My name is Mike Ambs, over the last several years, I have been working independently on my first feature-length documentary, titled FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES. This is the final push - and I am so excited to finally be able to release the film!
This campaign would not only 100% complete the film, it would also keep it 100% independent. This will give us the funds we need to release For Thousands of Miles by late-Spring of 2013!
We're currently hard at work organizing a 12-state screening tour along the heavily-bicycled Northern Tier of the US; and, last but not least, we have an original soundtrack for the film by Eluvium being worked on as I write this. But first, let me tell you more about the film:
FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES began taking shape after my own cross-country bicycle trip, after coming back home, I wanted to share that unique experience with others, the process of making this film has very much been the message in the film itself: setting out to accomplish something that is intimidating.
FOR THOUSANDS OF MILES shares the story of a young man’s forty-two hundred mile bicycle ride across the Northern United States; Larry McKurtis, at the age of 26, left for the Atlantic ocean, leaving behind the small town he had always known, in search of new things; new people; new places!
In his mind he had always imagined the road to be full of adventure and happenstance, which it was, but in ways that were often unnoticeable to the passing traffic; the summer sunsets would burn colors in the horizon Larry would later be unable to describe; the fireflies would weave in and out of the tall midwest fields, with no one there to share in every detail of the world around him. The loneliness of the open road left him feeling alive, awake - himself in ways he was never able to be before.
After 64 days, he reached the Atlantic, an ocean he had never before seen - and just as quickly and quietly as his trip had begun, it was over.
His bed was just the way he had left it, the small town he had spent all his life in hadn’t changed an inch, but everything and everyone around him felt foreign for the first time. What the young man never anticipated, was just how long his trip would go on after the road had come to an end.
The Last Several Months
Have been a whirlwind - we were 1 of 10 films selected for the 2012 IFP Labs Program, which helped give us a tremendous amount of momentum when we needed it most: meeting with the heads of festivals from SXSW, Hot Docs, Tribeca, Rooftop, Sundance, and NYFF, and putting our film infront of mentors including Jon Reiss, Milton Tabbot, Rose Vincelli, Jonathan Oppenheim, and Robinson Devor.
Overall the experience was one I'll never forget!
The Next Several Months
Are likely to be even more of a whirlwind: we're keeping our fingers crossed for a March festival premiere, we're preparing for an online release of the film, using VHX, Vimeo, Youtube, iTunes, and Netflix; and we're working with Adventure Cycling Association to map out a 12-state Summer screening tour across the country.
I am so proud and so excited to announce that For Thousands of Miles will have an original score by the amazingly-talented Eluvium. Even more amazing, Eluvium was kind enough to grant us 100 downloads of the soundtrack to include as a special / limited Kickstarter reward!
Why We Need You
Currently the film's status is at picture lock! For the first time during this project, I can finally say that this campaign is the last stretch; this is it!
The editing and story are done, all the things I can do myself are done. Now it's time to bring in some professionals to put the final touches on FToM, things I can't do well by myself, such as:
- sound mixing / design,
- professional color-grading,
- music licensing / original score,
But, most importantly, these pre-sales will allow us to hit the ground running when we officially premiere! Reaching this funding goal would pay for the final pieces of the post-production puzzle.
Sometimes it felt like this moment in post-production would never actually come... we've put in a lot of hard work, a lot of late nights, a lot of our own finances into this project, but we can't efficiently take-on these next steps without help. Please help us keep this film fully-independent.
Risks and challenges
Although For Thousands of Miles has an original score, one of the songs used throughout the film is a 1930s love-song, which, of course, requires music licensing - we're still negotiating the rights for this song; if worse came to worse, we'd have to replace this song with one easier to license, or a song that is now open-copyright.
We're ordering a large number of posters, t-shirts, buttons, stickers, DVDs, script packages, etc for this campaign - all the assets for these rewards have been pre-created, but still, delays can always happen with printing. We've been working hard on setting up all the orders before this campaign even launches, many of the places we're using to create everything are simply waiting for the last go-ahead. We're hoping that will keep us on schedule.
While a festival-run is our ideal approach to distribution, world premieres are never guaranteed, so, regardless of what happens in the next two months with festivals, we have stronge plans for self-releasing the film well underway. Both with the summer tour through small bike-friendly parks, indie theaters, etc - as well as working with a number of sites to promote the film online.
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