Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Project Update: 2016 is almost over, but the project is still alive...

Filming for #recreatingthehcrh

A photo posted by A. F. Litt (@aflitt) on

Life is messy and strange, and this year has been more messy and strange than most... 

As most people who follow this project have probably noticed, things have been on hold for about a year now.  This project is a labor of love, done in my free time, funded out of my own pocket, and, this year, I could make very little progress.  Clearly, the documentary will not be completed this year, and even the shorts and website have been on hold.  I did film several of the Centennial events, but outside of this, other than sharing relevant posts on Facebook, I was not able to accomplish much this year.

This is a bit more of a personal post than I usually make with this project.  However, I know some folks have some questions, and I do want to assure everyone interested in the history of the highway that I am far from being done with this endeavor.  I am not quitting or giving up. 

I still look forward to completing the film, to fleshing out the history on the website, and to documenting the completion of the state trail, but these goals are pushed back a bit due to the complexities of life…  2016 has been a difficult year filled with major changes in my life. 

So, where do we go from here? 

Over the next few months, I do hope to start releasing some new “web series” shorts and to flesh out the website a bit more.  I’ve got a lot of research and photos waiting go up online.  And there are still some places out on the upper and lower highways that beg for further exploration.  I hope to complete most of that work in early 2017.

After that, I hope to return to work on the documentary.  I’ve not spoken much about this, but the origin of this whole project started with the desire to create a short film exploring the original route of the highway.  Of course, over the years, it has grown into much more.  But the film still is the heart of the project to me.  And I’ve learned so much about the craft of film since this started, and I am so grateful that I’ve had the time to grow in that craft before releasing much video that I’d regret later...

Which also touches on another goal with this film; I truly want this to be a project based in microbudget, Filmmaking 2.0 principals.  Sure, with a ton of money and crew, this film could be made quickly.  And I am sure it would look great and hopefully it would be worth watching.  But when I started this, I decided that I wanted to make this film in a different way, to show what can be accomplished in the medium with non-existent budgets and “prosumer” level gear. 

There have been times when I have been tempted to move back towards a more traditional model on this project, but then I remember what my artistic goals for this film are.  This is not saying that I shun collaboration or help, in fact anyone who wants to help with this is more than welcome, but there is no money to be paid, it’s volunteer work on a labor of love.  So far, I haven’t found many others with the film skills required and a passion for the old highway who’s willing to jump in.  Of course, I haven’t looked that hard, either. The time I've spent on this project so far has mostly been out shooting and exploring, or researching and website building.

Staying true to these goals, though, means that making this film is a very slow process.  A lot, more than a lot, of filming has been done.  Many interviews still need to be done.  And, eventually, in late 2017 or 2018, it all will be done.

Thank you so much to everyone who follows the Facebook page, to everyone who has offered all sorts of help since this all got started back in 2013, and to everyone who comes along in the future.  Things have been a bit slow recently, but will be picking up again eventually, and I hope we can all have a great time together as we see how everything comes together in the end, both for the state trail and for this documentary project.

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