Exclusive – Making 13 Miles Together

Helena Thom and Anthony Epp are filmmakers, they are co-writers of 13 Miles and they are also married. This amazing duet agreed to meet with me to share their experience and tell me how close they are to finishing it.  exclusive

“Thanks again for agreeing to meet me. So the film is called 13 Miles. Can you tell me when the idea came to you and how?”

Anthony answers, “I believe the idea came to me on a camping trip. Helena and I were dating then and I had been a triathlete for a number of years. The story is about two triathletes in a crumbling relationship. They break up in the story. Although the film follows the relationship through the sport of triathlon, it’s more about how our identity limits our humanity.

In order to accurately portray the female character, Helena agreed co-write it with me. She was able to bring the female perspective.”


Ironically enough, one month after they finished the script about a relationship ending, they were married.

Helena tells me she found it interesting trying to separate herself from the story. “As we exchange motivations about the characters and their intentions, we would often debate the rhyme or reason.”     


“When did you start filming and when are you scheduled to wrap?”

“We started filming at a live triathlon in Penticton back in May of 2016. Because the story takes place over the scope of a year, we are utilizing the changes of the seasons to portray that rather than try to recreate it. We are also working with race organizers to coincide with other upcoming events with further shooting dates.

When working within the constraints of an Indy budget, we are utilizing every live event to bring realism to the film as well as avoiding more re-creation costs. In addition to that, we are also approaching sponsors for product placement, craft services and branding. We are going to be sharing it with audiences in August of 2017.”

They also told me that apart from film festivals they plan on showing it at triathlon events a day or two before the race, considering the story revolves around the sport.

Anthony has made a couple short films as well as a documentary about hockey fights before tackling 13 Miles. He’s also worked in the writing department in television and both he and Helena have been AD’s on other projects.

“Having been AD’s on previous projects has allowed us to be more efficient in our schedules and shooting.”


Helena comes from a corporate background but tells me she has always been a closet writer. They have both been involved in film for nearly ten years.

The budget for the feature is under one million. Their intention is to have it reflect a high quality production with a larger budget look.


“What size of a crew have you been using?”

“When it comes to filming scenes at a live event, we do our best to keep our footprint as small as possible. We don’t want to interfere with the athletes or the organizers. In those cases we would use a small crew of four or five. Because we are paying our crew, so we are also mindful of how many are necessary with every scene or location. We have used a crew as large as twenty for some scenes.”


“How many actors are in the film?”

“There are six reoccurring roles/characters in the film. We were very fortunate to find them through social media. The lead female was the hardest to role to fill. When we found her we were so elated. We are still looking to fill two or three more roles.”  


In addition to writing, directing and producing it, they are also editing it. They have a talented cinematographer and the rest of the crew are very experienced.


“Everyone involved in the film is passionate about incredibly supportive in seeing it get finished. It has a universal message that deals with challenges, sacrifice, regret, weakness and achievement. Being able to recognize and appreciate the moment before it’s missed, is the message of the film.”    


Anthony and Helena express how grateful they have been to local food companies and craft service sponsorship. They are appealing other businesses for additional sponsorship. It is a great way to offer free advertising in exchange for use of the product in a film with wide audience potential. Showcasing sports equipment and sporting attire is good marketing for local suppliers.


“This has been a passion project.”


I am not a triathlon athlete but I was so absorbed by this story, I will be training my eyes for the launch of this film. If you’d like to see a web series pilot they have recently completed, please check out the following links.

Pitch Video: https://youtu.be/XwSv-c-_INE Pilot Episode: https://youtu.be/Se7l6EMJJDM

1 thought on “Exclusive – Making 13 Miles Together”

  1. Good to see they’re “utilizing the changes of the seasons to portray that rather than try to recreate it.” Not every independent film has to be shot in a couple of weeks.

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