It’s a wrap!!!

It’s done!It gives me tremendous joy to tell you that as of today The Radius Project is complete!  Late last night the final 1 hour and 34 minute version was rendered and this afternoon it was submitted to two 2018 film festivals for their consideration.

So let me tell you about the process that got it finished.

In the spring I shot a few additional interviews with one in particular that brought a wealth of clarity to the narrative.  After that I worked on new edits and tired to narrow down the story; all the while knowing that I would see this film finished this year.  Then came summer and fall where my day job as a commercial photographer & director saw me working an amazing 3 months straight on multiple projects with 2 self assigned days off in August and minimal time to delve into the editing I longed to do.

I’m not lying when I say that I’ve thought about this project everyday for years.  Even before I knew it’d be a documentary I thought about it what it should be.  I talked about it with people in my hometown and people around the world.   Then Ryan and I started shooting things together and I thought about what we’d shot and what I wanted to shoot.   Then I’d head out and shoot more things and discuss it with my family and Ryan.  Then we’d shoot more together and I’d think about that.  Every. Single. Day.  And I thought about how much I wanted to finish the film, especially for you because your backing showed that you wanted to see this story as much as I did.

When I finished the crazy fun work chaos this fall I did a few things.  First I looked at the two main 2018 film festivals that I wanted submit to and their deadlines which were December 1st.  Then I cleared my November work schedule except for a few things I’d committed to.

Then I erased the work I’d done so far.

Yes.  I couldn’t find the narrative and needed a fresh start.   And I promised myself that no matter what I was submitting a feature length film on December 1st and it had to be great.   So I cleared the edits I’d been revisiting, erased my notes and started clean on November 1st.  Within the first week the story because clear and the editing was fun and exhilarating.  I found a specific narrative that told a broader story that was much better and inspiring.  Then some mid month creative blocks showed up but I kept working everyday for 8 to 12 hours.  I’d occasionally come up for air to show Ryan, my wife Natalie or my daughter a segment but 99% of the time I was locked in my studio seeing this through.  I’d go to bed thinking about editing.  I’d dream about editing.  And I’d get up in the morning to edit the work I’d done in my dreams.

So now what?

I knew that when today came I wouldn’t be able to think about edits because they were out of my hands.  I wondered what it’d be like to not think about what the Radius Project would be anymore.  That feeling lasted 30 seconds because now I’m thinking about how to show it and promote it and I’m super excited to get this out to the world.

The 1st step was the film festival submissions, which may or may not accept the film, but their deadline was the finish line.  In the coming weeks I’ll start plotting a kickstarter backer / public premiere in Peterborough which I expect will happen in January or February depending on venue availability.  (also one of the film festivals has a public showing proximity clause so I need to adhere to that until I hear otherwise.) As soon as the public premiere happens then the digital copy will go out to everyone who qualified for one when they backed the film.  More premieres in different cities will come after that.

So a few years of shooting, 1.26 terabytes of footage and 2.51 terabytes in a Final Cut Pro library have made a 94 minute feature film that inspires me and I’m sure will inspire you.  I’m already thinking about editing the unused footage into special features / short docs  – but let’s get this premiered first.

Thank you so much for your support.  Your backing – and knowing you wanted to see this was a great motivator.  I’ll share a new trailer (and TV commercial) once some premiere dates get locked in.

Awesome things are awesome!
Michael Hurcomb

Serena Ryder Interview Outtake and an update on the documentary


We’re still hard at work on the documentary with a heap of interviews wrapped and some more on the way.  An interesting part of this process are the roads you get unexpectedly led down by the people you interview and how that leads to new interviews and topics.   Everyone that we’ve interviewed have been AMAZING with a few exceptionally great interviews.  (Honestly there are 3 or 4 interviews that we could just run unedited and that’d make for a great film).

When we started this process we had a wish list of people to talk to and we’re glad to say we’ve interviewed almost all of them and are still trying to coordinate a few more.  Tour schedules, album cycles and lives in general have really changed up our timelines with some interviews taking 6 to 8 months to lock in.    A few people that we’d planned to interview have been unresponsive (after committing to the doc), disappeared in general or in one case decided that they “didn’t have anything good to say about their home town.”   So in these few cases we’re moving on but the film won’t be affected by their absence.  Like like we said we’ve talked to lots of great people and have more to go.   And we’ve already begun editing all of the interviews and are starting to work on the music that will accompany the film.

We had a January 2016 release goal that we’d picked because it aligned with the deadline for one film festival.   Since a chunk of our interviews got pushed back (band schedules) and the interview process sent us in new directions we can safely say we won’t be releasing in January 2016 but we will be releasing a few months after.    As much as we love hitting deadlines we want to make sure this is done right and that we have the time to add some more amazing people.    We’ve also had some interesting ideas about how to show and promote this film on a unique and wide scale which would bring lots of attention to this area and the music scene.  More on that as it develops.

In the meantime we wanted to show you an outtake video of Serena Ryder (note – we’ve cranked the audio on this so that you can hear Michael’s voice.  The normal interviews will only have the interviewees talking.)   In this outtake Michael tells Serena a story he’d heard about a teenage Serena performing with a cover band in Millbrook, Ontario.


What we did on our summer vacation…


With another epic summer in the record books we wanted to give you an update to let you know what we’ve been up to and what lays ahead.

The past few months had us at least 5 music festivals in the US & Canada.  In between his concert photography duties, Michael was gathering footage & B Roll for the Radius Project.  And we had a chance to sit down with a some great musicians for more one on one interviews for the documentary.

The months ahead have us coordinating and shooting more interviews and footage (getting this many musicians scheduled is akin to herding drunk overstimulated cats…but we’re getting there). And just last night we bumped into a few people we’ve been trying to pin down for interviews and got those booked. We’re already looking ahead to next summer with some tentative plans for cool ways to get this documentary shown to the world.

Overall this has been an amazing, challenging, fun, stressful, imaginative, learning, educational, exasperating and wonderful process.  Every interaction opens many new doors and at this point our biggest challenge is having too many people that we want to talk to and that want to talk to us.  Maybe a sequel or trilogy is in order…


Driving back from Bonnaroo
Driving back from Bonnaroo
Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch
Trevor McNevan of Thousand Foot Krutch

The story continues….

We’re back from Bonnaroo!   This was our 7th & 5th trips to this amazing music fest and we had an amazing time as always.     Thought we’d share a photo or two that we shot along I-75 where the Radius Project was born a few years ago.  Ironically this is the same stretch of highway where our production company, Mexican Cheesus, was conceived.   It must be that great emptiness of Ohio that spawns good ideas.

We’re having a great time working on this doc.  We have a heap of interviews lined up over the coming months and have been doing a ton of research, editing previous interviews and B Roll and watching lots of docs, movies and music videos for inspiration.


Co-pilot to Detroit

Michael at the wheel on I-75
Michael at the wheel on I-75

30 days of Kickstarter

Hey, it’s Michael!

30 days ago we launched a kickstarter campaign. in the hopes of raising $9500. After a crazy, amazing whirlwind of a month the campaign clock ended today at 12:18am and we raised a whopping $9965! We surpassed our target with 104% and an average pledge of $73.27!!!

So now what? 1st we wait for Kickstarter to approve all of the pledges which will take 14 days. Then we start prepping and sending out the rewards.

I can’t begin to comprehend the amount of people that I need to thank for pledging, being supportive and just being awesome.   But I have to give a huge thanks to my brother in hustle, Ryan Lalonde.

Now I guess we have to go make a movie!



Humble and Fred Radio show / 3 days to go!!!

Yesterday Michael was on the Humble and Fred show to chat about the documentary and kickstarter.   Click the link and skip ahead to the 90 minute mark if you want to have a listen.

And we’re getting close to the end of our Kickstarter campaign!   3 days to go and we’re on a hot streak.  We raised over $3,000 since the Easter weekend and just broke the $6,000 mark this morning!

Kickstarter? What the F.A.Q?

radius kickstarter why kickstarter

Things are moving along with our Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign.  As we write this we’re 26% of the way (Just over $2400) to our $9500 goal.   We wanted to thank everyone that has backed our campaign so far and to clear up some Frequently Asked Questions / comments as we head into the home stretch.


1.  What is Kickstarter?  


Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. Kickstarter is a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, 8.3 million people have pledged more than $1.6 billion, funding 81,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.


2.   How do I contribute?  

It’s easy.  Go to the Kickstarter page, create a profile and select the amount you’d like to pledge.    Kickstarter only accepts credit cards and not Paypal.  Your credit card will only be charged when we reach 100% of our goal. 

3.  Why do you need a Kickstarter for your documentary?  Can’t you just pay for it yourself?  

Crowdfunding has become very popular over the past few years because it lets people & fans be involved in the things they like and the things they want to see.  They get to support & fund a project & get cool rewards.  We looked at crowdfunding, particularly Kickstarter, as a way to involve people in our project & get some funds help us get to, shoot and produce the interview segments.  We also went with Kickstarter as it gave us the biggest audience with the most trusted crowdfunding platform available.

Documentaries can take a long time to shoot and be quite expensive.  Just a few of the costs include research, pre-production, interview coordination, travel, gear rentals, crew fees,  shoots, editing, post production (colour grading and audio mixing), marketing, premiere(s) and film fest submission fees.  Crowdsourcing covers some of these fees, most importantly the principal shooting.  Could we produce the same quality of product by paying for 100% of this on our own?  No.  We’re still researching grants and looking at other revenue streams that can cover the fees that we can’t cover with Kickstarter and our own piggy banks.


4.   What happens if you don’t reach 100% ($9,500) by the deadline.  

Kickstarter is an all or nothing platform.  Meaning if you don’t get to 100% you get nothing.  They do this for 2 reasons.

•It creates a sense or urgency and gets you to hustle.

•If we said that we need $9500 to cover certain costs and expenses and we took $2500, the backers that contributed the $2,500 would still expect the final product to hold look like it was worth $9500.


5.  I contributed to the campaign.  What happens if you don’t get to 100%.   Do I still get my rewards?

If we don’t get to 100% then your credit card will not be charged for the amount you pledged.  And unfortunately we can’t send out the rewards for an unsuccessful campaign. (Other than the social media shout outs that you may have seen)


6.  What happens if you get to 100%?

Dancing.   Then Kickstarter notifies us about the reward packages that we need to fulfill and we get those out based on the dates outlined on the rewards page.


7.  What happens to the Radius Project if the Kickstarter doesn’t succeed? 

After our crying fits subside, we’ll pick ourselves up, continue to evaluate other options, timelines and story ideas, put our heads down and work.


8.   “I’ll probably donate to your Kickstarter….but I’ll wait until the last day and only donate if really need it.”  

That’s cool but sooner is always better.  The remaining $7,000 seems like a lot but it isn’t.  We have close to 800 likes/followers on social media.  If the average pledge was $50 we’d only need 140 more pledges to hit 100% (we’re not suggesting $50, we’re just saying that with 13 days ago this is still very achievable).  Sure we’d love the funding but we also want the people that pledged to enjoy their rewards.   We LOVE the custom guitar pedals we’ve had made and would love for those to get out into the world.  And nothing would make us happier than to see music prints getting sent out the folks that were excited to pick those packages.


9.   Why do you want to tell this story?

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” – Steve Jobs
If you’d told us, a few years ago, that we’d be shooting & producing a documentary we’d have thought you were crazy.  But we weren’t seeing the dots yet.   Director Michael Hurcomb started out as (and will always be) a music photographer.  The dots for him were working with bands, travelling the world, talking about the small town music scenes and becoming friends with the people that would help weave this story.   The Mexican Cheesus team cut their teeth shooting & producing live music videos and pitching better ideas during Waffle House pit stops on road trips that covered the continent.  We couldn’t see the dots when we were beside them but they were as clear as day from a Waffle House in Tennessee.  We want to tell this story and have this film viewed everywhere in the hopes that people will see it and want to come to Peterborough to experience the music scene and see the next wave of bands that will transcend to the national and international stage.

The Radius Campaign 1st week update

We’ve had an amazing response to the launch of our social media pages and Kickstarter campaign.   Last Friday we kicked it all off with zero likes and $0 in the Kickstarter and after only one week we broke the $2,000 mark & are well on our way to our $9,500 goal.   And we’ve had more than 400 people like our Facebook page and over 250 people follow our twitter.  And just this afternoon we received our custom made guitar pedals by Tribute Audio that are available as Kickstarter rewards (but we’re keeping the 1st 3 for ourselves).


Thanks to everyone that has backed us so far and please have a look at the campaign (& share it) if you haven’t had a chance.    Kickstarter only passes the $ on to us when, and only when, we hit 100% of our goal.   Your support will make this documentary a reality!


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