Last September (2018) our team hunkered down in Spokane, WA to finish writing out the story framework for what would, a month later, become the RV Nomads movie. This was a wonderful time of creative freedom because we had terabytes of fantastic footage and a blank slate on the storyline. We knew the core components of the story (And Tom Morton from Mortons On The Move did an amazing job at capturing it all as he Directed the movie) but still had to write the narration and fill the holes with supporting narratives.
Writing a 3 – 10 minute video storyboard is one thing. But writing one for an 82 minute run time is a completely different animal. Especially when it has to include 12 sub-stories (those of our cast/subjects). There has to be purpose, conflicts and resolution, emotion, truth and yes… we had to push the limits to tell the story in a compelling and intriguing way.
I mean, let’s be honest here, writing a full movie about RV living is a challenge. If not done correctly it could be very boring. But if we pushed too far it wouldn’t be realistic. So finding a middle ground in which we had emotion, conflicts and resolution and yes… a touch of the current issues of our time, without going too far in one direction or the other was incredibly difficult.
In fact, one segment in particular was debated for about two weeks. It’s a segment that, I kid you not, is brought up at every camp fire and every conversation with someone who has seen the movie. The vast majority got it right away. 9 out of 10 viewers loved it and connected with it. For that 10% it takes a few minutes of talk to explain it in full, so I decided to post this walk-through explaining the mindset behind it all.
First, let’s take a look at the segment. And please note it can be challenging to see it in context if you have not yet watched the entire movie.
While the piece is very serious, it was actually rather exciting to put it all together. It’s the only part of the movie that it could be argued got borderline political, but it can also be argued that it did so in an apolitical manner. Meaning, in this segment there are no political sides chosen. Nor are there any political sides described. It’s a blanketed, generalization that would be next to impossible to argue is not a reality we all face in our current society.
Turn any news network or program on and try to get through it for half an hour. It doesn’t matter which program and it doesn’t matter how you vote. The narratives coming through are all the same. We’re a divided people, our nation (USA) has significant issues to work through, our economy is in many ways built upon a house of cards, our election system is in turmoil and there is hatred flowing from all sides of the debate.
Now while some of the above is true, some of it is baked into our minds through this kind of constant messaging and is not based on reality. Do we all hate each other? Are we all angry at each other? Is it impossible for us to work together as individuals for the common good?
I don’t know about you, but in the circles I camp with there is no hatred. There may be a disagreement or two over certain issues, but no RVer is turning against another because of how they vote. No RVer refuses to assist another RVer because of how they vote. What kind of nonsense would that be?
Yet if you live in a major city or urban area this is what you’re taught to believe. This is what you see day in and day out. You’re surrounded by hatred, divisions and labels. None of which are an accurate depiction of who you are and what you believe.
It’s a nasty matrix. And we internally called that segment the matrix because it fits by definition. In fact, according to Merriam-Webster dictionary matrix means “something within or from which something else originates, develops, or takes form.”
In these cities, and I say this as a former Chicagoan who lived right smack in the center of Chicago, our hearts and minds are being shaped by false narratives. If you disagree with someone, they might hate you. And since this is the case, you should perhaps not like them in return.
How on earth are we supposed to make progress as a culture and society if this is what we’re led to believe?
To make matters worse, the media has for decades now followed the script that “if it bleeds it leads.” So the local and national news we’re all being fed is in most cases true, but we’re only seeing the blood. We aren’t seeing the good. We aren’t seeing what can happen when we set disagreements aside and work as one. We’re just being told we’re all divided, there is hate all around us and in the end, for many people, this causes a complete and total loss of hope.
Without hope. Without a vision of better times, positivity and a bright future… the matrix is leading many to believe all hope is lost. And when a society begins to embrace this, terrible things can happen.
That’s not to suggest terrible things will happen, but they certainly can. Everyone knows this. Add to that the reality that natural disasters can happen too, and when cities are filled with people who can no longer live independently… the outcome of such scenarios have can have a profoundly negative impact on literally everyone.
You see, this movie was designed for RVers, no doubt. But it was also designed for those who have not yet heard about this lifestyle. Those who aren’t aware of it. Those still sitting in the matrix wondering if this is all there is to life, if perhaps there is a different way to live, a different way to explore, a different way to be… they need to see examples of how others have broken free from that grind. From that mindset. From that constant barrage of negativity.
It’s definitely true that all RV Nomads transition to this lifestyle for different reasons and with different goals in mind. But it’s also true that in the nearly 50 hours of interviews we conducted for the movie, there was a common theme that couldn’t be ignored.
Something is amiss.
For some it might have been consumerism had, well, consumed them. For some it was a desire to travel and see more over anything else. For some they had a difficult time grinding from paycheck to paycheck in the city life, and for some they just wanted to get away from it all. But for ALL of them something was amiss. Something wasn’t comfortable. Something wasn’t right.
And they wanted to dramatically change direction before it was too late. RV life for these now nomads was the change they so desired. Because of that change, they can now reflect back and see all the potential pitfalls, and they can do so knowing they are relatively free from it all.
Free, independent and able to chart their own course no matter what.
That is, without question, the true implied meaning behind the segment. And, I believe, this is how it is taken by most viewers. Some didn’t quite catch it that way and hopefully this helps makes sense.