that people really need to experience an inspirational film like this.

    I’m excitedly looking forward to the release.


  4. That’s a pretty inspiring story. Thanks Pam!

  5. Two inspiring things: they realized they had this itty bitty window because of the coming baby. 1 week to prepare! But they went for it. The other: you, Pam, housing them and being willing to join the party. I love it.

    • Baker says:

      Pam opening her home and family to us was amazing. The whole team spent the next week talking about her friendship, wisdom, and family. 🙂

      Truly was an amazing time!

  6. faisal says:

    This is very veyr interesting indeed. How fate turns and how sometimes the things you do can turn and bring you so much.

  7. Interesting interview! Thank you for sharing it Pam.

    I’ll be there for the world premiere as well. Can’t wait! Best of luck to the Crank Tank team in reaching the Kickstarter goal!