Why these two Brisbane filmmakers launched a crowdfunding campaign for their Aussie entrepreneur documentary series

Samantha and Lachlan Fletcher

Two Brisbane filmmakers are embarking on a documentary series to reveal what life is really like behind the “shine” and celebrated wins of top performing entrepreneurs.

The Australian Entrepreneurs series will take viewers behind the scenes of some of our most innovative founders to uncover the realities of starting, growing and running your own business.

“My husband and I are entrepreneurs and we’ve had our business for 10 years,” Studio 18a director Samantha Fletcher told SmartCompany.

Fletcher and her partner Lachlan Fletcher left careers in the TV industry to chase the entrepreneurial dream.

“And it’s been really hard,” she says.

The duo have now launched an all-or-nothing Kickstarter campaign in the hopes of raising $150,000 to help them produce the first five-part series featuring Aussie exports to New York.

“We certainly did think about doing it at home in Australia [but] I guess New York was always on the agenda for us,” she says.

“It just jumped out.”

Sitting on crossed fingers, they await the campaign result that will determine if the series happens.

So far, the series has raised more than $4000.

“I have spent the last six months researching this with great pleasure,” Fletcher says.

“It has been my baby.”

From a shortlist of 35 entrepreneurs, Fletcher picked 10 Australian entrepreneurs to star in the series including jewellery designer Samantha Wills, whose accessories have been worn by the likes of singer Rihanna, Business Chicks founder Emma Isaacs and Soul Safari founder Vanessa Holden.

“I wanted to have a variety of entrepreneurs so it really appealed to people,” she says.

“Nick Stone, he was an Aussie AFL player who went into banking and studying and now has a successful chain of New York coffee shops.”

Also set to feature in the series are Joe Cross, founder and chief executive of Reboot with Joe; artist CJ Hendry; restauranteur Tim Harris; writer David Prior; Alexandra Keating, founder and chief executive of GoFundraise; and Lise Messenger, founder of The Messenger Group and Collective Hub Magazine.

Fletcher wants people to hear from these entrepreneurs about their journeys, what makes them tick and what keeps them going through thick and thin.

“There’s so many entrepreneurs wanting to do their own thing and once they start to get knocked back, closed doors and things get difficult, they give up,” she says.

She hopes Australian Entrepreneurs in New York will be the spark to keep them going.

Should they reach their target, Fletcher says she and Lachlan will immediately launch into pre-production, scouting locations and arranging shoots, while also getting their visas sorted, packing up the house and organising schools for the kids.

“And finding somewhere to stay for five months,” she says.

Fletcher’s hope is to get the series distributed on Netflix and major TV networks so buddying entrepreneurs around the world can be inspired to carry on their work no matter what.

“We hope that it will be the first of many series,” she says.

“The people reading this [article] might be the entrepreneurs featured in the next [one].”

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