Welcome to Playground Chatter! Our blog series, where we get to profile and chat with some of the best executives in town! Sure, we could ask about all their fancy business stuff but since we are fun monsters, we want to know how they spend their spare time on the playground of life!
Your Name: Brett Culp
Your nickname? N/A
What is your grown up job? I produce inspirational films
How can we find you?
Tell us where you spent your childhood years. Is there one year you remember most? I remember spending most of my childhood in imaginary worlds. I loved cartoons – mostly involving superheroes – and if I wasn’t watching these stories, I was re-enacting them or creating new heroic stories of my own.
Favorite part of the playground to hang out in? Definitely the slide. It goes fast and makes me smile.
Lunch pail, brown bag or did you buy lunch? Plastic lunch box with a superhero on it. I had a new one each year.
What would be your ideal recess today? I try to take an outdoor walk in the middle of every day to listen to uplifting music & clear my head. It helps me process the events of the morning and stay focused on the goals for the day. So, I guess I am still having recess as a grown up.
Does your company encourage recess for their employees? I encourage everyone I work with to find time for the things they are passionate about. The things I love most about my working life came from pursuing an idea that was outside of the flow of my normal work… then we found a way to incorporate it into our business. Our most recent film is connected with Batman. Four years ago, nothing in my filmmaking world was superhero focused, but it sounded like something fun to pursue. And it ultimately changed my professional life, for the better. For me, personal passion has consistently driven me to find ideas that keep my work fresh.
If I deemed you Playground Monitor for the next 15 minutes, how would you rally your employees? What activity would everyone participate in? I’m very much about building personal, emotional connection between people. I believe that creating an environment of trust & safely gives people the freedom to bring their best, most unique ideas to the table. Because they aren’t afraid. So, I’d probably organize some version of Show-And-Tell.
What rules did you learn on the playground that you still utilize today? Be nice. Although doing great work and sharing it with lots of people are both essential in business, I think kindness it the cornerstone of my professional life.
When does time disappear for you? Talk about your hobbies. I am blessed to have a profession that is also my hobby. At my core, I am a filmmaker and a storyteller. I am producing films for my clients, and I am also always creating separate projects for myself… something that expresses my heart. Not only does this personal work help energize my client projects, it also leads to opportunities that are aligned with my passions. By continually putting in the world the work and messages that are close to my heart, I attract the greatest clients on the planet and find myself continually falling more in love with the art of film making.
What is one area of your life where you need more recess? Because my work is my passion, sometimes I don’t see realize when I am pushing myself too hard. My personal drive keeps me from taking a few days off to clear my head & reset my nerves. But I am getting better at this.
What is your authentic intention (that thing that you really, really want to do or accomplish?) What are you doing to get there? I believe that stories have the power to change us. And I think that uplifting stories have the ability to inspire greatness in us. My most important intention is to capture and share stories that bring out the most heroic part of each person. Each of us have a hero inside… I think compelling stories can be a key to unlock it.
Over the past 3 years, we have shifted our company significantly to allow more opportunity for this. Our recent film Legends of the Knight (www.WEareBATMAN.com) was a gigantic labor of love that screened theatrically in 90 cities around the world, raising over $60,000 for charitable organizations. The film is now on Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, and more. The encouraging message of this film – and the community-focused distribution strategy that went with it – is a true expression of my heart and my beliefs.
To continue moving this journey forward, we started a not-for-profit called The Rising Heroes Project (www.RisingHero.org). We are currently working on our next film, and we will launch it through this new organization.
What can you do to design your life to better incorporate more recess? (Pinky Swear). I have 2 boys. I love watching them play at the park, imagining themselves as superheroes. If you break down the word “recreation”, you find “re” and “creation”. Our playtime is an opportunity to create ourselves again… perhaps by re-imagining ourselves as heroes in the world. I want to continue to spend more time imagining myself as a hero in the world, and then using that story to motivate me to positive action. And I hope many others will pursue the same dream.
If you know of an executive, entrepreneur or all-around cool kid that we should feature in Playground Chatter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.