ALPENA - South African filmmaker Ryan Davy is currently on a 1,300 mile cycling journey around Michigan's Lower Peninsula, raising money and taking pledges to shoot a feature film in the state in January. His campaign is called Mi Mitten Mission and money raised will go toward his supernatural thriller film "The Parricidal Effect."
Davy started his long journey in Canton on Sept. 14, and already has traveled north along the west side of the state, up through Mackinaw City, took the ferry to Mackinac Island, and is on his way south along the east side of the state.
"I'm cycling around the mitten to raise funds for my feature film, and am shooting footage along the way for a behind-the-scenes look," Davy said. "Michigan was the best state to film in and has the best tax incentive. I came into Michigan to shoot the teaser for the film, and fell in love with it. I used the shape of the mitten to build my campaign around lending a helping hand to filmmakers.
News Photo by Nicole Grulke
Filmmaker Ryan Davy makes a quick stop at Thunder Bay Marina and meets a supporter, Pat Schiller, left, while visiting sites around Alpena. Davy is taking a 1,300 mile bike ride around Michigan to raise money for his feature film, which also will be shot in the state.
"I decided to bike around the state to show people I'm willing to work for the pledges, and am prepared to meet people one-on-one and want people to get to know me. I also get a great look at the terrain and possibilities here."
Davy arrived in Alpena around 2 p.m. on Thursday and spent the night on Middle Island at the keepers lodge with Capt. Mike Theut, exploring some of the area attractions in Alpena. Along his journey, Davy has been filming and taking photos of the places he rides through and the people he meets to make a behind-the-scenes documentary about his adventure.
"The state itself is beautiful and very diverse. The people here are friendly and accommodating and very giving," Davy said. "I like being a free spirit and meeting people. I want them to know I'm serious about making films here and getting their investment back."
He has spent the night at several fire departments, proprietors, bed and breakfast locations and with some generous residents, and will be tying in his stories with the footage he films to complete his full length documentary.
He's had some trouble on his journey with a few major thunderstorms, four blowouts and a couple of minor bumps and bruises, but credits the trip as a total adventure.
"Every day I have to boost my morale and keep going. It feels like I'm Frodo with the ring. Every day has its challenges, but it's been a wonderful trip so far," Davy said. "It's been a success in feeling out Michigan. I'm even more in love with the place than I was before. I keep repeating my motto 'fortune favors the brave.' My life has been full of adventures and adrenaline."
When Davy returns to Canton, he'll be pooling his investors and pitching his ideas to them. Once the investment is in place, he begins pre-production, which he hopes will be around Jan. 15.
"The film is on a 20 day schedule," he said. "It's an independent micro-film."
Once finished, proceeds from the film will go into a therapy program for troubled teens, adults and disrupted families called "The Hero's Journey."
Davy can be tracked in real-time on the internet at www.mimittenmission.com, and there are links on the site to learn more about his history and his mission. He can also be followed on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google plus, Vine and Pheed.
Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.