RIDING WILD | In production
Riding Wild is a documentary film of a woman and wild horses traveling 4,000 miles from the US-Mexico border to the Sacred Headwaters in northwestern British Columbia. Inspired by her vision of cultivating a relationship with the wild, this story explores the transformational relationship that women have with the Earth. More than ever, wild is being threatened. As our public lands are being increasingly endangered by industrial development. Right now we have a powerful responsibility to inspire a deeper connection to Nature with the goal of stimulating a new era of environmental stewardship. This journey aims at strengthening these bonds by following Aniela across a land that few have have experienced with their own eyes. The route itself traces 2,659 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail through California, Oregon, and Washington. Crossing into Canada, we enter the Chicoltin Ark as we make our way up to the Sacred Headwaters. This is an ecological sanctuary comprising ten of British Columbia’s fourteen ecosystems ranging from rainforests to grasslands to high mountain peaks. As we marvel at the beauty of the wilderness, we imagine a world where we can live more closely with Nature.
To bring the audience on this journey, the cinematography will capture the spectacular beauty of the wide landscape as well as the impossibly small details of the natural world. From vast open plains to an ant on a single blade of grass, the audience will experience the full richness and breadth of the 4,000-mile trek. In addition to capturing our human and animal heroes with authenticity and care, the landscape itself becomes a character, shown in all her splendor for all to appreciate and respect.
I spent 2 weeks filming with Aniela Gottwald on the Arizona Trail in 100 degree heat. The air was dry, hot and sucked the energy right out of you. My biggest challenges to overcome on this project were hydration, and relearning what it means to be a one man crew. Unfortunately when we filmed this teaser, Aniela’s horse was injured and wasn’t able to help carry any of the equipment. So, I sucked it up, packed my Alexa Mini and lenses as lightly as possible and hauled the 60-70 lb pack of gear into the Grand Canyon. On the morning that we were set to hike out, I sprained my ankle and immediately, I was swept with fear. I had a 7 mile hike and 4,000’ of elevation standing between me and the closest food and shelter. With the help of Aniela trading off with the pack (which weighed half her body weight!) we ended up getting to the top of the north rim safely just after the sun had set. It took us twice as long as it should have but we made it out in one piece.