Director’s Cut: Chasing Bubbles

It’s three guests for the price of one on this week’s Director’s Cut. I really enjoy having multiple guests on the couch at the same time, and this week, viewers get a taste of filmmaking from three different perspectives. The film is called Chasing Bubbles and its director is Topher Cochrane. “Bubbles” is a documentary about a day trader from Chicago who gave up the yuppie lifestyle to buy a sailboat and travel the world.

Topher’s leading man and subject is Alex Rust, who walked away from his city life at just twenty-five years of age and drove to Florida to buy a sailboat in search of something bigger. It’s important to note that Rust had literally no boating experience. He purchased his sailboat from someone on Craigslist and taught himself how to sail by reading Sailing for Dummies.

Rust is the kind of fearless, quirky and enigmatic free spirit any documentarian would love to follow around for a few years. He set sail from Florida on New Year’s Eve in 2008 and spent the next four years on an absolutely incredible adventure. Along the way, Cochrane filmed his star as he immersed himself among people of all different cultures – some with no contact with the outside world. Cochrane and his crew also observed many dangerous moments on the high seas as Rust problem-solved with his limited knowledge. There is also some serious partying that happens aboard this tiny ship.

Cochrane describes Chasing Bubbles as a film about “the worst sailor to sail around the world.” Topher grew up near Chicago and has an advertising background. He’s made corporate films for Samsung, Old Spice and Miller High Life.

Joining Cochrane on our set is producer and Chicagoan Laurie Adrianopoli. If you’re wondering how to pronounce her last name, I should tell you it only took me four takes to get it right. Laurie is responsible for looking at hours and hours of footage that might make most people seasick.

Our third guest is consulting producer and northern Wisconsin native, Ross Gerber. Gerber was on Rust’s boat for some of the most poignant moments in the film, and probably knew Rust better than anyone on board. Gerber experienced first-hand some of the most dangerous moments and as well as the most fun (see above reference to the amount of partying that occurred).

Chasing Bubbles is one of those films that exposes viewers to fascinating people like Rust. Watching the film, I was reminded of a quote from one of my favorite books, On the Road where Kerouac says, “...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…”

Cochrane, Adrianopoli and Gerber collaborate to bring us a great adventure about a fun-loving, adventurous soul in Alex Rust. It’s a fun (water) ride from start to finish. Join me this Friday night at 10:30 on Director’s Cut as we discuss Chasing Bubbles. Stick around after the interview for the film in its entirety on Wisconsin Public Television: your home for independent film!

2 thoughts on “Director’s Cut: Chasing Bubbles”

  1. I love this film. I fell in love with Alex’s spirit and his love for the world and all the spirits that call it home. Tho it was heartbreaking to see him not able to find peace in his restless heart. So many advanced souls have this struggle in life and sadly leave so early. I am tempted to mourn the loss of his light in the world. But if we could all learn to embrace the expansive diversity of the world and its peoples the way he so easily did, I wouldn’t have to. Imagine a world where we all had his heart. What a powerful message and lesson on how we can so easily help our world be a better place. Live like Alex, forget all the frivolous things we think we need and embrace all with an open loving heart. My heart goes out to those that were closest to him.

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