The Three Ps – Passion. Patience. Perseverance. Director Jon Dunham writes – these were the words of advice given to me by the late Oscar winning director Robert Wise at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles where I studied film. I’ve never forgotten this. After 18 years of making mostly independent documentaries his words ring more true than ever.
My latest film BOSTON narrated by Matt Damon tells the story of the more than 100-year-old Boston Marathon including the 2013 bombings and the race’s emotional return one year later. It is a feature-length documentary, which required a lot of passion, patience and perseverance.
Having run marathons myself and always very interested in history, I combined these two loves with my passion for filmmaking. Honestly it would be very difficult for me to imagine attempting to make a film about a story that I am not passionate about! Filmmaking is too difficult. You have to love it.
My journey to making BOSTON actually started 15 years earlier when I began developing and eventually was successful making my first feature documentary “Spirit of the Marathon”, centered around the Chicago Marathon. It took me five years to make the film and I was fortunate that it was both a critical and box office success grossing $1 million in cinemas in the U.S. and Canada in three nights. While I never had any intention in becoming the guy who makes films about marathons, this production did indeed put me on the map so that when it came time to make BOSTON following the attacks I was a proven filmmaker in this particular genre. It took a lot of patience to get there.
From the get go, BOSTON was anything but easy. Similarly to my first film, it took four years to reach the finish line as we were constantly searching for funding. At one point I even ended up selling my car to keep going! But we persevered, and in a lot of ways it’s a better film because of the time it took to create, as we were afforded more opportunities for interesting storytelling along the way.
Today we are fortunate to be working with Lionsgate on the distribution of BOSTON with transactional video on demand however the journey continues as we continue to release the film via other channels and in more parts of the world. The film has yet to be released in any way in the UK and we are actively seeking a distribution partner. The trailer can be viewed at: https://vimeo.com/225479641
In the meantime I’m looking for new projects to be a part of as well as focusing on another subject I am passionate about… Italy, and in particular Naples, where I had the incredible fortune of living for two years. Continuing to apply the principles of the three Ps, I look forward to the process of telling the story of this most complex, beautiful and mysterious place in our world and continuing to make non-fiction film.