The Oregon Outdoors
& Health Grant



We propose creating a narrative fiction film rather than a documentary. This approach could be more visual, emotional, relatable, and deeply felt than a film that links outdoor activity to specific health benefits. Nature connects us to our humanity. Our sense of peace. Our sense of wonder. Our sense of joy. All of which have powerful and positive physical and mental benefits. We think this will get us to the same place that you intend to take the viewer, but perhaps by a more delightful trail.


Our working title for this film is On the Way Up. It’s a story about two sisters, Eileen, an avid hiker. And Penzy, not so much.

One day Eileen shows up to take her more sedentary sister on a moderate hike up to a magnificent vista. Penzy grouses and sulks, but plods along. Over the course of the hike they see wildlife. Beautiful old growth forests. Heavenly, dappled light. Waterfalls. They talk about family hiking trips when they were kids. Why Eileen still hikes, and why Penzy hasn’t been. Eileen walks ahead to contemplate the beauty around her. When Penzy finally catches up, she finds her sibling cooling off in a shallow pool in the river. Penzy joins her, and her mood lightens. The hike continues with the two women walking together, with Penzy’s spirit improving, until they reach a secluded summit. Looking out at the vista, Penzy sheds a tear, moved by the beauty. But there’s more to it than that. Eileen removes an urn from her backpack, and the two women release their father’s ashes, which are carried skyward by a mountain breeze. After a few moments in meditation, Eileen heads back down. But Penzy lingers, with a newfound appreciation for Nature. She stands a little straighter. Her complexion is a little ruddier. Her chin held a little higher. We’d like to conclude the story by somehow indicating that this was not only their father’s final wish. It was a gift. He loved Nature. And he was finally able to bequeath his love of Nature to his reluctant daughter.

What we are trying to say—or, more precisely, demonstrate—is that Nature can transform your state of mind and your view of physical activity.



We are a close-knit team of professional filmmakers based in Portland. We met through our involvement with a local filmmaking group three years ago and decided to begin our own collaboration, which has resulted in five short films to date. We find that our unique skills complement each other very well. We respect each other’s talent and intellect, and we believe in keeping productions fun -- efficient, but fun!


If our team is selected, we will apply for filming permits to shoot on US Forest Service land, or written permission to shoot on private property (we have several friends and contacts who own large tracts of undeveloped land). We will communicate openly with the governing agency and/or property owner before and during the shoot dates and will follow all rules and guidelines that they provide. The production will be covered by QuickHitRecord Media’s insurance policy.

We will also collaborate closely with our point of contact at OregonMade to ensure that our film says everything that it needs to say.


Click here to download the PDF.


Rich Herstek (Producer, Director, Writer) worked as an advertising copywriter and Creative Director at several highly acclaimed agencies. DDB Needham. IDEO. Arnold Worldwide. Lord Geller Federico Einstein. And Cole Weber. His client roster has included The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism, the FDA, Converse, IBM, Fidelity Investments, The Army National Guard, Stonyfield Farms Yogurt, and hundreds of others. His work has earned him a Cannes Gold Lion, Clios, and Communication Arts Awards, among others. He was named regional creative director of the year by AdWeek Magazine. He is also a travel writer, contributing regularly to Travelers Roundtable, an online travel magazine. He earned an MFA in screenwriting at The London Film School. And his scripts have placed among the top ten at film festivals around the world.

Nick Brown (Producer, DP, Editor) has been a professional Filmmaker and Director of Photography for ten years. His corporate and government clients have included Adidas, Kaiser Permanente, FLIR, The US Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, The Wild Salmon Center, Save the Redwoods League, and many others. His DP experience includes narrative films, documentaries, commercials, and music videos. His latest music video for Portland band Dead Men Talking won Best Music Video at the 2019 Oregon Short Film Festival, as well as Best Family Film and Best Inspirational Film at the Northern Virginia International Film Festival. He is an avid outdoorsperson and has hiked over 1000 miles in the PNW during the last three years.

Brent Lucas (Lighting Director, Still Photographer) has been working on films in the lighting and grip departments for the last six years. His experience ranges across music videos, narrative films, and corporate/commercial video. His clients include OHSU College of Pharmacy, Carrington College, Biamp, Penguin Books, Bleacher Report, and Columbia Sportswear. Brent is a twenty-year veteran of the US Army.


OUTDOOR PHOTO WORK (click to enlarge):

Thank you for reviewing our proposal. We look forward to hearing from you!