We all have dreams… right? A burning desire in our heart to do something great or maybe a dim flame that we keep stifled because we're too afraid that it will never truly catch fire. There are those dreams we might share with friends and family, who give us support and help push us to achieving those goals. Then there are dreams we have when we're laying in bed at night trying to fall asleep… those thoughts we push off on some journal or, even worse, never speak of.
300 ft. up in the air! Photo: Hunter Thompson
Where the Wind Blows was one of those dreams for me… I'd let the thought surface in my consciousness now and then, would start progressing the concept little by little, but once it got to the point where I wanted to think out loud, I'd push it back and write it off as “not possible”. The next part of this story might seem off topic, but it was an important tipping point. A shift in the day to day that created space for this creative endeavor….
In November of 2013, Wiley and I had been down in Mexico for the annual Baja 1000. Documenting the race was a gig I had the opportunity to collab with him on for a couple of years – before we were a couple even. It was exciting and dangerous, always teetering on the edge of high risk and injury. That year the race proved its fate to be devastating, when a dear friend passed away 30 miles from the finish line. The following four months I spent in a little work space by Wiley's side, watching him pour over hours of interviews, old footage and a lifetime of home videos… At the end of the tunnel he had created an incredible documentary, telling the story of his friend's life.
Witnessing this process provoked an inspiring change. It altered my perspective of what is possible and I think I can say that it sparked an awareness in Wiley of what he is capable of. It's pretty crazy how some of the dark and heaviest things in life can make us feel light and courageous.
Doing whatever it takes to get the shots, Wiley Watson stands thigh deep in the Columbia River with his (non-waterproof) camera equipment.
I could tell he needed a break from the moto world and while openly speaking our minds on a long car ride he said, “so what now?” …I don't think he was expecting what came out of my mouth, in fact I'm not sure if he was even asking me… but fighting the anxiousness and queezy feeling in my stomach, I put it out there… “what about doing something with kiteboarding?” Out spewed a run of sentences of my ideas of featuring female athletes in a new light – promoting sustainability and heathy living through action sports – showing these talents as people as well as the incredible athletes they are. At this point we all know this little conversation led to making of Season 1. A passion project at the heart and a statement piece of the type of work I wanted to create through my newly manifested company, Moxy International.
Colleen Carroll grabs melon over the bridge in Lyle, WA.
The extent of Season 2 was another surprise! After receiving awesome feedback from last summer's episodes, I had the emotional support and hope for the financial support to push on with the project. So the email went out to the ladies about featuring them individually – telling their unique story and building their characters. I always dreamed of this project being relevant outside of the kite industry and giving the girls a platform to show their personalities seemed essential to paint the whole picture. So that was the plan – we'd make 4 “selects” and see how that went.
Getting everyone together for a group session was quite the challenge this year, but I felt so good when we all came together. Lyle, WA
As they say, “the world works in mysterious ways”… In the making of Season 1, I soft pitched our story to an associate of a company spearheading the clean energy movement, Iberdrola Renewables. Colleen had sparked up the conversation with one of their ambassadors and before I knew it, we had a meeting scheduled with the brand manager. I figured pitching another full-length episode would be good experience, not thinking much about them really being interested in going through with it. Wiley and I walked out of the meeting beaming and I frantically texted the ladies, “here we go again!”.
Our team getting the run down from Tod Lanz, while Iberdrola Renewables kite ambassador, Jacqui Bishop stands by in anticipation of what the day has in store for our team.
Key grip Fletcher Hukari chasing the ladies to get the shot.
Reflecting on the impact of clean energy, the ladies gaze out over the IR wind farm in Arlington, OR.
I'm not yet sure where the wind will blow us… This year has been a wild ride and I need to do a little decompressing and evaluating of the impact we're making. I want to know what people think of this project; What do you make of it? Is it inspiring you? What do you want to see more of? What do you want to see less of?
I do want to thank everyone who's watched even one of our videos and if you've made it to the end of this blog, bless your heart. So without further ado, I present to you “Harnessing Wind”. Watch it, share it and shoot me an email if you feel the desire :0)
And PS. Take a chance on those dreams… you never know where it might lead you.
Photos: Jen Jones (unless specified)
Film: Jen Jones & Wiley Watson