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Movie Tour Announced for “The River is Life”

The River is Life Tour, a first in independent filmmaking history, will be movie makers Ryan Jeanes’ and Phillip Hullquist’s second trip down the entire length of the Mississippi River.  The creative pair is “taking their show on the road” showing their epic documentary The River is Life – a fun-filled feature of their real-life adventure down the Mighty Mississippi – to audiences north and south along America’s Great River.

Jeanes and Hullquist departed in two inflatable Sea Eagle kayaks from Lake Itasca, Minnesota (the source of the Mississippi) in June of 2009 and filmed their exploits – staying in people’s homes, camping along the riverbanks, and contending with wind-swollen lakes, barge traffic, and massive boat wakes – for the entertainment of adventure lovers and seekers everywhere.

Their ninety-minute film is full of surprises. “A lot of people were amazed at how many people we met,” Jeanes says. “We couldn’t go a week without someone calling us over for a beer or for dinner or (with luck) a warm bed.”

“You’ll meet quite a funny cast of characters in this movie,” Hullquist adds, “from an over-size Kentuckian sporting his duck call to a racy Minnesota woman threatening to kill us in our sleep.  Boats and barges weren’t the only things we had to defend against,” he laughs.

Jeanes and Hullquist plan to bring the same sense of fun and adventure they relished on the river to their 42-stop movie tour, where they will present their film in many of the same cities and towns they stayed in almost a year ago.  “The shows will also be outdoors!” Jeanes explains. “This is a first for independent movies.  We want to give people a real-life Mississippi experience, so we’ve arranged to show the movie in parks all along the banks of the Mississippi!  It’s going to be a festival-like atmosphere where, if we do our jobs right, the whole family will have the time of their lives!”

The movie will debut in Minnesota where the duo started their journey. Over the course of three months they will make their way to New Orleans entreating audiences to “share in the adventure” and enjoy a heart-warming film not only about the majesty and wonder America’s most recognizable waterway but also the people that make this nation and this river so great.  “It’s a family piece,” Hullquist says, “it really is. Without the people we met along the way, who shared their lives with us, this film would never have been possible.  It promises to be an immensely enjoyable, immensely inspiring film.”

The River is Life Movie Tour begins August 4th and will end in New Orleans on Halloween night.  To find out more information please visit theriverislife.com for a schedule and free venue kit.

The River is Life Movie Tour. Be a part of the adventure!  To find out how you can hold a River is Life Tour event in your town, visit theriverislife.com or email phillip@11visions.com.

The Hitchhiking Movie to Premiere at Secret City Film Festival

The Hitchhiking Movie
The Hitchhiking Movie

Nashville, TN — September 24, 2009 — Nashville based filmmakers Ryan Jeanes and Phillip Hullquist are premiering their first feature film The Hitchhiking Movie on October 9th at the Secret City Film Festival in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The movie follows the pair’s attempt to cross the entire continental United States in less than a week, using nothing more than their thumbs.

“After over a year of work on this project, we can finally see The Hitchhiking Movie play on the big screen,” said Hullquist, who also served as editor for the film, which is already receiving positive reviews and press. First time filmmakers often times get bogged down in the overwhelming amount of work involved in actually completing a movie, but as Jeanes explains, “The real work is done in the editing room.  Successfully filming our hitchhiking adventure was an accomplishment, but I was more excited when we had the finished product.  The positive reviews have just made the experience sweeter.”

“Before we left for the trip, people told us we’d be stabbed or murdered,” Jeanes says. “Very heartening.”  The 101-minute feature film chronicles the filmmaking duo’s experiences as 23 complete strangers stop on the side of the road and take them from New York City towards Los Angeles. (You will have to watch the film to see if they actually make it.)  “I had already bought two return tickets from L.A.” Jeanes continues. “We had to make it or we’d miss the flight back.”

The pair created the website 11visions.com which not only sells their DVD but also highlights their current adventures which include a kayaking trip down the entire length of the Mississippi River. Adventure travel seems to be their mainstay, but as Jeanes explains, “I think many people have the desire to leave their current existence and do something crazy. Where most people stop at that impulse, we actually go do it and get it on film.”

The Hitchhiking Movie is funny, insightful and full of unexpected surprises.  Hullquist explains, “I was a one-man crew with no script, so it was challenging to set up the shots we needed to make the film. We wanted to capture the realism of being like any other hitchhiker on the road, so our camera gear was kept to a minimum.”

What about the danger? “That’s what we wanted to dispel,” Hullquist says. “This is a realistic portrayal of hitchhiking unlike what you see in your average horror movie.”  ”There’s no blood and guts,” Jeanes adds. “The only real fear was whether we could make it before the deadline.”

Entertaining scenarios abound in this documentary:  A hysterical yet attractive young woman offers to drive them all the way from New Jersey to Los Angeles, a Seminole Indian entreats them to smoke his prayer pipe, a rowdy, one-eyed construction worker instructs on the basics of train hopping, and the pair finds themselves desperate in Denver with over 1000 miles to travel and less than 48 hours in which to do it.  If a real life adventure is your thing, this film is for you.

“A lot of people probably aren’t going to finish watching the movie and then go stick their thumbs out on the side of the road,” Jeanes points out. “The beauty is that The Hitchhiking Movie is for both the armchair and active adventurer. You can share in the fun without ever leaving your house.”

But Jeanes and Hullquist aren’t stopping there. Just two months after the DVD release of The Hitchhiking Movie, photography for their next film began in Minnesota. Their new film is titled The River is Life, and it tells the story of people they meet while paddling down the entire Mississippi River. A third documentary, a lighthearted exploration of heaven, hell and the idiosyncrasies of religion, is also in the works.

Tickets for The Hitchhiking Movie as well as more information about the festival are available at www.secretcityfilms.com. To purchase a DVD for home viewing go to www.hitchhikingmovie.com, or visit the parent website www.11visions.com. The film is available in streaming video and DVD which includes bonus scenes, an audio commentary from the crew as well as a special “drunk commentary.

The Hitchhiking Movie Documentary Released on DVD

The Hitchhiking MovieNashville, TN — April 14, 2009 — Adventure documentary The Hitchhiking Movie was released today on DVD. The movie follows the journey of actor Ryan Jeanes and director Phillip Hullquist in their attempt to cross the entire continental United States in less than a week, using nothing more than their thumbs.

“Before we left for the trip, people told us we’d be stabbed or murdered,” Jeanes says. “Very heartening.”  The 101-minute feature film chronicles the filmmaking duo’s experiences as 23 complete strangers stop to pick them up and take them from New York City towards Los Angeles. (You will have to watch the film to see if they actually make it.)  “I had already bought two return tickets from L.A.” Jeanes continues. “We had to make it or we’d miss the flight back.”

The pair created the website 11visions.com which not only sells their DVD but also highlights their current adventures which include a float down the entire length of the Mississippi River and a swim across the English Channel. Adventure travel seems to be their mainstay, but as Jeanes explains, “I think many people have desires to leave their current existence and go do something crazy. Where most people stop at that impulse, we actually go do it, and we get it on film.”

The Hitchhiking Movie is funny, insightful and full of unexpected surprises.  Hullquist explains, “I was a one-man crew with no script, so it was challenging to set up the shots we needed to make the film. We wanted to capture the realism of being like any other hitchhiker on the road, so our camera gear was kept to a minimum.”

What about the danger? “That’s what we wanted to dispel,” Hullquist says. “This is a realistic portrayal of hitchhiking unlike what you see in your average horror movie.”  “There’s no blood and guts,” Jeanes adds. “It’s nothing like that. The only real fear was whether we could make it before the deadline.”

Entertaining scenarios abound in this documentary:  A hysterical yet attractive young woman offers to drive them from New Jersey to Los Angeles, a Seminole Indian entreats them to smoke his prayer pipe, a rowdy, one-eyed construction worker instructs on the basics of train hopping, and the pair finds themselves desperate in Denver with over 1000 miles to travel and less than 48 hours to do it.  If real life adventure is your thing, this film is for you.

“A lot of people probably aren’t going to finish watching the movie and then go stick their thumbs out on the side of the road,” Jeanes points out. “The beauty is that The Hitchhiking Movie is for both the armchair and active adventurer. You can share in the fun without even leaving your house.”

To purchase The Hitchhiking Movie, go to www.hitchhikingmovie.com, or visit the parent website 11visions.com. The film is available in streaming video and DVD which includes bonus scenes, an audio commentary from the crew as well as a special “drunk commentary.”

The Hitchhiking Movie – on sale now at 11visions.com.

Phillip Hullquist and Ryan Jeanes will embark from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to begin their journey down the Mississippi River via kayak in May of this year. Visit http://www.11visions.com for more info.

Buy Now from IndieFlix

Adventure Movie to Feature Float Down Entire Mississippi River

Nashville, TN — February 16, 2009 — Their first film cataloged their attempt to hitchhike coast to coast, across the entire continental United States in under a week.  For their second adventure, they will cross the country again; only this time, it will be top to bottom.  “We’re gonna start in Minnesota and go all the way to the Gulf of Mexico,” Phillip Hullquist, co-creator of Eleven Visions says.  “We’ll go from black bears in the north to gators in the south.  Should be fun.”  “And no thumbing rides this time,” adds Ryan Jeanes, second creator of the production company which focuses on adventure films.  “We’re going to have to do all the work this time… paddling!  We hitchhiked across the U.S. in a week, but this is going to take us muuuuuuch longer.”

The filmmaking pair expects the voyage via inflatable kayak to take between 2 1/2 and 3 months.  As in their first feature, they will focus as much on the people they meet along the way as the obstacles they need to overcome to complete the journey.  “Our first film was a real eye-opener,” Jeanes says.  “We thought people would be really hyped on our attempt to finish the journey to Los Angeles from New York, but a lot of people commented on the people we interviewed.  They would say things like, ‘Oh, that psychiatrist guy was my favorite guy,’ or, “Oh, I wish I could have learned more about Fred; he was awesome!’  So we are definitely going to incorporate those types of exchanges when we’re on the river.”

Jeanes and Hullquist answer the claims that they are addicted to adventure.  “I don’t know if we’re addicted,” Jeanes explains, “but our films do tend to be about things people would love to do but are letting some reason, real or imaginary, hold them back.  Our movies are about facing fear to a certain extent, but really are more about doing the things your heart wants to do before your mind talks you out of it.”  “A lot of people poo-pooed our hitchhiking idea, but we’re not getting a lot of that this time,” Hullquist explains.  “I guess when you successfully complete one adventure, people expect that you’ll complete the second.  What a lot of people don’t know is that only 2 to 3 people paddle the entire river each year!  That’s less than the number of people who hike the Appalachian Trail or who swim the English Channel.  We’re ready.  Bring it on.”

The title, The River is Life, is a play on Jack Kerouac’s famous phrase, “The road is life.”  “We want to capture a piece of Americana,” Jeanes states.  “We’ll go through 11 states on this trip – from the Upper Midwest to the Deep South.  We’ll be interviewing scores of people from all walks of life.  The people we meet always add an invaluable dimension to our movies.”

What about the amount of effort it will take to paddle 2500 miles!  “It’s going to be hard work,” says Hullquist.  You have to pay attention at all times to avoid barges, pleasure boaters, changes in current, wildlife, and sometimes waterfalls (in Minnesota) and rapids (around St. Louis).  I hope we can complete the journey in 2 and a half months and get the movie out to our fans by January 2010.”

Phillip and Ryan plan to be on the River the first day of summer, June 21, 2009.  For more information visit their website at www.11visions.com or email info@11visions.com.

New Production Company Brings the Adventure Home

Nashville, TN — February 8, 2009 — 11 Visions was started on a simple premise:  People love wild, crazy adventures!  And if they don’t have the inclination to go on one themselves at the moment, they sure love to watch one.  Enter 11 Visions Productions.  11 Visions was created by filmmaker Phillip Hullquist and actor Ryan Jeanes.  “I met Phillip in South Padre Island, Texas,” Jeanes says, “and I was telling him about the time I hitchhiked across Texas and then England and France when he goes, ‘Yeah, I hitchhiked from Little Rock to Los Angeles.’  I said, ‘Woah, another crazy… thought I was the only one!”  Shortly after Jeanes pitched Hullquist an idea for a new movie.  “Phillip was just so open to anything I discussed with him,” Jeanes continues.  “I said, ‘Hey, I want you to follow me around with a camera as I try to hitchhike across the U.S. in a week.’  He was like, ‘Okay.’  So I bought two plane tickets going to New York from my hometown in Austin, TX and coming back one week later from Los Angeles.  Our goal was to hitchhike from New York to L.A. in 7 days and make a movie out of it… and we did.”

The Hitchhiking Movie was the filmmaking pair’s first collaboration.  “I’d never done anything of that magnitude,” Phillip says.  “I had worked steadily as a director and editor on smaller projects, but this was totally different.  It was fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants filmmaking.  We had no idea who was going to pick us up or where, we had no idea where we’d be dropped off; so, choosing shots was challenging; but, I can say that The Hitchhiking Movie is an accurate representation of what a real life hitchhiking adventure is like.”  To find out more about The Hitchhiking Movie go to www.hitchhikingmovie.com.

Jeanes, who worked as an actor in the Texas market for four years, is comfortable in front of the camera.  “I did a lot of commercials in Dallas and San Antonio, and I did live theater.  Hosting an adventure documentary is not something I had experience with, but I thought I was a pretty experienced world-traveler and I had broad interests.  I knew what I wanted to create, and the finished product was better than I expected.  So right now we’ve got even more wild, crazy adventure coming your way.”

Their newest project tentatively titled The River is Life – a play on on Jack Keroac’s famous phrase, “The road is life.”  The film will chronicle their journey down America’s greatest river, The Mighty Mississippi.  “We’re going to take two kayaks down the entire length, 2252 miles,” Hullquist says.  “We don’t have a deadline this time [like we did in The Hitchhiking Movie],” Jeanes notes.  “This film will be more about the majesty of the river and the sheer adventurousness of going down North America’s greatest river.”  “It should take us 2 and a half months,” Hullquist adds.  “Hopefully I’ll have some good upper body development by the end (laughs).”

Jeanes and Hullquist’s movies are as much about the people they meet along the way as their own journey.  “When we released The Hitchhiking Movie I was surprised.  Many people commented on their ‘favorite’ person like, ‘Oh, I loved the Psychiatrist,’ or, ‘oh, I loved Fred.’  They got really attached to the people we interviewed along the way.  We’ll definitely be meeting and interviewing some new characters on the Mississippi River.”

What else is different this time?  “Also,” Phillip continues, “we’ve got a blog up during the entire duration of our Mississippi trip.  We didn’t have that for The Hitchhiking Movie.  Our blog traffic has gone up and so the visibility of our work has gone up.  We hope that the farther we go down the river the more and more interest will be generated.”  You can visit their blog chronicling their current and past adventures at www.11visions.com.

To say the least, this summer promises to be an adventurous one for the two filmmakers.  They are slated to depart from Lake Itasca, Minnesota at the headwaters of the Mississippi River the first day of Summer, June 21, 2009.

“It’s going to be awesome,” Phillip says.  “I can’t wait!”  “I’m just glad we’ll get to share this with our fans while we’re on the river,” Jeanes adds.  “This time you can be on the river with us as we’re making the movie.”

The River is Life is scheduled for release January of next year.  To find out more about 11 Visions, The Hitchhiking MovieThe River is Life, and new adventures to come, visit 11visions.com.