As the launch date for 23 feet nears, we bet you want to know a little more about just what we’re up to. Well there’s nothing better than a Q&A with 23 feet’s very own videographer, Allie Bombach, to learn a little bit more about the project.
Big thanks to our friends over at Under Solen Media for putting this Q&A together!
Airstreams are hot these days. What was the first thing that happened that made you think, “I should get one of those?”
Being an outdoor videographer, my job keeps me on the road. I think the moment of realization came when my roommates were surprised to see me at home, and when I could sleep better in my car then my own bed. I have had a crush on old Airstreams since I was a kid and after traveling from place to place and only spending a few days a month at the room I was renting, it just made sense to get a home on wheels. I love the classic look, and that they are light and aerodynamic. Lasting through generations, they are meant for the roads and not the landfills and to me it resembles buying an old historic house verses a cookie cutter – more funky, fun, and the ability to have restoration creativity. I also love simple living. I’m excited to have limited space, so only the necessities are inside.
Did you think about buying the Airstream and then figure out the idea for the film, or vice versa?
I bought the Airstream first and was planning on moving to Portland, OR in the summer of 2010. After attending the 5point film festival and being overwhelmingly inspired to create by the filmmakers, I felt the story I wanted to tell was already there, it just needed to be set it in motion.
How did the idea for 23 Feet evolve?
At first it was about challenging myself. I am happily addicted to change, risk, and putting myself out of my element and the undertaking of living full-time on the road was a welcomed adventure. After discussing the challenges with others who had been on the road pursuing their passions, I realized that a lot of the conversations came back to community. It’s easy to feel alone out there when you’re always showing up in new place without knowing a soul. But, people who are passionate about the outdoors and getting outside are usually a pretty easy group to approach, and it’s hard to leave that new place without making a friend or two. So, it evolved into a story about the traveling community. A big theme of the film is enjoying our wild lands which, ultimately, go hand in hand with taking responsibility for them. Every day we are reminded that we cannot take these spaces for granted – every day we lose more and more precious wilderness. We are striving to stir people to action by reminding them of how lucky we are to have access to nature, and to bring awareness to conservation efforts throughout the West.
Who’s involved in 23 Feet?
When I offered to take friends with me on my trip across the West, I really didn’t expect anyone to say yes. After all, taking over a month off of work isn’t really something most people can do. And it’s not like this would be a vacation! Filming production is a lot of work, especially on the road. But Greer Glasser and Lisa Montierth not only said yes, they are drastically changing their own lives in the name of this adventure. I love that these two ladies are willing jump onboard, let me throw them into some pretty hairy situations, and at the end of the day crawl into some pretty tight quarters for some shut-eye. Greer is a long time friend and a very solid gal to have at your side. I’m sure I wouldn’t have made it out of many a foreign train station if it not for her savvy travel skills. Not to mention, as our designated events manager, she knows how to throw a damn good party! Lisa is also a welcome companion on this trip because as a talented writer she is able to see the beauty and fun in almost any situation. When the travel days are long and Greer and I are about to put on our cranky pants, Lisa will be there to help us appreciate our surroundings. As Red Reel Video Media’s writer, she’ll have a vital role in telling the story of 23 Feet, and she’s also going to teach us some well needed Yoga skills…
Tell us what it’s like to take on this project as a group of three women?
It’s easy to see this project as three young ladies headed out for an adventure, and part of that we embrace. However, our true dedication lies in telling a story that has not much to do with gender, but the inspirational stories of many individuals and their passion for the outdoors. Taking on any film project presents some unique challenges and we are so lucky to be backed by a diverse community of rockstar people who understand and care about the story we are striving to tell. The fact that we do happen to be three young women is, of course, part of that story. I think it will be really interesting to see what that will ultimately mean to the project and how people will respond to us throughout our travels.
“Community” is a common theme in your idea for this film. What’s your own definition of community and how do you think this adventure might change that?
Community to me is really a bond where people share a similar passion. I think what pops into my head first is physical locations, like the community of a town. Although, when I think of my own community, I am unable to name just one place. I’d say that my community is defined more by a feeling then a location and I hope that this adventure proves it to be stronger then I thought.
Since embarking on this project, what’s one of the main things that you’ve learned? What do you think you’ll learn over the next several months?
There have been a lot of hurdles up to this point in the process of making this project a reality. While rebuilding the 40 year old Airstream I kept asking “Is that possible?” in reference to things like plumbing and electricity. My step dad, who has been a HUGE help in the restoration, always replies without hesitation or concern “Allie… nothing is impossible”. At first, I thought he was talking about installing solar power or having a collapsible rain barrel, but I think his simple reply has had a deeper meaning to me in the last few months. I’ve come to realize that many of my friends and family have traveled in their lives for extended periods of time. My grandparents traveled the United States for 10 years while I was growing up. From Vancouver, BC to New Orleans, LA, visiting grandma’s house was an adventure because it was always somewhere different. I have come across many people that not only live on the road, but work full-time in converted Euro vans or trailers. It’s becoming more and more apparent that many have taken on this lifestyle if not now, at some time in their lives. Every now and then I hear from friends that they too would love to travel, but it’s just not possible. I can hear my step dad speaking up at this point. I hope to learn more about how people perceive what is possible, and what is pushing them forward or maybe…holding them back? ….And I hope Lisa will teach me some Yoga skills.
What’s the plan for the project?
Our dates aren’t really set in stone, but we will head out from Durango to Silverton, CO on the 4th of July for the famous firework show. Then, through the month of July we’ll head through Utah, Nevada, California, and Oregon. We’ll pull into Portland OR in early August and will premier the film in later in the Fall. We encourage people to follow along on our facebook page at www.facebook.com/23feet as well as on our site www.23feet.org. We’ll be keeping in touch through words, photos, and short video clips. We also encourage people who are out there right now to let us know their own stories and meet up with us for a high five!
We will be having a 23 feet launch party at Serious Texas BBQ in Durango, CO on June 30th as a farewell and a high five to the Durangatang community. Local music, tacos, and brewskis will be on from 4-8 pm and the Airstream will be there to tour!
You’re making a film that’s certainly about inspiration. What inspires you on a daily basis?
Inspiration comes in so many forms for me. Something that keeps inspiring me lately is what happens after inspiration has taken hold of others; the drive in people who are determined to take what inspires them and turn it into action. One talk motivates someone to be active in a nonprofit, one film pushes someone to change their purchasing habits, one person challenges another to take on life as a precious gift, it’s endless. I feel so lucky to have such a great group of friends that inspire me in this way on a daily basis; people who are taking charge, setting goals, and making change.