How Epic Road Trip Became ‘A Story Worth Living’
Now, inspired by the Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman docuseries “Long Way Round” in which those two take a motorcycle trip around the world, Eldredge has written and executive produced his own full-length movie, “A Story Worth Living.”
The film follows Eldredge, best known for the New York Times bestseller “Wild at Heart,” on the motorcycle ride of a lifetime in the Colorado back country.
He’s accompanied by his sons Sam, Blaine and Luke; and two close friends, the author and psychologist Dr. Dan Allender, and Jon Dale — the only group member with any off-road motorcycle experience.
An exhilarating adventure narrative, “A Story Worth Living” captures the highs and lows of dual-sport riding, including a bone-breaking crash on Engineer Pass. The group covered one thousand miles in eight days.
Initially, however, a full-length feature film wasn’t in the cards.
Filming the motorcycle ride was going to be a follow-up to the web series “Killing Lions,” in which Eldredge and his sons ride on mountain bikes in the deserts outside Moab, Utah.
“There was this idea that the narrative of this trip would be secondary and a backdrop for some really great discussions,” said Erik Ticen, director of “A Story Worth Living.” “As we were wrapping up, we said, ‘There was a tremendous story here that needed to be told.’”
This presented a challenge for Ticen. He didn’t originally film with the intention of the footage becoming a feature-length production. As a result, the film had to be essentially re-scripted.
“The story that emerged almost perfectly illustrated everything that the guys wanted to talk about,” said Ticen.
Self-discovery, Danger, Triumph and Joy
In one scene, the group visits the canyon where Brent Curtis, co-author with Eldredge of the book “The Sacred Romance,” died in a climbing accident. Eldredge’s ministry was just starting to take off when that accident occurred.
“It was a sober moment, as Brent had been kind of a second father to us,” said Sam Eldredge. “I felt some similarities on this trip. We’re kicking off what feels like another intro into a world that we’re trying to reach. There we were, standing there over a decade later looking into the canyon and feeling all these connections – life, death, fear. Without (Brent’s death), I don’t know that my dad’s story would be the same.”
Sam Eldredge, also one of the film’s producers, was the lead rider. As such, he felt responsibility for the men, who range in age from 21 to 63.
Before embarking on the journey with BMW F800GS adventure bikes, the group wisely went to RawHyde Adventures for off-road motorcycle training. That didn’t mean that they were playing it safe … just smart.
“We weren’t going on a trip with professional stunt riders – we were taking my younger brothers, my father and a couple of close friends,” said Sam Eldredge. “If something were to go wrong or if a choice I were to make would prove to be the wrong one, that carried significant consequences.”
Inspiring Others to Live a Better Story
John Eldredge, who also narrates “A Story Worth Living,” says in the film, “Every life is a story.” He wants viewers to follow what makes them come alive.
“Allow yourself to dream. Turn the editor off – that internal voice that always asks, ‘Yeah but how.’ How isn’t helpful. Just let your heart come back up to the surface, give it a voice. Do some dreaming. Try something,” John Eldredge said.
FAST FACT: The team used 17 cameras to capture what’s seen on screen during the trek, including several GoPro cameras attached to both their bikes and helmets.
For Sam Eldredge, he’ll now be on the same silver screen graced by his three favorite “Star Wars” characters – Han Solo, Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Rey.
Now that John Eldredge has his own full-length film, perhaps other authors will refer to “A Story Worth Living” when they mention an epic adventure film.
The nationwide premiere of “A Story Worth Living” is May 19. Visit www.fathomevents.com for more information.
Brant Skogrand writes regularly for the Reflections from the Center and Skogrand PR Solutions blogs. He is the author of three books: “Maynard’s Memories,” “19 Tips for Successful Public Relations,” and “From Fringe Party to Serious Contender.”
Let me put this in the clearest possible terms. John Eldredge went on the 700 Club and other religious programs and actually promoted this disaster of a movie honestly. I guess this is why the 70-something church ladies were at the showing I attended. I don’t typically feel the need to research the filmmakers before going to a movie because generally there are critic reviews and other information plugged into the promotional effort.
When I went on their “Partners” page (which has since been taken down because of the complaints they received from some of these suppliers) and saw all the great organizations who were in one or another supporting this film and then Charley Boorman pops up with his wonderful smile explaining how cool this was – i figured this should be a great motorcycling movie, right? It turns out many (ALL?) of these “partners” were also duped and are none too happy about it.
While the filmmakers claim in their open letter “apology” about how some in the riding community may have mistakenly thought this was going to be about motorcycling – they claim they never HID their true motives. This, of course, is utter nonsense. Feel free to copy and paste this link to the 700 club interview that Padre did: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=naUqUxhUqt at about 9:20 into the interview this huckster gleefully lets loose this little gem (just one day before the one night showing of the sham that has NO reviews prior to the showing – he officially lets the cat out of the bag):
“…the cool part of this story is that we’ve got all kinds of unbelievers who are coming to this show on Thursday night … because of the motorcycles, Colorado, adventure – and they’re going to get a taste of the Kingdom of God.”
Now I don’t know about you but I don’t see how there could be a clearer admission of the intentional deceit foisted upon the riding community.
So when they claim in their “apology” here: http://www.astoryfilm.com/openletter that somehow we must not have been paying close enough attention they are simply further perpetuating this scam.
Yes, they’re offering refunds – and why not, it beats getting sued every time. What about the tens of thousands of hours of our lives we won’t get back? What about the cost of gas, hotels, tolls, dinners, and everything else that were tacked on to the cost of being tricked into seeing this silly little movie?
Did anybody get hurt or worse, killed because they were going to see a movie that they were only going to because they were duped?
Describing themselves as Christians does Christ the greatest disservice of all. Of course forgiveness is a key part of the religion and they certainly will deserve forgiveness…when they honestly admit that they intentionally scammed an entire community and painted us all with the “unbeliever” brush.