Writer and director Brook Silva-Braga left his job as an Emmy award-winning producer with HBO’s Inside the NFL to do what many of us dream of, and a few actually go through with: he moved all of his belongings into his parents house and set out on a year long round-the-world trip. With less than five pounds of clothing, and over 30 pounds of video equipment stuffed into a backpack, Brook traveled around the globe, chronicling the entire solo adventure in an outstanding documentary called A MAP FOR SATURDAY (read my review of it here).
We got a chance to sit down with Brook and Talk Travel. What made him quit his cushy job at HBO to travel the world for a year? Does the movie appeal more to those of us who have already traveled a great deal, or those who have yet to catch the “bug”? Find out!
We’ve got three copies of the DVD to give away, so stay tuned after the interview to find out how you can get your hands on one! The contest has ended! Find out where you can purchase a copy of the movie at the end of the interview.
I had traveled throughout the U.S. for work and vacationed in Europe, South America and the Caribbean but I’d never done the budget thing or traveled alone. I remember going to Peru with my family on a package tour — perish the thought — and one guy in the group was traveling by himself. We all looked at him like there was something a bit wrong with that.
What finally pushed you over the edge… that moment that made you decide to commit to spending a year on the road?
My boss took me to lunch just before I left and asked if I had gotten the idea for the trip during my time in Asia. When I told him “Yes,” he said, “From now on we’re only sending married producers overseas.”
Did you leave on the trip with any sort of agreement with them regarding a job when you returned?
Was your job waiting for you when you got back?
I’m really lucky they didn’t give me the one-year leave because I needed another four months to finish the documentary when I got back. Afterwards I gave a copy of it to my old boss and he very generously offered me a better position than I had when I left. But I’m in a different place now professionally and personally and an office job just isn’t for me.
Some hardcore travelers scoff at the thought of bringing large amounts of technology along. What sort of reactions did you have from the travelers you met along the way when they saw you traveling with all of the video equipment?
What about the people in the documentary? Were they excited about the project — or do you think they thought this footage wouldn’t actually see the light of day outside of your family and friends?
Now that they’ve had the chance to see the final product, what are they saying?
The biggest rush from this project was watching it premiere in front of 500 people in Cleveland, but the second best moment was watching it in a Berlin hotel room with my friend Jens. I met him in Australia and he’s one of the main characters in the film. After his section played he got a little emotional and grabbed the DVD case. I was videoing his reaction so I know just what he said: “I will have this for the rest of my life…Like my children I tell them, ‘Here, this is a movie about what I have done,’ and they can see me.”
For some reason I was really, really happy to do that for him. I worked 18 months on the movie and it really has very little personal meaning to me because I’ve seen it so many hundreds of times but for him to have a record of his trip like that is really cool.
Where has it shown so far?
Can you tell us anything about the MTV premiere?
A U.S. TV date will be announced soon and international TV details are being finalized as well. I feel very corporate saying all that.
A Map For Saturday can be purchased online at AMapForSaturday.com.