1.61km… 2.4km

21 Jan

With the new year comes big news that MILE… MILE & A HALF will be released internationally on iTunes. In addition to English speaking countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, we’re excited to make the film available with subtitles in German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese & Norwegian, but it begs the question: How will our title translate for users of the metric system (ie, the rest of the world).

Anyone who has seen the film (or the trailers) knows what the title references. It’s the catch-all answer to, “How much further to (insert destination/milestone here, be it trail junction, top of the pass, lunch, etc.). It is indeed an inside joke (even if it extends to the hiking community), and this was a concern for us from the beginning.

The title for our film is riddled with problems. For one, it doesn’t start with an early letter in the alphabet. Perhaps if we’d titled the film A Mile… Mile & a Half, it would be closer to the top of your search engine. The title includes punctuation that makes it difficult to maintain consistency, and then there’s the whole misinterpretation of our logo as MILF… MILF & A HALF (which I have to imagine is already in use).

Once we realized we were on the path toward a feature film, the title brainstorming began. We’re not the first hiking documentary (nor the first JMT hiking documentary), and many ideal titles were already in use. We temporarily settled with the words we so frequently uttered on the trail while brainstorming for a better option. Jason offered the following suggestions:

“Splendor In The Grass”
“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Camp”
“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Marmots”
“Where In The World Is Zee?”
“Ginger 2: The Eclectic Boogaloo”
“Full Down Jacket”

Needless to say, the process proved difficult, and the longer we moved forward with our edit, the more we accepted that our temporary title captured the essence of our journey. Our story was as much about the human experience as it was about the beauty that surrounded us. After the film was released, we received a number of messages from fellow hikers expressing their own familiarity with the term, but none more validating than a Kickstarter backer who wrote:

Muir Project,

The first real “hiking trip” I took was with a friend on a section of the Appalachian Trail at a time when I was around 250 pounds. We decided to do the trip in November, and while we were on the trail in NC the weather was cold rain and fog. Halfway through the 4-day hike we ran out of water and quickly realized we had, for some odd reason, left our water filter at home. Being November, no one was on the trail, so we made a executive decision to find a side trail and hike out. As we were hiking out I started becoming dehydrated and every time I asked my friend who was looking at the map, “how much further, dude?,” his response was “Mile. . . mile and a half.” That was what kept me going. I know how to read a map, but he did everything to keep me motivated. That first real trip may have been a shitty rain time, but I became so close to my friend and was able to appreciate the beauty no one else could see that I fell in love with it. Since then, I’ve lost 70 lbs and have become more active. I backed your project because that simple statement “mile… mile and a half” is what pushed me forward from that experience and I thought your film could provide that same thing for other people.

It did. Thank you, sirs and madams!

Anthony hit the nail on the head. It’s not a distance that can be measured in US customary units nor the metric system. It’s an answer of encouragement that applies to us on and off the trail. You’re almost there, and it’s worth every step of the way.




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