Run While You Can’s director/producer Marion Mauran working on a new project — check it out:Read More
It’s been almost a year since we launched Run While You Can’s Kickstarter campaign and began a long journey into the world of documentary filmmaking. To celebrate the anniversary, I wanted to share with you some news:
We sent out the first wave of rewards to our Kickstarter donors who gave between $10 and $50 in February. For those of you who gave $75+, your rewards are coming! We haven’t forgotten you, (how could we??) we just can’t make things like posters and DVDs until the film is finished. Technical details.
Speaking of finishing the film…we’ve had some drama lately: the hard drive containing all of our footage was stolen from my apartment by an LA-based burglar. Kudos to him. Fortunately, we had a back-up hidden away elsewhere, and we are persevering!
We’re heading back to Washington soon to grab a little more footage of the gorgeous snow-covered mountains there. We’ll be sure to take plenty of photos. I wonder how it will feel to return a year later…maybe we’ll squeeze in a visit to Leavenworth for some schnitzel?
Everyone on the RWYC crew is busy with films and projects. I am currently serving as associate producer on a new feature film STAND CLEAR OF THE CLOSING DOORS by fellow Rhode Islander and talented director, Sam Fleischner. Sam developed the screenplay from this 2009 New York Times article about a young boy with Autism who ran away from home and lived on the NYC subway. I hope you’ll take a minute to check it out, share with friends, and support a very worthy project.
The road to Mexico was long indeed, but we’re still traveling the road to completing Run While You Can, so stay with us. Keep checking in with the blog, Facebook, and Twitter. We’re updating them all the time, and we love hearing from you!
As always, thanks for making this all possible.
©2012 Gaspee Films, LLC.
Exciting news! Many of you have asked when you’re going to get a peek at the work in progress, and until now we’ve been very coy. BUT WE’RE FINALLY READY to share.
In the past few months we’ve been from LA to NYC to MA and back conducting follow-up interviews, and have spent countless hours in the editing room laying the groundwork for Run While You Can: A Documentary Film. Expect more updates this spring as we get closer to finishing!
In the meantime, we’ve put together something for all our supporters – a quick glimpse at what’s to come. Click here to watch. We hope you’ll like it and share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and email – we need all the support we can get!
As ever, thank you. And Happy spring!
PS – Don’t forget to make a $40 tax-deductible donation here, and we’ll send you a stylish yet functional RWYC t-shirt!
Greetings RWYC fans,
We’ve been quiet in the virtual world these past few months, but Marion and I have been working hard behind the scenes…. hibernating is for BEARS!
Marion and editor Alex have just started post-production on the film, and we are eager to share all of our exciting updates with you.
By now, those of you who donated to Kickstarter should be receiving your t-shirts and CDs, and know that those packages were made with love and gratitude for making the film possible. For those of you who still want donate to Run While You Can: A Documentary Film, but didn’t get a chance to….well here’s your chance! That’s right, if you donate $50 or more, you will receive a Run While You Can t-shirt, designed by the lovely and talented Brooklyn artist Louise Sheldon. These t-shirts are so comfortable and chic you can wear them with everything! Slacks, bicycle shorts, under a tuxedo, I mean EVERYTHING! Plus by donating, you will be supporting the completion of a powerful and inspiring film. But we NEED YOUR HELP to do this! We still have lots of work to do and your support is vital to us.
Go to this link to make a tax-deductible donation, and to receive your very own RWYC t-shirt.
Final days of Run While You Can:
Jim and Lucy arrive
Sam and Lucy get to talk
With the cameras rolling
Mother and Son embrace
October 30, 2011
It’s over. Yet somehow, Marion and I find ourselves in the RV, parked at a Best Western in Ashland, Oregon, rolling out our sleeping bags and setting our alarms for 4:30 a.m. Two days earlier, we were at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail at the Mexican border, filming Sam and his mother Lucy walk arm in arm to the finish, which I why I am now incredulous of my current location. How is it possible that, after having replaced our broken down RV in Ashland five weeks earlier, we find ourselves back in the very same spot on our journey where we were so deep in its grasp that the end was not yet fathomable? The answer is brutally simple, we have to return the RV to Portland.
Just that morning we had been in Palm Springs, California, celebrating Sam’s triumphant finish, quite literally, next to the sheet metal wall, vigorously guarded by US Border Patrol. As Sam inched closer and closer to the finish, the film crew and a small group of Sam’s family and friends anxiously waited for his blonde bun and neon green spandex to come into view. Jon-Michael was in position to film Lucy as Sam met up with her, while Ben stood poised with his camera next to the PCT monument. Additionally, Marion hired Ivan and Jonas Marcinko, friends of Jon-Michael’s from Idaho, who have invented remote-controlled helicopters which can carry cameras, producing some AMAZING aerial footage. As we got the word from John that Sam was close, the Marcinko brothers launched the helicopter, following steadily above Sam in the final moments.
Once Sam reached the terminus, hugs, smiles, and plastic cups of champagne were passed around. Eventually the group disbanded, Lucy and Jim to Palm Springs to get the house they rented ready, and the film crew to a nearby motel with free wifi so that we could upload footage to NBC Nightly News’ server. Sitting in the RV, waiting for the enormous file to upload, the stress and fatigue that my adrenaline had been keeping at bay, slowly crept in and settled like a thick fog over me. Fighting every urge to fall asleep, we drove the three hours to Palm Springs and rolled into the gorgeous house that the Foxes had rented, looking like tumbleweeds from the desert we had just crossed through. After a shower, some food, and a couple beers, we all crawled into our beds, not to be disturbed until way past daylight. After a sound night’s sleep, everyone felt more rested, and ready to celebrate. Lucy, Jim, and Jim’s sister Cynthia, made a beautiful dinner, and the heartfelt toasts encouraged the refilling of wine and champagne glasses. Wine at the table turned into tequila in the hot tub, and the rest is up to your imagination. I will say that the cameras stayed firmly packed away in their cases for this duration.
The next morning at 7 a.m., Marion and I woke up, feeling a little groggy (everything in moderation, kids) and drove to LA, where we cleaned out the RV and drove our rickety old friend (whom we sometimes hate) to Portland, literally backtracking the trip we had just completed. We left Ashland by 5 a.m. and returned the RV in Portland, pumped, dumped, and scrubbed by 11 a.m. Minus a few extra L&D expenses, we were finally done! Later on in the airport, I felt as if the weight of the RV had been lifted off my shoulders. The RV, with its faulty generator and wobbly drawers, seemed to house all of my gripes and frustrations of the journey. Yet now that it was no longer in our possession, I felt free to reflect on the last two months of my life.
Although I am still processing everything, in short, it has been crazy, tiring, inspiring, emotional, stressful, and above all, eye-opening. Eye-opening to the absolute majesty and beauty of the West, to the kindness of complete strangers, and the true actions and strength of character that manifests when pretense is long-gone. Eye-opening to my own limitations and capabilities, as well as to the limitations and trials of a man faced with an impossible challenge. This challenge brought John, Eric, Ben, Jeff, Jon-Michael, Marion, and me together, united by Sam and the desire for adventure, challenge, and inspiration, and it is this challenge that has forged camaraderie between us that only we can understand, and that we will forever share.
Looking at the bigger picture, at a campground on the second to last day, Lucy and I discussed a theme that has been an undercurrent of this entire project, which is the unified groups of people around a single man, idea, cause, and adventure. Over the past 61 days, we have interacted with PCT thru-hikers, ultrarunners, filmmakers, those affected by Parkinson’s, and friends and family who enjoyed tuning in every day, who share this one thing in common. Each group draws something different from it, but all are passionately involved, and all can take a little responsibility for the shining success of Run While You Can, for donating, emailing, comforting, and just caring. This adventure has been just that, an adventure, that I would not be able to sustain much longer, but for its two-month existence, I will look back fondly on it. But for now, it will be nice not to have to search, in a panic, for the tiny PCT trailhead marking in the middle of the night.
Thank you so much to everyone who supported us!
All the best,
Cecily “Crazy Legs” MauranRead More
That prankster, Brian Williams, introduced Run While You Can’s segment on NBC Nightly News this evening. The spot features footage from our documentary, including clips from Sam’s finish at the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail at the Mexican border. Catch it here if you missed it live!Read More
A big thank you to our aerial cinematographers, brothers Ivan and Jonas Marcinko, who drove down to Mexico from Idaho to shoot Sam’s PCT finish! Using miniature, remote-controlled helicopters that they designed and built themselves, Ivan and Jonas get the most beautiful footage from up way up in the sky. To see their reel and their beautiful photography, click on the video above.Read More
NBC’S TODAY Show finally aired their Run While You Can segment, and on the last day of Sam’s run no less! Perfect timing. Click on the link to learn more about Sam’s mission and watch never-before-seen footage of our documentary on the boob-tube!Read More
October 12, 2011
Apart from rattlesnakes, runaway bandits, and the threat of death by dehydration, the desert is quite advantageous. For filming a movie of course. There is a reason why Hollywood films all of its movies here. It is desolate and expansive, which can serve a.) to provide the foundation to recreate almost any environment, or b.) as a compliment to showcase or enhance the tone of a film. We often rely on the latter because we don’t have the money to recreate Times Square, but we also benefit from a third advantage, often forgotten by the Michael Bays out there, which is visibility of the Pacific Crest Trail of course. Since the terrain has gradually changed from forest to desert, access to the trails and the success of our shots, have gotten easier. Not a lot easier, but easier. This day provides a perfect example of the aforementioned easy access.
Sam woke up at 4:45 a.m. this morning and began his 40+ mile day. We woke up a little bit later than that and found a place where the trail crosses an isolated road, and made it our destination, leaving a cloud of dust in our wake. The road to the crossing seemed to have been made by a roller coaster engineer complete with drops so steep you couldn’t see the the pavement until you were flying down it. Ordinarily, I might have enjoyed this, but when you are driving your house, there is a lot more at stake. Plus, it’s a rental. Gingerly, we drove our way to the trail, and scouted a location. According to the “dog collar” GPS tracking system, Sam was over 5 miles away, allowing us ample time to set up and eat lunch. The Garmin GPS device, normally used to keep track of hunting dogs, but for our purposes to “hunt” Sam, has been instrumental in our planning, since we are actually able to pinpoint where he is. Needless to say, many of our strategies have been unconventional, but mostly successful.
The location we picked out allowed visibility of half a mile of the trail, making Sam a little white speck when our lenses first caught him. Ben stayed wide with his camera and followed him as he charged along the meandering trail. As he approached, we wondered what it must be like to be completely alone all day and then suddenly, without warning, bump into a group of people silently filming/photographing you. Strange, I would imagine. After filming a quick break at our RV, Sam took off to finish the last 8 miles for the day, and we took the roller coaster route back down, in search of food and gas. After refueling, we made equally crucial purchases of neon sunglasses and local beef jerky, in order to demonstrate how we’ve fully adapted to the local culture. Sam was scheduled to leave at 2 a.m. the next morning, and given the excellent footage we’d captured in the past few days, we decided not to film him leaving in the dark, and splurged on a campground for the night instead. A pool! Electric outlets! Running Water! Level ground! These are the finest of luxuries, and they did not go unnoticed, or unused.
The next morning, Ben, Jon-Michael, and Marion woke up early to film the sunrise in the desert valley, and we met John and Eric later that afternoon at a trail crossing right next to Highway 58, where Sam would be coming in later. Like the Chevron station at Snoqualmie, WA and the impound lot in Ashland, OR, we made the side of Highway 58 our own by furnishing the gravel turnoff with folding chairs. Jon-Michael and Ben filmed the wind turbines, and barbed-wire fence along the trail, before capturing Sam arrive in the 90 degree heat late in the afternoon. Sam, now pushing harder than ever, has regimented himself to 50 miles per outing, punctuated by 5 hours of rest in between. He promptly went to sleep, to be woken up at midnight for the next leg. Our mission for the day a success, we shared some beers with Eric and John and ate chicken and rice for dinner. Having adjusted to the sound of 18-wheelers whizzing by, our decision to stay put for the night fit within our increasingly low standards, and I slept soundly. Our crew has become efficient and dynamic, a well-oiled machine. But just because we are close to the end, that doesn’t make the miles easier for us, or Sam. The days are still long and tolling, we are just more used to it now. The next day, we went back to LA for perhaps our final break, as Sam barrels towards the border of Mexico, like Thelma and Louise, with the fuzz hot on their trail.
Until next time,
Cecily “Crazy Legs” Mauran