Traveled to three cities to make a very special project, furthered our series with pro-athletes and
This summer into the fall of 2023 was especially exciting and busy. It started with a project that involved traveling to a suburb of Chicago, the city of Boulder, and a small town north of Tampa. At each location, we met with public servants with unique and profound stories that inspired their work in government. The purpose of these travels was to create an anthem video for our client, OpenGov, that would tell the stories of these three remarkable individuals and their experiences of life and survival. This project was titled "Why We Serve," and the finished product is something I am extremely proud to share (watch here).
We also have been continuing our campaign for Milk Means More with BrandFly Studios. For this production, we worked with Olympic athlete Jake Vedder and college athletes Sierra Brooks (U of M), Carly Boyd (Northwood), and Keke Tholl (U of M). The goal was to provide a snapshot of a day in the life of each. Over a couple of days of shooting total, we ended up producing around 20 pieces of content total for the four athletes. This content will go out on the Milk social channels over the coming months of 2023-2024.
*Watch on Vimeo here.
In the midst of these projects, our documentary titled "Scrubbed: The Age of Artemis" began receiving recognition at film festivals. I was proud to be able to share the film at the Melbourne Independent Filmmakers Festival with a full theatre of locals, who love space! In addition, it was accepted and will be screened at the Central Florida Film Festival (CENFLO) and the Central Florida CineFest (CFCF).
*Join us at the CENFLO film festival for the next screening on January 19th. More details will be shared on our social channels.
Finally, and possibly the most exciting news, we completed filming the final section of our documentary on the cycling journey across America that began in August 2021. This project is one that we are extremely excited to share. The story encapsulates a unique snapshot of America that can only be captured while riding at the speed of a bicycle. From the environment to government, and from civil war to civil discourse, the project provides a sampling of America in a way you'd never imagine.
*A teaser will be released soon with more details on festivals and screenings to come in 2024.
Here are some insights from the shooting of our last scenes in October of this year:
We just wrapped an intense five-day shoot, capturing the final segment of our cross-country journey for the documentary about our nation. So much was accomplished in such a short time. In 2021, we were forced off course by the California fires and drove 300 miles off route. This weekend, we made up those miles by biking from Pollock Pines to Austin, Nevada.
Upon arriving in San Francisco, I raced to OpenGov HQ and screened the film to the executive team, which brought positive reviews. The next morning we managed to capture some early morning shots of the Golden Gate from China Beach and Ocean Beach, all thanks to renting a scooter at 5:00 a.m. It was an exhilarating experience, and I highly recommend it. Trust me.
Afterward, Zac navigated the route, and I made a memorable stop in the redwood forest for a photo, which was a true highlight. Those trees are absolutely breathtaking. Zac biked to an elevation of nearly 9,000 feet and covered 80 miles that day – quite an adventure. By evening, we reached South Lake Tahoe and crossed into Nevada to conclude day one.
On day two, we were joined by Mark Gilligan, an old friend and ultra-running legend. He was the hero from my 2011 documentary "Profiling HURT." Our journey started with a stop in Genoa within the first 10 miles, at the oldest bar in Nevada called the Old Genoa Bar (established in 1863). The bar has hosted famous guests such as Raquel Welch, Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant, and Frank Sinatra. It's a truly unique place.
Later that day, Julia (Zac's wife) joined us. During our journey, we stumbled upon a section where the Constitution was written out in black rocks against the white salt flats. You could read it as you passed from the road: "...in order I make a better union..." – it was a remarkable find, and such occurrences have characterized our time filming this documentary. They mirror the documentary's theme, which focuses on our country. It felt serendipitous. We ended the day with a beautiful sunset and the company of a beautiful couple.
On day three, Gilligan ran us to the starting point from his home in Reno. We had also stopped at his home in 2021 during the fires. At that time, the smoke was so thick that the sun appeared blood-red. This time, the skies were clear, much more pleasant.
By noon, we hit the course outside of Fallon, NV. Fallon is known for hosting Top Gun, and we watched as fighter jets engaged in training missions. They even dropped non-explosive bombs in the desert, resulting in visible plumes of dirt upon impact. It was both cool and slightly unnerving, considering the current climate.
From there, the landscape featured beautiful open deserts, ranches with cows, and a profound sense of solitude. I captured a photo of a giant cottonwood tree and a ghost farm built in 1890. Inside, there were deceased cows from a past flood – a bit eerie.
The journey also led us to giant dunes and vast open spaces, seemingly devoid of people. It was a mind-expanding experience. The day also included a flat tire, which we managed to fix. We reached a 4,000-foot summit, and Zac completed the day's journey in Austin at 6:00 p.m., utterly exhausted. I shared in his exhaustion as well.
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