A Community's Passion for a Sport (Melissa Allard) (video)
Published on January 12, 2012 in Guest Columns, News & Updates
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Many of you have seen me running around with my camera at various SAM events over the past season. For those who don’t know me, I’m a born-and-raised snowmobiler from the Berkshires. Growing up, the Snow Seekers were like my second family. I moved to Boston to study Film Production at Emerson College, and for my senior thesis I decided to make a documentary film about snowmobiling, since so few people out here in the city know anything about it. I thought it would be exciting and informative… and it is. But it has evolved into so much more than I expected. The support from SAM and all of the clubs has been really touching, and the story has grown with each interview into something much better than I could have ever imagined. The quaint sports enthusiast video I was picturing grew into the study of a proud history, community, and culture, as well as intense political and environmental debate.

With the cooperation, support, and generous donations of many individuals and clubs across the state, I managed to raise enough money to complete a shortened version of the film for my Senior Honors Thesis, and I must thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart. Because of this movie, I am now the proud owner of Bachelor’s Degree in film.

The “thesis cut” of the film is 18 minutes long. It can stand by itself, but it is not finished yet. I am going to resume shooting again this winter as soon as it snows, because one thing I still need is a LOT more footage of snowmobiles in action to cover up all of the great interviews I’ve filmed over the past year. It is still in progress, and so is the fundraising for the film’s completion. I hope that with a little help, I’ll be able to premiere the finished feature-length film at the Berkshire Film Festival in March 2011. I also hope to see all of you there!

In the meantime, I would very much like to arrange a preliminary screening of the current, 18-minute version of the film. This would be an exclusive SAM-only event, to thank each and every one of you for both supporting this project and putting up with my invasive camera work while you were out on the trails! I want you to be the first to know where your money has been going, and because it is YOUR sport and YOUR story I’m telling, you deserve to be the first to hear it told. If you would like to see this event happen, please contact me so we can begin planning!

How can you support “Thrillcraft” the movie? Well, the film will never be seen in public without more footage and funding. Even with your help so far, I am still a few thousand dollars short of my goal. I will continue to shoot my own footage, but if you have home movies of you and your family or friends snowmobiling, let me know! Submit your photos and videos, old and new! For those of you who are musically inclined, I am also looking for an original soundtrack. For all questions and comments, please email me at missy.allard@gmail.com. All donations will receive a credit in the film, and my eternal gratitude. See you on the trails, and the Silver Screen!

“Thrillcraft” the Movie – Teaser from Melissa Allard on Vimeo.


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