freedom

My Yacht Week Movie

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Life is a balance of storyliving and storytelling, creating moments and then capturing them, searching for and sharing memories. Sometimes you need to live a great story in order to tell a great story, and when I found myself sailing around the Croatian coast filming a movie on a yacht I knew I had been handed my great story, and now is the time to tell it. 

After almost a year of rest I woke up my passport and caught a redeye flight from NYC to Split, and met up with the social media manager of The Yacht Week, my good friend, Rob Berry. He introduced me to my Swedish film crew with whom I would be working with to shoot a 90-second commercial; our job was to capture fantasy and prove that it could be a reality. We were an assembled team of creatives: filmmakers, photographers, content creators, all brought together on a 57 foot boat to bring visions to life. 

To sell the dream we had to live the dream, and so our days were spent sailing in the sun, hopping from island to island, exploring white walled port towns, riding scooters through the mountains, tanning by the mast and floating in the sea to cool off. Our nights were spent in good conversation, laughing over candlelit dinners, absorbing the ambiences of hidden paradises, engaging in philosophical stargazed conversation, or, on our more vigorous evenings, we would venture to private parties for music and drinks. It seemed that we had the perfect story to tell, but what would be the perfect way to tell it? What exactly was our story really about?

The views? The paintings that we were sailing through? No, those were all too perfect. The parties? The dancing on tables, turning castles into clubs, slow-motion fist bumping, the movement, the tension, the no sleep-spastic energy that kept you going? Hectic, for sure, but that wasn't our purpose.

Then it hit us, it was obvious: the people. Our story is about the people. It is always about the people. Its about the faces that you see that you've never seen before. Its about the laughs that make you laugh, the smiles that make you smile, the eyes that show you their souls, its about becoming a part of new lives and adding to your own. What really matters is escaping with strangers and finding yourself by getting lost. There is nothing more important than being: being crazy, being young, being free, being happy, being you, being there, in that moment, in every moment! Its about holding nothing back and having no regrets, its about living the dream, no, living your dream. It is not the views in front of you it is the people taking pictures beside you that you will remember. Its not the parties its the people who move you, and move with you that are special. The ones who make it real are the proof that these feelings are possible.

So, that is what we did down in Croatia, we turned moments into memories and made a movie out of it. We had the time of our lives to try and inspire the time of your lives, and all you really need is a week, but not just any week, The Yacht Week.  

-Ryan Anthony Dube

(All Photos by Amanda Gylling, Louis Agace, and Ryan Anthony Dube)


14 Days Finding Freedom

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Perhaps freedom is a phantom, a ghost to be believed in, chased but never caught. Maybe its captured only in our dreams and in the television screens that tell you where its been and sell you where to look for it next. I remember seeing freedom a long time ago. It was in the grainy movies with golden light and palm trees; I saw it in an old mustang with the top down on a burning black road, it was blowing in the summer breeze and doing backflips into shaded lakes. Maybe it was these staticky visions of freedom playing in front of my wide eager eyes that led me to up and leave New York City to chase this illusion of an idea across the entire country. I didn't understand it at the time, why it was that I wanted to go, and I'm not sure I even understand it now, all that it was was an adventure with no plan or purpose, just a feeling I was after. I guess its safe to say that it was freedom that I was ultimately searching for, and looking back I admit that I have to laugh at all the places I tried to find it. 

I swear that I could feel it hanging in the air around me that very first morning, a few minutes before four, as I packed the trunk of my two-seater car with an old tent, a torn suitcase of dirty clothes, and enough non-perishable groceries to survive the trip. I thought I saw it waiting at the local bus station, sharing a bench with one of my most adventurous friends, and I rubbed my eyes twice when it climbed in the car with us and put its feet up on the dashboard as we headed west. I heard it creeping into our voices as we shared stories of emotional emancipation over the low hum of the radio, half-asleep, hoping to speak our dreams into existence with the windows rolled down, bouncing our desires off of the face of the first quarter moon.

Days and nights, just us and our veiled freedom, passing through the lives of others while chasing the meaning of our own. We would rise with the sun and scan the horizon as it set each night, squinted eyes expecting to see it within the melting colors of the dusk sky. We stood in open grass fields with craned necks, watching cotton clouds shape-shift, trying to find the hidden messages, and we would lay on our backs on the hood of the car to see if the stars held any secrets.

We knew it was all around us, and we searched everywhere for that feeling.  

We scavenged broken down barns for it, we weaved through cornfields, we climbed over waterfalls, we ducked through wet caves and traversed vast red rock canyons, constantly seeking, constantly in pursuit. We thought we could find it in the rocky mountain hikes, dodging hail and rain while ascending through the thinnest of air, views that took our breath away you could say. We tried to taste it in the strange canned meat and pickle sandwiches we ate for every dinner, we slept near it in the empty Walmart parking lots, we danced with it in front of national monuments, we swam with it in hidden reservoirs, we wandered lonely dirt roads hoping to bump into it, it tried to guard us when we played basketball with the locals, we sped on interstates trying to catch it in the blur and we came to a complete stop to search for it within ourselves.  

All in all we spent 14 days finding our freedom, and I can't tell you for sure that we found it. But, we felt it, these shoebox pictures are the proof of that, and maybe, in the end, that's all you can do.      

- Ryan Anthony Dube

(All Photos by Kevin Czopek + Ryan Dube)