What do we love most? That’s easy! We travel through the natural world and capture the highlights on camera. It’s been our passion for over a decade, and that same desire has taken us to some pretty unusual and far-flung destinations.
It’s quite amazing to think that I met Josh 10-years ago on a hiking trail that stretches from Maine to Georgia. The famous 2,184-mile Appalachian Trail (AT) captivated me in my early 20’s. I had this romantic notion that I could put all the essentials in one bag, hop a fence, and walk for months. So with 22-boxes of dried food waiting to be shipped to me, I set off, hiking from the northern end of the US bound for the south.
From a large scale perspective, progress was exceedingly glacial. After walking for 40-days—40 days of walking—I remember looking at a 3-foot map of the AT; I had only covered two inches! I was hiking alone and quickly realized that I might just go crazy if I walked this trail by myself. I mean 6-months in the woods with not a soul to converse; that could easily make me cuckoo.
It was literally that next day when I met Josh. He too was walking alone, and we hit it off right away. At that time, we had never held a camera and really didn’t know what we wanted to do with our lives. We were both content in finding a new horizon to start each day. Fast-forward to today, and we’ve we’ve logged over 8,000 miles either by foot, bike, rickshaw, kayak, and rowboat. We’re both television producers, Josh for Discovery and me for National Geographic. We’ve produced 3-feature documentaries together and a recent short documentary. It’s been this amazing and completely unexpected ride.
So when we received a call from Academy Award Winner Sean Fine about appearing in a national commercial that he and his wife Andrea would be directing, I was blown away. I didn’t actually think it would happen up until the moment the cameras started rolling. In part it was a very familiar scene, there was Josh, and we were in the woods…in Maine again no less. However this time there was the addition of two world class filmmakers, a commercial ad team, Nature Valley representatives, camera operators, photographers and wilderness guides. It was all very surreal and today I’m honored to announce that the shoot was a success! We’re unyieldingly so grateful that our passion could be turned into a career.
Here is a moment you didn’t see in Paddle to Seattle. Over the next month, we’re releasing some big developments at Dudes on Media. One of which is our new website, where we’ll be realeasing more of our favorite behind-the-scenes “Paddle to Seattle” moments. The new site will also be the official launch pad for our third adventure documentary, Go Ganges.
It’s with great honor that Dudes on Media announces the release of our next film, “Go Ganges!” It’s the third installation from our production company, and we’ve got high hopes riding on the shoulders of this international adventure. As we construct the 50-hours of footage captured during the expedition, we’re growing more confident that this will be our best film yet!
This is our first adventure film where we took our skills accumulated in wilderness settings to a natural wonder that is not wilderness but just wild. One year ago we set out to learn about a river and the people that consider it a god. We didn’t have the slightest idea of how it would all turn out. In the end we traveled the length of the Ganges River by foot, rickshaw, rowboat and scooter embracing the Indian culture, literally winging it and putting ourselves at the whim of their engaging culture. “Go Ganges!” is going to be the product of this spontaneous adventure.
Stay tuned: Feature Film coming January 2012!
Interview with JJ about The Dudes travels down The Ganga
In D.C. Double Lives, we’ll introduce you to a series of Washingtonians who have moved beyond the confines of cubicle life to start passion projects in addition to or instead of traditional nine-to-five jobs.
Read the full article
DUDES TALK TO NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Last weekend National Geographic Weekend host (and Traveler columnist) Boyd Matson interviewed documentary filmmakers JJ Kelley and Josh Thomas about their current trip: traveling along the Ganges River…
CLICK TO READ THE FULL STORY ON INTELLIGENT TRAVELER BLOG
This video was shot before The Dudes departed for The River Ganges. Looking back, they had no idea what the adventures they lay ahead.
“Paddle to Seattle” is available for HD download on iTunes in time for the Christmas season.
Disputes have ended between longstanding iTunes holdouts, Dudes on Media and the Beatles. As you probably know, the parties had been locked in a deep-rooted cold war, each party refusing to make their work available on iTunes.
Media conglomerate Apple, who owns the digital download site, had been pushing both sides for a deal, stating, “The absence of works like “The White Album” and “Paddle to Seattle” represent a major blemish in our archives.”
The disagreement started several years ago. Reportedly Ringo Starr and Josh Thomas were seen having an altercation outside a Santa Barbra smoothie shop. No one was seriously injured as a result of the fight although Mr. Starr was taken to Cottage Hospital for x-rays, which came back negative.
“You’ll always regret this Starr.” Thomas was heard shouting as police took him into custody for questioning. Charges were never filed, but lawyers from the two parties could not reach a resolution on the iTunes holdout.
Earlier this month the Beatles were the first to fold making available their vast library on iTunes. The announcement came after mounting pressure from holiday shoppers.
Dudes on Media producer J.J. Kelley was encouraged by the news and promptly tweeted, “It’s time to end this.” Reached by phone from his hotel in Kolkata Kelley told the AP, “It just felt like the right thing to do.”
Now—for the first time—Paddle to Seattle is available for HD download on iTunes. In a statement released from Dudes on Media they said they’d like to thank their supporters and anyone who buys the film, and yes you’re welcome Steve Jobs.
Click here to download Paddle to Seattle on iTunes
This goat is tired of cold, restless nights, and is contemplating suicide.
Months ago, when we started planning to follow the Ganges River, we knew then that we wanted to do more than just have an adventure. It couldn’t just be about us…it needed to be about something bigger. But what?
During our two months on the Ganga we’ve been looking for answers. We owe endless gratitude to the 400 million people and countless animals that depend on Ganga. It’s been a lot of brainstorming, but we’ve finally done it!
We are very proud to announce our best idea. A non-profit started by us: “Happy Hooves.” “Happy Hooves” is our commitment to provide warm sweaters to all the goats in Northern India. Winters here can be harsh. Nighttime temps sometimes drop as low as 50F. By Indian standards that’s kind of cold. It’s nothing to warrant a parka, but definitely a nice cardigan.
The idea came to us through close observations of this new world that surrounds us. We couldn’t help but notice the hopeless expressions on some of the goats we met. “That’s just how goats look,” Our cameraman, Dave, kept saying.
We noticed that not all of the goats looked so glum; some where happy. But why? It quickly became obvious. All the happy ones were wearing sweaters or sweater-vests. In India, goats are over-shadowed by the Holy Cow and we want to let the goats know that as Americans, we care.
This goat is happy, relaxed, and knows that people really do care.
We can’t do it all by ourselves, though. We’ve partnered with designer “Manoj Lauren” and “Little Hands,” a small manufacturing company which is taking some big steps. “Little Hands” is a group of children volunteering to personally knit every sweater. Because the child-staff are all volunteers, all the profits go directly to naked
goats. Unfortunately, their donations are not enough.
If you want to help, you can purchase our last film, Paddle to Seattle.
Thanks in advance.
On our way down The River Ganges we encountered a terrorist attack in the holy city of Varanasi. Our hearts go out to all the families of those injured.