Over the last week, we drove through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. We played to a full house at CineFestival in San Antonio and had a joyful reunion with Jesse Borrego.
I love driving in the mornings when all is quiet and the horizon stretches farther than I can see. I dream of tiny towns and roads, wondering at the stories they hold.
I stare at the endless horizon, my mind and eyes not comprehending. I can’t wrap my head around a landscape without mountains. I wonder if folks here feel similarly when staring up at snowy peaks.
In an attempt to escape the heat, today we took a zig-zag into Oklahoma to visit Lake Texoma. With no screening tonight, we swam and played sand volleyball until dark.
Tomorrow we are off to Arkansas.
Without a team, we would not be doing this tour. I’d like you to meet the group of individuals making this all work. Together we persist, learn, refine, reassure, encourage, grow, laugh, play, improve, and keep each other sane.
Most of our team is on the road, traveling in two decked out RVs.
Meet the Fearless, Friendly Alien Squad The Pipers
We met Kim & Ben at the Klamath Independent Film Festival in 2016, just two and a half years ago. They approached us after a Q&A and asked if we were looking for investors. We worked together for 18 months analyzing projects, budgets and strategies before starting production on Phoenix, Oregon in May 2018.
Kim Piper — Theatrical Booker / Exec Producer
Kim took on the role of Theatrical Booker for the tour and has booked us in almost 60 venues across the nation. I’m amazed daily by her persistence, determination and grace in handling this challenging task. Without Kim, we would not be on tour. In addition, Kim was my primary supporter when I first voiced the idea of the tour. Her support gave me the confidence to move forward.
Kim and I took a 20-degree (slightly unprepared) trip into the Sky Lakes Wilderness last October. Since then, I’ve known that together we can conquer almost any discomfort and challenge.
Ben Piper — Social Media / Radio / Business Strategy / Exec Producer
Whenever there is a gap to be filled or improvements to be made, Ben steps in to help fill the hole. He is doing every and any job that needs to be done including driving, venue research, social media content creation, merchandise development, and photoshop.
Ben has recently taken on the role of booking radio in each city and is also connecting us with local hosts to hang flyers and gather input on the local arts scenes.
Having a keen business sense, Ben also provides a sounding board for me to discuss strategy and marketing.
Tara is Kim & Ben’s 13 year old daughter. Along with enjoying a river-swim as often as possible and helping us book RV parks, she is documenting the tour in her daily blog. She gives a sweet, honest and transparent view of what life is like on the road. It’s a must-read for Phoenix fans. You can access her blog and subscribe here to keep up with our daily adventures: https://pipertara99.wixsite.com/thepipersontour/
Daniel is Kim & Ben’s 17 year old son. He is creating social media drone video content which has been a fun way to share our adventures as we travel. https://www.facebook.com/pg/phoenixoregonmovie/videos/
Daniel also created our new tour map, keeps the Piper RV WiFi working, and is helping with photoshop and merchandise development.
Luis Rodriguez — Producer / Marketing & Outreach
Luis joined our team in 2012 as an actor in Redwood Highway, and we became friends. Luis co-produced Black Road and then helped Gary develop the story for Phoenix, Oregon some of which is based on Luis & Gary’s friendship.
On tour, Luis is managing online brand consistency, social media, and marketing outreach. He is creating partnerships with audience groups through social media and direct connections. Luis is focused both on short-term ticket sales as well as on long-term national partnerships for future online sales.
Luis is particularly good at gaining the trust of partners and nurturing long-term relationships. I am grateful for his unwavering belief, positivity, quiet perseverance, and creative problem-solving. Luis is also a fabulous cook — even in a tiny RV kitchen.
Flannery is Gary & my 13 year old daughter. She is handling her parents’ movie-tour obsession with grace, humor and curiosity. Even though she started off skeptical, she is enjoying the adventure of each new day.
Flannery is learning photography and is using Gary’s Canon 5D to document the tour. View her photos here: https://www.icloud.com/sharedalbum/#B0iJtdOXmQf5dl
Gary Lundgren — Writer/Director/Editor
In addition to connecting with audiences at Q&As each night, Gary is writing a new script while on tour! He stretches out in the cab of the RV early each morning with a cup of coffee and his laptop, typing away. This delights me.
He is also my rock and my wise counsel, the one who keeps me on track, steady and sane.
Annie Lundgren — Producer / Distribution Manager
I am working on overall release strategy, distribution partnerships, DCP & poster shipping, accounting, website updates and marketing outreach.
Molly Kreuzman — Co-Producer / Sponsorships / Publicity
Only a few months ago, Molly joined the team announcing she would do anything we needed. Little did she know how much that would be. She has taken on almost all of our publicity, sending press releases, connecting with confirmed venues, and facilitating help from a PR firm. Molly is also working on venue research, sponsorships and pretty much anything else that needs to be done.
More than anything, Molly keeps the team’s vision alive, always directing us towards success and encouraging us to keep learning, pivoting and improving.
She does all the above with endless love and enthusiasm.
Molly is not traveling full time with the RVs, but she does drop in on occasion. For that we are grateful.
As you can see, even though we’re executing a grassroots marketing campaign, we are not without a team or help. I am so thankful for this group of fabulous, determined, hard-working, smart people. I’m in awe of them every day and feel so blessed.
This is the core team who has been with us since the beginning of the tour, but as we go, we are gathering more team members who are helping behind the scenes. I would like to acknowledge them in future posts.
Thanks for everyone’s support and love!