Texas Water Safari
Seadrift vs. the Big Guy
Review by Ross Anthony

This 50-minute film documents the river wrangling challenge that is the Texas Water Safari. Director/Cinematographer Randall Dark follows unlikely participant Jeff McAdams - a rather large man who enjoys his smokes and drinks. Jeff hasn't been in a canoe since his Boy Scout days, but somewhat serendipitously has decided to take on this 260-mile river race. With snakes, alligators, boat-breaking boulders in his way, and only 100 hours to finish, Jeff and his team suit up alongside the 200+ others downstream.

A plethora of psyched-up participant interviews open the documentary. Their enthusiasm is infectious and made me want to buy a boat and drive it to Texas despite an experienced paddler specifically advising against such a silly idea. Even Jeff gave himself 70 days to prepare. About midway through the film, all the talking stops and the race begins. The silence emphasizes the drama nicely. I especially enjoyed the underwater shots (could have used a few more). Jeff's helmet-mounted GoPro cam along with other boat-mounted cams make quite a splash on the screen. You'll feel like you're right in the river with 'em.

But soon enough the focus narrows on Jeff's team's trials and tribulations while the other interesting entrants are put on hold. After which, this focus unbalance flip-flops. I'd have preferred more even coverage which also included interviews with some of the more senior, very fit, or simply odd teams. The modest river-map graphic needed some improvement as well. Lastly, while we hear from those interviewees that finished (and their insights are fun, enjoyable and inspirational), I would have also liked to hear reflective commentary from the race's first-finishers, big winners, and big losers.

That said, I enjoyed this wet ride. If you're considering this or any race, or if you're just looking for a little fun and inspiration in general, give "Seadrift vs. the Big Guy" a watch.

Disclaimer: 1) I love big adventures even though I'm not a big guy. 2) I know director/producer Randall Dark.

The Races webpage: www.texaswatersafari.org
The Big Guy's Kickstarter Plea: www.kickstarter.com/projects/32896808/seadrift-vs-the-big-guy
Review of another Randall Dark doc: www.rossanthony.com/M/makarios.shtml

-- Books by Ross Anthony, Author/Illustrator --

  • Seadrift vs. the Big Guy. Copyright © 2012.
  • Directed by Randall Dark at Austin Ridge Productions.

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 09-Jan-2013 10:21:28 PST