'I Want to Make Stuff—That's All That Matters'

Andy Phelps nearly died in a car accident that killed his friends. Here's what he did next. 

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Juggle & Cut tells the story of Andy Phelps, a gifted kid with a colorful resume: he’s a juggler, unicycler, carpenter, hockey player, and firebreather. But, on an autumn day in 1998, Andy broke his neck in a massive car accident, leaving him without the use of his hands and legs. This film is about Phelps’s journey after his accident, and he how he kept his creative spark alive despite some steep emotional and physical obstacles.

Crafted by the gifted Caleb Slain (he’s only 22!), Juggle & Cut is the rare sort of inspirational documentary that not only manages to tell a compelling story, but reveals a larger, profound theme. As the story develops and Andy’s current occupation is revealed, the film becomes a manifesto for creativity — a call to get out in this world and make something, regardless of one’s personal limitations. The entire piece is a polished, confident example of documentary short filmmaking.

Phelps is currently working on a book fittingly called It Never Ends. Be sure to check out Slain’s other narrative shorts, The Lost and Found Shop and Free Pie, which are equally impressive.

For more work by Caleb Slain, visit http://calebslain.com/.

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Ivan Kander is a filmmaker, writer, video editor, and motion-graphic artist from Washington, D.C. He is also an assistant editor at the short-film curation site, Short of the Week. His personal site is www.lucky9studios.com.

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