Episode 96: Peace Through Biking with Analise Cleopatra and Aly Nicklas
"You don't have to know how to do something to start."
This week we have TWO guests on the show: Analise Cleopatra and Aly Nicklas, directors of the bikepacking film "Pedal Through." The film follows Analise and friend Dej'uanae Toliver, first time bikepackers, as they head into the Oregon forest led by professional biker Brooklyn Bell.
Analise and Aly chat about the documentary process, the logistics of filming a bikepacking trip, communication during co-directing, and changing how being active while pregnant is viewed.
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Iris: Hello podcast listeners! Welcome back to Outside by Design. I'm Iris.
Lisa: And I'm Lisa.
Iris: and we're here from WHEELIE.
Lisa: It's true. We don't introduce ourselves that often, but Iris runs all our social media accounts and this podcast and Iris kind of just runs everything.
Iris: Yeah. [laughs]
Lisa: I don't even know. I don't even know how to describe what you do because you do so many things.
Iris: Me neither. People ask and I'm like, Can't tell you.
Iris: And Lisa is our founder and creative director and CEO and all the other things.
Lisa: It feels like a lot of things.
Iris: It is a lot of things.
Lisa: I love creative directing though. It's my favorite.
Iris: And today on the show, we have... drum roll... two guests! Which we've never done before. But we tried it and it actually turned out really great. So today we have Aly Nicklas and Analise Cleopatra, and they are the directors of a new film called Pedal Through.
Lisa: Yes, I'm very, very excited to talk to them in this podcast and about them. But first let's spend a couple of minutes talking about what's been going on at WHEELIE, which is the creative agency that we both work at.
Iris: What has been going on at WHEELIE, Lisa?
Lisa: Well, it's summertime, which is our busiest time because we live in Whitefish, Montana, and it's gorgeous outside. So we’ve been shooting a lot of outdoor content from photos to commercials. Directing and shooting commercials is outrageously fun. And meaningful. And we always try to add a really, really strong element of story and kind of this rawness of humanity and celebrating our imperfections more than selling a product. It seems to be kind of our general theme this summer. Using humor has been a big theme in our commercials this summer.
Iris: Of course.
Lisa: Finding some humor amongst a darker time and history.
Iris: What else is going on?
Lisa: We have a job opening.
Iris: Oh my gosh.
Lisa: Oh man. I just want to say to everyone listening, if you applied to this position, I thank you so deeply. I am floored by the amount and quality of resumes that we've received.
Lisa: Tons. I have never seen a response like this to a job that we've posted, which either means that it's a really bad ass job - it's a partnership director. You can live anywhere in the country, we don’t often open jobs to working remote - it either means that it's really badass job, or it means that COVID might be really, really, really impactful in a way that we perhaps are insulated from up here. We’ve found a lot of brands turning toward agencies instead of their in-house teams, because they laid off a lot of people on in-house teams.
So I am absolutely honored and I cannot believe how many people have applied and the quality and the level of humanity that has applied. It's shocking.
Lisa: So I thank you for that. And it's gonna make life really hard. I was like, man, I wish I had a hundred positions because I can't believe the talent that's out there right now.
Iris: But we're excited. And if you haven't gotten your info into us, get it in before August 28th.
Lisa: Yep. You can email a resume and a cover letter to email@example.com. And if you go to our website and scroll all the way into the footer, there's a little tab that says like Careers, I think, Career, you can click on that and see the position. So that's the easiest way to find it online. wheeliecreative.com. Enough about that. Let's get to our amazing podcast guests, Aly and Analise, and talk about their film Pedal Through. Which is free. It's on YouTube. It's a 14 minute film and it's beautiful. The editing is beautiful. The storyline is beautiful. Their camera work in the field. It's just a very well done, thought-provoking film.
Iris: It is incredible. So Analise is not only one of the directors of this film, she is also the star alongside DeJuanae Toliver and our good friend, Brooklyn bell. Brooklyn takes these two women who have never gone bikepacking before, never gone mountain biking before, out on a very long trip in the middle of Oregon. And it is gorgeous. Again, you should go see it if you haven't yet, before you listen to this episode and you can find those links in the show notes.
And it's not only a story about biking and discovering biking, but discovering yourself, learning that you don't have to know everything about something in order to start it, you can just start without being an expert. And I think in the outdoor industry, we need reminded of that sometimes. It can be really intimidating to try new sports, especially if you don't see yourself represented in those sports very often. And it's such a beautiful film and we're so excited to have these two ladies here to talk about it.
Lisa: Yeah. It's called the Pedal Through, I think because... I interpret it as, you know, pedaling through adversity, pedaling through your fear, you know, the only way out is through.
Iris: Yeah. So Aly and Analise talk about the process of creating a documentary, the logistics of creating a documentary in the backcountry, in the woods, as well as doing it while pregnant - Aly was pregnant while filming this documentary and putting it together. They talk about communication as co-directors back and forth, the importance of communication and listening and trusting each other. And this is such a good episode. We’re so excited. We have double the guests and double the fun. And let’s get into it.
Lisa: Okay. Aly and Analise. Thank you so much for being here today.
Analise: Thanks for having us.
Aly: Thank you for having us.
Lisa: The first question we ask everyone is where are you in the world and what are you looking at?
Analise: I'm in Miami and I'm looking at the mango tree and out the window.
Lisa: You're in Miami.
Aly: I am on the opposite side of the country in Portland, Oregon. And I'm looking out into a docile street, street view of our suburb in Southeast Portland.
Lisa: So how did two women, one in Portland and one in Miami, end up directing a film together.
Aly: Analise was here in Portland. And we met when she worked with me on another project, about, I guess two years ago now.
Aly: And yeah. And so we came together for the Pedal Through project, through a grant from Travel Oregon and yeah. So you've been in Miami now for, I guess, almost a year again, Analise, right? Kindof off and on?
Analise: Really, eight months, I guess, since like January.
Lisa: Nice. So how, how was this film born? Like where did the idea start and how did you carry it through into becoming a reality?
Analise: Well, Aly introduced me to mountain biking and was like, “Hey, you want to ride a few hundred miles through the Oregon backcountry?” And I was like, “okay. I don't know if I'm going to be able to do this, but yeah, let's do that.”
Lisa: So Aly, you just thought let's, let's make a film.
Aly: Yeah, I... you know, I have a deep love of biking and a newer love of bikepacking. And I saw this grant and it seemed like an amazing opportunity. The focus of it was the outdoors are for everyone. And you know, I'm fairly new to biking. I've only been biking for about five years and have done a couple of bikepacking trips. And there's nothing I love more than like sharing something I love with other people and Analise and I had really connected and I was like, why don't we just kind of go off on a wild hair and apply for this grant? You know, we decided about a week before the deadline to apply for it. We sent the deck in literally five minutes before the deadline and somehow we got the grant. And we were like, “Oh, okay. So now we have to do this and figure out what it's gonna look like.” So it was, it was spontaneous. Which I think is one of the magical things about it. You know, the whole process has been kind of this ever organically moving experience. It's changed a lot from beginning to end, which I think is a good sign. That's, I think, how all documentaries should be.
Lisa: Yeah, I'm excited to talk to you about that process. As an agency, we do so much with commercial work where we're even like literally filming commercials and everything is so planned. So kind of like, what was your methodology when you're directing life happening? Like how do you do that?
Aly: I think... you know, and, and Analise, I know will have some to add to this too,’ cause she has that unique experience of being both the subject in the film and a director. So having to hold space for both of those things, which can be really challenging. I've been in that space as well, but a huge part of it is listening and learning to listen. And pay attention to what's happening and trying to fight that urge to control things and wanting an outcome and giving it space to be whatever outcome is going to organically happen. I'm also a commercial director and DP and most of my work is focused on real life stories. That's what I'm most interested in, even in the commercial work that I do, but it is often more planned.
And when we're doing a project like this, it's sponsored by big brands. You know, REI was our presenting sponsor. There is some anticipation of a specific outcome. You know, we want to have an inspiring story. We want to accomplish something, or if we don't, there needs to be like some interesting catalyst. ‘Cause we're also looking at it from a traditional story structure. You know, we want to build to something and we want to have some lesson learned, some change happen to our characters. And so trying to hold space for all of that while just letting things happen as they will can be challenging in a lot of different ways.
But it's really exciting for me. That's the exciting part of the process is like, you don't know what's going to happen.
Analise: Yeah. I totally agree with that. And I think just my experience, having never done really any of this before, I was very... like, because I didn't have any expectations, I was more... I tried really hard to stay in the moment and just try to document like a breadth of things, so that we would have enough to go off of in the editing room.
And I think I'll agree that being the subject and a director is challenging and just trying to see outside of myself while being present, while like, doing physical exertion, all of those things were a really fun challenge to juggle together. And I really leaned on Aly's leadership a lot because, you know, she's an expert at her at her craft and… it was, she was really helpful and I got a lot of good insight along the way.
Aly: Yeah. I definitely need to give you props, Analise, for filming yourself and the team and taking on, you know, the biggest physical challenge you've taken on. Like, I've been biking for a long time and shooting biking is really hard, even when you've been doing it a lot. Shooting any sport is really hard in the backcountry, even when it's something you're really comfortable with. And you did such an incredible job of maintaining that consistency throughout the process.
Analise: Thank you.
Aly: And that was really cool to watch and inspiring.
Analise: Thanks. It was really cool to see how it was done because I really didn't understand how we were going to do it until we were actually doing it. And then like those first days, when, you know, we had, we set up the camera, you bike by, you go back, you check the shot, and maybe you have everyone do it again. Or just pick up the camera and go, like, that process is not something I would have been able to imagine or envision without having seen it done first.
So it was really cool to like watch and see what Aly and Alisa were doing and just kind of like mimic them like, okay.
Lisa: Wow. So were you guys charging batteries? Like. Aly, you were like running support on like the battery charging and the logistics of the actual camera equipment?
Aly: Yeah, so we, my partner and I have a Pro Master. So we have a production vehicle that we use for stuff like this. And we had an amazing assistant, Jennifer Daniels came and so it was Alisa Geiser, who's kinda my main partner in crime on films. And Jennifer. And the three of us were running support and we would take turns deciding who was going to like, ride with Analise and Brooklyn and Dej and how often. So we kinda played leapfrog with them throughout the process. So, you know, we had a generator in the van, so we had a pretty sweet production set up and the trail that they were on follows roads. So we were on forest service roads and paved roads, and it wasn't very hard to have access to them when we needed it. Occasionally they were like too far out and we're like, Oh, that's a four by four road and the fan's not gonna make it. And then in those cases, you know, Analise was always there with a camera. So we were always covered in that sense. So the production part wasn't, I would say, it was kind of run-of-the-mill of standard chaos for backcountry production.
Lisa: Yeah, while I was watching it I was thinking about that. I'm like, how are they charging these cameras? And, yeah, just kind of all those weird little nuances that go into, um, backcountry travel when you're on the move and you don't really get to like, plan out your shots and you have to be inspired by the landscape.
Aly: Yeah. And you're running with a small amount of equipment. You know, I have a RED Epic, which is amazing camera. It's also extremely heavy and it's not the most fun camera set up to bring far into the backcountry. And so we kind of had to like figure out what equipment we could bring and how to make use of, you know, running handheld on small cameras when I like having use of all of the toys and all of the fancy stuff. And, you know, we couldn't have drones because we were in wilderness spaces. So we had a lot of limitations and that for me is kind of - it's again, it's like a fun challenge to be like, how do we bring this up to the production quality level that we're used to without having access to all of the things I'm used to having at this stage in my career. So that was, that part was really fun. And I think it, I think it turned out beautifully.
Lisa: What, what did you mostly end up shooting this on?
Aly: We shot it on Analise's Panasonic GH5.
Lisa: Oh nice.
Aly: Yeah. A Canon Mark IV. And then a good amount of the footage is definitely RED. Probably more than half, but a lot of the stuff that's on the trail was on the smaller camera systems. You know, I was five months pregnant at the time. And so wasn’t…
Lisa: [laughs] What?
Analise: [laughs] curveball.
Aly: comfortable carrying a huge camera bag and Alisa also didn't want to bike with 50 pounds of gear. ‘Cause that's pretty hard. So that was one of the, one of the physical limitations we had.
Lisa: No kidding. Yeah. That's amazing. And the GH5, you can like drop off a cliff and it'll just bounce. Those are so durable.
Aly: Oh, good to know. We didn't try that.
Analise: I did not try that.
Lisa: That's a good one to have in your bikepacking gear where you're just like beating it up.
Analise: There was some footage where Alisa let me use her cage on that camera too. And like the internal stabilization is already pretty good, but that definitely helped.
Can I just say, if you've never seen a pregnant woman mountain biking in front of you, it is spectacular. It was one of the most graceful things I've ever seen. I was just like, wow, like she's like surfing on land, but also a very stressful I'm like, “Oh no, there's a baby,” but it's so beautiful.
Lisa: [laughs] This is amazing. I think it's fun when women get together and make things like this.
Aly: I agree.
Lisa: I think that's really beautiful. So how, like, the storyline is really interesting. I mean, I kind of gathered several stories happening throughout the film, but what, what do you think are your main takeaways? Since you directed it, like, what do you think the movie, what do you think the film is about?
Aly: Analise, you want to answer that one?
Analise: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I guess I think it's about, um, becoming comfortable with yourself and finding a way to thrive outside of your comfort zone. I think I am... I never like played sports in school. We didn't really have any, but in my normal life, I'm very competitive. Like you don't want to see my family play Taboo because it's nuts.
And I think a big part for me in this experience was learning to enjoy something without needing that, you know, and just being comfortable with myself and growing at a pace that wasn't like to win something.
Lisa: Wow. Yeah. That and not, and being able to like, let that creative process dictate the outcome too.
Lisa: So you had the internal and the external going at the same time. That's wild.
Analise: Yeah. And just like using biking to contribute to my mental health and, you know, finding peace through that was really integral to my experience and really helpful just for my personal life.
Lisa: What do you think, Aly? What do you think the film's about?
Aly: I think Analise summed it up really well. I think it's about ultimately about what happens when you step into the unknown and you open yourself up to the possibility of trying something you don't know how to do and not letting not knowing how to do it get in the way, if that makes sense. Yeah, I think Analise summed it up really beautifully.
Analise: Yeah. I think something Aly said during the process that really stuck with me is “you don't have to know how to do something to start.: And when, when we had that conversation, it was more about her, like, genesis as a filmmaker, but it definitely stuck with me throughout the biking process and everything throughout because it, like, that's definitely something that's held me back in the past is like being too afraid to even start something, because I don't know if I'm going to be good at it. And I think the point is to push through that and just, you know, try it out and learn along the way.
Lisa: Mm. What'd you learn along the way?
Analise: I learned... I learned that I'm capable of more than I think I am. I learned a lot of logistics stuff. That is not my strength. And that was definitely something I took with me. Like, I feel like there are parts of my brain that I didn't even know how to use before this project. Like just watching Aly, like, be the director and producer and having to manage all of these things while managing personalities. It's such a huge task that I just couldn't really even fathom before this project.
Lisa: Yeah. That seems really, really... I don't know, like so immersive. Right? ‘Cause you're learning all that on the go and kind of like trying to film yourself and have this like Ninja-level amount of self-awareness, it just seems really difficult from a creative standpoint, as well as like a human standpoint. That's cool. Aly, what did you learn through this process?
Aly: I mean, I learned so much. With every project, you know, there's such an incredible evolution, or that’s what you hope, right? As far as how much you grow as a person. And that's one thing I love about film is you get to step into other people's worlds and learn from their perspective. And that to me is like my greatest, the greatest honor that I have as a filmmaker is to be in someone else's life and then try to like share some part of it.
And this project was, you know, like many of our documentaries take a long time. This was one of the longer projects I've worked on. As far as like start to finish, you know. Just to put it in perspective, we started this project in February and I wasn't pregnant. By the time we released it online, I now have a six month old son So patience was part of that. I thought it would be a much shorter project. And I'm glad, I'm so glad it worked out the way that it did and we gave, you know, the film, the editing, post-production process so much time and love and so many different iterations and really trying to like, nail the perspective and give Analise's story the space and energy that it deserved. And I grew a lot, you know, it's been a big year in the world. So I have that personal evolution to look at and it's, it's been interesting, you know, releasing this film in such an incredible surge of racial justice energy in this world.
And our film is, you know, about women in nature and empowerment and, and is I hope in some small way contributing to this larger movement and this larger representation. And I think, you know, ultimately the most that I learned, I think comes from Analise and our conversations and the challenges that we had and the way that we worked through those sometimes gracefully sometimes less than gracefully. Like, I speak for myself.
Analise: Me too.
Aly: You know, we're both very charged, passionate, creative individuals and we didn't know each other that well when we got into this project and I think I... I hope that I learned better how to better communicate. So for me a lot of it is on like a personal growth level, which is, you know, I hope to come out of every, every relationship and every project I work on a little bit of a better human. And I think I, I hope I did on this one.
Analise: I definitely second the communication part, like really learning how to like learn and like be a mentee while also advocating for myself. And the ideas that I think will work while being a beginner to this world, but also like an experienced creative. Trying to balance all those things to a collective vision, I think is something we had to learn how to navigate.
And I think we both really grew from it and I definitely learned a whole lot about how to do those things.
Lisa: What's your takeaway? What's your advice? Just in kind of like good communication for creatives together, you know, all these creative visions. And I love what you just said about all these different, like levels of expertise that you have in all these different aspects of yourself. So yeah, what did, what are some tactical, like pieces of advice that our listeners could take away?
Analise: I guess I'd say one thing, like be humble, but assertive when advocating for your ideas. Like, you know, I had to make space to be wrong and for expertise, but if there was an idea that I really valued, like keep bringing it up in different ways until the wheels fall off, you know, and you know, maybe it gets in, maybe it doesn’t. But if you feel strongly about something, never give up finding a way to go for it.
Aly: Yeah. I mean, my advice is really similar, I think. I think a big part - and this is, this feels so relevant right now, like given where we're at in our election cycle - not being too attached to your opinions, not treating your opinions like they're facts. Just really holding space to like, this is just my perspective of how I feel in this moment. And remaining open to that changing. I think that's really important. And going into conversations with the consideration that you might be wrong. And, you know, I am in a leadership role in my life and as a director, as a DP, and I often produce projects and I'm used to just kind of holding this space of authority and co-directing with Analise and co-directing projects in the past, you know, every time it's like… I really have to consider I might be wrong. And a big part of that is learning to really listen. I think our listening ability as humans right now, because we have just so much thrown at us all of the time, is highly compromised. So often when we're listening, we're like having this secondary conversation like, “Oh, they're right. They're wrong. I agree. I don't agree. Like how do I feel about this?” And trying to like tune that out a little bit or a lot, and truly listen to the other person and holding space for them being right. You know, and in a lot of our conversations Analise... and we've talked about this a good amount, you know, we would get like fired up about stuff, but then we'd come back. Like I would go and think about it. And I really tried to come back and be like,” Hey, I really thought about this and dove deep into it and gave it the time and space and energy that it deserved. And, you know, you're right.” Or, “let's have another conversation about it.” And yeah, I think I feel comfortable saying for both of us that we got better at that at the listening part.
Analise: Yeah. And I would also, I'd also say like trusting each other's expertise and acknowledging our blind spots. Like there was so much that I was new to. So like I said before, like I definitely leaned a lot on Aly to guide me in those things. And when I felt like I was bringing up something that may be outside of her realm, You know, I would just try to present it in a different way. As far as like lived experiences. You know. And advocating for creative decisions that I felt like would resonate with people with experiences similar to mine. So, yeah, just trusting each other's expertise and, trying to be aware of our own blind spots, I think helped contribute to collaboration and communication.
Aly: Yeah. So much so, I mean, this was my first DEI project. And so really trying my best to let Analise kind of lead in that way, you know, given that she is a Black woman and that this is what the story is about. So really trying my best to listen to what she had to say and lean on that area of expertise and lived experience. Yeah, that was really well put Analise.
Analise: And then also... like, recognizing you as a minority in a male-dominated industry and how your experiences would have shaped the way that, um, You move and holding space for that and learning from that as well.
Lisa: Yeah, that is... yeah. What's the stat on female directors? It's sad. Isn't it like 3% or 6% or something of all films are directed by women?
Aly: I think it's definitely less than 6. A few years ago it was 1%.
Aly: Yeah. And women specifically that are actually holding the camera is an even smaller minority. But, you know, it's, it's been really incredible just over the last... since I started filmmaking 10 years ago and got into this realm, I didn't have a lot of role models, especially in adventure film. It's all white dudes. And now 10 years later that has changed so dramatically. There are so many incredible women that I have to be inspired by and look up to as far as female directors go, you know, everyone from like Reed Morano in Hollywood or Alexandria Bombach in the doc world or Darcy Turenne in the adventure film world. Like there's just an incredible array of women that are doing such amazing work behind the camera, but it's still a tiny, tiny percentage. We’re rare birds.
Lisa: Biking around with a RED Epic while you're five months pregnant. I'm like, who are you? Biceps of steel. That's crazy.
Lisa: Yeah. That's amazing.
Aly: Yeah, that added a whole layer of complexity, you know, shooting while pregnant over the last year was… it was interesting. I did more than I thought I could. And I also did less than I thought I could at the same time. That was sort of how I ended at the end. I was like, okay. I exceeded my expectations and I also didn't reach stuff at the same time.
Lisa: Yeah. That's amazing. And, Analise, what was it like biking with Brooklyn Bell?
Analise: Oh man. She's amazing. Like…
Lisa: She's cool, huh.
Analise: She's so cool. It was very intimidating and empowering. So I'd say, yeah, I'd say that was the balance. Like, it was really cool to hear about her experience and like how she became a biker and just like hearing from another Black woman in that world was really, really cool. And like, she is like straight up a pioneer. It's really cool.
Lisa: Yeah, she's awesome. One time she and I were mountain biking in Carbondale and we didn't know the trail very well. And I was like, let's go this way. Totally led us the wrong way. And we ended up in Basalt on like a hundred degree day and we were both out of water. I was just, I was miserable and she was just holding so tough.
Lisa: I was like, who are you?
Lisa: Yeah. Yeah. But she's, she's very cool. And I was excited that she, did this, you know, bikepacking.
Analise: Yeah. And it was only her second time ever, which didn't really click for me at the time. I was like, oh, like, you're a biker. You do this. But it was really only her second time bikepacking.
Lisa: That's cool. And then you had a third friend in the film.
Analise: Yeah, my friend, Dej’uanae Toliver. She was one of the first friends I made when I first moved to Portland. Her uncle was actually my football coach and I was looking for someone to do my hair and he recommended her. And that's how, that's how we met. She actually did my hair for the film too, and her own. With those nails. Which is crazy.
Lisa: Oh, cool. So I have a huge question for you, for both of you, which is like, what, when you make a film like this, that's so beautiful and so much thought, and so much of yourselves have gone into it. Like, what are you trying to accomplish on a, on a bigger, broader scale with this film and like, how are you able to sort of measure that?
Analise: Me first?
Aly: Yeah. Do you want to answer the first part?
Analise: Sure. Yeah. I think for me, my specific goal was to encourage people who never considered this a thing for them to try it. I have a lot of family members here in Florida that are just not…. like this world is not even on their radar. They don't know who REI is because our nearest REI is in Orlando three miles away. And I think with the way that people are quarantined now, I think there's a big opportunity to reimagine recreation.
So, I just hope that it empowers people to try mountain biking and camping, people who haven't done it before, because maybe their families don't do it and they don't have as much access to the outdoors. Like I kind of want to open that window for people like me before this project.
Aly: Yeah. And I can either answer that part or I can just speak to the second half of your question.
Lisa: Yeah. Kind of how, as a creative, how can you measure this? The success of it?
Aly: You know, there's, there's like tangible metrics that we can look at. So what does success mean? Does that mean, is that like a number account that we're going for? Like eyeballs on the film and how many film festivals does it play at?
So we have all these like numbers, right. That we can, we can use as a metric. But ultimately creating a film like this, where we're hoping to inspire people on some level is it's kind of a shot in the dark, you know, like it's really gratifying to see the numbers come in and, you know, REI told me on a phone call the other day that this has been one of the most positive roll-outs they've ever had of a film. Like there is not a negative comment on there. You know, and the organic reach of the film has been amazing. It's gotten well over a hundred thousand views on the different platforms and people are just so excited about it. And that is, that is so incredible.
And yet, ultimately you don't know what type of impact you're going to make with a film because 99.9% of the people don't leave a comment or they don't reach out. And, you know, we get these, we get these like little comments here and there that I'm like, oh my gosh, we're reaching the audience that we want to reach. And so, you hope... you try to like amplify that in your mind. You're like, okay, if that one person took the time, that means there's probably like a hundred people that felt the same way,
And films ultimately, you know, they shift our perspectives in really small ways. Sometimes it's huge. You know, like the Cove for example, got people really fired up to take very tangible action to like save the dolphins. Like, there are some films that change things in a huge way, but that said a lot of films... it's like, it shifts something tiny in you. It gives you like a seed of inspiration or like fuels something that was already there. And we don't necessarily get to see the impact of that. ‘Cause it's not always necessarily really a direct impact, if that makes sense. Like, some people might go out and like buy a bike and start bikepacking. But I think for most people, what we're leaving them with is a feeling, a feeling of possibility, a feeling of hope, a feeling of relating to another human being, of not feeling alone. And there's no, there's no metric for that. There's just, I think as filmmakers, we have to have faith that we're leaving something behind.
Lisa: That's beautiful.
Aly: Thanks. I think a lot about this.
Lisa: Well, is there anything I didn't ask you that you would like to share with our audience?
Analise: Listen to soca music! It's good for your soul.
Aly: [laughs] Yeah, I mean, I'm a big fan of soca music now. I think my biggest thing that, you know, we haven't really talked a lot about with the film, I think is the pregnancy part. For me, we have such an interesting relationship to pregnancy, to gestation in our society about what's possible and what's okay.
And, you know, I felt some hesitation around, are people gonna comments on the fact that I was very pregnant when we were doing this and I was mountain biking and I... you know, in all honesty, I wasn't going slow. Like, I don't really have a slow speed. I'm a very confident and competent mountain biker. Like, I don't crash on my bike very much because I'm aware that I'm 37 years old and I'm not made out of rubber anymore. So I tend to go about 65%, which is still fairly fast, ‘cause I like to, I'm a speedy person in general. And you know, I... I'm in the outdoors. I run… the Born Wild Project is one of my baby projects. And it's all about getting outdoors with your kids. And I've been doing that for five years. And I had so many role models for women who like pretty much skied into labor and yet, even when I got pregnant, I was like, what is possible? What am I going to be able to do? You know. And it was, it was such a learning experience. The entire process. From making this film and, you know, when I was 7 months pregnant I was scrambling around frozen waterfalls with the RED, like shooting this thing for Danner and having moments where I was like, “am I... is this okay?” You know? And like, our guide is like, everyone's looking at me, like I'm a little bit nuts on the frozen waterfall.
And having to adjust expectations like, not being the person who's repelling next to the athlete on the frozen waterfall. Like, I let someone else do that. Even though I really wanted to, ‘cause I couldn't wear a harness. And ultimately, I just think I'm realizing now with this, that I think it's important to share that story of being pregnant while making this film and how that didn't necessarily slow me down in any way, as far as what I was able to accomplish. You know. Yeah, I just, I think we kind of need to, re envision how we look at pregnancy in this country, especially outside of the adventure film world, the adventure world, where we are encouraged to go out and do things. And not that your podcast is necessarily going to reach those people given it's very targeted in this world, but I just hope, you know, women that are considering having families, don't think that that's something that's - it will make things different, you know, but it's not going to stop you from doing what it is you want to do. You just kind of have to reimagine what it might look like.
Analise: Very cool.
Lisa: You got that... you got that mom strength.
Aly: Yeah. Mom strength is real. I will say after giving birth, my camera got significantly heavier. Last time I picked it up, I was like, Oh my God.
Lisa: [laughs] It's just the batteries.
Aly: Yeah, it's definitely the batteries. It's not the fact that I gave birth. Yeah, giving birth does slow you down quite a bit or it did for me at least, which I didn't anticipate, but.
Lisa: I mean, you did, you did make a film that entire time.
Aly: I did. Yeah.
Lisa: I also loved the visual timeline of like, not pregnant, pregnant ,six months old.
Aly: Yeah. I have a human that like sits up and says mama now. I'm like, wow.
Lisa: You're like, that's how long it took to make this film.
Aly: Yeah! And that was the plot twist we didn't see coming.
Lisa: Very cool. Well, thank you so much for your time. We will put links to everything in the show notes. Where can people follow you online? Where should we send people?
Analise: My Instagram is @cleeeopatra with three E's.
Aly: Yeah, and mine’s @alynicklas.
Lisa: Perfect. Thank you so much for your time. And, um, I really enjoyed this and I loved the film. It's beautiful.
Analise: Thank you.
Lisa: We didn't talk about who edited it, but I love the editing on it as well. The color correction on the edit is beautiful.
Aly: Thanks. Yeah, that was Alisa Geiser and then myself, some at the end with the color and kind of fine tuning.
Lisa: Yeah, it's beautiful.
Aly: Thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. And thank you so much for having us today. This was awesome.
Analise: Yeah. Seriously.
Aly: This was such a fun conversation.
Iris: Thanks so much, Aly and Analise. We loved having you on the show and we love your film and we know all our listeners will too. If you haven't already watched it, if you didn't listen to us at the beginning of this episode and dropped everything and went and watched it, you can do that now by clicking the link in the show notes. And you can also follow Aly and Analise on Instagram. And you can follow us on Instagram @wheeliecreative. And find more podcasts, notes, and transcripts at wheeliecreative.com/podcast.
Lisa: Yeah. Thanks for listening.
Iris: Thanks for listening and go pedal through some diversity today. Literally or figuratively.