Locally-made film goes global in search of perfect fishing experience

“Adventure” can be defined in many different ways, but it all comes down to the satisfied feeling someone gets from pushing the limits, personal or otherwise. Confluence Films, a locally-based production company, has put together a multi-layered story of several kinds of adventure, entitled “Waypoints.”

“Waypoints” is the brainchild of Jim Klug and Chris Patterson, who team up outside of their day jobs to create what Klug calls, “exotic travelogue films.” Klug has explored in over 25 countries around the world and Patterson recently filmed the ski-action sequences for the film “Inception.”

On the surface, “Waypoints” is a film about fly fishing all over the world, taking the audience to India, Venezuela, the Tongass National Forest in Southeast Alaska and beyond. “Waypoints” brings the audience to the remote St. Brandon’s Atoll of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean. “That took us a 36 hour boat ride to an uninhabited chain of islands,” Klug noted with enthusiasm. But before you shrug off the concept as something you’re not into, or say that fly fishing is a sport you know nothing about, pause for a moment. Klug explained, “we try to create a finished product so that even if somebody has never picked up a fly rod before they can sit and enjoy the movie.”

Klug and Patterson regularly team up to create stories that extend far beyond fly fishing. “Waypoints” does feature plenty of fish, but it also focuses on travel and excitement, as well as deep friendships. The way Patterson frames locations and scenes makes the film much more about an experience rather than just fishing. Klug emphasized, “Waypoints is about stories and people.”

To invoke a cliché, “Waypoints” is much more about the journey than the destination. Klug described getting to the Venezuelan and St. Brandon’s Atoll locations thusly: “Those are the ones that are more of a suck-fest — they’re hard and not that easy, but have a great story.”

[pullquote align=”right”]People who are in love with what they do saturate “Waypoints.” They color the film and tinge it with their enthusiasm and their pure joy.[/pullquote]

The people Klug and Patterson feature are not in it just for the fishing either — they are there because fly fishing speaks to them in a way they don’t quite understand. This is something every person can relate to — that intangible, enigmatic feeling of satisfaction and awe. Whether it comes from having a fantastic day skiing, finishing a book unlike one you’ve ever read or catching a steelhead salmon in Alaska, the rush people get from doing things they love is universal.

Another special aspect of “Waypoints” is the beautiful places utilized during the filming process. Patterson demonstrates a clean and elegant cinematography style, showcasing the locations and highlighting the individuals and their personalities. “Waypoints” goes above and beyond with scenery: one moment somebody is standing thigh deep in crystal clear tropical water and the next it’s pouring buckets on a rust colored creek surrounded by old-growth forests. There are aerial shots in Patagonia that make the viewer want to buy a plane ticket the moment the lights come back on.

People who are in love with what they do saturate “Waypoints.” They color the film and tinge it with their enthusiasm and their pure joy. This film is not complicated and that is its strength. It’s easy to watch, but it will leave the viewer full of wanderlust and may have his or her hand itching to pick up a fly rod.

“Waypoints” premieres this weekend at the Ellen Theatre with screenings at 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at The River’s Edge West (Four Corners), The River’s Edge North (7th Ave.), Montana Troutfitters and Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures.