All fires start with a single spark!
I spent this past week working next to this fire. While COVID was picking up speed in Los Angeles, I decided to head to the mountains and get some fresh air and social distancing at 7,000 ft. There was snow, pine trees, cool air and of course this fire. Some of my fondest childhood memories are the Sunday fires we’d have in our home. My dad would stuff the fireplace with the week’s balled up newspaper, upon which he’d stack some dry kindling. Striking the old-fashioned long wooden matches, he’d strategically light the corners of the pile until slowly but surely the fire would get going. This memory is still vividly etched in my mind, though it's now nearly a half century old. The rest of the Sunday would be spent reading, watching football, the movies of the week or just listening to the Beatles on the big cabinet turntable we had in the living room. All in the warmth of that fire...one that had started with a delicate spark from a single match.
Fires, at least the kind mankind uses as a tool, require a fair amount of care and tending to achieve their usefulness. This was something I’d kind of forgotten until I was reminded this week, by this lovely fire. There are the trips to the wood pile, the poking, the stoking, the careful placement of the next log. The warmth though cozy and gratifying, does not come for free and requires constant effort. To keep a fire burning you need to really put the time and effort into it. Growing up, one of my neighbors actually heated his house with a wood burning stove all winter and this was the Mid-Atlantic, so we had pretty cold winters. He was able to do it because he spent the entire summer and fall chopping firewood, stacking perfectly split logs and ensuring they were protected from rain and snow. When winter was about as far away from the hot, humid dog days of August he was already caring for that future fire...the one that would keep him cozy and warm in the coming winter.
As I was sitting by this fire, drinking my coffee...it occurred to me that the EGA was a little like a fire in the localization industry. It started with a wee little spark this fall, 10 companies coming together with the hopes of working more closely with the industry they serve and with each other to innovate and elevate their craft. By November 17th, we'd worked ourselves into a pretty good blaze, our 50 forming companies kicking off some serious BTU’s. Now as we approach nearly 100 companies, over 300 individuals and three awesome Gold Sponsors (and likely our first studio too) which will be announced very soon, we are something to behold! Of course, like any good fire, we have lots of work to still do, there are many great companies which haven’t decided yet to join the group (though we’re still adding them every day) there are the newly forming committees which will begin the real work of researching, innovating and sharing on the art of entertainment localization and lots of events already in planning for the back of 2021.
Fires are amazing and powerful forces of nature and one that we cherish as humans. In fact, if we want to say someone has grit and determination, we say they “have a fire in their belly” They’re are few things so universally relaxing as sitting next to a fire, listening to the crackle of the burning wood and feeling it’s warmth. If EGA had a belly, I would definitely say it would be full of FIRE and I feel extremely privileged to be the keeper of the growing EGA fire, fueled by our passionate members...and created by a single spark!