I had long hoped to make a film about my Pacific row to help me get across my environmental message, so I was delighted to find the perfect film partner in Bill Chayes. As well as being an all-round great guy, he shares my vision for an environmental documentary, loosely based around my rowing adventures, that we can market on both sides of the Atlantic.
Finances permitting, we hope to have the first episode (covering the California-Hawaii stage) completed by next spring.
Over to you, Bill.
First thing I said to Roz after being introduced to her: -“You did WHAT??!!”
I don’t have very much experience with extreme adventure, save encountering a small bear or two while backpacking not very far from civilization. So my first thought was, “what kind of person does something like that?”
After finding out in the next few minutes that she was totally sane, extremely intelligent, quite dynamic and instantly charismatic, the next thing I said to her was:
-“I’m sure I’m at least the 38th filmmaker to ask you this, but, do you have any plans to make a documentary film about this?”
Fortunately for me, although she had had many offers and conversations regarding a film about her Pacific Voyage, she had been following the advice of a good friend to “keep her options open”. To make a long story short, we got to know each other better over the next couple of months and wound up forming Chayes/Savage Productions as equal partners to produce a series of non-profit documentary films about her adventure. We’re going to do (in fact are already doing!) one 30-45 minute film for each leg of the voyage and then combine them into a feature length documentary for theatrical release. All the films will also be specifically geared for widespread educational distribution. You can read a detailed treatment for the project at www.chayesproductions.com.
I shouldn’t think it would be much of stretch for all you who are following Roz’s blogs to understand why I was so keen to do this project. I’m at the stage of my filmmaking career (it’s been a long one) where I try very hard to make sure that what I’m going to spend a whole lot of time and energy to produce has the potential to meet the following three criteria: 1. It has to have a positive and useful message: “redeeming social value” so to speak. 2. It has to be entertaining and educational, for me to do and for our audience to see. 3. It has to look like it has a good chance of getting the funds to do it properly.
This story meets all those things better than anything I could imagine. It’s fascinating, rich and “filmic”, and centered on a totally unique and engaging person. I could use lots of other laudatory adjectives to describe Roz but it wouldn’t do for her to get a swelled head in that cramped cabin. The inspirational and environmental aspects (as excellently stated by David Helvarg) at the heart of the voyage are vitally important and graphic. She is regularly connected to the land in myriad ways to myriad individuals all with their own interesting stories. She’s an excellent and descriptive writer chronicling in detail all aspects of what she’s doing, and I mean ALL. All this (and more) plus just her general charisma and it separates these potential films from all other adventure documentaries I’ve seen.
The first thing people ask ME when I tell them what I’m doing: -“Are you going to be on the boat, or on another boat nearby? “
My answer: No need for me or anyone else to be there. It’s totally Roz’s journey. I’m happy to just be personally inspired by what she is doing and to help tell her story to as many people as possible. She has three cameras on board, (although one is inoperable at the moment) and the story provides nearly endless opportunity for narrative, descriptive, historical and educational material shot elsewhere. If we have any problem it will be from too much wonderful stuff to put in the film. We already have a great deal of footage; from her past adventures, from the lead up to her departure and from her ultra dramatic midnight departure itself. We had a camera on shore as she left, one on her chase boat (with a big light) and one high above San Francisco Bay capturing her hour long struggle to get through the treacherous eddies under the Golden Gate Bridge. Certainly one of the most exciting filmmaking evenings I’ve ever had. Sorry Roz, I know you were really stressed but…we got GREAT FOOTAGE! Can’t wait to get that Hawaii arrival!
[photo (will be added to this blog by my mother tomorrow morning, UK time): Bill Chayes. Any resemblance to Stephen Spielberg is purely coincidental!]
Today was grey and hot I rowed a lot. Today was hot and grey I rowed all day.
And that’s about it, really.
So on to people with more interesting lives – YOU!
First of all: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAISY FRIDAY!!! An interesting year lies ahead, to be sure! 😉
And a special hello to Penny and Ben.
Thanks to Jason Lewis for the encouraging news on the 06 watermaker – living evidence that surviving on the “Survivor” is do-able. (For those who don’t know, Jason and his crewmate Steve Smith pedaled from San Francisco to Hawaii in 2000, surviving for 40 days with only an 06 watermaker. Jason went on to complete the first human-powered circumnavigation of the world, an adventure that lasted 13 years – see his website at www.expedition360.com.)
Thanks to Alan Sandoval and Mark Reid for their generous donations.
And good luck to Michelle Johnston with her new life. You go, girl!
Gold stars to Nancy for taking the “Filter For Good” pledge (filterforgood.com) and swearing off bottled water forever. And to Caro as well: “Never letting the water run longer than necessary, using baking soda, vinegar and phosphate free products for the cleaning, using ecological bags and avoiding individual wrapping at the grocery, bringing my personal mug for the coffee break and using the back of the sheets for personal memos.”
I warned you I was going to nag you every day until July 14th to make your BLUE Pledges, so here we go again: Go to www.theblueproject.org and click on the Make a BLUE Pledge button. Please, do it now, and get your friends, families, colleagues, neighbours, classmates, pets, and total strangers to do it too. It’s important!
And remember, BE COOL, BE BLUE!
Position Monday evening: 29 34 26N, 125 31 57W