A team of artists leave their daily lives to hike the John Muir Trail & bring it back to share. 219 miles. 25 days. Come walk with us.
"Wander a whole summer if you can. Time will not be taken from the sum of life. Instead of shortening, it will definitely lengthen it and make you truly immortal." - John Muir
CHECK OUT TRAILER #2:
WHAT WE DID
We always dreamt of creating a documentary to share the adventure and grandeur of the John Muir Trail, and after nine years our eclectic group of five finally stepped into the California wilderness. Truth is, that first day on the trail, July 10, 2011, we didn’t know what all to expect. It was a record snow year, which in and of itself presented a formidable challenge. We had no idea whether we’d be able to overcome the endless obstacles set out before us, let alone capture enough footage along the way to produce a feature-length film.
With a bit of luck and a lot of perseverance, we finished all 211 miles of the JMT (as well as the 8 miles required to return to civilization after summiting Mount Whitney). As we had cautiously hoped, we left the trail with more than just sore feet. Our packs were often ridiculously heavy and the amount of work was no small task, but we truly exceeded our own expectations in capturing the images, sounds, and experiences of the trail.
After spending a month in the backcountry, re-entry to civilization is a very tangible feeling. The following 12 months since, we’ve been working non-stop to craft a visually stunning and heartfelt 87-minute documentary that we are incredibly proud of. We aspired to capture the adventure of a lifetime, and if you can help us finish it, we hope to inspire audiences to live life to its fullest.
WHAT'S THE MOVIE ABOUT?
It’s about hiking... a lot of hiking. Just kidding, here’s the synopsis: On July 10, 2011, a group of friends (who are multi-media artists in their day jobs) set out to hike the John Muir Trail and record their experiences. 219 miles in 25 days. Join them on the adventure of a lifetime: facing epic snow conditions, recording the wild and pure alpine beauty of the mountains and creating lasting friendships with the eclectic crew of musicians, painters, teachers and other adventure-seekers they meet along the way. Come laugh, limp, sing and - of course - walk with us.
HOW YOU CAN HELP?
We’ve done it all on our own so far, from getting the film to a nearly-finished cut, to producing promo pieces to build awareness about our project and much more; however, major expenses are looming and we can’t absorb any more out-of-pocket costs. We need your help to get the film finished, into festivals and out to the world. Ultimately, we want this film in theaters and in the homes of people like you who love a good, fun adventure. Your Kickstarter support shows you care about this project, and that there’s a community interested in a film about hiking our amazing wilderness and creating art wherever you are. So we ask you to pledge your support (and pick up some fun rewards) and pass on our project with your adventure-seeking, fun-loving friends.
WHERE IS YOUR HARD EARNED CASH GOING?
The campaign funds are not going to anyone you see on screen (our hope is to recoup our investments during distribution.) This money is going to pay very discounted rates to a host of professionals who didn’t get to join us for the 219 miles, but are helping us complete the film. Thanks to these amazing people who believe in our project, what could easily be a $250,000 post-production budget is being achieved for $78,100. And for that, we are incredibly proud and grateful.
- Editing ($12,000): Our amazing editor, Ed Chin, has already donated months of his time sitting in a small cave of an editing bay sifting through more than 30 hours of “outdoor” footage to help craft our story. Like all of our post team, he deserves so much more.
- Post Sound ($10,000): This pays for our sound designer & re-recording mixer and all the facility costs necessary to turn fellow hiker Durand Trench’s location recordings into a fully immersive sonic landscape -- and help make Ric Serena sound much more articulate than he is in real life.
- Motion Graphics ($4,500): This will go to motion graphics designers and fellow Sierra hiker, Kolby Kirk, who is designing our chapter titles in the same style of his amazing journal entries.
- Music ($18,000): This will fund all the musicians and engineers who will help bring PB & Bernie’s original soundtrack to life and pay all the licensing costs that are associated with it. Everybody loves giving money to musicians, right?
- Color Correction ($6,000): Sure, we’re proud of all the footage we captured along the way, but all beautiful images are even more powerful under the careful hand of a colorist and the facilities they use. Yep, they cost money too.
- Post, Delivery, Festival, Marketing, Publicity, Fees & Premiums ($27,600): Then there’s layback to tape, duplication costs, DVD & Blu-Ray publishing, print design expenses, festival entry fees, mailings, publicity fees and, of course, the lawyers get their piece.
Yep, this stuff really adds up. Until now, we have been personally absorbing all these costs, but we’ve reached the point where we need help getting over the pass.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE REACH THE TOP?
(You still have to get down the other side)
$78,100.00 is the threshold and still relies on favors and discounts. If we achieve our goal, additional funds would allow us to do the following ways:
- $100,000 means we can go to a sound stage mix for even better sound, attend festivals in person and offer more goodies to you.
- $130,000 will help us exhibit the film in cities across the United States.
- $150,000 would allow us to purchase additional advertising and publicity to spread the word and
- $175,000 would allow us to research what it would take to put together a multi-media art exhibit (an interactive experience of the trail) under curator and fellow trail-mate, Bernard Chadwick.
CHECK OUT SOME OF THE BUZZ WE'VE RECEIVED:
SOME OF THE REWARDS:
WHO WE ARE OUTSIDE OF THE MUIR PROJECT
Jason Fitzpatrick, Co-Director/DP
Ric Serena, Co-Director/DP
Jen Serena, Still Photographer/Producer
Durand Trench Location Sound/Producer
Paul Bessenbacher, Composer/Musician
Zee Hatley, Additional Camera/Producer
Bernard Chadwick, Composer/Music
for lots of fun new stuff
When we first launched, we had higher price points for the soundtrack download, film download & DVD. But we wanted to make it more accessible to everyone, so we changed it. So, choose one of the other levels that gets you a fun take-home and help us get this movie made!