I first reached out to Alex Davis of Furious George at the end of 2013. I was in the initial planning stages of UGT and thought Furious would be an excellent team to include in the project. Playing with Seattle Voodoo from 2011 to 2014, I had encountered Vancouver’s premier men’s team many times and my opinion wasn’t too favorable.
The one of the first times I played against Furious was at Regionals in Burlington, WA in 2011. It was the first year of a Ben Wiggins led Voodoo. What I remember most from those games was the yelling. The Furious sideline would erupt at calls our players made, often insulting and belittling them. It was something I hadn’t really encountered in ultimate before. And even worse they were crushing us.
Matt Mastrantuono’s Chasing Sarasota film came out the following year, and by then it only solidified what I thought of Furious. They were a bunch of assholes. Every game and interaction with them aided in my dislike.
I remember a tournament in Vancouver called Flowerbowl where a split Furious squad matched up against each other. To my amusement they brought the same animosity and intensity to their scrimmage. “Fuck you, Furious!” I remember Marc Seraglia (who would later become my coach) screaming at his teammates.
Though gradually, my perception of Furious changed, and so did my goals. Furious knew how to win, and as I outlined plans for Ultimate Globe Trotter, that’s what I wanted to do. Furious was a story I wanted to tell and a culture I wanted to experience.
In 2015, it all came together. Furious was attending the Canadian Ultimate Championships to defend their undefeated record, and an opportunity to represent Canada at the upcoming WUGC was on the line. I took my first drive up to Vancouver for tryouts and made the team. What followed was a season of commuting 6-7 hrs, 1-2 times a week between Seattle and Vancouver. But it was absolutely worth it.
Playing for Furious wasn’t an experience I expected, but it was one that I look fondly back on as one of my favorite seasons. I enjoyed the community I found there enough to continue commuting for 2016’s AUDL season with the Vancouver Riptide, and I look forward to sharing the field with my Vancouver teammates again.
This episode took approximately 57 hours to edit and countless hours to film. I have Gene Buonaccorsi and Ian Lunger to thank for the tremendous photography featured in this piece.
It seems that every episode of UGT is a bit different, more refined in some ways, but the storytelling always seems to change based on the footage and the location. Vancouver is a stunning city, but I tried to tell the story of individuals, and make the episode feel a bit more personal, and a bit less travel-focused. In that regard, I think this is one of the most complete episodes yet, and will serve as a great model.
The Future of UGT
I was ambitious when I first set out to make UGT. I envisioned a pretty grand travel plan in which I’d jet across the globe over the course of the year joining team after team. That plan materialized in a different way, but ended up being a lot more manageable. But alas, the future of UGT is unclear. I have one more episode filmed, but there are still many teams, places and stories I’d like to feature.
As you can imagine, it’s a challenge to secure funds to cover our travel costs alone, and my team is producing episodes on scraps, if at all. It’s more and more difficult to rationalize the time and energy spent on producing an episode from start to finish. My hope is that potential organizations and sponsors out there see the value of a piece like this from a historical, promotional, and artistic standpoint and we will find ways to support the production of future episodes.
All of these episodes start as a conversation. If you are a team or organization that wants to be featured, let’s get talking 🙂