It's on the Meter - World Taxi Challenge - The Journey
On 17th February 2011 three friends set off on a crazy adventure that would see them covering over 43,000 miles of the worst roads in the world all in the name of adventure and charity.
Over fifteen months Leigh, Johno and Paul drove through over fifty countries and travelled around the entire globe, setting two new World Records and raising £20,000 for the British Red Cross.
Along the way they were given a personal pardon by the President of Moldova, arrested and thrown into jail in Moscow, and beaten up by a gang of Serbian skinheads in Croatia. They were detained as suspected Israeli spies in Iran, closely guarded from the Taliban in lawless Pakistan and inadvertently made friends with a double-murderer in the Australian Outback.
Their trusty stead was a battered 1992 London Black Taxi called Hannah and despite breaking down nearly every other day the hunk of rust managed to climb to Mount Everest Base Camp, crawl across Death Valley and sweat out the desert sun of Iraq.
Documenting this epic trip with photographs fell to team member Johno Ellison simply because he had the biggest camera of the three and he faithfully carried out his duty and snapped away thousands of pictures, from the mundane breakdowns to the spectacular scenery.
Johno says, "I don’t claim to be a great photographer, far from it, but some of the sights we saw were truly amazing and hopefully some of this is captured in this book."
Some more of the featured photographs can be seen here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150853434679550.427058.204322509549&type=3
Why a photobook?
There are the two main reasons for the book-
- Although lots of these photographs have appeared elsewhere in newspapers, blogs websites or Facebook we really feel that bringing the pictures together in a high quality book really complements the collection.
The accompanying text gives a real insight into the journey from start to finish and tells the story much more cleanly and impressively than the scattered blog posts.
- Lots of the pictures we send out to newspapers or featured in the blog were shiny, sparkly press shots shot at huge recognisable landmarks but there was so much more to the trip than that! This book aims to tell the whole story, from sleeping in a Russian Crack Den to the brakes failing in the middle of the jungle in South East Asia.
A "story book" telling the full tale of the trip is due out next summer but we're not sure if it will have photos or not yet so we wanted to do the photo collection justice on its own.
The book itself
The book will be a high-quality hardcover photobook with approximately 200 pages and around 500 photographs.
The final quote and layout is in the process of being hammered out at the moment and will be updated as soon as things are concrete but the size should be 300mm (11.8 inches) square making it a nice large size to display and share.
What we have left to do is:
- Tweak final layout
- Proof read accompanying text
- Get design checked by professional graphic designer
- First copy printed and proofed
- Full, initial print-run
- Post directly to your penthouse coffee table!
We are confident that the layout will be finished mid-November and the first copy printed and proofed before the end of November to allow printing in the first week of December hopefully in time for a delivery for Christmas.
We feel that the rewards really represent a fair range of It's on the Meter stuff and that they're priced fairly. The bottom line is that high-quality photobooks aren't particularly cheap but they are a very nice end-product and hopefully these will make nice Christmas presents!
To make the books a reasonable price a relatively large print run is needed which leads to the current target.
The higher-end rewards, the slideshows and appearances, represent a great opportunity for group talks to community clubs, schools, scout groups and so on. The expedition team overcame many extreme hurdles from breakdowns to bureaucratic nightmares to crooked authorities. The lessons of perseverance and friendship in the face of adversity are universally valuable and can provide an inspiration to people of all ages.
Thank you for reading and I hope with your support that we can produce a wonderful high quality book that many people can enjoy.
Risks and challenges
I studied design at university and will also be working with a professional graphic designer so the layout of the book itself should be relatively painless.
The main risk of the project is that of short timescales. The deadline of Christmas delivery is perfectly feasible as long as no major problems hit the design and production process.
These might include errors in the initial proofs or problems at the printmakers. These have been minimised by using a reputable printer, accredited to ISO9001 standards and always just a phone call away.
In the event that things are delayed we will endeavour to keep all backers fully up-to-date and deliver the rewards as quickly as possible.
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