This is a short film based on the photography and writings of Rob Lutter.
His project, The LifeCycle, is a global cycling tour from London to London and has so far taken him 2 years and 15,000km to Hong Kong – his half way point.
Struggling with OCD and failing to find creativity at home, Rob left his home in England in 2011 alone by bicycle to find new life and meaning out on the open road.
After a recent successful Kickstarter to ‘kickrestart’ his journey, Rob is preparing to embark on the second leg of his tour to continue forth to the UK which he expects to complete by 2016.
The Life Cycle is also raising funds for mental health organisations OCD-UK (ocduk.org) and MIND (mind.org.uk)
This is a mixed-media work incorporating Rob’s photography in 3D space and footage shot on location in Hong Kong.
Directed, shot and edited by Edwin Lee
Aerial cinematography by Will Clem
Co-produced by Shawn Tse and Tom McLean
‘Waking Up’ by M83
‘Feather on the Clyde’ by Passenger (Stefan Biniak Private Remix)
When I first read about Rob on PetaPixel, which led to his Kickstarter and The LifeCycle website, I was immediately drawn to his stunning photography and deep, philosophical journal entries. I’ve always believed travelling and adventuring as a means to self-discovery. But reading about his frustration and unhappiness at home, and the steps he took to alleviate that – by embarking on this adventure – was just as captivating. It mirrored a period of time I went through. I failed to embark on my own grand adventure due to 4 years of illness in my early twenties. Having recovered now and worked my way up like a dog in Hong Kong’s media industry, I started to look back and yearned for that sense of adventure once again. My life today could have turned out different if I did take that adventure and may not have ended up in Hong Kong. Not necessarily for better or worse. Just different. Perhaps it was a fitting coincidence that Rob and I both worked in the film industries and us also hitting 30 this year.
When I realised Rob was in Hong Kong, I just thought to myself, I needed to chat with this guy and delve into his mindset. Here was someone who just happened to be in my home town, on the precipice of his great second leg of his adventure. I had to find him. When I discovered Rob had previously worked in the film industry, and his love for M83 and the Cinematic Orchestra, an idea sparked in my head to make a video with him. The initial idea was cloudy at best – I didn’t really have a solid pitch for Rob when we first met. I’m just glad we had similar music choices!
A week earlier, a friend – who also loved photography and cycling – and I were discussing about her urge for change and hitting a creative impasse. Here was someone I thought who was already doing amazing work, so, it’s dismaying to see someone lose direction. I struggled to find words of encouragement.
So when I first encountered The LifeCycle, I thought Rob was a great example of someone who combined both elements and exhibited the passion for adventure and the push for change that was so galvanising.
Then the idea of the film began to form into something tangible at least. I wanted to produce something to help Rob and his project, as well as in turn the charities he’s assisting by doing it in the one way I know best.
Rob’s journal entries are deep and thought-provoking, and I wanted to incorporate his words into a narration piece that exemplified his passion for adventure, his thoughts on the universe and the inner demons he faced.
I wanted to create a film that was a mix of documentary and hyper stylised film. I was also inspired by the YouTube videos based on the words of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson (youtu.be/9D05ej8u-gU) and philosopher Alan Watts (Really, check them out if you haven’t yet).
This was a no-budget, non-commercial film; assisted by great friends, and fueled by the desire to create. I hope this collaborative film with Rob can motivate others to take that adventure they’ve always wanted; to make that leap into the unknown; and ultimately to not squander life.
Sony FS100 24/60p
Leica M lenses: 28mm f2.8, 50mm f.10, 100mm f2.8 (courtesy of ClassicalCameraShop.hk)
GoPro HERO 3
DJI Phantom quadcopter with Tarot T-2D gimbal
Rob – thank you for your time, words and images. God speed.