Punk Rock Big Year: Tattoos, Movies, and you
by Nate Swick
Ontario birder and ABA member Paul Riss is making a movie, which is not such an unusual thing in a world where birding was the subject of a major motion picture last year and the raison d'etre of a pair of independent film besides. And he's looking to raise money for the production of said movie on the independent fund-raising site, Indiegogo.
But Paul Riss has an unusual angle. His Big Year is a bit more... shall we say... permanent.
I'll let Paul explain:
In 2011, I embarked on a year-long journey called a Big Year. What’s a Big Year? It’s when a birder spends 365 days attempting to see as many different bird species as possible in a pre-defined geographical area. My geographical constraint was Ontario, Canada. I kept a blog detailing my successes and failures. And there were many of both. To make things a bit more interesting, I also promised my followers that I would tattoo the Latin name of each and every bird species I saw throughout my Big Year! Crazy? Maybe, but it's not without purpose. I'm trying to destroy the myth that birding is just for when you retire and get a Tilley hat. I want a younger generation to understand that there are birders out there just like them and they should check out this most incredible pastime. Also, to make people aware of how fragile and important birds are to our natural environment.
Paul Riss recounted his year of birding Ontario on his website, Punk Rock Big Year. If you're interested in throwing a few bucks (US or Canadian) his way to help him reach his goal, you can visit his Indiegogo site here.
Paul is offering some perks for those willing to pitch in, from a DVD of the finished film from those who throw in $50, to a movie credit to those willing to shell out a bit more (ever wanted to add "Production Assistant" to your resume?) to your actual likeness tattooed on Paul's body if you fund the whole shebang. The man does not mess around.
It seems there's no better time for film-makers to bring birding to a wider audience, and the myriad ways birding is being presented - which mirrors the myriad ways birders enjoy birds - can only mean good things for our avocation, and for the birds we care about.