Overwhelmed with the hyperconnectivity of the modern world, a group of friends embark on a journey to Japan in search of powder snow and good times - a quest to find and experience the ever-fabled “moment”.
'Tamashii' Kickstarter Video | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0nWeSr4iKE
'Tamashii' Theatrical Trailer | June 2015 | https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88CYjaEw0yU
Disconnect with us:
Tamashii is a film that explores and questions the ever-growing presence of social media and technology in our lives. In Japanese, the word 'Tamashii' loosely translates to ‘soul’, or in the context of this film, the spiritual connection between people, their passions and the natural world.
Earlier this year, our crew ventured to Japan to shoot for 5 weeks on this project, during which time we set out to disconnect entirely from our lives back home. The goal was simple - see if we could do without our attachment to social feeds, email updates, youtube videos, and the like. In doing so we aimed to gain a greater understanding of the place these technologies should have in our lives. During this trip, we traveled to various places on Honshu chasing snow, culture, and human interaction. Without giving away too much I can say that it wasn't easy, and throughout the journey we all gained a new appreciation of what it means to 'live in the moment'.
I wanted to make a film that people could relate to, that would encourage them to unplug and explore the great outdoors with others, getting to know them on a more personal level than that portrayed on facebook and instagram. Through this documentary I also want to prompt people to reconnect with the moment as there is a greater social goal buried in this idea that revolves around protecting our natural environment. In order for people to protect, they must care; yet, we will only care if we take the time to appreciate. Appreciation is established when we are present, or in other words are ‘in the moment.’ Ultimately, the goal is to protect the places we love most by inspiring conscious outdoor adventure, and this film acts as one of the many steps towards doing that.
I realise that it may seem hypocritical to ask for support through the same devices we seem to be criticising, that is, by using an online funding campaign. This film is not intending to point a finger at the world of social media and claim it to be all bad, I simply aim to question its place and purpose in our lives. Your support will help my team and I finish putting together this project, enabling us to tell this story in the most effective way possible, with the goal of encouraging a wide audience to lift their eyes away from their screens and refocus on what really matters.
- Ross Reid, Director
ABOUT THE FILM
As technological advancements increase dramatically within the modern world, we find ourselves living in a society more connected than ever before - epitomized by WiFi on every corner, an expansive 4G network, the ability to check e-mails at any place or time, and the growing dependence on false social structures created by Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the like.
Ironically, we often find that it is this same constant connection that ends up distancing us from not only each other, but our passions. The bombardment of internet feeds that we see daily act as a constant reminder of how little we are truly living compared to those we know. Always ‘one-up’ed by the most recent post of someone on a beach or on a mountain or doing the next coolest thing you wish you were doing, the system breeds a self cannibalising society in which our actions and experiences are constant measurements of how we compare to our peers. This microsocial competition not only marginalizes our experiences in relation to others', but also devalues them by making them easily forgotten and replaceable with a simple click of the refresh button.
Although the concept of social media is to bring people together, often it’s overwhelming presence in our lives distracts us and creates distance be- tween each other and our own present moment. This hyperconnectivity of the world today has shifted the focus of our passions from the social community and the culture it creates, to an isolated focus on an individual's image.
Despite this conflict, we believe that this sense of community and ability to enjoy the moment has not yet been lost. Through the film we hope to discover and capture these moments, and in doing so hope to motivate others to do the same. We want to see people turn off their phones, meet friends face-to-face, get outdoors, travel, push their comfort levels and discover. To experience it and to live it.
An icon in the freeskiing community, Andy’s accomplishments have often been overshadowed by the company he has surrounded himself with. While others of his cohort have gone on to secure pro model skis, signature outerwear pieces and accessories while becoming top tier icons of free skiing, Andy has remained very low key; often forgoing the ‘soul sucking’ self promotion and exposure for the opportunity to ski his local mountain with friends. His struggle to manage what we call ‘publicity’ in the digital age (tweets, Instagram followers, fan pages and the like) has created an overwhelming sense of under accomplishment in light of his peers. Andy has found himself constantly juggling his inner passion for skiing with the many acts of shameless self promotion that keep him employed.
The numerous accolades Anna has received over her career from X Games medals to Olympic representation are accompanied by just as many injuries, from broken limbs to multiple knee reconstructions. While these long rehab processes have aided in building Anna’s dedication and drive, the inconsistency of her presence in the competition scene has led to her talent often forgoing the recognition it commends. Media inquiries, sponsor obligations, expectations from her country, alongside the constant uploading, posting and tweeting have thwarted her idea of skiing. The accumulating affect has distanced her from the sport she loves and longs to reconnect with.
After over two decades of skiing for the sheer fun of it, Karl has experienced a recent rise to new-school fame due to his prowess on skis, cat-like reflexes, unique style, and willingness to jump off of nearly anything. While fun and exciting, he finds himself in an internal dilemma by having to divide his time between doing what he loves and the obligations that come from doing it for a living. He struggles to maintain his humble small town roots and relationships while adjusting his lifestyle as his career quickly elevates him into the spotlight of progressive freeskiing.
We meet our cast at various points in their lives, as they each face crucial moments on paths to do what they love. Triggered by a series of events, the crew decides to head to Japan with the intentions of rediscovering their passion for skiing. Yet, they are unaware that the trip will propel each of them towards a far more important personal discovery.
We decided to go to Japan for a number of reasons, one of the largest being the amazing powder snow the country is known for. Additionally, several elements of Japanese culture naturally correspond with our conflict of 'Distracted hyperconnectivity VS. simplicity in the moment.' Through the juxtaposition of a technology driven Tokyo and the culturally rich rural towns makes Japan the perfect place for our cast to reflect upon the value of personal connections.
Styles, Themes & Imagery
Throughout the film, we will be using various visual and audio styles that will evolve with the storyline to greater enhance the narrative. Numerous Buddhist concepts will be referenced throughout the film, tying in the Japanese setting with the Buddhist notions of presence and non-attachment. Water is used as a reoccurring image at to suggest the constant movement of life and the intricacies that connect the entire world.
At this point, the film has already been shot and we are well into the post production process. What we aim to do with this Kickstarter campaign is to generate the funds necessary to finish the film off properly and inspire as many people as possible.
The funds generated within our fundraising goal will go to the following:
- Japanese Translation: During our trip, we collected several interviews from locals speaking in Japanese. Unfortunately none of us are fluent enough to translate them properly into english. We requite professional translators to get these interviews transcribed so that we may use them in the film.
- Footage Licensing: We require the licensing of several pieces of footage for this film; this includes broadcast footage of Anna Segal at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games as well as some stock footage of Tokyo that we were unable to capture due to a lack of access and equipment. Licensing footage of this nature and quality is extremely expensive, and requires proper funding.
- Music Scoring: My good friend and talented musician Landis Tanaka will be scoring the film so that it has a unique and original soundtrack. Landis’s score is being arranged to progress with the film and enhancing the story we have to tell.
- Music Licensing: Unfortunately, due to a recent injury Landis will not be able to score the entire film. As a result, I plan on hiring other musicians and finding music that will fit the theme with Landis's oversight and musical direction. The process of legal licensing of music can be a very expensive one.
- Color Grading & Sound Mastering: Once the film has reached picture-lock, I plan to have it professionally color graded and sound mastered so that it looks and sounds great in any setting, from an iPad on your bed to theaters around the world.
- Distribution: We aim to distribute this film on a global level and are currently seeking a reputable parter to assist us with getting the film exposure through various channels. Whether or not we are successful in doing so, we still face many costs costs associated with DVD Production, iTunes placement and Film Festival entries.
If we are successful in raising our initial goal, additional funds generated will go towards the following:
- EDITING / POST PRODUCTION SYSTEM: With insanely dark & comedic timing, two days before launching this Kickstarter my big editing desktop crashed, and will need to be replaced in order to finish tying together all of these elements of Post Production. This cost HAS NOT been factored into this Kickstarter campaign, which is all the more reason why we really need your support to reach and surpass our goal in order to get this film completed!
- Additional Music Licensing: With more budget, we can afford higher quality music as a supplementary element to what Landis is bringing to the table. The better quality music we have, the better suited it is for the narrative and the easier it is for you to enjoy the film!
- Artwork, Print & Motion Graphic Design: From titles on the screen to DVD box & cover art, this project requires the skills of additional trained graphics professionals to make the collateral appear just as good as the film itself.
- International Translation: With the hopes of entering this film into several International Film Festivals, we are going to require the assistance of professional translators to properly subtitle the film so that we can share our message with a wider audience.
- Film Promotion: We have high ambitions of being able to promote this film to a wider audience via more mainstream media channels including but not limited to print ads, digital banner ads, web video pre-roll and commercial television spots.
- Film Tour: If we have the means necessary, we would love take this film on a premiere tour around North America and possibly beyond, although the size and scope of such tour is dependent on the amount of resources available.
- Production Expenses: Going into the production of this film we had no sponsors, and only some help with accommodation and travel insurance through evo & World Nomads (thanks guys!) All of our crews’ travel and equipment was paid for out of pocket, and there are still a few minor production debts that are owed including equipment rentals and repairs.
About Hemlock Creative
This film will be the first full-length feature film released by Hemlock Creative, a small start-up collective of like minded creative media specialists that I've assembled to collaborate on various projects of this nature. The primary focus of Hemlock Creative is to pursue more outdoor & environmental filmmaking opportunities with the objective of inspiring a wide range of people to indulge in more outdoor activities. Our goal is to inspire others to get out and enjoy the wilds of the world, to fall in love with them, and be more inclined to protect them.
You can find out more about us at www.HemlockCreative.com.
You can take a look at our website TamashiiFilm.com for more information on the project, and find links there to other media, updates, and trailers for the film. Also, (not to be too hypocritical here) you can follow us on the social media links listed at the top of this page for more updates as the project comes together.
I really appreciate your support and consideration here on this project, and look forward to presenting the final film to you later this fall!
Sincerely, Ross & the rest of the Tamashii Crew.
(On the train from Tokyo to the mountains. Pictured from the top clockwise: Andy Mahre, Shannon Skouras, Anna Segal, Ross Reid, Karl Fostvedt and Jasper Newton)
We're adding some value to some of our rewards packages!
- Digital Download | This will now include a digital copy of the films soundtrack, featuring original music from Landis Tanaka, Chris Stolz AKA Tired Eyes and more. It will also include a personal video message from the crew thanking you for your support!
We have many different reward options available through generous donations from our industry friends & partners! Big thanks goes out to our friends:
Dakine | Thanks to Scotty Conerly at Dakine for hooking us up with a whole bunch of Men's & Women's outerwear, gloves and backpacks! www.Dakine.com
ON3P Skis | Massive thanks to Scott Andrus for contributing 4 pairs of skis, the same ones Karl skis on in the film, as well as one custom pair of Limited Edition Tamashii skis! www.ON3Pskis.com
Full Tilt Boots | Thanks to Josh Malczyk & Dan Brown for contributing a couple pairs of boots, the only ones Anna and Karl ride in! www.FullTiltBoots.com
Eddie Bauer | Thanks to Caley George for hooking us up with a couple sets of outerwear! www.EddieBauer.com
K2 Skis | Thanks to Zach Doleac for contributing a pair of skis and some goggles that Andy used in the film! www.K2skis.com
SAGA | Thanks to Jordan Harper at SAGA for hooking us up with some really sick threads! www.SagaOuterwear.com
XS Helmets | Thanks to Christine Breakell for contributing a few of the Helmets Anna wears! www.XShelmets.com
Bolle` Goggles | Thanks to Brett Vogel for getting us a few pairs of goggles that Anna uses skiing! www.Bolle.com
Whistler Blackcomb | Thanks to Chris McLeod for getting us some lift passes at Whistler Blackcomb! www.WhistlerBlackcomb.com
evo | Thanks to Chris Shalbot and Bryce Phillips for getting us some sick evo camping mugs! www.evo.com
Rime Knits | Thanks to the dude's at Rime Knits for hooking us up with some sick beanies to give away! www.RimeKnits.com
Eric Pollard Painting | Big thanks to Eric Pollard for contributing a canvas print of this painted masterpiece! Measures 20 x 30 inches.
Niseko Photography | Big thanks to Darren Teasdale for hooking us up with some signed prints of this shot of Anna ripping pow! www.NisekoPhotography.com
Shannon Skouras Photography | Thanks to Shannon Skouras, we have a 3 print photopack signed by the athletes now available! http://www.shannonskouras.com
Risks and challenges
As with any kind of action sports filmmaking, there are inherit risks involved in this project. Fortunately for us (and you), we have already worked through many of these risks and come out unscathed! As we have already completed the trip, we have already shot the film, no one was injured, and nothing major was broken - that pretty much covers all the risks going into production on a film!
At this point, the only foreseeable risks that may be present would be some sort of cataclysmic event or apocalypse that prevents us from finishing this project. There will most definitely be hurdles along the way, from music scoring to rendering and export problems, but these are only hurdles and not roadblocks that will stop us from producing this film.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter