That’s the logline for The Ditch, a feature film I’m producing and co-writing along with writer-director Ed Huber.
And that’s the first cool thing about The Ditch – that it involves the Grand Canyon, the Colorado River, and whitewater rafting. The other stuff that’s got me pumped is the way in which this film is ramping up.
We’ve reached a point where filmmaking has been democratized thanks to advances in technology. It’s no longer a requirement to slave for years on projects you don’t believe in only because they are “commercial” and affect a “lowest common denominator,” playing on screen more like a videogame rather than a film.
You still have to put in your time , though, don’t get me wrong – one of the challenges all creative and industrious types face now comes from the very evolved process which facilitates their entre into the business – just because your youtube video gets a million hits or you pass the tipping point with a lucky first venture doesn’t preclude having to work your butt off. But by acquiring some great digital cameras and sound gear, it’s now more possible for a filmmaker to get equipped with the tools he or she needs.
Ed Huber has been working his butt off – he’s been a whitewater rafter and guide for at least two decades, and for 16 years has owned a production company which shoots whitewater rafting and kayaking trips. He’s put in beaucoup time. And recently Ed’s been cutting his teeth on film sets, working on films like Dancehall and Bully Pulpit and proving indispensable as a crew member and team player.
The Ditch follows a group of rafters as they navigate the treacherous waters of the Colorado River. We soon learn, though, that the rafters aren’t there purely out of a sense of adventure, but that their hands have been forced. Ominously governing their situation is a company with a terrifying agenda. And as with such nefarious organizations puppeteering others to do their bidding, the means justify the ends. The rafters will have to fight to survive, and hope to carve their whitewater path clear of the perils to confront the evil behind such a deadly experiment.
So, here’s where YOU come in. You can be a part of this film. That’s the other really cool thing about a project like The Ditch. In addition to illustrating the democratization of filmmaking through technology, the effort is fueled by the support of people like you. You become an “owner” of the film when you donate, a participant in its creation even if your contribution is to “like” it on Facebook, or pass it on to a friend.
Rather than the oligarchic method of big studios owning and controlling a film, we’re now living in a time when filmmakers can access the tools they need, and find support in their community to raise the funds needed to execute the picture. It’s a socialization of the arts which couldn’t come at a more needed time when the economy has endowments disappearing and funding drying up. It’s all up to you. From $5 to $500 bucks, with your donation, this vision becomes a reality.
Check out our campaign on the Indiegogo site to see how quick, easy and awesome it is to become a part.
The crew is ready, the actors are packing their whitewater helmets, ready to deploy to the Grand Canyon. A great movie adventure is about to begin.