Bikes, water & soul

Triangle land conservancy,
conservation trust for North carolina,
& triangle bikeworks
film production & story development

Aerial shot of North Carolina Neuse River
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a journey story told through 'home footage'

Triangle Bikeworks is a nonprofit that organizes youth bike tours that trace culturally significant routes across the U.S.

Past tours have followed the Trail of Tears, the Underground Railroad, and partnered with the National Parks Services on service learning projects. The goal of all of the tours is to give youth the opportunity to travel to historic spaces, persevere through challenges, and discover who they want to be.

For this particular tour, the youth would be learning about conservation and environmental justice while riding 700 miles along the Neuse River down to the Atlantic Ocean and back.

The tour was supported by Triangle Land Conservancy, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, and Triangle Bikeworks.

project context & Goals

One of the goals of the bike tours is self-discovery. From an interview perspective this lends itself to broad cliched quotes about personal growth, etc.

Saying that someone has grown/changed is not as powerful as showing it.

The approach we took here was pretty simple. Interview the story contributors before they went on the tour, while they were on the tour, and after the tour was over.

But there is also perspective that requires more time. To capture this, we chose to highlight the story of someone who had that distance and perspective.

This is why Itza’s story was so important. She had gone on 7 tours and was now one of the program leaders. Through her backstory we were able to give a deeper sense of the type of change the riders experience overtime. It was also a way to incorporate archival footage of other tours so the audience could understand the broader goals of the organization.

our client

Triangle Land Conservancy,
Conservation Trust for North Carolina, & Triangle Bikeworks

our role

Story Design
Film Production
Editing

Our team

Story Contributors:
Cindy
Hans
Itza
Kevin
Lisa

Directors and Producers:
Catherine Orr
Elena Rue

Cinematographers:
Jesse Paddock
Julia Wall
Wilson Land

Editors:
Catherine Orr
Rachel Healy
Elena Rue

Cindy, a young Spoke'n Revolution rider looks down thoughtfully
Bike in foreground, young adult riders stretching in background
Kevin Hicks, Triangle Bikeworks leader, smiling in a group of young riders before the ride begins
Farmer in a tshirt and ball cap explaining something to a group of young people

workshop & 'home footage'

Before the ride began, we held a half-day workshop to teach the riders some video basics and brainstorm how and what to share in the story.

We were able to discuss what they thought the story should be about. What mattered to them, what felt true to their experience. What questions would they ask, what visuals would they focus on, etc. We also asked them to help us document the trip with their phones.

Our hope was that this would result in footage that would add a powerful personal angle to this story of self-discovery, and hopefully also equip the riders with tools for telling their own story now and moving forward.

The footage the riders captured is woven throughout the piece. It documents moments and interactions that just wouldn’t be the same if they were being filmed by professionals.

It shows the intimacy of the experience, the friendships that were made and the unplanned moments of struggle and humor.

Spoke'n Revolution riders take a break in the lake - group holding one rider and laughing
Selfie of Kevin Hicks riding a bike with group of young people riding behind him

1-Minute Version

In addition to the Core Video, we created 1-minute version, as well as social media excerpts and still images to use on various platforms to expand the impact of the video.

Young Spoke'n Revolution bike rider on a break standing by a lake
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