Can the wilderness save a soul? In the clutter of the modern world, how do we define success?
These two questions keep coming up over and over again in Diaries. Whether it is Aimee Brown's walking away from a dream job to be closer to people and places she loves or Christian Beamish's search for peace off the coast of Baja, these are the questions we've been chasing. These are the questions that you come to us with.
When Becca and I set out on our Sierra adventure last year, our reasons for doing so were numerous. One thing was clear -- it wasn't a vacation. It was life. It was about reconnecting with a place we love, with our passions. It was about sharing an adventure with one another and a few friends along the way. From the start, we also knew that it was about telling stories. In short, we wanted to write a love letter, to each other, to the Sierra, to the spirit of our community. We wanted to create a short film that got right to the center of those questions.
This moved beyond simple travelogue story telling. If we were were going to succeed, I had to stack the deck. We recruited the very talented photographer and bad-ass climber Mikey Schaefer to create our vision. He's one of the few people on the planet who can climb a 2,000 foot 5.10 in tennis shoes, while pausing to film. Climbing extraordinaire Kate Rutherford did much of the rigging and heavy lifting while we were in the backcountry. Tim Loubier, our artistic video editor, shaped the footage into a coherent, sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical 12-minute film. One of our favorite bands, We Are Augustines, provided the soundtrack. Anya Miller Berg lent her graphic design prowess to the movie, supporting materials and beyond. I put some of the best talent in our community in a creative space and let them have at it.
After months of work, next Tuesday, our film The Love Letter goes live at Outdoor Research and Osprey's Websites. Two weeks later, it makes its big screen premiere at the incredible 5 Point Film Festival in Carbondale, Co. I'm going to admit -- I'm nervous as hell.
Today, we are sending out the first of two trailers that we hope capture the mood of what we were chasing. On the trip, we brought along a pillow case backdrop and snapped portraits of one another everyday. Could you see the impact of the Sierra in our faces? In our eyes? Would the joy translate even as strain ate away at our bodies?
Ultimately, you will decide whether The Love Letter successfully tackles those recurring questions, makes you laugh and, hopefully, leaves you inspired, but I know this. Creatively, physically and financially, I gave everything I had to this project. Becca would say the same. Next Tuesday, if this movie speaks to you, if we succeed, shout it out. Please let others know about it through Facebook or over campfires. We have come this far together. You, our ardent listeners, have made the Diaries happen through your stories, kind words, criticism and passion. If we succeed, go and take credit for it. Let's keep telling our stories. Thanks for all your help.
P.S. And in the final movie, there is brief nudity. Maybe not family viewing on the first round.