Director’s Q&A

What is 12 Adventures?

It’s a series of short films following a 50-something, Stage IV cancer fighter’s bucket list, designed to inspire others to go after their bucket list regardless of their own challenges.  The first, MUSH is all about the adventure of going dog sledding and learning to MUSH.

What was your inspiration for the film?

Since I was diagnosed back in 2010, I’ve been planning and ticking off items on my bucket list one by one; go to Ireland, sing in Italy, see the northern lights, professionally record my music and then some. I shared with everyone on social media from the planning to the build up to the mission accomplished. It seemed to really inspire them, which made me want to keep going, to find a bigger platform for sharing and inspiring others get up off the couch and go after their bucket lists. At first, we were thinking web series, but I’m a big streamer and my books were published through Amazon. The signs just kept pointing to them, so we went for it.

“Be stupidly optimistic while surrounding yourself with people who know what they’re doing.”

How did the film get off the ground?  

It started with a lazy afternoon brain storming session with my best friend an a couple mimosas. That’s where the idea sprung up, which led to a call to a couple filmmakers we hired before to film my CD release event in San Diego (where I live). They were psyched. So we started looking at crowdfunding options and saw an ad for a contest sponsored by Rockethub and Ovation TV.  Best ideas win funding. It even sparked the interest of Ovation TV’s Talent Partnerships and the CEO of Rockethub, Brian Meece.  Both called me to say they believed in what I was doing and were excited about the project, so I setup a crowdfunding campaign shortly after.

How is it getting made?

By hook or by crook man, by hook or by crook. Or to be more exact, a lot of barter n trade mixed with a huge dose of generosity on others’ part. We tried crowdfunding, but I’m absolute crap at asking people for $$, so there we stood at the end of our campaign, with a starting budget of $1,300 and ten funders I couldn’t let down.  Once we narrowed down the location, I drafted a letter and sent it out to the key local sponsors we’d need to make this happen; dog sledding adventure, accommodations, transport, etc.  The responses were astounding. Such enthusiasm and generosity from the people of Bigfork and its surrounding areas. Very humbling.

Why Montana?  Why Bigfork?

All roads led to Montana, which is apropos considering the premier episode will be dedicated to my Pop, who was born and raised in Havre, MT, though I’m sad to say he passed away before we could make this film happen. Pop was always supportive of my crazy, creative schemes and dreams. He would’ve really liked this, all of this.

We chose Bigfork in particular because we wanted to find an adventure and location that wasn’t already lighting up the tourist maps.  A place that wouldn’t be your first thought when someone says, “Let’s go dog sledding,” because it’s more like a semi-hidden gem, but will definitely be at the top of your list once you see the film.  Even music placement was magic. One look around and we found great talents from the surrounding areas like Kati O’Toole, Michael Ferrari and one or two more we’re not quite ready to announce…

The more we looked at Montana, the clearer it became that this is where we were meant to end up.

What other films have you directed?

None. Nada. Zip. Live theatre?  Yes. Film? No.

What makes you think you can successfully  direct a film without previous experience?

I’m not sure exactly, but I think the same thing that led me to believe I could beat Stage IV cancer or become a sports photographer and photograph David Beckham on my first day on the job. My gut just tells me so and I’ve learned to listen to it. That, and be stupidly optimistic while surrounding yourself with people who know what they’re doing. That is key I think.

When and where will the film air?

This summer around the weekend of July 14th, we’ll be holding a global simul-watching party. That’s where many people watch the same film at the same time, but from different places. You buy a ticket, you get a link on the day the 72 hour pass is active.  Ticket holders invite friends and family round and host a simul-watching party. Make it a potluck and gather round the TV or turn your backyard into an outdoor theatre. Date and times are coordinated, so we join in virtually through Facebook/Twitter, posting comments and responding to viewers.  It’s pretty cool.

The film will launch a couple weeks after that on Amazon Instant Video.