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Conversations with Samantha Bode

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Bode.

Hi Samantha, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I am the youngest of five children; three girls, one boy, and then me. Growing up, my father was a Missouri Synod Lutheran Pastor, and my mother was an Elementary School Teacher. Because my parents were both employed full time, and the ratio of parent to child was so disproportionate, I was pretty much a free-range child. My childhood was spent exploring the creek by my house, running the town with my friends, and riding bicycles and horses on old trails, sometimes ending up miles from my home and trying to race back before dark. I believe this childhood full of freedom, curiosity and exploration, as well as a college education in television and video production from Emerson College, led me to documentary filmmaking.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
Overall, I live a pretty privileged life. I have loving parents, four amazing siblings, four amazing siblings-in-law, eight nieces and nephews (so far!), and countless Aunts and Uncles and friends who all love me very much. I also am a member of the Los Angeles eco-village, an intentional community that focuses on a higher quality of living with a lower environmental impact. Because of this immense amount of support that surrounds me, I am able to live each day to the fullest, knowing that if I fall, I always have someone there that is willing to lovingly catch me. I even had one of my nephews sign a contract that he would take care of me when I get old! That being said, I do have some trials and tribulations. I am in recovery from self-injury disorder, alcohol use disorder, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. The talk inside my head can get very, very dark, very, very fast. I have been in recovery for over seven years now, which, thankfully, has given me a lot of tools to cope with this darkness.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a documentary filmmaker. I, along with lots of help from my friends, create adventure documentaries. In “The Longest Straw”, I hike the whole length of the Los Angeles Aqueduct to explore one source of water to the city of Los Angeles. In “Yukon Calling”, eight strangers and I paddle the whole length of the Yukon River, from Marsh Lake in Yukon Territory, Canada, to the Bering Sea in Alaska, forming a deep poetic connection to the landscapes and people of the river. I am currently in pre-production for a documentary that I will be filming (hopefully) in 2023, where I will be riding my bicycle across the United States, possibly with a chicken. Or a cat. I haven’t decided yet.

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
People can support me by watching my films! “The Longest Straw” is available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and TubiTV. Please leave a rating and a review! “Yukon Calling” is available on Vimeo. Please leave a comment! If you would like to collaborate with me, reach out to me through Facebook or Instagram @thelongeststraw or @yukoncalling. Since I thrive mostly in the creative space, I am always looking for more pragmatic people to partner with. Someone that can help harness the loftiness and big ideas of creativity and ground it into tangible reality.

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