San Francisco, California | Film Short

Drama, Sport

Jared Ronald Firstbrook

1 Campaigns | California, United States

Green Light

This campaign raised $7,940 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

26 supporters | followers

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Minor league baseball utilizes an ugly system with a lack of labor representation, using the lure of success to exploit players into accepting low wages and unfair accommodations, all for the long shot of making it big.

About The Project

  • The Story
  • Wishlist
  • Updates
  • The Team
  • Community

Mission Statement

Having been in unions and on strike, I feel like I am well equipped in understanding the benefits of organized labor and telling a compelling story about it. Minor League Baseball is a brutal example of exploited labor and the perfect lens to analyze this subject through.

The Story

What is the film about?

Single-A is a narrative short film that tells the story of Isaiah Brewer, a 26-year-old minor league pitcher, who is reaching a breaking point in his baseball career. He gives pitching lessons to make extra money and still struggles to make rent despite sharing an apartment with five other teammates. He's got a nagging injury that he self medicates to hide from the team doctors so he doesn't get replaced on the roster. He is faced with a tough question: how long does he continue to love the game he's dedicated his entire life to when it shows him no love in return?

How long do you pursue your dream when everything is working against you?

Why does this story need to be told?

These may seem like odd concerns for a professional athlete to have, but rest assured, they are very real. Players at the High-A level (where Isaiah is in the film) can make as little as $500/week. Players are also only paid during the season, leaving them with six months out of the year where they make no income despite mandatory offseason workouts and spring training, a month long "audition" of games and workouts. The following is an excerpt from an ESPN article:

Players pick up side jobs and part time gigs to try to make ends meet. Lack of funds causes players to pile into tiny apartments to make the rent as little as possible per person. Sleeping on air mattresses or couches is the norm and a lack of nutritional food is commonplace. When you make barely enough to cover rent, buying groceries to cook full meals is out of the question. Players turn to cheaper options like fast food or items like top ramen/cup of noodles - neither of which provide sufficient nutritional value for your average person, let alone professional athletes.

On certain occasions, teams will provide meals for the players, which sounds great in theory. You want to see what team provided meals look like? Here ya go:

I wish I was joking. I wish I could say "April Fools!" and, at the very least, show you a photo of a real sandwich. But this was a very real meal provided by the Oakland A's organization.

Who is this story for?

I know what you're thinking, "Jared, I've never played professional baseball. How can I possibly relate to this film?"

Good news! There are aspects of this film that many people outside of the world of sports can relate to. All of the struggles outlined above are only possible because of the lack of representation and labor power that minor league players have. There is a union in professional baseball, Major League Baseball Players Association, however, only those with major league service time are granted those rights and benefits.

Minor league players aren't just left with unfair wages for no reason. In 2018 the Save America's Pastime Act was included in the congressional spending bill. And while the name sounds great, it couldn't be worse for the players. The act designated minor leaguers as "seasonal workers" which allows the owners to be exempt from paying them according to the minimum wage laws. It allows for them to avoid paying players during those mandatory off-season workouts and spring training. Other professional sports have unions for their version of minor league affiliates, but being left without one has put baseball players at a massive disadvantage for labor rights.

Baseball America estimates that just 17% of players drafted by a minor league club end up making it to the majors. The Princeton Review dug deeper and found that the average career lasts just 2.7 years once a player makes it to the majors. This means that that player is likely out of the game before they turn 30, with no savings, and likely without a college degree to fall back on as Bleacher Report states that a little over 33% of players are drafted out of high school. It's a brutal system that not only doesn't benefit the players, it actively works against them.

Who else is this story for?

Do you enjoy baseball? Yay! We do too! That's a big part of why we're making this film. We just want to see it be better. In the end, if players didn't have to worry about making ends meet, they'd have more time to focus on the game and ultimately play better baseball. Who doesn't want to watch baseball played on the highest level?

Why are we equipped to tell this story?

Jared is located right of center with his back turned, wearing a white shirt and black hat.

Our writer/director, Jared, has a close personal relationship with organized labor. He was a member of UFCW Local 5 which went on strike in 2012. If you feel inclined, you can read more about that here. It is a subject that he is passionate about and is willing to fight for. 

Our lead actor, Eriksen, is a former college baseball player who intimately knows the ins and outs of the game. He has a first hand understanding of how hard it is to stay competitive and the toll that the game takes on the players both physically and mentally.

What we are looking for!

We are looking for help with gathering the essentials needed to make a film. We'll need funds to rent sound equipment, a camera package, and lighting. We need to secure locations, get the appropriate wardrobes/costumes and set decoration, as well as feed our cast and crew during production.

We have also decided that the best way for us to tell this story is on 16mm film, using Kodak Ektachrome. This will allow us to bring this vision to life in its best form. In addition to buying the film, we will need to pay for processing and scanning fees.

Our team is currently hard at work in pre-production and we will be shooting in mid-May in San Francisco, where a majority of the crew is located. Upon completion of the film we will be submitting to film festivals with the hopes of gaining enough traction to turn this short into a feature length film!

We will be posting updates throughout the campaign as well as at each step throughout the filmmaking process, so check back often to see where we are at and how things are going!

COVID Safety Plan

We take the challenges imposed on film production by the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously, and will be implementing the following measures to ensure the safety of our cast and crew:

- All cast and crew required to be completely vaccinated w/ booster
- Negative PCR tests required before shooting begins
- Equipment sanitized before and after every shoot day
- Food distributed by a sanitized crew member
- Masks worn at all-times while shooting indoors
- Social distancing of at least 6 feet whenever possible

Spread the Word

In order to reach our fundraising goal, we're going to need your help to get our message out and let people know what we're trying to accomplish!

You can share this film through social media, email, word-of-mouth, however you want!

If you'd like, here are some examples for you to copy and paste!


Some really cool people I know are making a short film shot on 16mm about problems in the minor-league baseball system. Help support them on @seedandspark:

Help filmmaker and SFSU alum Jared Ronald Firstbrook by supporting his short film about labor issues in the minor league baseball system, told through the narrative lens of a player battling a shoulder injury and struggling to pay rent. Support the film on @seedandspark:

Super excited to see the short film Single-A directed by SFSU alum Jared Ronald Firstbrook and shot on 16mm by fellow SFSU alum Jon Warfield Harrison. Help them out on @seedandspark:




Use the WishList to Pledge cash and Loan items - or - Make a pledge by selecting an Incentive directly.

Old Sedan

Costs $250

We need to rent an old, beat down car our players have to drive!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

Nucleus-M Follow Focus

Costs $75

Our camera team needs precise control over focus and zoom to produce the best images we can!

Camera Monitors

Costs $300

In order for our crew to translate our vision onto film, we need to see exactly what we're filming!

Set Dressing / Props

Costs $150

We need items to create the best atmosphere for the film, as well props for the actors to use!

Parking Fees

Costs $250

We need money to pay for people to park at our locations!

Covid-19 Preparation

Costs $50

We need to pay for extra masks and sanitizer to ensure we're being as safe as possible on set.

Camera Batteries

Costs $30

Batteries so our camera can last all day!

Apartment Location

Costs $250

The apartment Isaiah and his teammates stay in is essential to the story we're trying to tell.

EasyRig Rental

Costs $150

In order to give our cinematographer the most flexibility, we need an EasyRig to support the camera!

Equipment Insurance

Costs $750

Accidents happen, and we need to make sure all the equipment we're using is insured just in case!


Costs $1,500

We're shooting on film for multiple artistic reasons, but it's not cheap to buy and process/develop.

Lighting Package

Costs $250

"Lights, camera, action!" It's listed first for a reason: it's incredibly important!

Makeup and Wardrobe

Costs $350

Gotta make sure our actors look as good as they possibly can and wear the necessary clothing.


Costs $500

We want to make sure cast & crew eats better than the sandwiches you saw in our breakdown.

Camera + Lenses

Costs $750

Renting a 16mm camera and lenses with all necessary attachments to make every image beautiful.

About This Team

We've done our best to put together a fantastic, experienced crew that will each bring their own unique personality to the project and elevate it to its highest level. Gathering a crew that has experience shooting on film was incredibly important, and we have found some of the best in the Bay Area that will be an essential part in bringing Single-A to life.

We will continue to add cast and crew in the coming weeks and months and will add them to this list as we go!


Ethan Chargin is an undergraduate at San Francisco State University pursuing a BA in Cinema. Having produced the in-progress 16mm short thesis All You Have to Worry About is Everything, also photographed by Jon Harrison, he has developed a passion for stories told on film and wants to do everything he can as a producer to see them succeed.

Jon Warfield Harrison is a Director of Photography based in San Francisco with a passion for visual storytelling. He seeks to never stop learning new ways to help actualize stories through different methods of lighting and camera techniques, and has a profound love for shooting on celluloid.

Sabrina Mota produces and first assistant directs on productions along the West Coast. Sabrina loves to support her friends and artists in bringing their visions to life through film and broadcast media. When she is not on set, she is spending time with friends and traveling the country.

Jared Ronald Firstbrook is a Los Angeles based filmmaker (although, Tony Bennett said it best, "I left my heart in San Francisco") with an educational background in humanities and film. His work tends to be character driven yet varies in genre, from comedy, to westerns, and now drama. This film is deeply personal to him as it revolves around organized labor (in this case, the lack of) which is a subject of great personal relevance. It is also a combination of two things he loves dearly: movies and sports.


Eriksen Dickens plays our lead, Isaiah Brewer. Eriksen is an actor/filmmaker originally from Oakdale, CA. Eriksen has acted in numerous short films, music videos, and adverstisements as well as directed a variety of documentaries through his media agency, Platinum Peek Productions. Additionally, he was a lifelong baseball player and played 2 years in college before a career ending injury. 

Current Team