Inside The Triumph Project
At Obdura, we believe in passion, creativity, fun and the need to push the limits. In Jeff Fairbanks and ‘The Triumph Project,’ this philosophy is brought to life through an organic visual experience about why we TRI. For a brand not defined by a single sport, there was too much involved with this project that we could not ignore. From tattooed triathletes who surf, a former BMX Pro, an amateur grinding it out everyday and a pro triathlete traveling the world to race, this project has it all.
‘The Triumph Project’ is a documentary and dream being brought to life by Jeff Fairbanks. With only 2 years in the sport, triathlon has affected Fairbanks so deeply that he decided to capture a different side of the sport and its athletes. Fairbanks seeks to highlight the wide array of backgrounds that make up many of todays triathletes. From amateur to pro, Fairbanks has enlisted 3 other athletes to embark on this journey and tell their story.
Jeff Fairbanks got the idea to make a triathlon documentary after watching a small homemade documentary called “Tiny Houses” that he and his wife had rented on iTunes. For Fairbanks it was inspiring and interesting at the same time. It followed a kid who wanted to live “small” – he saved up money, bought a trailer and built a tiny house (less than 200 sq ft). The self built tiny house would be towed via its trailer foundation, to land he had purchased. It takes the viewers through his struggles, such as no previous experience in construction, and showcases others who have transitioned to tiny living. It got Jeff thinking about his experience with triathlon and the Triumph Project was born.
Fairbanks believes in the organic flow of documented imagery and storylines. The unknown journey is what he wants to capture for the viewers. For Fairbanks, relying on scripted information for this sort of project would take away from the idea of the unknown. This is key for Fairbanks in presenting an edgy artistic take on an interdependent sport. Fairbanks says “I’ve always been someone that works off the cuff and I’ve surrounded myself with a great team of people to synergize with such an approach.” Through race footage, interviews, music and collaboration of everyday people, Fairbanks hopes to showcase the sport of triathlon and its
athletes in a different way.
Fairbanks plans to feature 4 athletes in the documentary including himself: current pro triathlete Rachel McBride, former BMX pro Dave Mirra, and amateur triathlete Jack Toland. The dynamic between the 4 athletes poses to be a very interesting one, the bridge between all of them will be Fairbanks involvement in training and racing with this crew, a crew he says he couldn’t be happier to work with.The project will highlight the willingness to push ones self to the limit as seen through the featured athletes. Fairbanks also plans to highlight the relatable, different backgrounds of the athletes showing that anyone can embark on their triathlon goal no matter what their background may be. Fairbanks is as integral to his own documentary as the athletes taking part. He brings his own touch of talent, flair, background and personality to his project by focusing partially on his own journey and the path that lead him to triathlon.
Fairbanks aims to produce a high quality documentary that resonates with people of all levels and backgrounds, from pro to beginner, from sprint to Ironman. He wanted to create a visual story about why we TRI. Fairbanks says his end goal would be to one day see the completed ‘Triumph Project’ on a downloadable format like iTunes or Netflix and be available for the masses. This is a passion project for Fairbanks, not a money making venture. Fairbanks says “to one day see the documentary inspire others would be so humbling.”
Fairbanks, a family man and former professional surfer, embarked on the journey and addiction that is triathlon a little over two years ago. Once he was fully engulfed in the sport, he felt there was a need to showcase the sport of triathlon to everyone at every level. Fairbanks describes himself as a high energy person with an interesting taste in music. His music is also part of his motivation during all the long rides and runs that make up a typical day of training. Fairbanks says he is usually alone on when it comes to his music of choice -“Screamo.” Fairbanks describes “Screamo” as basically singing and screaming mixed together with varying riffs that aim to pack high energy with melodic tones. This type of music has also been referred to as hardcore, metal-core or emo. Some of Fairbanks favorite bands are “Miss May I,” “Parkway Drive,” “Asking Alexandria,” “Bury your Dead,” and “For the Fallen Dreams” – to name a few. He also likes music that is a bit more mellow, with one of his all-time favorite bands being “HIM.” Much like the high energy and different levels of music preferred by Fairbanks, there are different levels of athletic ability as well as personality throughout the documentary. Fairbanks believes that this will resonate with his audience and enable viewers to find a piece of themselves within the featured athletes.
Fairbanks has another big idea, one that has not been finalized but he thought was worth sharing. He plans to piggy back off the efforts of James Lawrence (The Iron Cowboy) who completed 50 iron distances in 50 days in 50 states. Fairbanks is interested in continuing his efforts via a slight modification, by performing 70 half iron distances in 70 days across 70 cities. Fairbanks family is in full support of this crazy venture, after completing the documentary of course, but he still has a lot of logistics to iron out before officially committing. Fairbanks wonders if maybe the universe will decide if this feat can happen, he says “as for now it’s out there and we’ll see what happens.”
Fairbanks says he has found so much value and learned so many life lessons that transcend beyond the walls of triathlon. Fairbanks says “As much as it would be cool to see new faces toe the line with us, it would be just as meaningful to know that our efforts inspired someone to take on something that they felt was out of reach, much the way I felt triathlons were out of my reach just 2 years ago. I believe we can do so much more than we think we can, and it’s amazing to see how many people are out there realizing such things. As much as I aim to inspire people by this project, I can say that I’ve been so inspired by all the stories and support received via our social media handles like Facebook and Instagram. So much of what I do on this project, is driven by these people!”
Fairbanks plans to have the project complete by the end of 2015. The trailer was filmed in June and is awaiting final layout and music selection. Fairbanks goal is to have short video releases throughout production filming to continue engagement with viewers and showcase the development of the project.
For more information or to donate to ‘The Triumph Project’ and for more awesome photos check out the links below.
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