If there is one person who has been extremely significant in my journey over the past 5 years, it is my friend Aaron Lieber.
You may not know a lot about Aaron (yet), but I know you’ve heard of his latest film…“Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable”. Sound familiar? (wink wink).
In some upcoming posts you are going to get a few insider stories and a Director’s perspective from Aaron about the “Unstoppable” journey, but I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce you to him and give you some behind the scenes observations about this awesome guy who took a risk on me and became “Uncle Aaron” in the process.
A glimpse of Aaron’s professional bio tells you part of his story. He is a director, cinematographer, and producer, born and raised in Southern California. Aaron released his first film “The Pursuit” the same year he graduated from college. In late 2009, Nike Surfing hired Aaron to produce surf content including the filming and editing of the all women’s surf film “Leave A Message”. Then in 2012 Aaron did “Zero to 100 – The Lakey Peterson Story.” I love how Aaron highlights the fierce women of surfing and I was honored when he pursued me for what started as a 10-15 minute sports performance piece, and ended up being my feature length documentary, “Unstoppable”.
Here are a few things about Aaron that I think you will find interesting and inspiring.
For starters, Aaron strives for excellence in everything he does. His work ethic is amazing to watch. Between his determination and mine, there were times we would film all day long. If Aaron wanted something he’d research it and make it happen. When he had a vision for the Jaws scene in “Unstoppable” he worked tirelessly long hours, created an entire Jaws team (from water safety to a helicopter), and thought of every possible thing related to capturing that memorable moment for me.
Another thing I admire about Aaron is his tenacity. Aaron truly believes the sky is the limit and his ambition kept our filming project going time and time again. Just like we’ve talked about in the past on my blog (a few times) and in my course, Aaron turned obstacles into opportunities. When I found out I was pregnant early into our filming Aaron didn’t let the unexpected throw him off or limit the project, instead, he leaned into the unknown and suggested we keep going and see what might evolve. Film-making is full of roadblocks, but when Aaron hit one (like the big one of funding) he’d just keep going, pushing and thinking creatively until we got there.
One of the things we enjoyed most about Aaron was his ability to be intense, tenacious, and hard-working, while still being what I like to call, “cruise” (easy going). Adam and I got along really well with Aaron throughout the filming process and when Tobias came along he became “Uncle Aaron” to Tobes. It might surprise you to find out that this young single guy… someone please snatch him up, hahaha… is really good with kids. There were times when Adam and I were exhausted; we needed to rest and we would hand Tobias off to Aaron. They both survived! And had a great time together!
"Between his determination and mine, there were times we would film all day long."
I hope you enjoyed a little fun insider scoop on Aaron, and you can look forward to his insider scoop on me and the “Unstoppable” film journey coming to the blog soon (here on May 14th).
Aaron’s goal for “Unstoppable” is the same as mine – to encourage others to be Unstoppable in their own lives. I hope we can all live Unstoppable like Aaron and lean into the unknown, embrace change, work hard at the things we love, and enjoy the children people hand over to us (haha!).
Mahalo Aaron, for capturing a beautiful depiction of my story and our family’s journey that we will always have to treasure and share!
p.s. Our film Unstoppable is now on Netflix and is available for purchase (in most countries) on iTunes, Amazon, at Walmart.com, and more! Get your dvd or digital copy today! …And if you’d like to learn more about how to live your own version of Unstoppable, I’d love for you to join my 12 month program, the Unstoppable Year.
If the big waves come and my muscles are flabby, it's too late, I'm going to get smoked or pounded. Or if the big trials of life come and I haven't been building my spiritual muscles I am likely to get emotionally and spiritually wrecked.