Jordan Sanders and Matt Lowers, part time teachers and full time adventurers, turn to alternative funding sources for their first, major film project. With the project’s conceptualization beginning just one month ago, the process is testing both the merits of social media and the friends’ nerves.
Bloomington, IN (WEB) April 14, 2012 – If everything goes according to plan, in mid-May, two best friends from the Midwest will have the budget to make their movie-making dream a reality. Gearing up for a two month kayaking expedition. The crew, including Jordan Sanders, brothers Matt and Daniel Lowers, and Chris Smith-Nicholson, will kayak from a small tributary in Bloomington, Indiana all the way down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico. Their film will encompass the highlights of the trip, the lowlights, and everything in between.
It all started out as a way for the friends to re-unite. Since meeting at Indiana University, Jordan Sanders and Matt Lowers used to do everything together. Since then, Jordan as moved to Germany and Matt has remained in Bloomington. Yet the more they talked about it, the more they realized they wanted to do something more significant together.
Expedition Mississippi has two primary goals: to show through their video that if THEY can do it YOU can do it. Jordan notes,
“Although we’ve been looking into getting some better quality gear for safety reasons, we still aren’t ‘kayaking professionals’ by a long shot. But we’re not letting that discourage us. We’re making this movie to show that if just a few average guys can do this, YOU can do it. Or just about any kind of adventure for that matter.”
Another main objective is to raise awareness about the need to preserve the Mississippi River and the natural environment. They did this by teaming up with two fantastic organizations, Leave No Trace and Paddle4Peace. Matt states,
“We feel like the further we get down the river, the more we’ll be doing to spread peace and environmental awareness”.
In addition to featuring smart environmental decisions in their movie, they will also be selling self-made “survival bracelets” and waterbottles at major cities along the river. Some of the proceeds will help fund the Expedition Mississippi project, and the other part will be donated to these non-profit organizations.
The idea has already drawn lots of attention online, especially considering the fact that they only had the idea one month ago. In that time they’ve garnered well over 100 likes on their Facebook Page, nearly 200 followers on Twitter, and a slew of support from “average joes” as well as Kayaking and adventure professionals. They’ve also fortunate enough to receive help from Hungry Hikers for camping food, Kayaking Chicago for safety training lessons, and the Complete Paddler for kayaking gear.
Finally, Jordan, Matt and Daniel are especially excited to receive advice from Dave Cornthwaite, the record holder for the longest SUP journey (stand up paddling); he set this record on the Mississippi.
The only question now is whether or not they will be able to successfully fund their project on Kickstarter, the world’s largest creative project funding website. Artists have a set number of days to raise all the funds on Kickstarter, or the project receives nothing. Expedition Mississippi has 30 days to reach their $1,800 goal. This isn’t much considering that they’re going to need food for a couple months, a decent set of paddles, and a good quality HD video camera. Those interested in supporting the project can visit their Kickstarter page here.