For the first time last year I traveled to Brownsville, Texas, to an area along the border known by locals as “The Valley.” I was struck by the landscape, the people, the colors and sounds, the border patrol stops, “The Wall,” and the overall cultural vibrance of the area. I was born and grew up in Texas, but like most Texans, I’d never been further south than San Antonio. What I found at the border inspired me as a musician and artist. So much so, that on March 1st 2018 I will ride the Texas/Mexico border on my motorcycle to create a documentary film to capture in photographs, sound recordings, and videos the people and the artists of this exciting and beautiful part of our country.
Historically, borders are delineations of battling anxieties—a meet up, mixture, and clash of different languages, customs, and perspectives. The people who live in these areas have their own unique identities. While standing on the banks of the Rio Grande river, I could not help but think of how my own life had been shaped by my geographical orientation.
Recently the Texas/Mexico border has taken center stage in national and international debates about border security, drug trafficking, poverty, and migration at the expense of overlooking the rich human experience of border landers. When I met with and learned more about the people on that first trip, I found that my fear and politicization of the region eased.
The documentary will be my take on humanizing the image of the Texas/Mexico border. There are so many stories arising from this region of America. It is my hope to experience and bring to light the heart and perspectives of those who live along the border through art.
So, I am mounting a modern-day horse—my scrambler motorcycle—and riding forth with a camera and a microphone to record the people, sights, sounds, and landscapes I encounter. Two filmmakers are following me to make a documentary about the journey.
Route: Boca Chica to El Paso in Nine Days
I will begin the ride on March 1st in Boca Chica State Park where the Rio Grande meets the Gulf of Mexico. Over the course of nine days, I’ll ride west to El Paso following the roads closest to the Rio Grande River. I will visit everything from bustling border-crossing cities to desert villages and tiny ghost towns, highlighting some signature Texas features along the way.
- Brownsville, Los Indios, McAllen, Rio Grande City, Roma, San Ygnacio, Laredo, Eagle Pass, Quemado, Comstock, Langtry, Pumpville, Sanderson, Marathon, Terlingua, Lajitas, Presidio, Candelaria, Fort Quitman, and El Paso.
- "The Wall," The Rio Grande River, A World Birding Center, Amistad Dam, Kickapoo Indian Casino, the Pecos Bridge, Big Bend National Park, a classic West Texas ranch, and more.
Goal to Raise $18,000 by February 28th, 2018
Your contribution, big or small, will help me reach the $18,000 goal needed to cover the expenses for:
- Two filmmakers: $7,000
- Editing film: $5,000
- Hotels, Van Rental, Driver, Food, Gas, for crew for 9 days: $3,700
- Kickstarter Fees: $1,800
- Kickstarter Rewards: $500
As a pledger to the project, you will be with me every day of the ride and have access to special rewards, including:
- Behind-the-scenes pictures, video clips, and journal entries from the border ride
- Free tickets to the documentary premiere in Austin, TX
- Your name listed in the credits of the film under “Special Thanks”
- Limited edition project patch
- A handwritten postcard sent to you from a border town
- Original music by Aimee Bobruk inspired by the project
- Printed and signed copy of a limited edition photograph from the border
- Private studio screening, dinner, discussion & concert at the Aimee’s pad
- House screening and discussion of the project at your house with your friends
- Joint the crew on a day along the border
All or Nothing By Feb 28th
If the $18,000 goal is reached by Feb. 28th, then I will be awarded the money and be set to make the the trip and documentary. But if the pledge money is not reached, then I receive nothing at all.
I invite your support and participation.
Thank you from the bottom of my Big Texas Heart,
The Texas Border Project: www.TheTexasBorderProject.com
E-mail me with any questions or concerns: email@example.com
Risks and challenges
Documentary films, by their nature, reveal themselves in the process. While we are lining up the agenda and making specific plans, things in the field can change unexpectedly. I've budgeted for unknowns.
I have done my best to surround the project with a professional and experienced team of filmmakers, artists, a lawyer and project manager.
I have spent spare evenings and weekends reading literature of the region and making preliminary scouting trips alone to the border to make connections with folks and see what inspirations rise to the surface.
I have managed budgets and completed numerous projects in a timely manner. I understand that communications are key in any team effort.
I am committed to communicating clearly with pledgers to the project about any delays or issues should they arise.
- (36 days)