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A documentary film about dogs who ride in sidecars and the motorcycling humans who love them. A very happy adventure. Read more

Missoula, MT Documentary
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on April 4, 2014.

A documentary film about dogs who ride in sidecars and the motorcycling humans who love them. A very happy adventure.

Missoula, MT Documentary
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About this project

UPDATE 3-28-14: 

Dear Friends, 

Thank you for helping us reach our goal! We are so thrilled with the outpouring of support for this positive, upbeat film.  Now, let's raise the bar enough to really take this documentary to another level.

As some of you know, $28,000 is the bare minimum we need in order to finish production and bring Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America's Sidecar Dogs to all of you by August, 2014. With this funding we're already setting up new shoots with sidecar dogs around the USA.

Over 580 of you have helped us achieve this initial goal. Thank you so much. So, why donate now?  

The story will be better. Every dollar we go above and beyond our goal will allow us to focus more on the story of Sit Stay Ride. It could allow us to visit interesting motorcyclists and dogs we hadn't known about originally, or shooting more with people already in the film. We will be able to hire some talented graphic designers, musicians, etc., to add important elements that we wouldn't be able to do ourselves.

The film will be able to have an incredible score. It will look and sound better. More funding will allow us to pay a colorist to enhance the visuals of the film so it LOOKS GREAT and it will pay for an even better sound mix so it SOUNDS GREAT.

We have the momentum. Please help us keep the ball rolling! It will make a huge difference.

Warm Regards,

Eric and Geneva

“A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.” ― Josh Billings

ABOUT THE FILM

Across America, there are dogs of all breeds riding in the open air of motorcycle sidecars, whether on short trips around town or extended adventures on the highway. Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs is a delightful and inspiring documentary film about motorcyclists and their beloved canine co-pilots.

Entertaining and engaging, Sit Stay Ride follows a number of sidecar-riding duos, trios, and foursomes as they travel together– sharing the experience of being out and about on a machine as unique as it’s passengers.

By focusing on the dynamic and sometimes eccentric individuals who travel with their dog in a sidecar, we are actually exploring the essential relationship between humans and canines; the extraordinary bond that exists between them and flourishes through shared experiences and adventures.  Sit Stay Ride will be a rollicking, upbeat film that introduces us to the interesting personalities and heartwarming relationships that exist on the highways and byways of America through a series of insightful interviews, stunning visuals, and intimate portraits of dogs doing what they love best (living life to the fullest).

Artie the Sidecar Dog in Redding, California
Artie the Sidecar Dog in Redding, California

"Only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of a car window." ~Author Unknown

OUR GOAL

Our goal with Sit Stay Ride is to craft a film that will encourage viewers to look differently at the modern human/canine relationship and celebrate the tender and adventurous spirits of our four-legged friends.  We hope to connect with audiences around the world through broadcast, theatrical release, film festivals, community screenings, educational markets, Home DVD and video-on-demand.

In addition to being entertaining, it is our sincere desire that Sit Stay Ride be used as a tool to bolster advocacy for organizations concerned with animal welfare and adoption– causes near and dear to our own hearts as a number of our own treasured dogs have been 'rescues'.  Many of the canine personalities featured in this film were adopted from the Humane Society and other incredible organizations; seeing them sporting their 'Doggles' and smiling their big, doggy grins while cruising down the highway makes it unbelievable that they were ever given up for adoption in the first place.

Fernand and Albert the Beagles, San Francisco, CA
Fernand and Albert the Beagles, San Francisco, CA

HOW WILL THE MONEY BE USED?

We need to raise $28,000 so Sit Stay Ride can be completed in 2014. The ground work has been set and we’ve already been able to capture some incredible footage and interviews in Washington, California, and Montana. With your support, in the coming months we will travel to Louisiana, Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Utah, Colorado and others.  Beyond basic travel costs, we plan to have a fantastic soundtrack commissioned, adding a beautifully composed and original score to the film.  Other post-production expenses include a professional sound mix, color correction, DVD manufacturing and fulfillment.

CAN TWO PEOPLE REALLY MAKE A MOVIE?

As professional filmmakers, we own all of the high-end tools needed to make this film, including camera, lighting, sound, and editing equipment.  Because we have learned to work with a crew of two, we typically shoot and edit everything ourselves.  This keeps costs extremely low and allows us to produce truly handcrafted films where we can be directly involved in almost every step of the process.  Since we aren't composers or sound design geniuses, we have to hire someone to help us do that– fortunately, the people we've found are really fantastic folks.

WHEN WILL THE FILM BE DONE?

We've already shot approximately 30% of the film.  We anticipate finishing the project in July, 2014.  Over the next three months, we'll take several multi-segment trips to visit sidecar dogs around the country and shoot more footage. As the new material is shot, we will immediately begin editing.  As we finish segments of the film, we will send them to the sound mixing studio and the composer.  After some back and forth, the music and refined audio will be married to the film and the process of creating a DVD will begin.  Your contribution to this Kickstarter campaign will make it possible to finish on time and get the movie into your hands (and/or paws).

WHO ARE WE?

Filmmakers Eric Ristau and Geneva Liimatta
Filmmakers Eric Ristau and Geneva Liimatta

As professional documentary filmmakers, we've shot everything from Arctic expeditions to the sprawling tent-cities in Port au Prince, Haiti. Most of our past work has been for clients– many non-profit organizations– telling their stories on film to help raise funds, public awareness, or both. As a husband-wife duo, we work as a two-person team, shooting video, recording sound, and capturing still images in the field, then heading back home for the editing process. This is our first full-length film together and we couldn't be more thrilled to share it with you! 

We have long been interested in the human-dog relationship and feel a deep love for our two dogs, Captain and Godfrey. We consider our pups to be members of the family. For us, combining a love of dogs and a love of motorcycles seems to be a match made in heaven and a wonderful subject for a film. After all, who doesn't grin when they see a sidecar rig and a begoggled canine face pass by?

Niner on his Ural motorcycle, Pacific Coast Highway 1
Niner on his Ural motorcycle, Pacific Coast Highway 1

HOW DOES KICKSTARTER WORK?

Just choose your donation level and backer rewards you would like to receive and donate by entering payment information. It’s super easy! If you choose a reward that requires shipping (many do), be sure to leave your address. We’ll be in touch!

CAN WE EXCEED OUR FUNDING GOAL?

Absolutely! Every dollar we raise goes into the making the film– the more we raise, the better the end result will be.

SPECIAL THANKS TO....

A special thanks to all of our donors, who have given what they can to help us reach our goal. And others who are helping us get the word out there!

Risks and challenges

So far, we've completed about a third of the film. Through research, we've also located a number of other sidecar dogs (and their human counterparts) across the country. Everyone we've asked to be a part of this film has been incredibly supportive and we feel this track record will continue.

Prior to traveling to a location to interview someone, we do an extensive phone interview to get a sense of the person and to learn the story of their dog. This method has served us well and every interview so far has been absolutely marvelous. If we run into delays such as weather or in scheduling interviews, we'll roll with the punches.

If we are forced to delay a shooting trip, we'll turn our attentions to to editing the material we've already shot – keeping the production on-schedule and moving forward. Making daily progress is the key.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    53 backers

    Every dollar counts! A heartfelt THANK YOU from all of us. Plus we’ll keep you updated on our progress with great stories as we make the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    94 backers

    Help us put gas in the tank. Receive a beautiful collection of behind-the-scenes photos delivered by email and a heartfelt THANK YOU! Plus, we’ll keep you updated on our progress with fun stories as we make the film.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $15 or more

    30 backers

    Sidecar Dog for President bumper sticker– perfect for your sidecar, motorcycle or four-wheeled machine. ALSO receive the backer updates and the collection of behind-the-scenes photos.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    93 backers

    Watch the special ONLINE SNEAK PEEK SCREENING of SIT STAY RIDE before it comes out on DVD! The link will stream for a 48-HOUR window. PLUS get everything included in the $10 pledge!

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    237 backers

    Add to your DVD collection! Receive a limited edition DVD with exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, outtakes, and extra interview content. AND everything from the $25 category.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    102 backers

    Lookin' sharp! Artisan screen printed T-SHIRT with Sit Stay Ride artwork. PLUS you'll receive a special edition DVD signed by the directors with exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, outtakes, and extra interview content. Also receive a SNEAK PEEK SCREENING of the finished film, backer-only updates, and a thank-you credit at sidecardogs.com

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    4 backers Limited (11 left of 15)

    THE SIDECAR SPECIAL: One pound of Sit Stay Ride Special Whole Bean Coffee, Two artisan screen printed t-shirts. Two Sidecar Dog motorcycle patches. A signed, special edition DVD with exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, outtakes, and extra interview content. A SNEAK PEEK SCREENING, backer-only updates, and a thank-you credit at sidecardogs.com.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    10 backers Limited (5 left of 15)

    DOG PARK DELUXE: A Montana-made, bridle leather dog collar in the size of your choice, One pound of Sit Stay Ride Special Whole Bean Coffee, two artisan screen printed t-shirts. PLUS receive a signed, special edition DVD with exclusive behind-the-scenes videos, outtakes, and extra interview content. A SNEAK PEEK SCREENING, backer-only updates, and a thank-you credit on sidecardogs.com

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    3 backers Limited (12 left of 15)

    THE SIDECAR BLOCK PARTY! A public performance license for the finished documentary film. Show the film for a fundraiser or a theatrical screening for your motorcycle club. BluRay DVD provided, PLUS receive everything in the SIDECAR SPECIAL pledge category.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (13 left of 15)

    THE K9 BLOCK PARTY! A public performance license for the finished documentary film. Show the film for a fundraiser for your local Humane Society or a theatrical screening for your friends. BluRay DVD provided, PLUS receive everything in the DOG PARK DELUXE pledge category.

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world

Funding period

- (30 days)