Filmmakers seek funding for 'Sidecar Dogs' movie

Publish Date: 
Mar 14, 2014

MISSOULA, Mont. – A Montana filmmaking team has launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to help them make a movie about riders who travel with their best friends.

Husband-and-wife team Eric Ristau and Geneva Liimatta are working on “Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America's Sidecar Dogs,” a film about motorcyclists who bring their dogs along for the ride. These easy-riding pups don't sit on the seat, clasping their owner's midsection. They ride in sidecars and wear specially designed dog goggles ("doggles").

"Seeing a dog in a sidecar brings a smile to everyone's face," said Liimatta. "Our film explores the relationship between sidecar dogs and their motorcycle-riding humans. The dogs and humans we've met while shooting this project are amazing characters. You'll love them all."

So far, footage for “Sit Stay Ride” has been shot in Washington, California and Montana. "We've found other amazing sidecar dogs in other parts of the country," Ristau said. "We really want to include them in the movie."

Traveling around the country to produce a film is an expensive proposition, however. Ristau and Liimatta have a budget of $28,000 for travel, a soundtrack, sound mix, color correction, DVD manufacturing, distribution and promotion.

To defray the costs, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign encouraging dog-lovers, motorcyclists and anyone else to support production of the film. Thus far, about $10,000 has been raised. Information about their Kickstarter campaign, including sample clips from the movie, is at www.sidecardogs.com.

The Kickstarter campaign has three distinct objectives:

  • Help fund production of the film
  • Solicit additional subjects for the film
  • Promote animal welfare organizations

Depending on their donation level, Kickstarter contributors will receive thank-you gifts that include behind-the-scenes photos, bumper stickers, on-line previews of the movie, DVDs, T-shirts and viewing parties.

"Many of the dogs featured in this film were adopted from the Humane Society and other incredible organizations," said Ristau. "This is an important message we're trying to send. We want people to adopt dogs and other animals, and also to support agencies that find homes for these pets."

Anyone interested in appearing in “Sit Stay Ride” can contact Ristau and Liimatta through their Kickstarter page.

"It's a great story," says Ristau. "The film shows how dogs and their owners came to ride together, the adventures they have and how they connect with the greater community when they're out on the road."

Posted by Holly Wagner