It began with an offhand comment to legendary stuntman Gary Kent that someone should make a film about his fascinating life. Over time I realized I was that someone. When Gary's memoir Shadows and Light was released in 2009 I know it was time to put up or shut up. I hired not one but two camera crews (can you say overcompensation?) and we were off and running (occasionally stumbling!).
There were stumbling blocks along with the way. I'm an experienced writer of both fiction and nonfiction, so I knew the story I was trying to tell and how to tell it. I'm also a photographer, so I understood the visual. But I had a lot to learn about making a film. Later on I trusted myself to take charge of the camera, particularly in situations where I knew it might not be welcome. My use of a small camera and no crew allowed some intimate shots we wouldn't otherwise have in the film.
Phase two brought on Drew Thomas to help with filming and early editing. We set up an IndieGoGo campaign and raised almost $10,000 from more than 100 friends and fans. We flew to L.A. for some of our most important interviews. Drew's expertise was vital to keeping the project moving forward, and he's been great to work with.
The final phase came in 2016 when I brought on Kirk Hunter to work with me on getting a final cut of the film. Kirk is a pro who helped me bring my vision together. How to balance Gary's personal story with the story of his career? with the story of the independent film scene of the '60s and '70s? with the story of the love of his life and the stuntman friendships that endure?
Now we're ready (mostly: we're still tinkering/polishing here and there). Look for the film in festivals in coming months!