takin’ a walk Peter Callahan.mp3
Buzz Knight [00:00:01] I’m Buzz Knight, the host of Taking a Walk Music History on Foot today. Our guest is Peter Callahan. He wrote, directs and stars in a glorious new film called Out and about, one man’s long walk to find himself. Someone actually taking more steps probably than me on taking a walk.. Peter Callahan, next. Taking a walk. Well, finally, a meeting up with someone on taking a walk who’s probably usurped my step count for the day. Hello, Peter Callahan. Welcome to Taking a walk.
Peter Callahan [00:00:40] Hey, thank you. Thanks for having me.
Buzz Knight [00:00:42] How many steps have you done with your walks today?
Peter Callahan [00:00:45] Today I did about probably 7000.
Buzz Knight [00:00:51] Is that. Is that about normal?
Peter Callahan [00:00:53] Usually, I like to get more. I usually get around nine or 10,000 in a day. But, you know, it depends on what you’re doing. You know, I live outside Manhattan, and if I go into the city, you know, that that walk out will jump just by virtue of, you know, moving from place to be. And I’ll jump by another four or 5000 steps. But, you know, a good normal day is about 9000, 10,000 steps. How about you?
Buzz Knight [00:01:23] Oh, I’m about 12,000. Actually. I hate to be braggadocio about it.
Peter Callahan [00:01:29] But.
Buzz Knight [00:01:32] Where did you get the walking in your in your blood? Was it just something you became accustomed to or was there a family member that really inspired you to walk a lot?
Peter Callahan [00:01:43] You know, it certainly wasn’t inspired by and it came later in life. I was not always a walker, You know, I did grow up at the top of a big hill, and so I was forced to walk a lot, you know, to go to school and go to, you know, up and down the hill. But I would never had any particular interest in walking. And I think it just was more for a for both psychological and physical reasons. You know, once maybe I entered my forties or so late forties, maybe I took it up. And so, you know, you just feel better when you walk, you know, you feel better physically and emotionally. So I think it’s a great activity and it’s low impact. You know, you’re not getting hurt.
Buzz Knight [00:02:27] And you live in such a beautiful part of the country, the Hastings on the Hudson. I’ve certainly taken the train into into New York from there. So it’s easy to walk through those beautiful neighborhoods.
Peter Callahan [00:02:40] Yeah, it’s certainly the scenery makes it makes it more enjoyable. You know, it’s something I didn’t really appreciate growing up, but now that I’m older, it’s like, Wow, this is a really cute town. And so I try and try and notice that every day is not always successful. I’m often in my head thinking, but at least try.
Buzz Knight [00:03:04] I believe does. Seth Godin, the great business strategist, blogger, does he live.
Peter Callahan [00:03:12] In those days? Yes, he does. Yeah. I see him around somewhat regularly.
Buzz Knight [00:03:17] If you ever bumped into him walking.
Peter Callahan [00:03:21] He’s. Well, I’ve certainly crossed paths with him walking. Yeah, I guess so. I guess so. You know, he’ll he’s. I’ll see him in the village. I don’t actually see him up in the hills or on the the aqueduct path that I walk on, but I certainly have crossed paths walking more than once.
Buzz Knight [00:03:42] So what was the motivation on the film, besides the fact that you like to walk? I mean, it’s a beautiful story and it’s got the great characters from the neighborhood and some great storylines. So what what motivated you to write and direct and star in it?
Peter Callahan [00:03:59] Well, you know, I was I guess I was looking for a movie I could make modestly. You know, when you’re when you’re a creative is sort of wants to make movies when you’re independent filmmaker. You know, it’s hard to get movies financed and and the bigger and more complex the movie is, the harder it is to ever get done. So, you know, I could write some, you know, screenplay with all sorts of this and that. But the reality is, you know, it’s probably not going to get financed or ever get made. And the idea here was like, what’s what’s the simplest movie I can shoot for the cheapest amount of money and something that feels real to me and familiar. And since I take walks every day and I’m thinking every day, I say, What would it be? How about a movie? Just about, you know, taking a walk and and what a man, you know, what he’s thinking about while I am slogging. And it’s got, you know, as you know, it’s got a big interior monologue. So you’re hearing the thoughts interspersed with dialog and. And so it was just sort of writing what, you know, the old adage, you know, write what you know. And that’s that’s what I did.
Buzz Knight [00:05:13] So when you’re taking walks, your mind must constantly be racing if this movie is any indication of it.
Peter Callahan [00:05:24] Absolutely. It’s definitely is. And I think all of all of us, too, that, you know, where most of our lives are lived inside our own heads, I think. And so I was just trying to bring that experience, you know, to life in the form of a movie. And so I don’t know if I’m any different than anybody else, maybe a little bit more neurotic, thinking a little bit more. But, you know, I show the movie to people and a lot of people say, oh, I have those kinds of thoughts, too. Or, you know, that’s what I do. That’s the kind of thing I think about. So I’m pleased that it is least resonating with some segment of people who watch it.
Buzz Knight [00:06:08] Who are some of your inspirations that we can feel maybe inside the movie?
Peter Callahan [00:06:15] Well, I you know, I like movies that mix humor and drama. You know, they’re they’re they’re not they’re not comedies per se. And they’re not, you know, hardcore dramas. But I think the biggest influences on my work are really the the American filmmakers of the 1970s, that sort of golden age, you know, starting with maybe Midnight Cowboy and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Dog Afternoon. They’re kind of real to life stories that I really gravitated towards growing up and enjoy still very much. And in terms of this particular movie, I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie, the old movie, The Swimmer, starring Burt Lancaster. It’s pretty similar in some ways in racing and structure of of of one character going from place to place over the course of an afternoon.
Buzz Knight [00:07:08] And I know you’re a fan of music because there’s a lot of music references that are going through your your head. It’s a death trap. It’s a suicide rap song.
Peter Callahan [00:07:20] Sometimes you’ll hear a phrase and it’ll make you think of a song. And so that’s that’s what it is. So there is some of that throughout the movie, and I’m glad to see that you do that. You think that as well.
Buzz Knight [00:07:33] The other one was the reference to Good Vibrations in there, right?
Peter Callahan [00:07:37] Yeah. Yeah. There was one to Bennie and the Jets. Yeah, there was a couple throughout. Yeah.
Buzz Knight [00:07:44] Because I think yeah, when you are walking and you’re certainly looking at a place in time, certainly music is always part of a place and time, right?
Peter Callahan [00:07:54] Yeah, yeah, yeah, for sure.
Buzz Knight [00:07:57] So when you, you visited in the movie Jeff Fisher visits his, his old house. I have to think in your life you’ve done the same. Is that true?
Peter Callahan [00:08:10] Oh, yeah. I mean, many, many times I’ve walked by my house many, many, many, many, many times for sure. And, you know, it’s it’s hard to avoid when you live in a small town. You know, I haven’t always lived here, but this is where I spent most of my life. So I’ve seen everything from my childhood all the time.
Buzz Knight [00:08:33] And what does that feel like? I mean, when that happens, does it give you an inner sense of satisfaction or regret when you do it?
Peter Callahan [00:08:42] There’s more regret. There’s more regret and longing. And then it’s also nice in a way, too. It’s comforting and it’s nice to know that and to see the some of the old people. But in general, there’s probably more regret and satisfaction for sure.
Buzz Knight [00:09:03] Now, does is Jeff Fisher the type of guy that goes to high school or college reunions?
Peter Callahan [00:09:11] That’s a good question. I’d say yeah, maybe a little reluctantly, but yes.
Buzz Knight [00:09:18] And does does he does he rekindle old flames in his relationships?
Peter Callahan [00:09:26] I would say yes as well. That’s certainly possible. Yes.
Buzz Knight [00:09:32] Because, yeah, everyone is sort of looked at their life from that lens. And that’s what’s so beautiful about the movie is how you look at the life through Jeff’s lens and the voice, the inner voice. How did you find, quote unquote, that inner voice? That is the narrative in the movie, because it’s it’s a unique, comforting voice.
Peter Callahan [00:10:01] Well, you know, it’s I’ve heard that before, and it’s nice to hear that. I didn’t think much about it at all. I just sort of, you know. So it’s just seem like the voice in the head would be a little quieter and softer than the normal speaking voice. And so there was no searching for it or much thinking about it. And it just was it came naturally.
Buzz Knight [00:10:26] And I think Jeff is very confident in his observations of the world, though.
Peter Callahan [00:10:34] Perhaps. Perhaps, yeah.
Buzz Knight [00:10:37] Maybe not every time, though, because I think sometimes the confidence maybe eludes Jeff when he runs into the ladies.
Peter Callahan [00:10:48] I guess there’s there are a couple of awkward moments there, but I feel like there’s awkward moments with the men as well. So I don’t know if that’s gender specific, but maybe, you know, maybe I have to go back and analyze it. If it’s more with with women than than the male characters. I don’t know. That’s interesting.
Buzz Knight [00:11:08] I know if it were me, it would be more awkward with. With the ladies.
Peter Callahan [00:11:12] Yeah. Yeah.
Buzz Knight [00:11:14] Who else is influenced you about walking in terms of the therapeutic nature of it?
Peter Callahan [00:11:21] Well, you know, I’m certain there’s there’s, you know, almost any article you read or anything you read about health is always touting the benefits of walking, you know, or just movement in general, but walking in particular. So I think it’s you know, it’s an accepted thing in society that walking is good for you. You’re never going to hear anybody say, oh, when I walk is bad enough. Don’t you don’t want to be walking. So I think, you know, just a general societal influence, whether as opposed to any sort of, you know, famous walk or anything like that.
Buzz Knight [00:11:56] Well, there is somebody I could tell you that influenced me, especially with this podcast. I think you’ve probably heard of them. The late Vietnamese monk. Keep not. Have you heard of him?
Peter Callahan [00:12:11] Maybe, but not. Not really. That’s somewhere in the back of my mind. Something about that. But now I’m going to have to say, basically.
Buzz Knight [00:12:20] Now I’ll recommend that to you for sure. In fact, I’ll send it to you because I think it it points out that every step we take in our walk, you know, we certainly should exude a sense of gratitude where we’re where we’re walking, you know, taking in, you know, the beautiful sight, you know, the conversations. So I think I think there is something to that that, you know, something.
Peter Callahan [00:12:50] Along that be great.
Buzz Knight [00:12:52] But it’s also a problem solving mode, too. Walking, isn’t it?
Peter Callahan [00:12:57] Yeah. And, you know, sometimes I’ll listen to podcasts or music, but I try not to do that too often because I want to be, you know, to think things through. It is this meditative time where, you know, I feel it’s important to have that and not always be distracted. And walking is is a perfect activity for that, for sure.
Buzz Knight [00:13:22] Now, who who did the scoring, the music scoring for the movie?
Peter Callahan [00:13:27] That’s a composer, John Manzella, who was recommended by the composer of my previous movie. And we work with him remotely and we just, you know, work together that way. And I’m, you know, really happy with the work he did.
Buzz Knight [00:13:45] And what some of the other music that goes through your your head in those moments that you’re walking, either in the form of like what type of music or what type of artists.
Peter Callahan [00:13:57] You know, really kind of 1960s and seventies rock and roll and pop. You know, I really, you know, that’s kind of what I grew up in, and I never really gravitated past that. I still think it’s the best stuff. So, you know, there’s not a lot of new songs entering my my listening. You know, I love, you know, all the all that, you know, I loved The Mamas the Papas. I love the Doors. I love, you know, you know all that from the sixties and seventies.
Buzz Knight [00:14:30] And do you like walking in big cities like New York City?
Peter Callahan [00:14:35] I do like walking in New York. I find that things can go quicker. They feel like time passes here. Everything’s so familiar, so it time can go slower. If I’m in a new place, everything is new. So take it in more and it’s just there’s more to distract me. So there’s more to see. So it can be. You know, rejuvenating. You know, I feel like I can walk further sometimes in a place like that.
Buzz Knight [00:15:07] So how can folks find the movie out and about?
Peter Callahan [00:15:13] So that will be available for streaming on various platforms I believe it’ll be on Amazon, iTunes, YouTube, Google Play or wherever. You know, people typically find movies to watch and and they can always follow our Web site out and about movie dot com or any information. And we’re on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram. . Look for it on Amazon or places like that.
Buzz Knight [00:15:46] Well, congratulations on it, Peter Callahan, and thanks for letting us take a walk with you and with Jeff Fisher in the movie out and about.
Peter Callahan [00:15:58] Well, thank you, Buzz. It was fun to be here. And thanks for having me.
Buzz Knight [00:16:02] Thanks, Peter.
Speaker 3 [00:16:03] Taking a walk with Buzz Knight is available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts.