It’s a common dream: Pack up everything you own, hit the road and embrace whatever comes. Take that grand adventure, the one where all is left behind, only to be built anew along the way. Perhaps it is our innate destiny, those intangible forces that drive us to seek new sights. When that idea sets in, there’s no escaping it. In this particular case, it was a snowboard movie shot entirely on film with my two best friends. It would take us around the world, from Salt Lake City north to Alaska, across the Pacific to Japan, and south to Patagonia. From freezing nights camped out by the dump in Cooke City, MT, to sleeping under the stars in the Argentine alpine, we had no plans, no timeline and no fixed address, but knew we would find our way to the right place at the right time. More than three years later, we had FREE.
FREE began on a long and desolate drive up the AlCan Highway in March 2012, en-route to Haines, AK. It was just me and Wyatt Stasinos in his worn but trusty gray 2001 Toyota Tundra. In the heart of the Yukon territory, we ate half-cooked freeze-dried meals while watching the sun set over a small Inuit village along a frozen river. The cold was almost debilitating. It was silent and tranquil, and we were content. We began to laugh, then howl like mad wolves. Why not continue this way of life that was beyond stress and regret?
The formula was simple: Earn enough money to live how we want for extended periods of time. When funds ran out, find work and make enough money for another stretch on the road. Do what you have to do when you have to do it, so you can do whatever it is you want to do when you want to do it. Over the last four years I’ve served in restaurants, tended bar, washed dishes, painted houses, gardened, landscaped, trimmed pot, washed windows, unloaded halibut boats in Alaska, and picked up dog poop, cigarette butts and gum off the boardwalk on the Homer spit. All of this in order to make this film…