Saturday, May 10, 2014

Marie-France Roy - The Little Things




We all live together.

Most people can relate to our current technology-dependant lifestyle, our everyday grind, and such great advances that are made each year in technology, medicine, and communication. We work our fingers to the bone, it seems, and it is easy to get caught up and lose sight of our role in the world. We often have brief glimpses of our species' relation to other species on this planet. For me, I get blown away by bird migration, spring emergence, and camping. The sounds of nature when you go out for the first time in a while and shake off the city-it is deafening and still at the same time. The feeling you get when you are way up in the mountains and backcountry and you realize that you aren't the top predator. It is the sense of man in the world and it's larger than our living room or metro area.

Now step back and think about us as outdoor enthusiasts-be it snowboarders, skiers, climbers, fisherman, swimmers, paddlers, hunters-we put ourselves into these elements and benefit from those elements and natural resources. It is that connection that feeds our soul and is somewhat ingrained. Water sports-people are literally in the water, hunters wake up early to sync with animals' foraging behavior, and snowboarders' love of powdery snow.

Marie-France Roy and filmmaker Darcy Turenne's film The Little Things is coming out this fall and I am super-excited about it! The film focuses on what we can do to live sustainably with the earth and help the environment, but the focus is on us, her, her friends, and us collectively. The film educates and brings awareness to the actions people are taking themselves each day-the little steps. The Little Things we do. This is important because as human nature demonstrates, the competitive spirit of people often drives an "I do more than you" (I logged more days on the snow, I ran further, I have the best gear, I scored higher), go-big attitude that can prohibit people from trying. People feel it all the time. This film doesn't focus on the go-big. Will it be the go-big that saves us anyway? We can't wait for that…

Marie-France answered my questions about the film and shared her insight. I am so grateful for her to share her thoughts below.

1. Tell me about your approach to the film and its positive message. Where did that come from (choosing to focus on the positivity and small actions one can do)? Why go little as opposed to go big?

In my opinion, climate change is way too big of an issue to be resolved overnight and by one person alone. I believe it is humanity's biggest challenge with so many factors involved and there are still many people unaware of it all or simply feel detached from the natural world. The reality is, we are all part of the problem but we can all be a part of the solution. It will only get resolved if we all come together and act as a team, where everyone does whatever they can. If enough people do the little things they can and care, it will influence our families, our friends, the companies and business around us and eventually our political leaders to make the bigger scale changes that we really need. But we have to start at the bottom and there is still a lot of work to be done there.

2.The two movie teasers are made up of riding and people's stories and actions, but outside of the film what other conversations did the crew and riders have off-camera or conservations you've had in general help to demonstrate how little things you can do for the environment add up? For example the city you live in (or any city or community for that matter), have you witnessed individuals doing little things that caught on and grew into something larger

The movie will be filled with narration and stories from interviews we did with each rider, similar to Dr. David Suzuki in our latest trailer. Each rider brings in totally different perspectives, which shows that each person can make a difference in their own unique ways, depending on their situations and assets at the time. From Tamo Campos telling us about his last 2 years traveling on a veggie bus in Northern BC to learn about the pipelines and extraction projects in Northern BC, Gretchen explaining her 21 Day Reusable Challenge campaign or visit at The White House, Jeremy telling us why and how he founded Protect Our Winters (POW), Mike Basich showing us his handmade home from Sacred Geometry plans in Tahoe or Meghann O'Brien introducing us to her cedar weaving art and her reconnection with her aboriginal ancestor's way of living...etc... I find them all so different and so inspiring.

3.The Kickstarter campaign is a way for people to help. What other support or words of encouragement have you received that you may or may not have expected?

I have had so many of my friends contribute and people contacting me to help out.  For many of them, I had no idea they cared about the cause. A lot of parents expressed their encouragement and their wish for good quality of life for their children and grandchildren. The support has been amazing and it is so scary to stand up for something like that. It's almost become a taboo subject where people don't want to hear about it or you aren't supposed to say that you care unless you have zero footprint. We are all hypocrites in a way and I hope that people realize that if we need to have no footprint in order speak or take the charge, that might just mean Game Over for the Planet. We all need resources and energy to live, it's a matter of using them properly with long-term quality of life in mind. 

4. What has been your favorite thing about filming this movie as opposed to a feature-focus on riding specifically? 

It has been a challenging ride for sure, but such a rewarding one. I wanted to create something to give back to snowboarding while insuring that the next generations can enjoy it like I do. 

5. Any lessons learned? 

I learned so much in so many ways. I learned that big changes will only happen once the people demand it or once the situation gets bad enough that we are left with no other choices. I also learned a lot about the whole public relations side of it. You could be the most exemplary person out there or the most talented snowboarder in the world, but if you don't put yourself out there, nobody benefits from that inspiring potential. With social media these days, we can share knowledge and ideas in no time all the way around the world and I feel like we have to use it for the better good. 

6. What are your hopeful outcomes for the movie?

Our biggest hopes are that people feel inspired positively from these outstanding stories. The last thing we want is that people feel guilty or preached on. That leads nowhere. 

7. Can you describe for us how being outside in nature makes you feel? 

It makes me feel alive and the happiest I could be. I have been spending a lot of time on my computer everyday lately for this film and whenever I get the chance to go snowboarding or go hike in the forest, it's like a recharge of nutrients and energy. Many people forget but we are nature too and we all directly depend on it.  It's where we are meant to be!

All proceeds of the film will go towards Protect our Winters and the David Suzuki Foundation.

Make sure you check out the Kickstarter page here ------->Kickstarter Projects The Little Things Movie and consider pledging.