Funded! This project was successfully funded on September 28, 2012.

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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. 
But for now, let’s just hit our goal. We’ll cross that suspension bridge when we get there.

CHECK OUT SOME OF THE BUZZ WE'VE RECEIVED:

Gadling

The Adventure Blog

Outside 

UpADownA

Backpacking Light

Sierra Club Story

Go Outside Magazine

KCET

F-Stoppers

Modern Hiker

Backcountry.com

And a review of our trailer that made us all smile.

SOME OF THE REWARDS:

What some of the rewards look like... more to come
What some of the rewards look like... more to come
the Tarma necklace
the Tarma necklace
Official Tshirt (just mock-up) final design will vary somewhat
Official Tshirt (just mock-up) final design will vary somewhat

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

FAQ

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    52 backers

    {ALMOST THERE} MP3 download of our signature song (and a darn catchy tune) "Almost There" by Opus Orange and your name posted on our Thanks section on theMuirProject.com website and Facebook. You’ll also receive our humble thanks and a raucous toast in your honor.

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    61 backers

    {Bear Canister Sticker} It’s the official Mile… Mile & A Half bear canister sticker… but feel free to use it wherever you like. It just means it’s tough enough to take outdoors. Plus, you’ll get the Almost There package.

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  • Pledge $25 or more
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    42 backers

    {SCREENSAVER or DIGITAL SOUNDSCAPE} Take your pick! Visualize yourself on the trail every day, with a screensaver of 10 original Muir Project images from the JMT. Can’t say that it won’t instill some wanderlust, but that’s a good thing, right? OR Immerse yourself with a digital download of the Mile… Mile & A Half soundtrack. And of course, we’ll list you among the supporters on our Facebook page.

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    13 backers

    {DIGITAL SOUNDSCAPE} Immerse yourself with a digital download of the Mile… Mile & A Half soundtrack. Plus, you’ll get the web thanks.

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    14 backers

    NEW!!! {MUIR QUOTE - POSTCARDS} Receive a set of 10 unique postcards with original imagery from the JMT combined with inspirational quotes from John Muir. or just add $30 to your pledge to tack this on!

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    131 backers

    {DIGITAL FILM DOWNLOAD or CD} Watch the film from the comfort of your home with a digital download of Mile… Mile & A Half and the on-line thanks. OR Receive your very own hard copy of the soundtrack, bear canister sticker and our custom Mile… Mile & A Half plastic, recyclable flask. Either way, you’ll receive the on-line thanks. (For CD: Please add $5 for international delivery.

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    1 backer

    NEW!!! {E-Book} Enjoy the hi-res landscape coffee table book on your iPad, iPhone and iPod.

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    177 backers

    {DVD} We’ll be totally stoked to send you the full feature-length documentary on DVD once it’s all ready. Take it and your new Mile… Mile & A Half bear canister sticker and on-line thanks. (Please add $5 for international delivery.)

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    62 backers

    {BLU-RAY} Who wouldn't want the immersive Blu-ray experience, right? We'll send you the full feature-length documentary as soon as it’s all ready, along with the Mile… Mile & A Half bear canister sticker and on-line thanks. (Please add $5 for international delivery.)

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    8 backers

    NEW!!! (Total E-Package} Become virtually absorbed in the John Muir Trail with the e-book, digital soundscape and a digital download of the film.

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    81 backers

    {DVD & Necklace} Enjoy the DVD or BLU-RAY package and a custom Mile… Mile & A Half necklace we’re making with the amazing folks at Tarma Designs. It’ll be suweet.

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    14 backers

    {BOOK IT} We want you to be a Photo Editor and help choose one of the images that make it into a signed, beautiful, full-color, landscape coffee table book featuring original photos from The Muir Project’s journey on the JMT. Plus, we'll include your name among the sponsors listed within the book.

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    12 backers

    {JMT PACKAGE} It’s 211 miles to hike the JMT, and $211 to get this sweet package. We’ll send you a signed Blu-ray or DVD, the Soundtrack, the Mile… Mile & A Half plastic, recyclable flask, bear canister sticker, and a ‘Thank You’ listing in the film credits.

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    48 backers

    {ALL THE WAY] You helped take us back down the mountain with the last 8 miles. Allow us to send you the "JMT" package and an original Mile...Mile & A Half dry-fit t-shirt.

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    6 backers

    {HIKERS PACKAGE} Get your very own Mile… Mile & A Half branded journal to record your own adventures in. This hand-made leather-bound journal (with custom art paper inside) will make any journey look good. Plus, you'll get the "ALL THE WAY" Package, a custom Mile...Mile & A Half Buff AND Durand will assign you you're very own epic trail name - no mileage required.

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    [OPUS ORANGE PACKAGE} We couldn’t have made the journey without the music from our friends at Opus Orange. Come see them for yourself with 5 tickets to a show in Los Angeles, and two Opus Orange-signed CDs, a t-shirt, and the Mile… Mile & A Half soundtrack.

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    1 backer

    NEW!!! {Mile… Mile & A Half Party Package} Go ahead, have a party! Complete with THREE sets of each: DVDs or Blu-Rays, Soundtrack CDs, T-shirts, stickers and flasks. Plus, get an official signed movie poster, and we’ll send you a special snack we loved on the trail!

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    7 backers

    {CANVAS PRINT} Take home a stunning 10x20” canvas gallery wrap Muir Project original landscape image of your choosing, plus everything from the “JMT” package.

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    1 backer All gone!

    NEW!!! {Stipanov Original Oil Canvas Painting} A one-of-a-kind painting created on the John Muir Trail at Evolution Lake. You almost have to see the film to believe it. A note from the artists Tom and Kristen: “We carried this oil painting on our backs for 70 miles along the JMT, over four 12,000 foot passes, from Evolution Lake to Kearsage Pass.”

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    3 backers Limited (2 left of 5)

    {SNEAK PEAK SCREENING} Be the first to see the latest cut of the film. You and a guest can join us at our Sneak Peak Screening (TBD) and see for yourself our work in progress. Plus you’ll get the “HIKERS” package – and we can toast to you in person. (Package does not include travel or lodging.)

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    0 backers Limited (10 left of 10)

    {OVERNIGHT BACKCOUNTRY SCREENING} Join us over-night at one of the greatest places to rest-up along the trail. We call it “Shang-ri-la” in the film, but most people call it Muir Trail Ranch. We’ll pay for your bed, a great meal and film screening, but you’ll have to pay for transport and hike the last 5 miles to get there. It’s worth it. DATE TBD. Plus, get the “HIKERS” package.

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    1 backer Limited (4 left of 5)

    {COME CAMP WITH US} We invite you and a guest to join us on an over-night hike. We're not trail guides, but we’ll do our best to share with you what we've learned recording in the backcountry, feed you, and give you a campfire performance. (Transportation not included. ) Plus, you’ll receive the “HIKERS” and "BOOK IT" packages and an Associate Producer credit in the film.

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    1 backer Limited (9 left of 10)

    {YOUR SCREENING} We’ll come screen the film in your home town. At least one of the Muir Project crew will fly or drive to your area; we’ll watch the film together and toast to your good taste. Plus, you’ll receive the “HIKERS” and "BOOK IT" packages and an Associate Producer credit in the film.

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Funding period

- (60 days)