Real Talkies

Real Talkies

Every cut is a lie. It’s never that way. Those two shots were never next to each other in time that way. But you’re telling a lie in order to tell the truth. –Wolf Koenig.

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BEING MADE – TEXAS 4000

February 20, 2011 , , , , ,

TEXAS 4000 is a documentary about young bicycle riders, most of them first time road cyclist who embark on the longest annual charity bicycle ride from Texas to Alaska.

In 2009, 44 young adults, who either lost a parent, family member or friend to cancer rode from Texas to Alaska. Most of them were first time road cyclist. Some of them have friends and family who are still fighting cancer. Through their journey they attempt to overcome not only the physical obstacles of their journey but also their emotional obstacles of dealing with cancer. It takes them 70 days to cover a distance of more than 4000 miles. The riders consume 10,000 energy bars, 700 gallons of sports drinks, 6000 peanut butter jelly sandwiches, expend 4 gallons of sunscreen and use every ounces of mental energy and will power to get their body and mind to the finish line.

The riders seldom stop. They ride through rain, sleet, wind, snow and heat, through changing elevations that range from 500 feet to 14,000. The clip below is a brief sample.

Jeehyun Dong debut feature length documentary TEXAS 4000 has the most amazing visuals and poignant moments of physical and emotional resilience. He is a graduate film student at University of Texas Austin.  He began filming their preparation, fund raising events, training sessions and meetings from 2008. Following 44 bicycle riders along two routes with riders covering the course at different pace was extremely challenging for Jeehyun. Especially because of he had one camera and a skeleton crew. So he had to go back and forth several times. Despite these challenges, Jeehyun managed to capture a lot of awesome footage. He had edited a short 40 minute version and is now cutting a feature length documentary.

Simultaneously he is working on another documentary “FREE NORTH KOREA RADIO”, which is about North Korean refugees who made radio programs and send it to North Korea. He filmed this documentary in 2005 in South Korea, China and North Korea. Besides editing two wonderful documentaries, he takes care of his gorgeous baby daughter. Though filmmaking is a collaborative effort, in Texas 4000 Jeehyun served all key roles – producer, director, cinematographer, editor and graphic designer. Currently, TEXAS 4000 is on kickstarter, seeking funds to complete the post production. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1259835567/texas-4000-a-feature-length-documentary-film. These funds will help the movie reach a wider audience.

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