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  1. Default Open Road Trip 9000 miles in one month.

    Hello everyone. A friend and I are travelling around America this summer filming a documentary. I'd love to get some feedback regarding our route and other things. Here is the breakdown currently. Some places are more firm than others. Also, we will be doing interviews at some cities. The dates are structured around being in DC on the fourth of July. Thanks.

    Budget: $2000

    Route:
    * June 23 - Coeur D'alene, Idaho
    * June 24 - Billings, Montana
    * June 25 - Fargo, North Dakota or Sioux Falls, South Dakota
    * June 26 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin
    * June 28 - Indianapolis, Illinois or Cincinnati, Ohio
    * June 29 - Buffalo, New York
    * June 30 - Boston, Massachusetts
    * July 2 - New York City, New York
    * July 4 - Washington D.C.
    * ...
    * July 10 - Savannah, Georgia
    * July 11 - Columbus, Georgia
    * July 12 - Jackson, Mississippi
    * July 13 - Dallas, Texas
    * July 14 - Roswell, New Mexico
    * July 15 - Phoenix, Arizona
    * July 16 - Los Angeles, California
    * July 17 - San Francisco, California
    * July 19 - Northern California
    * July 21 - Portland, Oregon
    * July 22 - Home.
    Last edited by RoadTripper Brad; 05-07-2006 at 03:34 AM. Reason: removed URL for the time being

  2. #2
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default What sort of documentary?

    Welcome to the Forum!

    Sounds like you have a great trip planned out. I see postings all the time of young people filming a documentary via roadtrip, but they really never explain what their goals or aims are of the said documentary. Is this similar to the "roadtrip nation" series that pops up from time to time on PBS?

    -Brad

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Green County, Wisconsin
    Posts
    13,063

    Default Red Flags

    I've got a couple of questions. First, what kind of vehicle are you using for this trip? Even if you've got a car with moderate gas mileage (25 mpg), you will end up using more than half of your budget on gas. If you have a Van or SUV that only gets 15-20 mpg, you'll only be left with a couple hundred dollars for all of your other expenses.

    Second, how did you come up with the list of cities? A couple of them stick out, like Oshkosh which isn't easily accessed from the West (no freeways) and your stops in either Indianapolis (indiana) or Cinci pull you quite a bit off the line to Buffalo. Those things alone aren't a problem, but you are already stretching your daily distances, and I'm not quite sure why you'd want to add more mileage in this case. Not to mention, if you are planning on interviewing people as part of your documentary, you will have almost no time because you'll need to spend very full days on the road to make this happen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Red Flags Squared!

    Quote Originally Posted by tannewt
    A friend and I are travelling around America this summer filming a documentary. Budget: $2000
    I agree with Midwest Michael on this one. You are stretching the envelope pretty thin with respect to both the monetary and time budget. Over the last decade, I have worked on mobile marketing campaigns where we averaged 10,000 miles a month. It can be done, but I think your budget is undervalued by at least 90%. You are going to see some amazing things on this trip -- it is too bad that you will always be leaving just as you are about to find "the good stuff."

    Mark

  5. Default

    First off, Brad, the documentary is about the effects of the internet on culture. We're not just filming us driving around the country. We're meeting podcasters, open source developers and artists on the trip. We also applied for a Road Trip Nation grant.

    Michael, we're driving a 2000 Honda Accord. As far as I know it gets around 28 miles per gallon. Oshkosh is on the list because I have family there. Indianapolis/Cincinnatti is actually unnecessary now. We were going to meet an artist there but hes moving to San Diego. The idea was to do full driving days while crossing the country and having more time on the East Coast and the South and then on the West Coast.

    Mark, our goal is $2000 but we will be able to go over. Its not too firm. How much more time do you think we need? Couldn't the cities be rearranged because there is a gap of six days on the East Coast. However, New Orleans does need to be refactored into the plan.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Time for interviews?

    I'm just not getting how you're going to have adequate time to interview anybody in any significant depth in the timeframe you have. And I'm glad you have more money available because even a cheapie traveler like me would be hardpressed to do your trip on $2000....and my car gets about 32mpg highway.

    To be honest, it seems to me a book on how the internet effects culture would be far more interesting if it was all done via computer, i.e. interviewing these individuals via technology like internet phone calls, podcasting, and viewing art via the internet. You know, like "you don't even have to leave home to experience this art". Make sense?

    However, it would ruin a good roadtrip.

  7. Default

    Judy,
    The only problem with not actually visiting them is that it does not attach a name to a face. I believe some people are so involved with others online that they fail to realize real people are on the other end. I want to meet those real people. What would you suggest as far as having more time?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,059

    Default Interviews R R Life

    Quote Originally Posted by tannewt
    I want to meet those real people. What would you suggest as far as having more time?
    As working journalists we have interviewed scores of people (as you are planning to do) in a week's time. But I can tell you that the best interviews, which led to some of the articles I enjoyed the most took more time. These days, I always allow 2-3 days for every event/interview/location when I am preparing an article. Your medium is both more complex and simpler than mine -- you will have to find your own way and voice.

    You might want to look at the Quest-4 site -- two guys on a mission to discover and interpret what it means to be "a success" in today's America. Their odyssey is over and they have moved on to more adventures, but I think you will find some inspiration, based on their real-life experiences that will be helpful as you organize your own quest of discovery.

    Mark

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default Why wouldn't it?

    Not trying to be argumentative here, but there are many ways to attach a name with a face via internet. Photos and videos can be accessed online. Podcasts would work. And so would video cams hooked up to your computer. I don't understand how the last two work but I know of folks who have done these things to communicate over long distances. Instant messaging is a great way to communicate in real time.

    In 2000, I went on a cross-country caravan with a group of people I had never met in person before. We all met via a forum like this and finalized our plans. During this time, we shared online photo albums and slideshows with each other. By the time I met them, I knew what they all looked like and quite a few other things about them that made them well-rounded people to me and I felt like I really knew them before I really met them. Just an idea.

    However, I know nothing about journalism or producing a documentary. So take these ideas with a grain of salt. And, like I said, it would ruin a good reason for taking a great roadtrip. :-)

    OK, I have worked on a few newsletters for organizations I've worked on. When I have done interviews, I have usually spent a couple of hours with the person/group. But it's quite possible that a seasoned interviewer could do it in less time. So, beats me on how much time you'd really need.

    I just think it sounds like you're pushing it timewise to do a good job. And I can see fatigue setting in while you're rushing from place-to-place and trying to do intense work at each destination. After such intensive driving, I don't know if I'd be able to turn it on and keep it on while interacting with people like that. Of course, if you're a lot younger than me, you might not tire out as easily?

    I would either add time or cut the number of people you're interviewing to fit better in the time you have. But that's me.

  10. #10
    RoadTripper Brad Guest

    Default Balance of Live Interviews w/ Netmeeting?

    Quote Originally Posted by Judy
    I just think it sounds like you're pushing it timewise to do a good job. ...
    I would either add time or cut the number of people you're interviewing to fit better in the time you have. But that's me.
    I agree with Judy, but I would offer this suggestion. Narrow your prospects down to a handful of people that you absolutely feel you MUST meet in person, ones that really stand out, and seem important to you. The rest see if you can coordinate a webmeeting (using the technology you're interviewing about) via a program like Microsoft Netmeeting or Yahoo Messenger, both would allow you to connect via Cam and voice chat, and with a good broadband connection, you will have no problems. It will be as if you're being there with them. That way, you ballance the goal of trying to get as many on-camera interviews as you can (being the goal of shooting such a documentary), and getting those other important stories.

    Perhaps you can hit two birds with one stone and actually hold these remote meetings on the road from a motel room that offers high-speed internet and your laptop, if you have one.

    Just a suggestion, but I do agree, you'll be pushing it if you try to cram everyone in.

    -Brad

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