The latest project by veteran indie filmmakers Eric Ristau and Geneva Liimatta is an upbeat documentary that also focuses on a worthwhile cause. OK, the subject matter is a little bit out of the ordinary – but who cares?
This husband-and-wife team from Missoula, Mont., is putting together a film about motorcyclists who bring their dogs along for the ride. No, these easy-riding pups don’t sit on the seat, clasping their owner’s midsection. They ride in sidecars and wear specially designed dog goggles (called “doggles”). Fittingly the movie is entitled Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs.
“Seeing a dog in a sidecar brings a smile to everyone’s face,” says Liimatta. “Our film explores the relationship between sidecar dogs and their motorcycle-riding humans. The dogs and humans we’ve met while shooting this project are amazing characters. You’ll love them all.”
So far, footage for Sit Stay Ride has been shot in Washington, California and Montana. “We’ve found other amazing sidecar dogs in other parts of the country,” Ristau says. “We really want to include them in the movie.”
Traveling around the country to produce a film is an expensive proposition, however. Ristau and Liimatta have a budget of$28,000 for travel, a soundtrack, sound mix, color correction, DVD manufacturing, distribution and promotion.
In order to defray these costs, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign, encouraging dog-lovers, motorcyclists and anyone else to support production of the film. Thus far, about $10,000 has been raised. Information about their Kickstarter campaign, including sample clips from the movie, can be viewed at www.sidecardogs.com.
The Kickstarter campaign has three distinct objectives:
- Help fund production of the film
- Solicit additional subjects for the film
- Promote animal welfare organizations
“Many of the dogs featured in this film were adopted from the Humane Society and other incredible organizations,” points outRistau. “This is an important message we’re trying to send. We want people to adopt dogs and other animals, and also to support agencies that find homes for these pets.”
Anyone interested in appearing in Sit Stay Ride can contact Ristau and Liimatta through their Kickstarter page.
Depending on their donation level, Kickstarter contributors will receive thank-you gifts that include behind-the-scenes photos, bumper stickers, on-line previews of the movie, DVDs, T-shirts and viewing parties.
“It’s a great story,” says Ristau. “The film shows how dogs and their owners came to ride together, the adventures they have and how they connect with the greater community when they’re out on the road.”