November 16, 2009

Hillary Rust: An Interview - Part 2

{Hillary and his Trek}

Finally - Part 2 of my interview with Hillary Rust (yes, he's my husband) about the awesome enviro-cycling documentary he's making.

PM: You mention pace as the main reason for taking this trip on your bike. Are there other reasons?

HR: Yeah. If you did this trip by car it's too easy. It would take you 3 days and you might roll the windows down, but driving your car isn't really all that inspiring to people. Anyone can drive their car from here {Los Angles} to Austin. If you can grip the wheel and move your ankle a few inches up and down you're golden.

The schedule is slightly different but I'm essentially riding what they ride in the Tour de France and adding in interviews and content. I'll be going slower than them, of course, but it's going to be a challenge. 100 miles a day will kick your butt. Add in a few interviews both planned and unplanned and you've got yourself a good little mountain to climb.

Then there's the environmental aspect. We're gonna have a "chase" vehicle but hopefully it will be a hybrid and we'll do a comparison between me on the bike and the car. Obviously the car wins in some ways, but it also costs more to build and maintain and you lose out on "earning" it. If that makes sense.

What type of physical or mental training are you doing to prepare yourself for such a long ride?

HR: I drink beer and stay drunk as much as possible so I don't have to think about it.

I ride everyday. I don't always ride that far but I know if I put in enough time on the bike I'll be okay. I should probably eat better and really focus on my diet but that's not really my style.

I've done tons of 80+ mile rides back to back, meaning like two or three or four days in a row. My muscles get sore or whatever but it's definitely doable.

One thing I'd really like to do soon is get with a cycling trainer and just do a quick interview on camera and find out what they think I should be doing. I think that would add a little to the doc.

{A waterless damn here in So-Cal}

What has the process of breathing life into this project been like for you? Is there any part of creating and finding people who want to participate or sponsor the documentary that you didn't expect?

HR: I didn't expect so many people to be into it. I thought I was gonna have to do a lot of like, talking people into it. It hasn't been easy but everyone I talk to wants to see it happen.

I get up like 2 hours before I have to be at work and do research and send emails and just try to get as many eyes on the site as possible and think of every option for interviews and sponsors and the best way to approach each.

Then I go to work and try to focus on everything else that needs to get done and ideas come to me and then I get home and I find myself writing more emails in between loads of laundry and bites of dinner.

As far as the team all i can say is HOLY COW! I know I'm crazy and idealistic or whatever but these guys are awesome. Zack can make cooking dinner look fun and look good, Brent has been all over and shot in some crazy situations and is just a pro, and Emerson...I've worked with that fool enough to know he can get it done. We are all on the same page as far as how we want it to look and what it should be about and the best ways to accomplish all of that and it just makes me really happy to have them.

{Queen Mary in Long Beach}

Finally, what is your best case scenario for the final outcome of the doc?

Best case is we get like 500 hours of footage and we can edit it down into either an hour and a half feature documentary or we can make it into like 4 parts that are half an hour each and that we can get enough interest behind to make like 10 more about the rest of the country and that we can all make a living doing it until it doesn't make sense to do it anymore.

I'd love to see it as a series on the travel channel or something.

None of us are greedy and we really just want to get to do something that we believe in and make it really really good and interesting but also helpful to lots of other people and maybe not go broke doing it.

Is that bad?

Seems fair to me! Check out the documentary website here and let Hillary know what you think. He feeds off of comments, so bring it.

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