The biggest thing I gained from riding across the United States and making this film is the understanding that ordinary people can do things that other ordinary people will tell you are crazy and impossible. I am the definition of ordinary; I'm not an athlete by any stretch, and before embarking on this project my film training was limited. I'm not a particularly wise person, but it seems to me that the secret to achieving things is to just keep going, even if you are moving at a laughably slow pace.
Me and my 'handlebar garden'. Probably didn't assist with aerodynamics
I, for one, am somewhat of an expert at moving at a laughably slow pace. We weren't far into the journey when I earned the nickname 'Turtle' from my friend Alex. At times, I would be riding so slowly it is probable I was being overtaken by small insects unawares. Other times, I would need to dismount and push my bike uphill, the ultimate sign of hardcore-cyclist failure. But at the encouragement of my friends Nick and Alex, I kept going.
Nick, Alex and me, roadside in New Orleans
I couldn't have foreseen just how often I would revisit this mindset in the filmmaking process. Filmmaking is kind of like a bike ride: those first few shots and that first day of cycling are abuzz with excitement, but climbing a mountain range in the freezing cold in Somewheresville Texas is comparably tedious to filling out copyright paperwork. No one likes doing those things, but they have to be done.
Grabbing some footage along the Mexican border
So the secret is to keep going. But there's another secret that comes before that: start! Whatever it is you want to make, you should start today. If you want to make something that isn't ready, start getting it ready! If you want to make something that requires a lot of funding, start applying for a lot of funding! Just jump in, and sort out the problems as they arise, one at a time. Everything can be dealt with in small pieces.
Start, and don't stop until it's done.'
Finally to Orlando!
Written by Em Baker, Director of Spoke, Festigious' official selection in Documentary Feature category.
Watch the trailer: