NOTE: Nico has given me permission to publish this as a "baseball human interest piece".
Greetings all. As some of you may remember, my dad, who has Parkinson’s Disease (PD), and me hit the road in the summer of 2004 to see a game at each of the 30 MLB parks. We made the award-winning documentary, "Boys of Summer" from that effort. Nearly ten years later a few things have changed: I’ve made three more documentaries, have two beautiful children and a wife, and one shiny master’s degree. Unfortunately, my dad still has Parkinson’s Disease. For those of you who know or have experienced the disease, you know it’s progressed, too.
However, being the amazing man he is, when I pitched the crazy idea of going back on the road for a ten-year reprisal, he didn’t hesitate. He said yes. So here’s the plan: we want to head out in the summer of 2014, revisit many people and places we saw before and discover anew. This is a case study of a man, how he’s dealing with PD and what life looks like to him, 14 years into his diagnosis. It’s also a look at the changes in America and baseball over the last ten years. Having a third generation come along in the form of my little boy and girl will add some new flavor (not to mention a fair amount of "car moments").
I’ve launched a kickstarter page and I hope you’ll take a look at it and share it with others. Please feel free to ask me questions here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, you can see the original documentary (for free) via that kickstarter page.
A couple of quick notes:
1) For those who freeze up and freak out immediately at the Red Sox, Toronto Blue Jays or any other opposing gear you see on my father or me, know that we are A’s fans through and through. I grew up going to A’s games in the 80’s and my parents still live in the house I grew up in. So why the "evil" gear? Because on this trip, we’re stewards of the game. We’re there to experience and discover, not engage in fan wars. Whatever anger and hatred I feel toward an opponent (like say the Tigers or Angels) during a game when I’m a fan is not the same thing as when I’m in a stadium as a documentarian taking in the experience to share with a broad audience. If you see the original film, you’ll see the A’s hat almost never leaves my head. And the Red Sox shirt I’m wearing at the Field of Dreams was a beautiful throwback shirt given to me by the Boston Red Sox that just felt right at that gorgeous nostalgic place. I sent that shirt to Stephen King, by the way, whom I have a bit of a connection with.
2) The look of the original film is soooooo 2004. We were on the cusp of HD and had the budget and equipment of 1995. The film was shot largely by committee (passing the camera to fans sometimes to capture a moment) and it looks like it. There are significant upgrades in equipment as well as technical skill that will be involved in this latest effort. In short – it will look great.
I’m happy to answer anything else you want to know. Many thanks, again, to Nico for letting me post this here. My best to you all.