This summer, Jewell & Ginnie masterminds Adam Boozer and Tim Tewell traveled to Cape Hattaras, N.C., to film the Triple-S Invitational kiteboarding competition. With the goal of producing a documentary called With a Kite, the filmmakers interviewed major athletes in the emerging American scene, including Charleston’s Davey Blair. Last week, Boozer and Tewell released the first trailer for the film on their Vimeo page. Within a few days, it had thousands of views and lots of feedback from kiteboarding riders and fans from all over the world.
But initially, With a Kite suffered a somewhat large setback. In May, Boozer and Tewell tried to raise $50,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, money that would have allowed them to hire enough crew members to get more coverage at Cape Hatteras and film a bulk of the doc. They missed their mark by more than $10,000.
Fortunately, that didn’t put too much of a damper on the project. “Money just makes things go fast,” Boozer says. “Right now, we’re inching along as best we can.”
Despite that financial setback, Boozer and Tewell are still fully invested in With a Kite, and they’re leveraging their free time between Jewell & Ginnie commercial shoots to move forward with the documentary. They didn’t make it out to Hood River, Ore., this summer like they had originally planned, but depending on funding, there are tentative trips to Panama, Key West, and possibly the Philippines in the works, with a sponsor helping to cover some of the travel costs. A month and a half ago, they returned to Cape Hatteras with Blair and a Phantom Miro camera, which shoots 1,000 frames per second. Some of those crystal-clear slow-motion shots can be seen in the trailer.
While the filmmakers went to North Carolina open-minded, a narrative definitely presented itself during the filming for With a Kite, and the first trailer is meant to show the roots of some of those stories. “We think about it as kind of a love story,” Boozer explains. These riders have this love affair with the sport, but it’s sort of an emotional love affair, because the sport doesn’t really give back much to them other than the thrill of doing it.”
Respect is another big issue for the athletes. Those in the kiteboarding community get a lot of slack from other more established boarding sports, particularly wakeboarding. “There’s this sort of blurry line between the sports and lack of respect between the sports,” Boozer says, “so there’s this interesting conflict between these guys that are professional kiteboarders that really love what they’re doing, but they’re constantly battling for the respect they deserve as professionals.”
The trailer also introduces a number of different characters like Paula Rosales, a kiteboarder from the Philippines who’s used the sport to help young girls in her area. By running kiteboarding camps with help from the country’s government, Rosales is working to keep girls from resorting to prostitution or other dangerous lifestyles.
There’s still no release date set for With a Kite, but Boozer says they’re shooting to have something ready for the major X-Dance Action Sports Film Festival, the deadline for which won’t be until next fall. In the meantime, Boozer hopes to maintain excitement for the film by regularly releasing new material, including more trailers and even some behind-the-scenes footage. Currently, Boozer and Tewell are still searching for the right partner to help with the project’s budget. They’ve had conversations with both big and small sponsors, but no brand has jumped in to back the project just yet.
“Our main goal is to keep momentum and keep shooting as we can,” Boozer says. “Every time we do a bit of something, we get more and more interest and the conversations open up more with more sponsors and investors, so we’re just going to keep pushing the project along as best we can.”
See more from Jewell & Ginnie on Vimeo.