YERT feature film – KY Premiere – July 28, 7pm @ Louisville Science Center!

YERT Film Poster for Louisville
The YERT Film poster is an homage to films that have undoubtedly influenced many environmental documentaries: Charlie’s Angels and The Ten Commandments . Conceived/designed by Ben Evans and created by local Louisville graphic artist Kyle Ware.

“…A deeply absorbing and often hilarious road trip… By the dramatic end of Your Environmental Road Trip, audiences will not only cheer, but feel compelled to spring to their feet to join an inspiring movement for change. If only our nation’s policymakers will watch this important film and do the same.”
– Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post

RESERVE YOUR LOUISVILLE PREMIERE TICKETS HERE
(One night only and seating is limited, so get your tickets early.)

YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip is an award-winning film (Audience Award – Environmental Film Festival at Yale 2011) celebrating the American spirit in the face of adversity – a unique docu-comedy profiling the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history.

RESERVE YOUR LOUISVILLE PREMIERE TICKETS HERE

(One night only and seating is limited, so get your tickets early.)

Covering 50 states in 1 year and virtually every environmental issue coast to coast with a blend of humor and depth – from the heroes on the front lines fighting mountaintop removal in Appalachia to the iconic Kansan “solving the 10,000 yr-old problem of agriculture”; from an eccentric 92-year old cave-man in the wilds of Idaho to the inventor of futuristic Solar Roadways; from New Mexico’s utopian Earthships to Alaska’s melting ice cellars – we shot 600 hours of footage and interviewed nearly 1000 people including such luminaries as Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Michael Bloomberg, Deepak Chopra, Janine Benyus, Will Allen, David Orr, Michael Reynolds, Joel Salatin, David Korten, and members of Congress…as well as ordinary citizens from all walks of life.

To better understand the environmental challenges before us, Mark, Julie, and I also decided to put ourselves through a series of outrageous challenges on the trip, like never turning on an incandescent light bulb, radically reducing our water usage by any means necessary, and, above all, attempting to generate zero waste by keeping all of our garbage (and recyclables) in the car with us for the entire year. Little did we know that in the middle of the trip, an unexpected turn of events would instantly and dramatically change life for all of us and push the entire project to the brink. It was an alternately heart-rending, mind-blowing, and gut-busting adventure – but ultimately, we hope, an inspiring one.

Crafting the film has been as challenging as surviving the trip itself. Edited and post-produced primarily in Louisville, the movie bears the marks of a variety of the city’s local talent (in addition to Ben and Julie…and frequent visitor Mark) including co-producer Gill Holland, co-editor/co-producer Scott Irick, animation from Eric Stemen at Kertis Creative, and music from Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore among others – as well as invaluable help from a wonderful group of local donors, transcribers, and supporters. After more than four years in the making, the film will have its Louisville Premiere (generously sponsored by both the Louisville Science Center and the Louisville Film Society) on July 28th at 7pm @ The Louisville Science Center. A Q&A with the filmmakers will follow.

RESERVE YOUR LOUISVILLE PREMIERE TICKETS HERE

(One night only and seating is limited, so get your tickets early.)

Tremendous thanks to Louisville for such incredible support over the last few years. We can’t wait to see you at this very special event!

Ben Evans
DIRECTOR / co-Producer

YERTy Updates Galore!

Dear YERTians,

There’s plenty brewing in the world of YERT, and we’re delighted to share the news…

  • YERT wins Audience Award at the 2011 Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY)
  • Help us Build Buzz for YERT Screenings at deadCENTER Film Fest Next Week
  • Ramping up for Film Festival Madness (we hope!)
  • Plan a Screening of Your Own!
  • YERT Featured in Huffington Post + Other Press

YERT wins Audience Award at the 2011 Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY)
If you’re following our Facebook Fan Page or our Blog, you’ve already heard the news, but if you just don’t have time, here’s the big news: After a fantastic world premiere at EFFY 2011 – complete with packed house, laughter, tears, two standing ovations, and friends and family all around – we’re proud to announce that the YERT film won the Audience Award at the festival – in a tie with Oscar-nominated “Waste Land”!! Read all about it HERE.

Help us Build Buzz for YERT Screenings at deadCENTER Film Fest Next Week
We’re very excited to kick off YERT’s major festival run on 6/9 and 6/11 at the 11th Annual deadCENTER Film Festival – one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “Top 20 Coolest Film Festivals in the World” – and we need YOUR support (in person OR remotely from distant lands)! Even if you’re nowhere near Oklahoma, you can still help us easily, painlessly, and hugely – simply click on our festival link here and click “Like”. We get points for visits and “Likes,” so please head on over! And if you ARE in Oklahoma, or know somebody who is, tell them to stop by and see the film, and even better, stop by the “Meet and Greet” event with Mark in Oklahoma City on Friday, 6/10 at 4pm, at Elemental Coffee (815 N. Hudson Ave., Oklahoma City, OK). And finally, a giant THANK YOU to all the sustainability groups and supporters who are helping get the word out in Oklahoma City: The deadCENTER staff and volunteers, Transition OKC, Sustainable OKC, Fresh Greens Blog, and Cimarron Group of the Sierra Club.

Ramping up for Film Festival Madness (we hope!)
We’ve applied to 41 film festivals so far, and have been accepted by two and rejected by two– an awesome average for festivals. We hope to keep it up! If you know of any festivals that you think we should apply to, now is the time. By the looks of the schedule, there is a surge of festivals peaking in October, so watch for us near you then– and if we don’t make it to your location by November, plan one of your own! And that leads us to the next item…

Plan a Screening of Your Own!
We don’t have any major distributors chomping at the bit to help us distribute the YERT film, but we feel that there is enough grass-roots support for our up-beat environmental story that we can do this on our own! It is very easy to do. All we need is for everybody on this list to host or inspire 5 screenings. Simply visit our Screening page at http://yert.com/screenings.php and sign up via the form there. On that same page you’ll also see a short but quickly growing schedule of our upcoming screenings. (By the way, if you know of a willing distributor, send them our way! ๐Ÿ˜‰

YERT Featured in Huffington Post + Other Press
We recently caught up with Jeff Biggers and he wrote a great interview about the YERT film and project on the Huffington Post! You can check out the article here, and you can check out the latest press and reviews about the film on our press page here. Here’s a little snippet or two from the Huffington Post article:

Years in the making, YERT is a hilarious, powerful and often poignant chronicle of the year-long journey of three filmmakers, engineers and acclaimed Off Broadway performers – Julie Dingman Evans, Mark Dixon and Ben Evans – to explore breakthrough approaches, from the bizarre to the mind-blowing, for environmental sustainability in all 50 states.
BEN: It’s really a roadmap past clean energy toward LOW energy. . .and a sustainable, sane civilization based on how natural systems work. Clean energy is critically important, but it needs to take place in the context of powering down and maturing out of our extractive relationship with the planet into a mutually beneficial regenerative, restorative one. Ultimately, it’s about stopping deficit spending. . .of all kinds.

Please forward as much as you’re able- we need to get the word out about this film!

And that’s all for this latest edition of the YERT newsletter. Keep in touch, join the conversation on Facebook, and we’ll see you again soon!

Cheers,
Ben, Mark, and Julie
team@yert.com

— Quotes from YERT Film Audiences —

“I laughed (a lot), learned (loads), admired (lots of cool projects), and cried (at the …beautiful ending).” -Lori Hanemann, AK

“I am a member of GRAC = Grass Roots Action Club and tonight some of the members came out to see your film, and we were absolutely blown away. First, may I say that the music that was chosen for the film was perfect, so perfect, in fact, that I wanted to buy the soundtrack to your film right after it was over.” -Jessica Teixeira, West Haven High School, CT

“. . .the world premiere of “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip” had us feeling just as hopeful and motivated as “Bag It.” . . .the narrators were charismatic, the story was creative and well developed, and the environmental issues were well presented. “YERT” covered a wide range of topics and had a bit of something for everyone.” -Kari Post, SustainableFocus.org



Ben, Julie, and Mark at the World Premiere of YERT at the Environmental Film Festival at Yale.
Photo by Rich Press.

YERT wins Audience Award at EFFY 2011 World Premiere!!

After a fantastic world premiere at EFFY 2011 (the Environmental Film Festival at Yale) – complete with packed house, laughter, tears, two standing ovations, and friends and family all around – we’re proud to announce today that the YERT film just won the Audience Award at the festival – in a tie with Oscar-nominated “Waste Land”!! Read all about it HERE.

If you would like to find or request a YERT feature film screening in your area, click HERE.

Thanks to anyone and everyone who has helped this project over the last 4+ years. This one’s for you, YERTians!

This film’s been a long time coming – but the real fun has just begun. Get ready world, here we come!

YERTfully,

Ben, Mark, & Julie

A Year of YERT + New Video!

Dear YERT Family,

It has been an amazing Year of YERT, and we’ve been working hard to get the feature film out the door while we change the tone of environmental action around the country. What have we been up to in 2010? We have…

* Edited, edited, and edited the footage from our adventure into a
rough cut feature film
* Screened a 2 hour 11 minute rough-cut of the
feature film in Pittsburgh to rave reviews
* Given 15+ presentations
nationwide, including a screening at the National Bioneers Conference
* Raised over $15,000 for the project
* Interviewed Bill McKibben, Janine Benyus, and David Orr for the film.

AND, we have released a BRAND NEW VIDEO, a sneak peek from the feature film for you to watch: The Junk Montage. Watch it by clicking on the picture below…

speaker.png Click Here for a Free Download of the Junk MP3!*

We hope that during this holiday season you feel inspired to contribute not only to stockings in need, but to a YERT feature film dedicated to preserving a planet for children around the world. We need $31,000 to finish the film with motion graphics, audio engineering, color correction, and our sanity, and you can help us get there!

Please donate to YERT at: http://www.yert.com/donate.php

Here’s what they’re saying about the YERT Film:

ย“Engaging, entertaining, moving, fun!ย”

ย“I loved the overall concept, the energy, and the inspiring interviews.ย”

ย“I was tearing up out of awe and inspiration at what you were able to create, what so many people have been able to create, what we can all create together, and convinced I had seen the best film of all time.ย”

‘Tis the Season for the Planet,
The YERT Team

***********************************
Watch the YERT Junk Montage at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8ZwDFHGR4A
Please donate to YERT at: http://www.yert.com/donate.php
Download the free Junk song mp3 file here*: http://j.mp/eTUUeC

* The Junk Montage was created with the help of a great piece of music called, yes, “Junk” by Brainpool! It is featured in “Junk the Rock Opera” and they’re a bunch of kindred, YERTy spirits. Help them spread the word about their show by visiting their website at http://junkrockopera.com and see the original Junk music video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxHg3DIv9kg . The free download is made possible through the generosity of the Junk musicians who support YERT and our fans! The download is for personal use only, but feel free to tell your friends about it!

Standing room only at YERT screening!

img_0281.JPGWow! What an evening! I’m writing to thank ALL of you who attended last night’s YERT rough-cut screening at the Pittsburgh Filmmakers. I figure we had over 80 people packed into a screening room that only seats 53. (A special thanks to those who sat on the floor. ๐Ÿ˜‰

(Here’s a picture of the eco-gingerbread house raffle prize!)–>

I can’t tell you how thrilling it was to show up last night and find so many friendly faces so excited to see the film. And then to see you all laughing, smiling, and even crying a bit through over two hours of sitting– well, the YERT team and I couldn’t have hoped for more.

Thanks again to Councilman Bill Peduto for kicking off the event, to Sheila Collins and Richard Citrin for closing it, and for all the helping hands all night long who made the event run as smoothly as it did.

I’d also like to thank Will Zavala for inviting me to share the YERT film at his ongoing DocSalon series. You can find more information about future DocSalon events at their website: http://pghdocsalon.blogspot.com/

And a special thanks to Salt of the Earth for donating the $50 “Dinner with the Filmmaker” for our raffle. Please support Salt and its brilliant chef/owner, Kevin Sousa, when you get the chance: http://www.saltpgh.com/

Until next time,
Mark (and Ben and Julie)
team@yert.com

P.S. If you haven’t signed up for the YERT mailing list, please do: http://www.yert.com/contact.php . That’s the best place to learn when and how to get your own copy, watch, or screen the film after it is released.

P.P.S. You can check out photos of the eco-gingerbread house here.

YERT Rough-Cut Screening in Pittsburgh on 12/17

Mark is presenting a rough-cut screening (we’re not done yet) of the YERT film in Pittsburgh as a part of the Pittsburgh Filmmakers Documentary Salon, and he would love your feedback! Mark will be joined by Bill Peduto and a host of other fans and supporters, so please come on by, watch the film, and tell us how you think it should change. ๐Ÿ™‚

Friday, December 17
6:30p Food & Social
7:00p Screening
…Admission is free.

Screening in Classroom Theater, Room 210 (2nd floor, behind the elevator)

Here’s a mini synopsis:
YERT (Your Environmental Road Trip) is a groundbreaking adventure and a celebration of the American spirit in the face of adversity – a thought-provoking, inspiring, and sometimes hilarious documentary about the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history. Called into action by the ever increasing threats of planetary catastrophe (from climate change to toxic pollution, from water scarcity to habitat destruction), the three of us – Mark Dixon, Ben Evans, and Julie Dingman Evans – upended our lives, pooled our collective life-savings, and set off on a first-of-its-kind, 50-state, year-long journey of discovery to personalize sustainability and to answer a critical question: ARE WE DOOMED?

Check it out on the DocSalon blog here:
http://pghdocsalon.blogspot.com/2010/11/december-2010-at-salon.html

And on Facebook here:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=174635695896598

YERT @ Monroeville Library Tonight

Hey, All! Mark is giving a YERT presentation at the Monroeville Library at 7pm-8:30pm. Details below…

YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip
Monday, December 6, 2010
7:00 p.m. – 8: 30 p.m.
Monroeville Public Library Gallery Space
4000 Gateway Campus Blvd., Monroeville, PA 15146

Cosponsored by Sustainable Monroeville
Join Mark Dixon from Your Environmental Road Trip (YERT) for an event filled with environmental fun and film as he shares highlights from a year’s journey of weird, wild, and wonderful approaches to sustainability all across America. Ever try cutting down your garbage to 1/100th of its normal size? On the road? With a pregnant woman? Come on by to find out how they did just that and more.

YERT is a one-year 50-state video documentary road trip to explore and personalize sustainability across the country. All throughout the journey, Mark Dixon, Ben Evans, and Julie Evans released fast-paced videos online to share their adventures, including their very own “road rules” eco-challenges (like keeping all of their garbage in the car all year), visits to environmentally significant destinations, and most importantly, interviews with over 800 leaders, businesspeople, researchers, and average citizens from all walks of life. Now the team is working on “YERT Phase 2,” developing a feature film, additional short films, live presentations, and educational curriculum based on the project.

YERT at Northeastern!

Last night I gave a presentation to a crowd of about 70 students at Northeastern University, invited by their environmental group “HEAT” and their entrepreneurial club, and we had a great time! I showed a few clips from our upcoming feature film, including a chapter about Joel Salatin (also featured in Michael Pollan’s Omnivore’s Dilemma), not to mention a number of quotes from eco-notable figures like Wes Jackson (Land Institute), Janine Benyus (Biomimicry), and David Orr (renowned climate scientist).

My awesome hosts at the event!

I also highlighted a number of eco-resources for students to consider exploring on their own after the presentation. Here’s a list (in case you didn’t have time to write them all down!)…
The Better World Shopping Guide – One of the best stocking-stuffer-sized guides to all kinds of products, from an eco and social justice perspective.
– Plan B 4.0, by Lester Brown – The best guide to all the issues facing our planet, and the best solutions for getting ourselves out of the fix, all in one place. A true plan. Fine more information here. (Full free book download here)
Cradle to Cradle – Shows how we can make things safely on a finite planet. A must-read for entrepreneurs and scientists. Printed on totally recyclable plastic pages! ๐Ÿ˜‰
– Green Chemistry – The fertile soil upon which chemistry in this new generation will most likely be built. At least it SHOULD be built on these principles. Read all about Green Chemistry here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_chemistry .
– Transition Town movement – A community response to climate change, peak oil, and financial instability in the years ahead: Transition US. And the local Massachusetts Transition network. And my favorite, the Transition Handbook. A must read!
Bioneers by the Bay – There is a wonderful conference that takes a broad and deep look at environmental, social justice, and spiritual approaches to healing the planet. There are satellite conferences nationwide, including a huge one one at UMass Dartmouth: http://www.connectingforchange.org. And the national Bioneers conference happens in San Rafael, CA.
– I also showed a slide about YERT’s New Media Tools. Check it out for a full explanation of all the tools we used on the trip and what we liked/didn’t like about them.

I’ll be gradually adding to this list of resources, but this is a good start. You can also find some of the videos from last night’s presentation on the YERT environmental video page.

A big thanks to all the students who turned out for the event, and please do stay in touch!

A great screening at the National Bioneers Conference! + Screenings in KY and PA this weekend

Dear YERTians,

We’re thrilled to report that the YERT feature film rough-cut screening at the National Bioneers Conference went very very well. There was a crackling excitement in the room on Friday night, filled to capacity with 100+ audience members who laughed so loudly and so often that passers-by thought it was a comedy show.

Ben at Bioneers 2010 Mark at Bioneers 2010

After the screening we heard lots of wonderful feedback that people were both tickled and moved by the film and couldn’t wait to see the final cut and screen it in their home towns. A few audience members were so excited that they donated a total of $70 to the project right on the spot. The Bioneers conference co-founder, Kenny Ausubel, mentioned to me something along the lines of “I heard lots of good things about the YERT screening.” Kenny also gave Ben a big hug on Monday after the conference. And finally, we have also received an invitation to screen the final film at the National Bioneers conference as soon as we finish the final cut.

All in all, a great time, and an affirmation that we’re on the right track with this film. It is also an affirmation to you, our friends and supporters, that we’re working together towards an inspiring, fun, and worthwhile contribution to the movements dedicated to improving the relationship between people and our dear planet.

And if you’re in Louisville, KY or Pittsburgh, PA this weekend, you can watch the same screening that we shared at the National Bioneers Conference last weekend. Here’s the information:

Louisville, KY – Bluegrass Bioneers – Friday, 10/22, 7:00pm-8:50pm – Free entry! – YERT Feature Film: Your Environmental Road Trip (preview cut) – followed by Q&A w/ Director/Producer Ben Evans (University of Louisville, Planetarium/Strickler) http://www.bluegrassbioneers.org/sched.html

Pittsburgh, PA – 3RiversBioneers – 5:30pm-7:30pm – $5 at the door – FILM: YERT Feature Film: Your Environmental Road Trip (preview cut) – followed by Q&A w/ Producer/Director Mark Dixon (Pittsburgh Project, 2801 N Charles St, Pittsburgh, PA, in the Sanctuary) http://www.3riversbioneers.org/schedule

Thanks again for enabling the project so that we can continue to give positive updates like this one, and we’re looking forward to seeing you soon.

Peace
Ben, Mark, and Julie
Your YERT Team

team@yert.com

YERT Presents @ Bioneers in CA Tomorrow!

Hello, YERTians!

Ben and Mark from YERT (and our wonderful co-editor Scott) will be hosting a rough-cut screening of the YERT Feature Film at the 2010 National Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA. Watch our “environmental anti-depressant” adventures with Wes Jackson, Joel Salatin, Eco Elvis, and much, much more… We hope that you’ll come on by and witness the progress we’ve made on the film, say hi, and enjoy the show!

If you’ve never been to Bioneers, definitely check it out at http://www.Bioneers.org/ . This conference was a big inspiration for the YERT team as we explored sustainable solutions around the country, and we are thrilled to join the event this year as presenters!

Friday, October 15, 2010
Bioneers Conference, San Rafael, CA
MANZANITA ROOM
7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

More information at:
http://www.bioneers.org/conference/2010-moving-image-festival/yert-your-environmental-road-trip

See you soon!

Yours,
Mark, Ben, and Scott

*****

YERT, which stands for “Your Environmental Road Trip,” (http://www.yert.com) is a one year 50-state video documentary road trip to explore and personalize sustainability across the country. All throughout the journey, Mark Dixon, Ben Evans, and Julie Evans released fast-paced videos online to share their adventures, including their very own “road rules” eco-challenges (like keeping all of their garbage in the car all year), visits to environmentally significant destinations, and most importantly, interviews with over 800 leaders, businesspeople, researchers, and average citizens from all walks of life. Their work has been featured on Treehugger.com, the Weather Channel, Voice of America, the San Francisco Chronicle, and on NPR stations nationwide via the environmental news program, “Living on Earth.” Now the team is working on “YERT Phase 2,” developing a feature film, additional short films, live presentations, and educational curriculum based on the project.

The YERT team has been sharing their journey with live audiences all around the country, including presentations at Sony Pictures, the United States E.P.A., All Saints Church in Pasadena, the Bioneers Conferences in Pittsburgh, PA and Portland, ME, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture 2009 Conference, GLUE Conference ’09 in Milwaukee, WI, Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham University, University of Maine at Fort Kent, Bowdoin College, University of Southern California (USC), St. Joseph’s College of Maine, Slippery Rock University, Arcadia University, Albright College, NYU, Dickinson College, and a number of elementary and high schools!

*****

YERT’s eco-videos – one million views and counting!