52 Hike Challenge Documentary

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About this project

The Film

This film will follow several hikers as they complete the 52 Hike Challenge. We will document their ups and downs, their struggles and successes, and their own personal goals as it has changed their lives. While focused primarily on challengers in the South Western United States, where we, the filmmakers are based, we hope to reach out to, and include challengers from around the world.

What is the 52 Hike Challenge? 

Meet Phillip and Karla, the founders of the 52 Hike Challenge movement.

In 2002, Phillip was 80 pounds overweight. After watching an Oprah segment on Erik Weihenmayer, a blind man who climbed the highest mountain on each continent (also known as the Seven Summits), Phillip was inspired. He asked himself why he was letting his life dwindle away. If he didn't take control of his life now, how was he going to have the strength to do it when he was older? He knew he had to make a dramatic change in his life and a goal to keep him motivated. He set his sights high - to reach the top of Mt. Whitney. After 10 months of training and hiking, he lost the first 40 pounds and summited the mountain. He fell in love with the mountains and lost the additional 40 pounds through hiking and climbing several other peaks. Once Phillip realized that being fit was the only way to climb some of the highest mountains around the world, this became a lifestyle change - and he has maintained that philosophy for over a decade now. He also believes that climbing mountains gives people the mental fortitude to get through any adversity in life and is working on proving this hypothesis through the 52 Hike Challenge.

Karla was going through a painful period in her life (divorce), when fate stepped in and she met Phillip. Phillip told her about his life changing story and inspired her to get her own dose of nature therapy. Karla found solace in the trails and in January 2014, she set a New Years resolution to hike at least once per week. This is where the 52 Hike Challenge was born. Philip and Karla completed the challenge together in 8.5 months, hiking everywhere from El Salvador to Mt. Whitney. The 52 Hike Challenge cured Karla from her pain, and literally changed her life, one step at a time.

The 52 Hike Challenge was started as a way to promote the physical and mental benefits of hiking. The goal is to hike 52 times in 52 weeks, starting from the day people make a commitment to go on this life changing journey.

Why tell this story?

So why is this story worth telling? This story is not about some super athlete climbing an epically tough, dangerous, expensive, time consuming, and remote mountain in a place you can only dream about going to. Instead, it’s a project that anyone can be a part of. This is the story of ordinary but inspiring individuals who have decided to make a commitment to improve their lives one hike at a time. By accepting the 52 Hike Challenge, our subjects have committed themselves to get out, on average once a week, for one year, to hike and explore, to connect to their surroundings, to get stronger and healthier, to meet new people and make new friends, and to make their lives better through the simplest form of exercise out there… walking.

Our hope is that by showcasing a few of these challengers we can inspire many others to take up the challenge, and start improving their lives.

Goals, Plans and Costs

Our goal is to film our most inspiring challengers doing as many hikes in as many environments, from urban hikes to mountain peaks, as our funding will allow. To create this film we will need to travel across the United States, and as budget allows, the world, joining our challengers as they complete their hikes. Your support will enable us to travel to our destinations and spend as much time as possible filming and sharing our subjects’ stories.

TRAVEL/FILMING - The majority of our costs go straight to Travel and Filming. We want to follow and connect with as many 52 Hike Challengers as possible and that means driving (and flying!) to many different cities and states. That adds up quick!  $10,000

EQUIPMENT - Being professional photographers and avid hikers already, we have most of the equipment we need to make the film, but we're setting aside some budget to make a few necessary upgrades. $1,000

FEES - We've also budgeted for all the perks we'll be handing out to you, as well as all the necessary Kickstarter and Legal fees that go along with making a film. $8,000

POST PRODUCTION - Finally we'll need to finish the film once we're done editing! That'll be color correction, sound mixing, film festival entries, DVD and BluRay creations as well as marketing and publicity. $6,000

How can you be a part of the documentary?

Are you currently taking part in the 52 Hike Challenge and have an interesting story to tell? Simply go to our website, www.seatosummitproductions.com/52hikechallenge and send us your photos or videos, along with your story and why you're doing the Challenge. We want to hear from everyone, whether you're based in Southern California or the Arctic Circle, if you're hiking for yourself or you're hiking for others, we want your stories!

About the Filmmakers

Benny Haddad and Jon Berry are founding members of Sea to Summit Productions.

Benny is an international and adventure photographer and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. He has been hiking since he was 12, from the Appalachians to the Himalayas.

Jon has worked in the film industry as a feature film and tv editor for the past 9 years and an avid hiker and mountain climber for the past 6.

Risks and challenges

Due to the nature of the story, it might take longer than expected, as we might meet new challengers who are inspire us to keep filming. Also, while we have a basic outline for the film, in the end, our journey depends on the challengers’ journeys.

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FAQ

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