I had a lot of time to think in 2009. Rowing across the Indian Ocean for four months, my company whales and waves, I pondered what would happen when I got home. And what home would mean. One idea kept knocking: a global, human powered journey, across land and sea. Immersion, connections, shareability and schools - these threaded my vision.
London2London:Via the World was that journey.
In purely physical terms, between 2011 and 2015, I kayaked, cycled and rowed over 20,000 miles around the northern hemisphere - across Europe and Asia, the Pacific, North America and the Atlantic. It was a journey of contrasts and extremes in terrain, weather, cultures and climates and also in my forms of transport.
The journey evolved and surprised us throughout, reminding us that in setting out, all we know is that we know nothing about what will happen. It took nearly twice as long as we had first imagined, at times nearly killed me, often broke me and taught me more than I could have ever wished for. About the world, about myself and others.
I travelled alone, mostly, but was never really truly alone. For so many people came together to help make the journey come true: from roadside strangers offering me a wave or a snack, to mothers demanding they take me home to wash my clothes and feed me, to the irrepressibly buoyant Gao in China who decided to cycle with me for a month, to the Coastguard who rescued me, to the team who supported me from afar.
To my partner Lucy, who I met on the way. And to my bike Hercules and my boats - Gulliver, Happy Socks, Krissy and Nelson. It's fair to say that love brought me home. And what is that, anyway, home? Where is it?
Looking back now, it was a story of having a go, having another go and of ultimately learning to let go, threaded with stories of humanity and love and of learning to know yourself. All with the most amazing backdrop of far flung corners of our planet and cameos by tennis court length whales, grizzly bears and curious sunsfish the size of kitchen tables.
Fresh. Authentic. Dynamicly textured. Playful. Unafraid to delve deeply. Our film will be no straight narrative, but will explore the inner and outer journeys through a mix of film sequences, images, sound and text. Questions will thread the film, answered in a variety of ways, reflecting the curiosity that we know the story creates. How do you cope with the loneliness? Where do you go to the loo? How did you choose your route? How did you prepare mentally? How do you sleep ion the boat? What was it like coming home?
And, of course, Why?
The core of the film will be footage shot during the journey - raw, gritty clips shot by Sarah using Go Pro and hand held cameras or by her kayaking buddy (and film ace) Justine Curgenven, taking you right into the boat, the bike and the moment. We want you to feel the dizzying mix of trepidation and exhilaration of a deep ocean swim, the fear of being in a tropical storm, the emotion at being shown kindness by strangers, the demons of PTSD and the wonder of the wild. And some. We'll also film a long form interview where Jen will aim to (in no particular order) get Sarah to cry, to divulge stuff she's not shared before and add narrative to the story.
Our vision is for a film that not only entertains, but also inspires and empowers - in short, a kickass piece of documentary that will leave a mark on your soul and your psyche.
The Team : Jen Randall and Sarah Outen
Sarah on Jen: 'Finding the right person to co Direct and edit the film was as important as finding the right boat to cross the ocean. I had to feel safe but excited, trust them with my story and be ready to challenge them. As I watched Operation Moffat sometime in 2016 I knew that I wanted Jen to make my film. I love the style, the humour, the authenticity and creativity of her films. When she told me that her way of telling stories is to pull them apart and upside down, I knew some more that I wanted her onside.'
Jen on Sarah: 'To me Sarah embodies the curiosity and joy that is the real heart of adventure - she does it because she loves it, and isn't afraid to express that. But beneath the love of the ride is a fierce determination and grit that see her through situations most of use wouldn't even consider, let alone tackling our own in the middle of a vast, relentless ocean or desert or snow storm... often solo. As a character I was behind Sarah and her story from the get-go. Then when she sent me some of her footage I knew I had to get on board with this project, such a beautiful variety of people, landscapes and experiences that she tirelessly captured. I'm so excited to tell this story with such a firecracker at the heart of it. Let's go!...'
For all the skills we don't have (think animation, design, music knowhow) we'll be pulling in some more highly talented folk.
We know that we have a brilliant team and plan for making THE BEST feature film that we can. Compared to the gargantuan bill that was the expedition's cost, this target seems more manageable, but still mighty - and it is definitely a team effort to make it happen. We've already both invested personal funds and time and are securing further outside backing - this Kickstarter campaign is the final push to bring it to completion. Your pledges will pay for: production, direction and editing time, composition of score and licensing, sound mixing, travel expenses and insurance for the overseas stuff, studio hire, marketing and Kickstarter rewards and fees.
So, with that in mind, we hope that you'll be able to back us and then tell the world that you are doing it and encourage them to do so, too.
Whoever you are, and whatever level of support you can offer, we are grateful and you can be assured of getting the warm fuzzy glow of helping make the film and updates until the film's release in Autumn 2018. With it's empowering themes and honesty about mental breakdown and wellbeing, we reckon the film will be a real power for good.
Beyond that we have a range of goodies, some of them unique and very personal to the journey: from film downloads to books to adventure mugs to picnics and film making workshops. We even have a boat. Yes, Sarah is willing to part with her beloved kayak Nelson for the right prospective owner.
Spread the love
If you like what we are doing, please share our campaign far and wide. Wide as wide can be. Even wider than that. Thank you.
For more info on Sarah's books 'Dare to Do' and 'A Dip in the Ocean' click here
For more pictures and stories from the journey: www.sarahouten.com
For examples of press coverage the journey received:
For Jen's films see Light Shed Pictures
sarahouten.com | lightshedpictues.com | @SarahOuten | @lightshedjen
And with that, we send you are respect, gratitude and high fives,
Saran and Jen
Risks and challenges
Having completed the London2London journey, we've (just about) survived the trickiest bits of the journey: mid ocean rescues after hurricanes, 45 below blizzards, hungry bears, deep deep depression, poisonous snakes, tent farts and road traffic mayhem.
Now our biggest challenge is in pulling in the final funding. We will clear all licensing questions for music or other materials before use, so envisage no problems in delivery by Autumn 2018.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (24 days)