A Documentary Project

Archive for the ‘updates from the road’ Category

8 days left…

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The days are going fast, with little time to deal with the occasional small technical issues, but fortunately we’re able to work around everything so far (even if the results are not always optimal).

I think we have about 12 more profiles to shoot before we return to Boston on May 13th. Right now we’re in Chicago, with a couple days to go here before we head further east again. We’ll stop at another animal sanctuary in Michigan on Thursday, and then head to Toronto on Friday. I guess we’ll finally be back in our usual time zone soon, which will be nice.

Here’s some more pictures from our travels to tide you over until I can post videos again (if you want more frequent updates, you can follow our progress at Twitter):

Yet another feedlot

Yet another feedlot


John at the gym

John at the gym


Driven to distraction by the dogs

Driven to distraction by the dogs

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May already?!

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Less than two weeks to go before we return to Boston. We still have several stops to make along the way, but I thought I’d take a moment tonight to look back a little.

In the last week or so we met Michelle at Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, numerous profilees, and a number of enterprising vegan entrepreneurs who are offering the public some great vegan food. At one point I even walked through the front door of a meat packing plant in Boise, ID. Of course the people in the front office rebuffed my request to shoot inside (wish we could have gotten that conversation on camera!). There’s so much we haven’t been able to shoot, so many people we haven’t been able to meet, but I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to see us, taken pains to accommodate and/or feed us, and who have otherwise made this trip such a success.

Below are a few photos Matthew took in Colorado. One was taking while setting up an interview, while the others were taken at Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary. I’ll let you figure out which ones are which… ;)

Eric coaches Ryan while Spencer sets up the shot

Eric coaches Ryan while Spencer sets up the shot


This sheep at Peaceful Prairie came up and said hi

This sheep at Peaceful Prairie came up and said hi


Spencer lets himself get checked out

Spencer lets himself get checked out

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Over the hump

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As of now, we’ve finished shooting 38 profilee interviews. We only have a couple dozen or so more to go! I think we hit our halfway mark back in Los Angeles, which was a bit of a whirlwind visit. Then again, most of our stops have been whirlwind visits. Every once in a while we’ll be somewhere long enough and not have quite so much planned that we can’t find time to change the oil in the van and so on. I haven’t had much time to record, edit, and upload video, so that may have to wait until I return to Boston. Meantime, here are a couple of pictures. One is Spencer shooting Arizona dairy feedlot footage from the roof of a van and the other is Spencer and I preparing to shoot an interview with one of our profilees in San Francisco.

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Footage from a feedlot in Arizona

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I tweeted yesterday about stopping along our route to San Diego to shoot footage of a feedlot that we saw off I-8. The photo I uploaded with that tweet hardly did justice to the place, so I thought I’d share one of our video clips here, which was shot from our van as we drove from one end of the lot to the other. Even this does not begin to give you the scale of what we encountered, as the closest we could get to the cows was the narrower end of the lot:

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More photos and a note about I’m Vegan merch

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You’ll notice that the site’s Merch link has been pulled for the time-being. I’ve heard from some of you who want to wear I’m Vegan apparel, and I look forward to providing that for you! However, I’ve been made aware of a business similar to CafePress that appears to make more of an effort to produce and source its products more sustainably and ethically than CafePress, so I want switch the store over to that service when I have time to resolve technical concerns and to build a new storefront (which may be a while).

In the meantime, here are some more pictures from our shoot, mainly DC and FL:

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Pensacola

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Hi, all.

Sorry the updates have been so sparse! Over the past 10 days, Spencer, Matthew, and I have visited many warm and welcoming vegans and we have interviewed over 20 of them for both the I’m Vegan profiles and for the feature I’m hoping to put together.

evita

alex_jen

We’ve been going nearly non-stop since leaving Boston, with very little downtime. We’re in Florida now, so we’ve made it all the way down the coast and over into the panhandle, but we have a long way to go before we complete our loop out to the West Coast and back to Boston! Thank you for sticking with us on our journey and look forward to sharing with you some of the things we’ve seen and heard along the way.

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Leaving Philadelphia

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I’ll be heading out of Philadelphia in a short while. WiFi and time have both been in short supply, and I never did work out posting from my iPhone (though I am “tweeting” from http://twitter.com/imvegan). Having caught up on importing and backing up data acquired to date (we’re shooting on memory cards, and a specialized external hard drive when that comes back), I thought I’d take advantage of a 10 minute lull to update the site.

The interviews are going well so far, we’re getting some great footage, and the hospitality has been incredible. As much as I originally saw I’m Vegan as a way to direct a project that brings my own veganism together with my passion for filmmaking, and though I also saw that there might be some potential for these profiles to change the way people who encounter them regard veganism, what I wasn’t prepared for was how warm and generous our hosts and interviewees have been.

Of course, there are many other vegans to meet yet, and I don’t want to presume that all the experiences will be as positive as they have been so far, but looking back on this journey will clearly be more than a reflection of technical and interpersonal experiences on the road for me, Spencer, and Matthew. It will be a collection of memories of all the people we encounter, memories that enrich us, enrich the experience and elevate it above the average production. I hope that we can honor them with the work we do.

Finally, I hope that I can continue to learn from my experiences along the way to become a better vegan advocate.

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