“Wheels” is a short documentary film that explores the growing mobile food industry as a piece of the modern American Dream. We'll be documenting the process of opening a truck from conception to execution and examining the difficulties and achievements experienced by a range of diverse food truck owners.
Food trucks are greatly increasing in both popularity and number. In 2011, the mobile food industry in the United States was estimated to be at $630 million. The National Restaurant Association stated that food trucks are the single fastest growing sector of the restaurant industry. Many aspects of food truck are reflective of values that Americans hold near and dear. Food trucks bring food from all over the world to the convenience of the local sidewalk, showcasing a melting pot reflective of the US population. The relative low cost of opening a food truck as compared to a traditional brick and mortar restaurant means that many food truck owners are able to fulfill long-held dreams of entrepreneurship and self-ownership. Food trucks have been a great success for some owners. The hundreds of food trucks for sale on Ebay and Craigslist are a testament, however, to the fact that others are not so fortunate. Does the reality of owning a food truck live up to the promise of these entrepreneurs' dreams?
In order to complete this project, we need to raise money for equipment, transportation, food, and distribution costs.
We will be using the funds for areas such as:
-Camera equipment (Canon 5D Mark III, CF cards, rigs, lights, lens cleaner, batteries, tripod)
-Sound equipment (Shure wireless lav mic, Rode NTG2 Condenser Shotgun Mic, AA batteries, SD cards, XLR cables)
-Transportation to and parking at locations, some of which are in San Diego or farther
-Food for the crew
-Miscellaneous production costs
Now that we've reached our goal, we're hoping to raise additional money in order to make the film the best it can be. Any additional funds will be used towards
-Transcription services (To allow us to spend more time shooting rather than transcribing)
-Better editing facilities (Right now we're working off laptops)
Director: Sara Joe Wolansky
Sara Joe Wolansky graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Sociology and was the Photography Chair of The Harvard Crimson. Her photography has been displayed in over 20 shows including two solo exhibitions. She is currently an MFA student at the University of Southern California specializing in directing documentary films. In her free time, Sara Joe loves Thai food, Mexican food, Korean food, Indian food, Oxford commas, and long walks on the beach. Sara Joe's favorite meal of the day is second dinner.
Producer: Elizabeth Cirillo
Elizabeth Cirillo is a graduate student at USC studying film and television production. While an undergraduate at NYU, she studied abroad in Ghana and made a short documentary about a Liberian refugee camp. She loves to eat and is a horrible cook, so food trucks are her life saver. She loves documentaries, so "Wheels" is the perfect project for her.
Editor: Joshua Johnson
Joshua Johnson is an Iowan filmmaker and graduate student at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. His documentary experience includes being on the ICDOCS festival submission committee and directing and editing his own short doc "Uptown Bill's" to promote the eponymous non-profit organization. He also loves eating food prepared in automobiles, which seems important to note.
Director of Photography/Producer: Alix Spence
Alix Spence has a BA in film theory from King's College London, studied directing at the NFTS, and is currently entering her second year at USC's graduate program for Film & TV Production with an emphasis in cinematography.
Director of Photography: Mario Rodriguez
Mario Rodriguez graduated from Cornell University with a BA in Comparative Literature & Film Theory. Upon graduating, he moved back to his home here in Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a Cinematographer. After working for two years as a film set lighting technician, he now attends USC's School of Cinematic Arts in hopes of bettering his craft.
Sound: Clark Harris
Clark Harris graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in Economics. After graduation, he worked briefly as an analyst at an economic consulting firm before transitioning into production work. He later worked at the post-production department of a major video game publisher. He has helped create numerous commercials and industrial videos.
Sound: Leopold Dewolf
Leopold Dewolf was born and raised in Paris. After a degree in animation at the University of Westminster in London, he moved to LA to study at the Production MFA program at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. He's entering his second year, where he'll be specializing in sound.
Risks and challenges
We will need to acquire the trust of our subjects in order to obtain meaningful interviews. We hope that our professionalism, our approachability, and our friendly personalities will assuage any concerns our subjects have and allow for meaningful and interesting conversation. Many food truck owners have already been extremely cooperative with our filming requests because they appreciate the free publicity.
We want to avoid the "we'll do it later" syndrome that often condemns independent films to half-finished stasis on some dusty hard drive. We are all students and will be extremely busy once classes resume in late August. Thus, we've set strict deadlines for ourselves with specific dates for both our production and post-production period to ensure that we're completely sound-locked and picture-locked by August 24th. All team members will hold each other accountable to sticking to these deadlines and ensure that the project is completed before school resumes.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (33 days)