Changing the world, one ride at a time.
Interview with Writer/Director/Producer Kristin Tieche
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
For many years I maintained a blog about bicycle street fashion called Velo Vogue. It was a fun project and that proved to be very fulfilling for many years. But ever since the Occupy movement, the Black Lives Matter movement and the rise of activism in our global culture, my concentration and energy have turned away from fashion and instead toward the serious issues that we are currently facing: climate change, social justice, environmental justice, equity, and so on. It was less meaningful for me to spend time talking about what people were wearing on their bicycles, when I really wanted to give voice to the many great thinkers whom I've met through being an activist, and especially being a bike activist. I knew that some of the visionary people that I've been inspired by over the years would also inspire other people. So out of Velo Vogue, Velo Visionaries was born!
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
As a filmmaker, I'm a visual person, and often when I'm riding my bicycle, I'm in a meditative state. My endorphins are flowing, and blood and oxygen are circulating through my system. I often have visions or moments of insight when I'm on my bicycle. I knew that the great thinkers whom I wanted interviewed for this series must have the same experience, and I wanted the viewer of Velo Visionaries to experience seeing the world from another perspective, from behind someone else's handlebars. I want viewers to feel like they're going on a ride with this visionary person, and to feel what they must be thinking, seeing and feeling when they're on a bicycle.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
So far, I've made three Velo Visionaries. The first episode features Chris Carlsson, one of the co-founders of Critical Mass and also of the history project called Shaping San Francisco. Chris talks about how history is always present with us and we are all constantly creating history. The second episode features Morgan Fitzgibbons, a community organizer. Morgan talks about building resilient communities, and how paradigm shift starts with your own neighborhood and grows out from there. The third episode features Alicia Tapia, creator of the Bibliobicicleta, a free library on wheels. Alicia talks about the power of knowledge, indigenous wisdom and Zen.
The fourth episode, which I'm currently editing, features Gabe Dominguez, bandleader for SHAKE YOUR PEACE! and co-founder of the Bicycle Music Festival. Gabe explains his theory of Ecotopia. None of my films preach about why you should ride a bike or why we need better infrastructure. Velo Visionaries shows how the bicycle is an integral part of the environmental movement, while discussing themes that anyone, no matter what kind of transportation you use, can relate to. Because climate change affects every single living thing on this planet, including you and me, no matter where we live on Earth, each of these films touches themes that are both personal and universal.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The first episode of Velo Visionaries was a bit of an experiment. I had an idea, and I wanted to see if it would work. I knew right away that I wanted to interview Chris Carlsson for episode 1, because every time I met him in the bike lane, we would always have a very insightful conversation about current issues. I've also heard him speak and read his writings, so I knew he would be a great character on film. So we filmed the interview and the bike ride with him. Throughout the editing process, I realized I needed to film additional footage to support his story. I also realized that using a GoPro would give the viewer the perspective of being on his bike and in his brain so to speak. Episode 1 was when I developed my method and since then, I learned that I should film the interview first, and then edit that down in order to figure out the B-roll footage that I need to capture to support each person's story.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
Feedback has been great! Everyone loves the slower pacing of these stories. They are meant to be meditative and take you on an internal journey. The films have screened in festivals worldwide and I hope the momentum continues!
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The feedback has merely encouraged me to keep making more Velo Visionaries episodes, hopefully in more cities across the globe!
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
My goal for Velo Visionaries is for everyone to be able to access it, watch it, share it and talk about it. I want Velo Visionaries to start conversations about the issues that matter, not only among your social circles, but the internal conversation you have with yourself when you're riding your bike, walking or jogging. I would like Velo Visionaries to help people see the world differently, to see all the possibilities of how we can make the world a better place.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Currently I am producing Velo Visionaries alone and out of pocket. I am enjoying sharing the series at film festivals, with theater audiences and with online audiences, but I would love to speak with distributors who could help bring the series to new markets.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
Velo Visionaries should help viewers see the world through a fresh, new lens. I hope people will start having conversations about some of the questions asked in the films: How can we create the shift we need to make in this world? What makes us human? How are we making history? How can we make the impossible possible? I also hope that viewers see people who ride bikes as deeply connected people who care about their community and their environment, and this care or concern manifests itself every time we put our feet on the pedal and our behinds in the saddle and ride off on the bike lane!
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
The key question is: What are YOU doing to make the world a better place? I think each episode offers viewers simple ways to do one thing to make your community better. And as Morgan Fitzgibbons says, if you sweep your doorstep, and I sweep my doorstep, the whole world will be clean. That's what we need to do, and I hope people see how riding a bike to get from point A to point B is part of the solution.
Would you like to add anything else?
Please watch Velo Visionaries and share the films with your social circles! Follow us on Facebook and tell us what you thought of the films! Also, if you know of a festival or somewhere in your community where the films can be screened, please reach out and tell me!
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I'm editing episode 4 of Velo Visionaries right now. It's due out in late November or early December. It's going to be a fun episode, so stay tuned!
Interview: October 2016
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela
Velo Visionaries - Alicia Tapia
Changing the world, one ride at a time
Director: Kristin Tieche
Producer: Kristin Tieche
Writer: Kristin Tieche
About the writer, director and producer:
A natural storyteller, Kristin Tieche seeks unique, innovative ways to reach large and niche audiences. She enjoys creating memorable content that leaves a powerful impact.
Kristin is as passionate about nature as she is about storytelling. When visiting the Panamanian rainforest in 2007, her vision for her life's work began to take shape. Taking inspiration from the biodiversity and intensity of the rainforest, she founded Selvavision to create immersive, visceral, and purpose-driven video content.
Kristin holds a Master of Arts in Television, Radio and Film from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is also a dedicated urban cyclist.
Key cast: Alicia Tapia, creator of the Bibliobicicleta; Morgan Fitzgibbons, founder of The Wigg Party and the NOW! Festival; Chris Carlsson, co-founder of Critical Mass and Shaping SF
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): film festivals, producers, distributors, journalists
Funders: currently self-funded, but interested in investors
Made in association with: Selvavision
Release date: July 2016