Tyler Bastian met an incredible man, Agustin, five years ago. This encounter led to the decision to make a film about Agustin’s life with Trevor Hill and Tim Skousen. Their brilliant short, Everything is Incredible, has left me eagerly awaiting the release of their feature length film on Agustin’s life.

It appears I am not alone, his touching fifty year journey to realise an impossible dream of building a helicopter has captured the hearts of thousands of people around the world. Here, I share with you a chat I had with director, Tyler Bastian.

The Wonder Why were you in Honduras in 2007?

Tyler Bastian I was in Honduras on a mission for my church when I first met Agustin.

TW When did you first hear of Agustin?

TB I ran in to him by accident and continued to visit him the remainder of my stay.

TW What made you want to tell his story?

TB His story is amazing and he has an aura about him that is so inspiring that I wanted to share it.

TW How long did it take you to make the film?

TB We started in 2007 and we continue to work on it and expound the story.  It truly is a never ending story and we intend to continue it until he passes and after. After he passes we will document the final days, interview some loved ones and show in the film what happens to the helicopter.  Our goal is to raise enough money through the film and fundraising to bring the helicopter to the US to be saved and be on display.

TW Who’s the cool musician that made the soundtrack?

TB The music for the short is by an amazing musician, and friend since we were boys, named Kirby Heyborne. The feature has music by Kirby and also another talented man named Tyler Hill.

TW How was your last trip to Honduras, and how is Agustin doing now?

TB My last trip to Honduras went well. We filmed a lot and were able to spend a lot of time with Agustin.  He wasn’t in the best shape last time we were there but as of now he has improved. I am returning in February with my wife and son to check on him.

TW You are raising money for Agustin. I read the comments and some would like to give him a ride in a helicopter, help finish the one he’s building or buy him one. What do you think should be the end to his story?

TB Personally, I think the end of the story should be him working on his own helicopter. I feel like the testament of his life is the work he has done on the helicopter.

TW Have you always wanted to make documentaries?

TB I am a teacher.  I love to teach and have always used photography to help tell a story.  I love film because it is a medium to teach.  I always wanted to be a teacher and as an adult have started making films to help with my teaching.

TW What are your inspirations film/music/art wise?

TB I love movies.  I listen to all kinds of music and find great inspiration in music. My greatest inspiration in life is the amazing individuals I meet every day. I am inspired by everyone’s stories. Agustin is an obscure man that lives in a remote part of Honduras.  If I had not ran into him and taken the time to look, his story would have always remained untold. Everyday we run into individuals that are just as amazing as Agustin, in their own way. We merely have to be looking. I am inspired by these obscure amazing stories.

TW Do you have any projects in the works?

TB I am currently working on a film that explores the affects of nuclear testing on the families that lived downwind from it.

TW Can you tell me about The Rise Institute?

TB The Rise Institute is a small not for profit that houses my films.  We have never had the funding we have needed to get it where we want it. Ultimately, my vision is to have it be an educational platform to give youth a glimpse at how amazing life is and help underprivileged and troubled youth experience life and experience other people’s stories through travel and film.

TW For you, what is the link between philanthropy and art?

TB Art is mankind and when mankind is in need their art tells us so.

 

If you would like to support the work of The Rise Institute, you can do so on their website. You can also donate to help improve Agustin’s living conditions in Honduras and to finish building his helicopter here.

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