Allie Bombach who produced the short documentary 23 Feet through her and Sarah Menzies production company Red Reel has proven to us all that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. Funded by Kickstarter, Allie and her two friends took off in a 23 foot Airstream to tour part of the west coast of America with the aim of finding people who had simplified their lives to follow their passions. As a director, producer, and videographer, Allie uses her gift for storytelling to promote simple living and respect for the environment… things we definitely dig here at Inspired Camping.
They had no idea who they would meet but hit the road in their beloved 1970 Airstream with high hopes of finding great characters and hearing wonderful stories. They weren’t disappointed as they were able to connect with some pretty amazing people who have turned their backs on the comforts of society to live in school vans, buses and other small spaces. From an inspiring campfire chat with legendary Yosemite climber Ron Kauk, to hearing the powerful story of a woman who changed her whole life for surfing, 23 Feet gives an intimate look at the ups and downs of dedicating your life to your outdoor passion.
They travelled to Colorado, Utah, Arizona and California to make the film and then returned to share their story in an outdoor theatre attached to the Airstream itself. They managed this using a solar powered generator, a projector, sound and a projection screen, which allowed them to travel from secluded landscapes to crowded city streets to share their inspiring stories of simple living.
Press ‘play’ to enjoy the 23 Feet soundtrack while you read our article.
Allie explained why she chose to travel in an Airstream to complete and show 23 Feet.
“Lasting through generations, they are meant for the roads and not the landfills and to me it resembles buying an old historic house verses a cookie cutter – more funky, fun, and the ability to have restoration creativity. I also love simple living. I’m excited to have limited space, so only the necessities are inside.
My step dad, who has been a HUGE help in the restoration, always replies without hesitation or concern “Allie… nothing is impossible”.
There have been a lot of hurdles up to this point in the process of making this project a reality. While rebuilding the 40 year old Airstream I kept asking “Is that possible?” in reference to things like plumbing and electricity. My step dad, who has been a HUGE help in the restoration, always replies without hesitation or concern “Allie… nothing is impossible”. At first, I thought he was talking about installing solar power or having a collapsible rain barrel, but I think his simple reply has had a deeper meaning to me in the last few months. I’ve come to realize that many of my friends and family have traveled in their lives for extended periods of time. My grandparents traveled the United States for 10 years while I was growing up. From Vancouver, BC to New Orleans, LA, visiting grandma’s house was an adventure because it was always somewhere different. I have come across many people that not only live on the road, but work full-time in converted Euro vans or trailers. It’s becoming more and more apparent that many have taken on this lifestyle if not now, at some time in their lives. Every now and then I hear from friends that they too would love to travel, but it’s just not possible. I can hear my step dad speaking up at this point.”
Allie has named her Airstream Roma and she’s very excited about what she’s going to be able to do to her in the future.
“Roma’s got some snazz to her for sure. Her cork floors are pretty awesome and she has reclaimed wood for the desk and bed. What I am excited about is the upcoming improvements to make her really cozy and sustainable. I’m hoping to add a wood stove, solar panels, and one fine day, a composting toilet.”
But Allie doesn’t only have plans for Roma. She also has plans to continue her theatre tour and documentaries.
“We had such a powerful reaction to the outdoor theatre tour last summer that we are excited to be able to continue the grassroots unique distribution for projects to come. As far as the stories in the works, we’re sticking with character driven pieces, and pointing our lens to the movers and shakers of environmental and social change. Right now Roma is sitting in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with my family, and Sarah and I are calling San Jose Del Cabo, Baja, home for the winter. We’re filming in the water and editing our 2012 spring films. If there were a sequel to 23 Feet, I think we might take it onto sail boats, but right now, 23 feet of home has turned into about 3 feet of suitcase, and life couldn’t be better.”
You can buy 23 Feet from their website but we have one gorgeous copy to give away to a lucky reader. All you have to do is add your name to the free updates and bonuses box and we’ll automatically enter you into our prize draw (remember it’s free, you’ll get updates before everyone else, we never share your details and you can unsubscribe at any time). If you already have then don’t worry as that means you’ve already been entered. We’ll be pulling names out of a hat on Friday 13 April, just to prove it IS lucky for some, and we’ll email the winner shortly afterwards. Just think… it could be you!
Good luck and happy inspired camping!
Update: Laura from LA is the lucky winner of this prize. But don’t be sad… there are loads more prizes to come. Just make sure you add your email address to the updates and bonuses box. Sunny smiles.
Picture Credit: 23 Feet