2020 has been a historical year....and we are still living in the new world from it's wake. Much time has passed and many things have changed. But the story remains the same and continues to push forward despite the roadblocks we have experienced.
In early 2018 we discovered we did not have enough footage and interviews to tell the full story. So we ventured out to raise funds for our last shoot. In the Summer we were able to acquire enough funds to organize a 10 day road trip stretching from New Orleans, Louisiana to Myrtle Beach, S.C., up through Virginia and Pennsylvania finishing up in Watertown, Mass, just west of Boston. Ariel and I shot what we needed and the footage and interviews turned out great.
Throughout 2019 I was able to write multiple drafts for the edit script and struggled to find the story. Like the tide it is ever changing. but we knew we had to get something down in the edit, so in October that year I was able to fly out to Miami, Fl and Ariel and I worked on the 1st Act for 3 days. We developed a strong skeleton and the story began to come alive. Hope was in the horizon.
2020 brought abrupt changes for our film. Tragically, in January of last year we lost someone for whom this story would not exist without. Vivian Watkins, the mother of Jeff, peacefully passed away with her family by her side due to a recurrence of cancer. She is one of the toughest ladies I have ever met but after the 3rd time, her body could just not hold out. Please keep the Watkins family in your thoughts and prayers. She is survived by her husband Felix and daughter Jamie. But, a beautiful silver lining happened just before her passing - Jamie gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and Vivian was able to see and hold her first grandchild. She lived a fulfilling life, who, like Jeff, affected more people for the positive than she ever knew. He had to get it from someone, right? :-)
So, that brings us to 2021. The story is slightly different now. But we are motivated more than ever to fight this uphill battle to share this story. This is not a traditional documentary, because it is personal. The intention was never to be a fly on the wall, but to be an active observer and participant. Only by fully immersing ourselves into something do we ever truly learn something....about others and ourselves.
Pushing forward we plan to have this done by the end of this year...or at least by the end of the pandemic. Whichever comes first. Post-Production is a little tough when in isolation and being a 1 man band. But, I am doing the best I can with what I have. I keep learning and adapting every day. We are close to a final editing draft (currently at #7) but I am a perfectionist and know I only have one chance to get it right. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and send us that positive energy to help us find the right words, images and sounds to make this story come alive.
Thanks for the support!
Nicholas X. Parsons