Travel fun (an accountability post)

Hello backers and followers,

We are leaving this coming week for the UK, to film a great deal of our Right to Arms project. And because you’re the ones funding this trip, we want you to have some idea how much we’re spending and on what.

Now as some of you know, we are filming two documentaries at once on this trip (A Right to Arms, as well as True, Strong and Free – for which, by the way, we are still fundraising), so only about half of the amounts below are taken from the Right to Arms project’s budget. Yes, we like to be efficient. Also, as a general note, please know that we are very careful not to waste our precious resources so no, we’re not traveling in style. Well, I mean, yes. We are traveling in style. Our style is “coach”. We fly economy, we rent the size of vehicle we need to accommodate the gear but don’t go for luxury, we stay in clean and respectable but very ordinary hotels and enjoy motorway service station gastronomy. In fact, since we tend not to have much time for sitting around waiting for food, and since we are properly horrified by how expensive everything is in the UK, we tend to grab a sandwich at M&S and eat on the road. We don’t mind. We love what we do and what we most want to do is get busy filming, not sit around drinking beer. We keep the beer for *after* the filming. 🙂

Another important note: Because we film at historic sites we need to ask permission and pay filming fees, some of which are extraordinarily high. Because we are so small and nimble, we usually manage to talk them down a bit but it is still painfully expensive. Filming in London using a tripod would have cost well over $100/hour (plus fees to process the applications – yes, there were more than one) so we decided to invest $300 in an excellent shoulder-mounted rig for the camera and film tripod-less instead. Some sites, such as the Tower of London, were so expensive that we could not afford to go and will have to make do with filming near the property instead. (And yes, they have strict rules against drones.)

So here goes:

  • Flights: $3,800
  • Hotels (11 nights): about $1,800
  • Food: We estimate roughly $1,200-1,500
  • Car rental, parking fees and gas: We estimate roughly $2,000, depending on the price of gas
  • Filming site fees:
    • Bath Roman ruins: about $500
    • Wrington church (John Locke bust): about $200
    •  West Stowe Anglo-Saxon village: about $550
    • We are filming at other sites, including Edwinstowe (Robin Hood “Major Oak”) and Bannockburn that (so far) have not asked us for money but we have a small cushion just in case.
  • Liability insurance (required to film at historic sites): just over $4,000.

That gives us a rough total of $14,350 for travel expenses, divided between the two projects, so about $7,200 for the Right to Arms project.

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