Below 40° South

Blog | Below 40 South

A Solo Voyage To The Dark Side of The Moon
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Progress Reports

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Progress Report #11

The attached video shows Howard and Southern Cross during sea trials before leaving for Chile. It was during this particular sea trail that he worked to determine the location for the jib leads. Howard flew in from Chile direct to Austin Texas with the footage he shot on the voyage. I have to admit that on meeting him I noted that he was a little beaten up by his experiences and has been slowly recovering. We are very glad to have him around because it was just weeks ago that he faced down dying in the cold southern ocean. He has been here delivering the footage he shot, recovering and in a quiet humble way beginning to tell his story.

Howard has fulfilled his commitment to shoot film for us and turn it over for post production and we thank him for the mighty effort he made on behalf of the film project. He did this for no financial gain believing such a story was worth telling as a piece for the public record with the hope that if a film could be produced then it might inspire or inform even a few people. Good for him and good for all of us to have the opposite of faux adventure or reality TV footage to work with.

Now Howard’s role is almost complete. He has been very gracious with his time and we have recorded footage of Howard sitting down to tell his story from conception of the idea to build and voyage a small boat to the conclusion of his voyage. This has been amazing to record for use in the final production. The detail of his time aboard is astounding, the detail of his incident at that lonely remote island in the Southern Ocean where he was blown off his boat and was forced to dig deep against the odds to save his life is gut wrenching. What a story we have to tell and Howard has agreed to let us tell it unvarnished and real.

What he filmed is real, honest, personal and beautiful. In short what he captured with the camera is fantastic and reflects this amazing adventure. Among other insights, his video diary details what it was like to endure days of Williwaws and the struggles he had sailing through the most treacherous waters on earth.  More importantly, it captures the human relationships that he and Southern Cross made during the voyage before and after he set sail solo. This was in many ways a magical journey and the footage reflects that magic. The personal connections that were made when obstacles had to be overcome were more than serendipitous, they are simply hard to explain. As a film maker I was in Chile for three weeks last December and can attest to the magic moments the little ship and Howard seemed to create or attract and these continue to this day. Howard’s footage captures many of these hard to grasp magic moments.

It took a large number of individuals contributing to the film Below 40 South during the first phase offinancial developmentso Southern Crosscould be outfitted with the appropriate camera equipment and to get the film crew to Chile and back. With that phase successfully completed we turn our attention to the Post Production phase of the project.

This stage of the production involves a number of people working together on the script, music score, and sound, to mention just a few of the Post Production jobs. Each of these individuals makes an important contribution to the film and is critical to the completion of the project. Post Production is always a group effort and by working together this adventure can be told with all the richness and detail it deserves.

The film needs funding for Post Production and those who make financial contributions are ascritical to the completion of this phase of the project as the script or musical score.  Without funds for Post Production this project cannot move forward. If you would like to be part of this remarkable film please visit our donor page. If you can make a small donation great. However we know many people cannot but may be of greater assistance because of who you know. So please feel free to contact us to talk. This is a story that must be told and not for profit but because in this day and age of jaded attitudes we have an uncut gem that can be an inspiration to others. It is one heck of a story.

I will continue to update this site as we make progress forward. Our film studio is not a big operation instead we are simply an indie or independent studio that relies on investors and donors to make productions happen. In my forty odd years of film making I have never had such footage as I have now. We have an astounding story to tell that goes far beyond small boats. It is a story of humanity, passion, love, danger, extreme adversity and sheer human will to overcome the impossible. We need your help or the help of people you might know to bring this story to the screen.

Thank you, Dave Nichols and John Welsford