This post is from waaaaaaaay back in April. Please click HERE for the latest greatest AUDREALITY info.
*Some of the following may be review.
It was less than a year ago, I started toying with the idea.
“We should make a movie,” I said to myself (and anyone who’d listen). It would be about Portland, my love affair with a city. Even though I’ve been here my entire life, I’m still in awe of it. Beautiful, green, friendly and relaxed, Portland must be one of the best places in the world to call home.
Back then, I’d spend much of my time making lists of events to check out, trying my darnedest to get to as many colorful stops as possible. I kept my ear to the tracks, reading the weekly papers, always on the day they hit the streets (Willamette Week Wednesdays and Portland Mercury Thurs) when they’re crisp. I’d faithfully tune in to PDX Pipeline, hunting for fashion shows, live music, street fairs and other special celebrations and parties, anything that might draw an interesting crowd.
Every day it was something, some days it was lots of things. When it occurred to me that I should make a movie about how awesome life in Portland is, suddenly it was what I had to do.
I posted an ad on Craigslist for a camera person. It went something like this:
Person with video camera to follow chicks on random adventures in Portland and ultimately the world…
In the compensation section I wrote, “Some things are more valuable than money.”
Weeeeeeeeell, the ad didn’t last long. But before it was flagged and removed, it got lots of responses! Still, most camera operators booking a job need to get paid. Operating on sheer will alone, I could not afford it.
The film project slid to the back burner. Then one day, while I was running the Portland Marathon, there was my crazy old friend, Vinny. He’s the kind of guy you hang out with only so often, because in more than small doses he’s, frankly, overwhelming. It had been years since we’d hung out, yet there was Vinny, standing on the sidelines around mile 9. And he was shooting video.
Vinny was getting footage of a special lady friend of his. He was focused on her when I brushed past at the end to breathlessly tell him I’d just gotten my Boston qualifier.
Within a day or two, Vinny brought the footage over, four clips of me running and finishing the race. He was dressed in a handsome suit, armed with his video camera. The wheels of my film project quickly kicked into high gear and we were on our way to shoot day one of Audreality.
Being the character he is, Vinny was one tough cat to manage. Trying to control that guy is like trying to guide a gushing river with your bare hands. Impossible! For a brief time though, our paths aligned, just long enough to collect 30 hours of ridiculous footage boppin’ around P-Town. As if that weren’t enough for one film, there’s a surprise story of love, heartbreak and a man’s ensuing descent into total madness.
We had no direction. We also had no funds. The result is a delightful, Portland-based guerrilla movie project: a crude, rude reality show and an autobiographical documentary at once.
We shot Audreality from October 7th through November 7th, 2009. In the months since, I wasted little time trying to find help. A friend set me up with his equipment, enabling me to learn on my own how to use film editing software. I quickly got busy cutting footage.
The result is an incredible piece of work. My rough cuts are getting an excellent response from the audience: everyone laughs their asses off. People want to watch it again and again. Absurdity aside, the emotional ride hidden within the film is a bit of a heart wrencher. This formula makes for cinematic magic.
Audreality premieres October 1st at the Academy Theater in Portland. There was no choice in locations – this was a part of the unshakable vision from the start. But in the back then, I didn’t know what would happen next. I certainly didn’t have any clue what to do with the film once I was done with it. But I realized with crystal clarity that this was only the beginning of the road.
And that’s just it. Audreality must hit the road. Although I would love to continue the series at home with a real budget someday, right now Audreality is setting sail…to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands!
What a thrill! Who would’ve thought such fantastical dreams could materialize in such a short period?!
The first part of the trip is to be spent helping an Ecuadorian family make a promotional piece about the farmland they own, beautiful rolling hills at the foot of the Andes, where their long term plan is to build a sustainable community. Our purpose is to help them showcase their gorgeous land, to create an open invitation, for good people of the world to share. Monetary concerns are minimal during our stay there.
After a few days, we will journey to the southern-most part of Ecuador and make our way north on a 9-day trek along the entire coastline, exploring.
Finally, we head out to sea, for a week-long boat tour of the Galapagos Islands, before returning home to Portland.
In the end, the project is multi-dimensional:
We’ll make a video to showcase the farmland, we’ll create an adventure documentary while touring Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands and we’ll help showcase the hidden secrets of Ecuador with Ecuador Eco Adventure.