The Camino Cafe

105 - "Somewhere Along the Way" - the upcoming documentary featuring Dan Mullins, with Filmmakers and Pilgrims, Andy Holloway and Simon Burn

February 12, 2024 Leigh Brennan Episode 105
The Camino Cafe
105 - "Somewhere Along the Way" - the upcoming documentary featuring Dan Mullins, with Filmmakers and Pilgrims, Andy Holloway and Simon Burn
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Embark on a captivating odyssey with Andy Holloway and Simon Burn, the pioneering filmmakers of "Somewhere Along the Way," as we uncover the heartfelt narrative of Dan Mullins' musical resurgence on the Camino de Santiago. The Camino's ancient paths have long been a source of transformation, and in this episode, our guests share the profound impact these journeys had on them, from Andy's extensive explorations to Simon's life-altering walk. They reveal the stirring inception of their documentary—a harmonious blend of melodies, the pilgrim spirit, and Spain's cultural gems—and how they aim to immortalize Dan's story, a singer-songwriter breathing new life into his voice amidst the Camino's sacred backdrop and the group of Pilgrims walking with him from Leon to Santiago this coming May.

Venture behind the scenes as we discuss the grit and grace of filming a pilgrimage, a labor of love met with both financial hurdles and physical demands. Our conversation shifts to the labyrinth of logistics from the weighty camera gear to the nightly shoots after a day's trek. Andy and Simon open up about their dedication to authentically capturing the Camino's essence, all while juggling their roles as observers and participants in this vibrant pilgrim community. They extend a heartfelt invitation for support, engaging our listeners with tales of their upcoming gatherings and the camaraderie that is the cornerstone of the Camino de Santiago experience.

Support  the documentary  -  Somewhere Along The Way -  GoFundMe:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/camino-documentary-film

Sign up to Walk with Dan and the team:
https://www.danmullinsmusic.com/walk

Learn more about the CAMINO DOCUMENTARY: Somewhere Along The Way:  https://www.simonburncreative.com/camino-documentary-film-2024

Connect with Andy:
https://www.instagram.com/walkingmyway.camino/

Connect with Simon Burn:
https://www.simonburncreative.com/
https://www.instagram.com/simonburncreative/

Connect with Dan:
https://www.danmullinsmusic.com/

Recent Interview with Dan Mullins:
https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/102-finding-harmony-in-silence-dan-mullins-journey/id1562037974?i=1000643661859

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The Camino Cafe's intro and outro song with thanks to fellow Pilgrim, Jackson Maloney. Original Song - "Finnis Terre" - written and performed by Jackson Maloney - Singer, Musician, and Songwriter. Connect with Jackson: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3fdQsSqq9pDSwKcWlnBHKR

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Camino Cafe podcast. I'm Lee Brennan, your host. I am so excited to have Pilgrims Andy Holloway and Simon Bern on today's show. They are the team in charge of making the upcoming Somewhere Along the Way documentary. Dan briefly touched upon the documentary in our recent interview episode number 102, while we discussed how we thankfully got his voice back. Today I go on a deep dive about the ideas behind the making of the Pilgrim-led documentary that will feature not only Dan but the Pilgrims that will be walking with him and the concerts he will be doing along the way as they walk. Have you had a chance to listen to our newest show, the weekly Camino News update? Johnny Walker and I are having so much fun doing this show. We put out a new show every Wednesday night and it's available here on the podcast and on our YouTube channel. Please sign up for our newsletter if you want to get it delivered directly to your mailbox. We send that out by monthly. If you like our new show or the podcast, would you mind sharing it, subscribing, liking, commenting? It just helps us so much in the algorithms so that new Pilgrims can find us. Also, a five-star rating on Apple podcasts would be really appreciated. Now let's get to today's show with Andy and Simon. We started the conversation by talking about their individual Camino experiences. Here we go. Andy, could you just give us a little of what your Camino experience has been like?

Speaker 2:

Thanks for having me back on. It's been a journey. I started researching the Camino in 2017, and that's when I walked to my first and it's been kind of two a year ever since. A lot of that has been the Camino Franches, but I think I've walked in nine other routes. I absolutely love Spain and the community and the camaraderie that you get walking these, these inch of paths.

Speaker 1:

All right, simon. What about you? What's your Camino experience been like?

Speaker 3:

Well, I've walked one Camino. It started in Bayon and we did the full, the full Frances. That was in 2022, but I'm not new to Spain. I've been to Spain about probably about 35, 40 times over the years. I love Spain and I love hiking. I'm a long distance hiker, but yeah, only one Camino until three months time. I'm going to make it two.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, that was a really long one, camino.

Speaker 3:

We allowed ourselves six weeks but we did it in just over five. But we wanted to take our time and it was very important to have lots of explore days, as we call them, in in cities along along the route, and that worked out really well.

Speaker 1:

I wanted to talk about this newest project that you were working on and that is the filming of a documentary of the project of Dan Mullins recording a new album and coming to Spain to walk and perform and do all kinds of things. So I thought it would be great to have the main players of this team here to talk a little bit more about the details of what's going to be happening with that, because I think when I spoke to Dan the other night, there are maybe just 14 spots that are left if someone wants to still sign up and be a part of this. So I thought maybe we could describe first of all what is happening. What is Dan getting ready to do and why did the two of you jump in and decide to be a part of it? Andy, what got you excited about this idea?

Speaker 2:

I mean I was excited about the idea from the word jump. Dan's story over the last year has been a pretty challenging one, with him losing his voice, been learning how to speak and then figuring out whether or not he'll be able to sing again. And so I would get phone calls from him and it would just be you could tell he was slowly trying to figure out how to speak again, and we would just have these conversations. And then he called me super excited one night and just said hey, I've been singing and I've been singing so well and I've been training with a super special woman in Australia and I'm hitting notes that I've never hit before. And the beauty of the silent period, he said, was he and Jan would go back over the archive. I mean, he's got 30 years of amazing musical, amazing musical journey, and it was during that time he said I've got some pretty interesting old songs that I've never recorded. And from there it just kind of lent itself to to this amazing walk across Spain to generate some, some funds to put this album out called Storyteller, and so that's kind of where where I just jumped in with both feet and started thinking about okay, how do we make this really special. You know how do we make the venues of the Camino be part of the experience, because it's a part of the experience that people don't get to see a lot of the time, these old, special places that you walk by quickly on your way to the next, the next town, you know, and so it's.

Speaker 1:

It's going to be a pretty exciting journey, but as far as, as far as the movie is concerned, I got on board and Simon can talk talk more on that, because Simon reached out to Dan you mentioned earlier to me. You know Dan's been such an ambassador for the Camino.

Speaker 2:

So, ironically, the day that I started jumping on to the Camino forum, Dan posted for the first time saying, hey, I'm going to start a podcast. Literally the day that I started like poking around. I've been thinking about walking for truly since kids were in diapers and this was the time where I was going to do it and I'm like oh guys got an interesting voice. Let's let's listen to the podcast and and I mean this is the relationship built from there not to be a fanboy, but I just like he has such an amazing ability to connect with pilgrims and couple that with just you know, the perfect radio voice. I would look forward to Tuesdays, when you know the podcast would drop and I would go out and go on my you know seven mile walk or whatever it would be, and I would listen to these shows going. Yes, someday this, this guy and I are going to have a chat and it ended up happening and then he ended up coming out to play a show at my house on with the island in. Washington, unfortunately right when COVID was hitting in Washington, and it was just three days of getting to know this wonderful human from there. It's just been a journey every week, I'd listen to a new person talk about the one thing that we all share in common, that we all love, and that's the Camino. When, when all of this came up, I wanted to help them achieve his dream of making this this amazing album and it really is a quality group of songs. And so I jumped in again with he and his wife and I have just been kind of finding the most amazing venues for him to play these shows, and then I'm in, came on and the movies, the movie conversation happened, and it just was the perfect, the perfect final piece to so that it's just not, you know, 50 people walking in and having this amazing experience. It's the whole Camino community being able to experience it. Should they not be able to walk with us?

Speaker 1:

Dan's been an ambassador for the Camino for over seven years doing that show. You know, the only period I think he's had a break is either when he's been walking or during this time when, you know, he was working on getting his voice back. So we were all so relieved when that happened and the minute that the information came out about this walking tour, I'm like sign me up right, because I feel like there's, you know, he's just one of these people that has done so much for this community and I want to see that paid forward. Let's turn to you for a few moments, simon. So you know, the announcement comes out that there's going to be this walk, and then the next announcement was hey, guess what? There's going to be a documentary made about this. What made you decide to say, hey, maybe this is an idea?

Speaker 3:

When I walked my Camino in 2022, I put together just a couple together a little video on YouTube with some folks photos of like a little slideshow thing, and Dan saw it and contacted me, said love your photos, I need to get you on the podcast. But for one reason or another we couldn't connect and that didn't happen. And then I heard I was listening to Dan's podcast. That's the first time I'd heard about Dan that him reaching out to me and he said he's got this podcast. So I started listening to it when I was driving and I loved it. And then I heard on the podcast that he was coming to Toronto. So I thought, well, I'll go into Toronto and I'll meet Dan and listen to him doing a gig. And so I went down and met him and I was just blown away by how good he is as a singer. I had no, I'd really not heard his stuff prior to that. I just heard his great broadcast voice on the podcast. So I met Dan and I thought, wow, this, this is, this is great. And then continued to listen to the podcast. And when Dan announced that he's doing this walk, I thought this is the perfect opportunity for me to do something, give back, be involved with the Camino beyond my walk. I was trying to figure out a way to get back on the Camino and to be involved with it. I just, you know, it's like a lot of people. I just it just got under my skin and it's become an addiction really, I suppose. So I thought this is the, this is the opportunity. This is Dan's very talented. He's going to be doing all of these amazing concerts along the way. I've got to make a film about this. So I reached out to him and he was very enthusiastic about it and we've been talking about it now since last November and he very quickly introduced me to Andy. I've had far more conversations with Andy than Dan, but Dan's a busy guy and so Andy and I have been putting this together for the past well, past couple of months now. I just think it's just a really interesting story. Dan's story is interesting the fact that he wrote this song, one of his earlier Caminos Somewhere along the way, which has become a bit of a Camino anthem for a lot of us, and he's going back and he's performing and he's giving back and I thought, yeah, we've got to make a film about that. That's a really interesting story. I want to say also that this film isn't just about Dan's story. That's sort of one layer. The underlying layer for me, which I think is really important, is it's about the Camino and about Spain. It's sort of like our love letter to the Camino and Spain, because it took me 10 years actually 8 to 10 years before I actually decided to walk the Camino. I was watching the Way, which many of us did way back in, I think, 2012. I'm watching lots of YouTube videos, so I was watching all of this content and learning about the Camino, as many people are right now, and probably people listening to this podcast right now. They haven't walked it yet, but they're trying to gather as much information as possible, and so a lot of documentaries and videos on YouTube deal with the people. Part of it, the spiritual side, where you're going to and you're going to come back, change person, you're going to try and find a new way to lead your life, and all of that sort of thing, which is, of course, very important. But the bit that was missing for me was the bit about Spain itself and the wonderful places that you walk through, and since I came back from my coming in, I realized wow, that's a story in itself the culture of Spain and that needs to be told. So that's sort of like a. So that's why this film, that's sort of two layers. It's the story of Dan and other people that want to be on film that are walking with him too. We hope to interview people along the way, but it's also it's going to be something that's going to be informative and really help people plan their trip, hopefully, and get a real insight to what they're going to be experiencing.

Speaker 1:

I love this idea of a love letter to Spain and the Camino. It is really going to be multi-layered and you know the folks that are going on this trip are really going to have a special experience. Can you talk a little bit about how this experience in your mind is going to play out?

Speaker 2:

For me, I think it's what's. I mean, just like what Simon was saying Spain plays such a big part of the Camino. I mean, like it is obviously it's such a big part of walking through it, but some of the places that we're, that you just don't get to see is the places where we'll be playing. I mean we're staying. We're playing in a 500 year old winery in Via Franco De Bezor and that's just going to be an absolutely magical night. In Azura. We're playing in a 400 year old restaurant that's been in the same family the entire time. It celebrates Galician cuisine. I mean, these are things that you just don't necessarily see or have the time or energy to see when you're walking, because you get in that you get in that Camino motion of you know walk and wake, walk, wash, you know wine and then sleep right. And somewhere along the way you'll be eating a pilgrim meal, but not necessarily Michelin pilgrim meal right. So it's going to be. It's going to be little, little, just gems like that that are going to bring the people of the Camino, or people who live around the Camino, into the experience, which, to me, is what keeps me coming back. You know, it's Spain and the people who, who have lived you know we're we're pastors through these people come generationally, have lived in this area and there's so much magic in their stories, and so if we can capture, when we capture their stories, as well as dance stories, as well as all of these people who are coming around the world to celebrate Dan and this, this musical journey, it's going to marry it all together really nicely.

Speaker 1:

I'm really excited about the opportunity of creating this immediate pilgrim family. You know, once everyone kind of meets and lay on, it's going to be an instantaneous group. But I would imagine if people do want time to themselves we all know as veterans that that's easy to get when we're on the communal ride we just let everyone know hey, I just need a little time to walk to myself. But do you see it that way that this is going to be one big group kind of walking and people breaking off into groups every once in a while and maybe impromptu lunches with Dan and sing along here or there? Do you think?

Speaker 2:

All of those things are right. I think a lot of it's still being written. That said, I'm certain that, a for the people who don't want to be on camera, we can accommodate that. We also realize that we're going to be 50 people strong and we're all going to walk at different places. The only real certainty is people know where we're staying and we're going to have shows at the end of the night and sometimes during the day, sometimes under the stars. There's going to be, stay tuned for what's happening in Osabrero, because we've got some pretty cool things coming. If people need time, that's just the Camino way. You say, hey, I need to be on my own today, and you walk on your own, and then we meet up for a glass of wine and stories later.

Speaker 1:

One of the things I love about this whole project with the film Simon is that this is a pilgrim-led project. You've got pilgrims that have already walked that are part of the process of planning out this movie, a whole tour, everything that's going on. So it's pilgrim-led and it's going to be all pilgrims, just real pilgrims, walking a true Camino as you're filming, and that's really exciting. Just recently on the Camino News Update, I talked about the way is out, trying to get money so that they can begin filming. So one of the realities you guys are doing a GoFundMe and I wanted to talk about the very real reality that these things take money and that's why you guys decided to have a GoFundMe. So can we talk a little bit about that, simon, and how you came to that decision and where you guys are in that process?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, well, first of all, making a film is a very big undertaking and when they make the way or some of the bigger documentaries that have been made on the Camino, you've got a whole film crew, you've got vehicles and they're not actually walking the Camino. They're driving from one interesting scenic spot to another and filming little segments and putting it together to try and give the impressions. Well, the difference with this film is we're not doing that. We are actually walking the Camino Each day. Andy and I will have our backpacks on, along with a lot of camera equipment. We'll be walking the entire thing that everybody else is walking. There's no cheating and shortcuts here. I mean, there is a support vehicle that Dan will have to carry his gear to stage concerts to the level that he's going to. That is a necessity. We may have a couple of pieces of filming equipment that might go in the car too, but otherwise we're carrying our gear and we're walking the Camino as an actual pilgrim. This is the real deal, which opens up a whole bunch of challenges which I think we're going to try and talk about. I'm going to try and create some content on my website or do some videos behind the scenes videos if anybody's interested, because it's going to be a huge challenge. It's what Andy and I speak about on a weekly basis the logistics of making this happen. But still, even though it's just the two of us basically filming this and we've got other people to help us with filming permits and things like that but even though it's a crew of two, it's still a very expensive undertaking to do. We need professional editing and all the post-production work needs to be. There's a couple of months of work there, the filming part of it. We've got our own cameras. We've invested a lot of money in our gear, but we still have to. We budgeted the other day. We figured out this is going to cost us $11,000 US just for the memory cards and the backup drives to capture the footage. Right, it's very expensive. Nobody's going to get rich out of this or get an Academy Award. I don't think this is a labor of love. This is a passion project and we're putting a lot of our own time and money into this. But there's only so much we can do and we do need a little bit of help for some of the out-of-pocket expenses and bits and pieces that need to be done to make this film sort of a professional quality. We're not talking about running around with a GoPro and then editing something in a day and putting it on YouTube. We are looking to produce a broadcast quality professional film and we're looking for sponsors if anybody wants. We're looking for any financial support, to be honest, but we're looking for sponsors of any companies or brands out there that want to get their name on the film and all the social media material that's going to be produced around it for during and after. Love to hear from anybody.

Speaker 1:

Wonderful. Well, both of you are extremely talented photographers. I've been able to witness, since I've known Andy, all the wonderful photos that he's taken across the Camino. And Simon, you know that I've looked at all of your professional work. I will have a link for your YouTube channel so people can kind of check out your video that you did from the Camino and your other work. So no doubt this is in talented hands. You're looking for sponsors. What do you need from a GoFundMe perspective? How much money are you trying to raise?

Speaker 3:

Well, we've worked it out that $48,000, that's Canadian dollars, which is quite a bit less than US dollars, I think these days that's to pay for things across out-of-pocket expenses like how do you to help with all the permits and the filling fees, the media as I say that we need a lot of media, a lot of editing, a lot of post-production work, audio work, color grade, there's just so much. But we're going to, we're committed whatever. The more funding that we can get to address some of the things like that, especially the post-production work, the more we're going to be able to do with the film at the end of it. So, right now we're looking at creating something that is going to be available for rent or purchase online that you can download. But also, if we can get enough funding, we want to create something that we can take on a tour to the US, to the UK, maybe Australia, maybe Spain, and actually have theatrical showings and maybe even have the team. Maybe we can even get down to some of those, particularly in the US, where we can have a whole evening. You can go to the movie theater, watch the movie with us and then we can have question and answers afterwards. I went to one of those in Toronto about eight years ago when there was a documentary made. It was a fantastic evening. It was absolutely packed and really interesting question and answer session. It's just a great evening and you can learn as somebody at that point who hadn't walked the Camino. I learned so much and it was so inspiring and exciting. That's what we'd like to bring people that haven't walked it and also people that have walked it. The idea of this film, certainly for me, is to create something that is going to inspire people and inform who haven't walked it, but also I want to make a sort of film that I would want to watch myself, having walked it, just to relive it. You want to get people to go outside of their comfort zone and examine their fears and explore their dreams and this, hopefully, will be something that will, you know, put them that extra push to do that.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, well, I think people out there are hungry to see more about the Camino, to hear more about it. And then this just has so many rich layers. You know the dance story, your love letter to Spain and the Camino, the fact that it's pilgrim driven this is so exciting. I think this is going to be a tremendous year on the Camino and this is going to be a huge part of it. So this comes out. I think even more people are going to be excited to come and walk. You guys are going to be having really full days. You're going to be walking and also filming. When are you sleeping during this Camino and when are you two going to eat? I've worked a few Caminos myself and sometimes at the end of the day we're pretty tired, right, and it's enough to tear your laundry and get something to eat and go to bed and start it all over again. So how do you even prepare for something like this?

Speaker 3:

Well, I can't speak for Andy, but for myself. My job is as a photographer and video producer, maker, filmmaker, whatever. I've spent the last 20 years traveling around with lots of heavy gear in backpacks on assignments for brands and publications, so I'm used to 18 hour days lugging heavy equipment around and the adrenaline and the excitement that just keeps you going. It's still going to be a challenge, though, because we're walking, I think, Andy. Some days are up to 30 kilometers, are they, if I recall?

Speaker 2:

32,. Yeah, I think 32 is our largest.

Speaker 3:

Right what I learned on my last Camino, even though I've done a lot of walking with heavy gear. I was sort of put off by a lot of the Facebook groups that saying, oh, you should only be carrying like a 10 pound pack or a 12 pound pack or whatever. And I wish I'd ignored that advice and listened to myself, because I didn't take any gear. I just took a little camera and a GoPro last time because it was about the walk with my wife, not about me working and being a photographer, and I didn't have any problems with the weight that I was carrying. And so I think we've got to figure this out. Both Andy and I've got to figure this out. Right now I'm looking at about 40 pounds, 40 to 50 pound pack, which is people are going to think is ridiculous, but I think that's the way we can do this. So probably need to go on a few walks Just train a bit.

Speaker 2:

I am hoping to have less than that. I don't need extra clothing. I will ship my clothing. I will ship everything other than what I need Foul weather gear and my gear, you know, pocket full of pocket, full of protein bars and strong will. I hope not to have 40 pounds on my back, because the last thing we need is for one of us to get injured and then, with the Camino, that happens. Right so yeah, you know, the beauty of my situation is I live up in the trees and I'm going to take my pack out and, you know, load it up with all of our gear and I'll do some do some walks and get it all dialed into exactly what is needed and what is not. And then you know, fingers crossed for really good weather may as a spectacular time to be on the Camino. Hopefully it's not driving rain. The beauty of the situation is that Simon and I have been talking a lot. I'm flying to Toronto three, four days just to get everything humming. We're just going to have to be able to understand what the other person needs just by looks, and we'll get that down. We're both comfortable behind the camera, conversely pretty comfortable on the Camino, especially this stretch of the Camino. So you know, we'll have our nightly meetings before and we'll get the shots that we want and we'll know where we need to be, and then we'll just head out early and then, instead of stopping maybe for a cafe con leche, we continue to walk to the next spot. You know, again, like the hope is that we are flies on the wall to this amazing walk and are able to let the people who are walking and Dan have their experience and we kind of just capture it along the way, you know, in a way that's not disruptive.

Speaker 3:

I think the actual majority of the day people won't even see us. You know we're. You know the fly on the wall through might be hiding behind a bush, and you know my glimpses, but no, we're really not going to be in anybody's way or anybody's face or anything. We're very, very conscious of that. But the hardest part of the trip I've decided is going to be when we get to accommodations each evening and everybody offloads their pack and goes and sits and have a beer. And we've probably still got another two hours of filming to do on that around the town that we're in and we're going to miss the beer and we have to take it in shifts. You know, andy, andy goes out one night and I get the beer off. That's actually going to be the hardest part because it doesn't end. It doesn't end when, when we get there, we've got to film all that magnificent scenery in those locations, right?

Speaker 2:

And the next one, which is also, I think, the you know there's going to be, the people who are going to be comfortable, who are walking, who are going to be comfortable being on on film, are going to also have their amazing stories and you just sometimes gold, gold, the gold happens when you're sitting around having that beer. And I think we'll be there, with Simon's talent and I and the Dan's charisma, the Camino's or the Spain's, you know, absolute beauty. We're going to. We're going to be able to weave a pretty good story.

Speaker 1:

I have no doubt about that and I cannot wait to see you guys here in Spain. Andy, I'm going to get to see you before you know, because we're going to be at the American pilgrims on the Camino gathering which you are with Dan for his concert, which will be Sunday night Is that the Sunday night.

Speaker 2:

That's going to be Sunday night.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, yeah. So what a great night that's going to be.

Speaker 2:

And my family, my whole family and I are walking a small Camino, so we'll be seeing you in Santiago de Compostela at the end of the end of March.

Speaker 1:

Fantastic. Well, I cannot wait, Simon. I can't wait to meet you in person and thank you for taking the time out today to talk about this exciting documentary that's going to be happening. I just I can't wait to see. The finished product is going to be amazing. So thank you both.

Speaker 2:

Thank you very much and hey, if anybody is interested in supporting or information, please go to the GoFundMe page as well, as if they're interested in going on the walk with us. Thegofundmecom has all the information that you need, there's spots available and it really truly is going to be a once in a lifetime experience, so please join any sponsors out there. Anybody who has a business that want to play a role in this, please contact us. We welcome the support. Thank you, thank you both.

Speaker 1:

That was Andy Holloway and Simon Bern. There's still time to sign up for the walk with Dan and to support the documentary through its GoFundMe campaign. Please see the links in the show notes. We will see you this Wednesday at Camino News Update and there will be another podcast interview out later this week. Thanks for listening and watching. Can't wait to see you here in Santiago. Ciao for now.

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