Uttlesford teenagers to longboard across US in bid to compete with top documentary film-makers

From left, David, Oliver, Rupert and Bailey filming their Kickstarter video  Bradley was not able to be there for the making of the video. From left, David, Oliver, Rupert and Bailey filming their Kickstarter video  Bradley was not able to be there for the making of the video.

Thursday, April 17, 2014
10:11 AM

Five budding film-makers will be longboarding across America in the hope of encouraging other young people to create their own opportunities.

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The team's Kickstarter video.The team's Kickstarter video.

Rupert Rixon, 19, Bailey Bunt, 18, Bradley Gant, 18, Oliver Spain, 19, and David Rock, 19, will travel from Los Angeles to New York, covering 3,000 miles in less than 60 days.

Three will be travelling the whole time on a longboard, similar to a skateboard but longer and wider, while the other two will be in a support vehicle.

The group will be documenting the journey – “the good, the bad and the ugly” – to turn it into a feature length film to show others that anything is possible.

Self-taught film-maker Rupert, a former Saffron Walden County High and Friends’ School pupil, said: “We want to inspire young people to look beyond a standardised education and apply focus to individual projects to make them stand out and reach their goals.

“When we were at school we were never told that if you get really good at something then one day you could get a job doing it.

“It was always work hard, get good results, go to university and then get a job in something completely irrelevant to your degree.

“If you want to be a film-maker, go and make films.”

David, from, Great Dunmow, added: “I am really looking forward to it, it is going to be hard, but it will be an amazing opportunity.

“I have been making films with Rupert for two years and we have done everything ourselves and that is kind of the point we want to make.

“We do not want to put down education because it is important but we want to let people know that they can make their own opportunities outside of school and college.

“For example, if you want to become a musician then go and play a musical instrument.

“I don’t think a lot of people in the education system really understand that.”

The idea for the documentary came from the group’s love of travel and with the goal of being able to produce something that could compete with top film-makers.

Rupert, who won the Outstanding Young Filmmaker award at the Screentest Student Festival, in London, added: “We wanted to create a film where the main attraction wasn’t the film itself.

“We can’t compete with Hollywood because we do not have a £20million budget to spend on making an action film but we can compete with a documentary.

“I love being on the road and I love to experience things. What’s great about this is we can take the ­audience on the road with us.”

The teenagers hope to set off on their adventure next month but need to reach their fundraising goal of £12,750 by May 5. The money will go towards travel, production and film festival fees.

The adventure-lovers have launched a Kickstarter page, a website dedicated to helping ­creative projects raise much-needed cash to get off the ground, and are appealing for help.

People who pledge cash will be receiving a ‘thank you’ in many different forms – including a Blu-ray version of the film and a “tasteful” naked calender.

• To view their Kickstarter page, visit kickstarter.com/projects/1440507603/longboarding-3000-miles-from-la-to-ny-feature-film.

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