Travel Light will be premiering this Thursday/Friday at RiverRun International Film Festival! We're excited to finally share this movie with the world (and for all the following months will bring.) Check out our "A" and "B" posters for the film below, and stay tuned... Travel Light might soon come to a city near you!
We are pleased to announce that Camino Bakery in Winston-Salem, NC, will be hosting a show featuring photography from the production of Travel Light for the month of July! Prints and postcards will be available for purchase, all proceeds benefitting post production. Stop by July 1st from 5-6pm for a reception with crew members!!
It's hard to believe that it's been about a little over two months since we came back to the States. A lot about our lives changed over those two months... More than I ever imagined. Lauren, Gabriela, and Ron have all had major life changes. Lauren accepted an internship with the Photo Office at the White House. Gabriela accepted an internship with JJ Abrams' production company, Bad Robot, and moved out to LA. Ron got back to LA and missed the spirit of the Camino so much that he's now cycling across the United States, taking stunning photos all along the way (follow him on Instagram if you don't already.)
I'm back to teaching here in Winston-Salem, driving down to Atlanta to work on post whenever I can with Emily. She's building a computer with her husband Ryan for us to edit the film on (they're a cool couple like that.)
There are a lot of things I've learned from the Camino. A lot of things that feel different now because I've had an experience like that. I'll be writing more throughout the post process, processing my thoughts after the Camino, letting you in on this final leg of the journey, and giving you sneak peeks of the film.
I've always said this film is really "three caminos"... The journey of preproduction, the journey of actually doing the Camino, and the final journey of post. After taking time to get settled back into life stateside, that final journey is beginning.
This post was written by our wonderful team member Gabriela Quiroz.
This morning, I met an Australian woman at the bus station. Her eyes swelled with tears when I asked her if she was walking The Camino alone. She replied “This is a path you must travel alone.” I knew she wasn’t talking about the actual road.
I’m not physically walking the Camino of Santiago, I’m busing through it, going from town to town, meeting with the team every few days. I’m a production office/DIT station on the move.
During my time in the different towns, I meet wonderful people; the big smiling lady at the bakery, the friendly hostel manager, the nuns that hang out at the icecream place, the woodcarving artisan at the end of the street. But most importantly, I meet pilgrims from all over the world, some of them have to stay behind due to a physical injury, others, are just taking a pause or have just arrived.
A man shared his story with the team yesterday. He told us he had reached the point in his life where death felt closer than ever before. He wasn’t afraid of death itself, he was afraid of not having done enough while living. “Many men at my age,” he said, “ dump their wives, buy a new car, and get a young girlfriend. I thought that walking El Camino would be cheaper.”
What I see, from the pilgrims I have met, and what makes this trail different from the other trails in the world, is that this is the Camino of the broken. Here, most of people aren’t necessarily looking to achieve physical fitness or receive the favor of some saint. These people walking The Camino, most of them over 40, carry a heavier weight than that of their backpacks; they carry years of heartache, disappointment, and loss; sharp clawed demons that have been holding on to their backs for too long.
I feel humbled by meeting people twice or three times my age who have so much to share. It is their openness what has made me rise to the challenge to walk this path as well. So, here I go, walking my own Camino, my heart as raw as theirs. Broken but filled with hope. The heavy burdens that weight us down will succumb in this road because the road is long and the weight has to fall. Demons buried under the rocks, we will come out the other side traveling light; transformed.
Adventures often have comrades parting ways as they go off towards different journeys. Brittni Moore, Travel Light.’s Co-Producer/Director of Photography, will be working in the Camera Department of the newest season of The Walking Dead this summer, and Ron Nelson is stepping up as the Director of Photography on Travel Light. We can’t wait to swap stories of our respective exploits with Brittni in the fall. Here’s to future adventures we’ll run all the way together.
Friends, Your sphere of influence is enormous. In fact, I am convinced that nearly every decision made is in some way influenced (for better or worse) by others. A few examples from my personal life include decisions to travel, show compassion, share my art, learn spanish, tell bad jokes, and eat spinach. It sounds silly but these choices have been influenced by someone a little older, smarter, or simply more stylish than myself. I put value on what they were about and boom they tweaked the course of my life.
One of these people was Mr. Herman Hall. A few of you reading this might know him. Herman was the younger hip teacher that travelled to Costa Rica in the winters and taught surf lessons on the side. During one of our lectures he told us the story of a hike that took travelers from the French Pyrenees mountains all the way to the west coast of Spain. The Camino de Santiago de Compostela crossed 500 miles of terrain taking travelers through vineyards, mountains, and beaches. The hike was about letting go and finding truth. It was about self discovery and releasing burdens. I was enchanted. That day I made a promise to my fifteen-year-old self I would hike the Camino and bring my camera to document it.
This dream stayed packed away for four years (a short time in the life of dreams) until the night I met Lindsay Thompson. We were at the local ice cream dive with a group of mutual friends. Were both loved Jesus and were into art. A week later we ran into each other and at some point in our conversation realized we shared a dream. Travel Light Film was born. This was a little over two years ago. Today our dreams are coming true.
Travel Light has been a long time in the making. Not just ideologically but also in our own training. As a fifteen-year-old spanish student I knew little more about making a documentary than basic camera function. Slowly, I began putting my photos in shows and selling them for a little more than pocket lint at local cafes. When I was sixteen I did my first commission piece and at eighteen my first wedding. I worked under photographer David Alan Harvey who is known for his work with National Geographic and Burn Magazines as well as the prestigious Magnum photo society. Needless to say, I was in over my head but David was a patient mentor. As a college freshman I spent time in Port-au-Prince in the month following the 2010 earthquake. I volunteered in a medical clinic. A photo of the Haitian capital building was my first magazine cover shot. The next year I spent five months between Argentina and Chile landing a feature in La Noche arts and literary magazine. That fall I landed my first commissioned essay and a job under photographer Ken Bennett, a former contributor to the New York Times and Washington Post. I spent the summer of 2012 in Boulder, CO hiking, climbing, and working for the photography department at Backpacker Magazine.
Before taking off on the Camino this summer I will graduate from Wake Forest University where I have spent the time between my photos working towards degrees in Politics and International Affairs and Studio Art with concentrations in Latin American Studies and photography. Throughout my studies and travels I have kept a portfolio and blog at Lauren-Martinez.com. Travel Light is a culmination of my art and studies thus far. It’s a dream we share with each other and with centuries of pilgrims in both directions from today. I pray our Camino is just the beginning of many journeys to come. Until then, please join us on our way, your support means the whole world. Buen camino to you my friend. May your way be filled with goodness and truth.
It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”
― Ernest Hemingway
I’ve always been a wanderer. My parents can attest to it. They love to tell the story of how I, at about four years-old, went running into the woods behind my grandparents’ house. When my parents laughed and asked me where I was going, I turned, sighed a very grown-up sigh, and said “Don’t worry. I’ll be right back.”
I’ve used that line many times since.
No matter what was happening in my life, how busy I got, how focused on school, I needed my moments of wandering, moments of running into the woods and discovering something new. I craved a journey beyond my comfort zone. I once left college at 4am to drive towards the mountains because I had writer’s block. In the outdoors I felt an inspiration I couldn’t find in my rented house near campus. I hiked about 8 miles that day and completed the first draft of the script. I guess you could say that for me, God has always lived outdoors.
I first heard about the Camino de Santiago my sophomore year of high school, and though I wasn’t Catholic, it fascinated me. Here was a modern-day quest. A God-search for hearts willing to wander out their front doors towards… new life? Revelation? Whatever they sought, it couldn’t be merely a certificate of completion handed-out at a cathedral.
It wasn’t the end result that interested me as much as the journey itself.
I went to college for filmmaking. There I discovered others compelled to wander. As I talked of future adventures with Brittni Moore and Lauren Martinez, I kept thinking about the Camino de Santiago. Why was that road always in the back of my mind? Maybe there was a film waiting to happen. Maybe we were the people meant to make it.
Meeting these friends was the beginning of my journey towards Santiago de Compostela.
There are so many preparations to go through before we can leave for Spain… fundraising and scheduling and LOTS of paperwork. The filmmaker in me knows that this is all part of the process, but the wanderer in me gets frustrated. 4am drives to the mountains can’t happen when there’s so much to do.
They say that the hardest part of the Camino de Santiago is the Meseta, this stretch of trail that seems to go on forever with nothing in sight except for flat land and sky. It’s the part of the trail where the most pilgrims give up. But it’s also the place where the most people find revelation, both personal and spiritual.
Right now fundraising feels like the Meseta of pre-production. I have to keep focused, remind myself that the fruits of this greater responsibility will be greater freedom.
All journeys require perseverance, and let me tell you, just setting foot on the Camino de Santiago for the first time will feel like a mountaintop, the reward at the end of a long journey.
I can’t wait to be there, to feel that. But I’m learning that this current place in the journey has its more immediate rewards. The feeling of accomplishment as our community surrounds us, supports our hard work as we aim for the Camino de Santiago is a greater encouragement than I think any of them know right now.
I’m learning to enjoy this part of the journey, too.
Ronnie & I graduated from our university's cinematography program together. I have to note before presenting his writing that when I sat down to consider who to ask to come along as the second camera operator, it wasn't so much a decision as it was just a fact that I'd be asking Ron. Some people are born with adventure in their veins. It's just that obvious. - Brittni
To walk is to allow oneself an opportunity at a greater awareness. There is an awareness of the self, an awareness of your surroundings, and ultimately the awareness that walking is all you really need to do. Walking days at a time, weeks even, is giving yourself away to the present, allowing yourself to become lost in the monotony, the vague, and the unexplainable. My whole life I have been conscious of my personal need for movement. I have walked across mountaintops, wandered through alleyways, and ran in countless races. But still my desire is not quenched; I am continually looking for the next path, the next challenge worth the endeavor. For me, that next path will be the Camino.
Often when I have been walking I have had a camera in hand. The camera allows the purest way to document a moment. It provides an opportunity to capture the essence of life itself, even if only in the briefest moments. I enjoy the mechanical nature of cameras, the ease in which you get lost looking through the viewfinder. I am still waiting for the perfect shot, and knowing that it is there, somewhere, drives me to keep looking. With a camera, you can capture the world in the unique way that you experience it. In this way I will capture what I see while on the Camino.
To have the opportunity to combine these two passions is an opportunity I cannot pass up. What better way to connect to the people around you than to walk among them? To share the struggles of the everyday, the aches, the exhaustion, the hunger, but in equal measure the elation and accomplishment. When walking you have little to do but enjoy your surroundings and to talk to those around you. These are the moments I am interested in capturing, the moments I want to be there for to see. What other trail draws so many cultures, ages, and personalities together? People often criticize walking as a solitary act, but walking on the Camino is walking to embrace the spirit of the people around you.
It will be a challenge no doubt. 490 miles will not come easily. And it shouldn’t. That what isn’t hard is rarely worth doing. Batteries will die. Gear will get soaked. Clothes will tear and bodies will be bruised. But you know, all of that is kinda what makes it fun for me. It gives me the chance to laugh when everything else is going wrong, and to realize at the end of the day, I are doing something worthwhile, something that will live beyond me.
My name is Ron Nelson, and I’ll see you on the trail.
We've asked each member of our production team to write up a blog post introducing themselves to you, and here's the first one! We'll be doing this as a series of Meet the Team posts over the next couple weeks, so stay tuned to hear what all the other team members have to say. First, though, we're introducing our own lovely editor. Her name is changing in two weeks to Emily Curtin (congratulations, Em, we're all so excited for you and Ryan!) but today we introduce her as Emily Maysilles.
Lindsay kept talking about this idea, to walk some trail in Spain and collect people's stories. And she kept talking about it until it became this constant theme.
Finally, one night as I was passing through Winton on my way from somewhere to somewhere and using her couch as a hotel, she popped the question: "If I can make this, do you want to cut it?"
"Well, yeah," I said with a smile. "I really really do."
I didn't know I wanted to be an editor. In high school I wandered through all the performing and visual arts convinced one week that I would be an actor, the next that I would either be a playwright or a timpanist, OR MAYBE BOTH!
Junior year I got stuck in a "media" class which basically served the function of sometimes producing school news and otherwise handing out easy A's. The very first class, I got assigned to edit a piece for school news because nobody else wanted to. It was a brilliant addition to the canon of world cinema: a story shot in echoey too-wide shots entitled "What Was Your Favorite Summer Movie." The bad sound and the too-wide shots were an aesthetic, you see.
Even though this was a piece full of high schoolers talking about The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, it was the piece that brought my attention to editing. Here, finally, was a logical art. An art that required some technological wizardry as well as primal storytelling ability. An art that made sense and made beauty out of the chaos.
I went to UNCSA to pursue this love of filmmaking and editing. That's where I met Lindsay, in our Philosophy of Religion course. I thought she was cool, we hung out, I also met this girl Brittni who was really passionate about cinematography and also very cool. At the end of that semester, Lindsay and I pulled an all-nighter at the local Waffle House writing philosophy papers and watching the cycles of the night. After that, our friendship was cemented.
My third year at UNCSA kicked off a period in my life when the concept of home was a bit elusive. I went to Austin and NYC to work crazy, heady weeks at rock festivals. I went to Seattle to assist and study under the renowned photographer Elaine Mayes who was putting together a documentary project about her own mentor. I went to San Francisco to do video at a music studio. I went back home to Atlanta and found a few freelance gigs, then I turned right around and went out to New Hampshire to work for Florentine Films, aka Ken Burns' studio.
When I came back to Atlanta after that, it was because I wanted to. I missed my home. I missed the sunny South and the beat of this crazy city. I also missed the man who will become my husband in just a few short weeks.
I can say with some force of certainty that Atlanta is my home, for now. That experience of finding my home and my place gives me compassion for the pilgrims on the Camino who are asking the same kinds of questions I was asking. Where do I belong? What is my place? What is my purpose?
The scope of this project is enormous. The questions are huge. It's exactly the kind of grandiose thing I like to sink my teeth into.
You can email Emily at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you have any questions for her or just want to talk. Want to see more of her work? Find it at http://emilymaysilles.com/