Journeys of Recovery - Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery, a

Journeys of Recovery - Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery, a

Journeys of Recovery A PROPOSAL FOR AN HOUR-LONG TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY ON SURVIVORS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY Produced and directed by David L. Brow...

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Journeys of Recovery A PROPOSAL FOR AN HOUR-LONG TELEVISION DOCUMENTARY ON SURVIVORS OF TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY

Produced and directed by David L. Brown Executive Producer: Robert Howard

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is the Silent Epidemic and the “signature injury of the Iraq war.” The RAND Corporation reports that roughly 320,000 troops returning from Iraq have TBI. A TBI happens every 15 seconds and afflicts 1.5 million people each year in the U.S. TBI is the leading cause of death among ages 1-45. There are 5.3 million Americans living with TBI-caused disabilities. The cost of treating TBI in the U.S. is $60 billion per year.

Epic Way Sports/David L. Brown Productions 274 Santa Clara St., Brisbane, CA 94005 Nonprofit fiscal sponsor: San Francisco Film Society

415 468 7469 www.goingthedistance.info

A proposal for an hour-long television documentary on survivors of traumatic brain injury.



Produced and directed by David L. Brown Nonprofit fiscal sponsor: San Francisco Film Society Executive Producer: Robert Howard

Going the Distance Synopsis I lived…there’s a reason why I’m still here, and I guess I have to figure out what my mission in life is. Jay Waller, TBI survivor He said, “What’s wrong?” I’m like, are you kidding me dude? You’ve been to the brink of death and back and you’re asking me what’s wrong?

Lisa Poole, sister of TBI survivor

In Going the Distance: Journeys of Recovery, four survivors take us inside the experience of traumatic brain injury (TBI) to reveal their personal stories of devastation, heroism and hope. A corporal in the U.S. Marines, African-American Jason Poole suffered massive head injuries in a roadside bomb in Iraq. Co-ed Kristen Collins was severely injured in a motorcycle accident while away at college. Pre-med student Jay Waller fell victim to a savage road-rage beating while on vacation. Six-year old Ian McFarland survived the car crash that left him an orphan. Along their paths to recovery, these four protagonists relive the dramatic accidents that almost took their lives, learn how to walk, talk and live again, and face the most daunting challenge of all—reinventing themselves—frequently with humor and always with heart. In spite of enduring hardship, including life-long cognitive and emotional challenges, each does succeed in envisioning and achieving a new dream on their life path. I’d spent 21 years of my life learning about me, how I do things, how I learn, how I react. And then it all changes. The biggest challenge in my recovery is reinventing who I am…



Kristen Collins, TBI survivor

Jason has become a poster child for recovery from traumatic brain injury because he has this spirit that ‘I’m gonna have what’s important in life, whatever it takes, I’m gonna do it’.

Dr. Harriet Zeiner, TBI therapist

Called the “silent epidemic,” TBI impacts 1.5 million Americans every year at a staggering cost of $60 billion. Against the backdrop of an embattled health care system and a nation entrenched in war, Going the Distance paints a compelling portrait of the struggles faced by TBI survivors and their loved ones while delivering a hard hitting message about the failing social safety net. Through these individual profilesin-courage, the hour-long broadcast documentary and social engagement campaign will draw attention to TBI survivors who have remained invisible, untreated and often undiagnosed, while providing a forum for their communities and educating the general public.

“We are looking at an epidemic of brain injuries.”



—Jill Gandolfi, co-director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit of the Palo Alto Heath Care System

1

treatment Act I opens with lyrical footage of Lake Tahoe, where we first meet Jay Waller, who introduces himself in voice-over as a TBI survivor. I will always have a brain injury; a brain injury doesn’t go away. Jay states that he is participating in a marathon 22-mile paddle to help raise awareness about TBI, and that the Tahoe paddle is a metaphor for the struggles TBI survivors face everyday. The beautiful scene of the lake paddle recurs throughout the film, providing a backdrop for essential facts about traumatic brain injury. After the opening title, Jay begins to tell the harrowing story of his road-rage beating. Jay’s sister recounts the call from an emergency room nurse in the middle of the night: Get on the next plane and we’ll try to keep him alive until you get here. Jay was in a coma for 32 days. When he was released from the hospital, his impairment was not obvious to many, but his friends and family realized he wasn’t the same Jay. His first testing revealed his IQ was at 7th grade level. Changes to Jay’s behavior included his “disinhibition” or lack of discretion that got him into trouble as he struggled to recover. An African-American Marine in his twenties, Jason Poole was ten days away from the end of his third tour of duty in Iraq when an improvised explosive device (IED) injured him severely and left him with TBI. He was in a coma for two months, lost an eye, and had to undergo massive cranial-facial reconstruction. Jason describes his first anguished look in the mirror post-injury—the moment becomes a poignant metaphor for the changes confronting all four characters. We see footage of Jason before reconstructive surgery struggling to put a sentence together, as well as his jocular and easy interaction with his twin sister and younger brother. Jason’s spirit and humor make him inspiring and charismatic. Over images of headlights on a rural road, Kristen’s parents describe getting “the phone call that every parent dreads” from a hospital chaplain. A lovely young woman with a bright smile and big blue eyes, Kristen Collins explains that she has no memory of the truck that ploughed into the motorcycle on which she was riding, or the first weeks after she emerged from a coma. Her realization that she was impaired came gradually, with great resistance and a lot of anger. Her parents express the anguish they experienced when some of Kristen’s doctors recommended they begin looking into nursing homes for their daughter. Ian McFarland’s aunt and grandparents recount how Ian’s family was en route to a wedding when the car they were traveling in veered, flipped over and went off a bridge. Ian’s parents were killed immediately. His younger brother and sister emerged with slight injuries, while Ian suffered a traumatic brain injury that left him impaired and in a wheelchair. Ian’s Aunt Melissa describes how she packed up everything she owned and abandoned her life in Oklahoma to care for Ian and his siblings. She took that brave step at a time when nobody—including Ian’s physicians— knew whether the little boy could possibly make it. In Act II, our characters journey on the daunting but rewarding road of rehabilitation. Truly, it takes a village to heal a TBI survivor: we meet support circles, including family members, friends, physicians and therapists. As they share our characters’ back-stories, we sense the magnitude of their losses and the emotional rollercoaster of living with, and caring for, TBI. Jason was a ladies’ man and the life of the party. After his injury, he and his fiancée separated, another painful loss he had to endure. Jay’s impairment was overlooked and misdiagnosed for years, until he sought cognitive therapy and faced that his 2

dream of becoming a physician was over. Kristen expresses the frustration of losing her independence and feeling like a prisoner when her fragile health and changed personality require constant supervision. Ian is learning to walk, talk and feed himself. But to maximize his chances for recovery, he needs intensive speech, physical and occupational therapy. His medical insurance coverage will max out within the first month of the year. Ian’s community of San Diego surfers, as well as volunteer psychologists and therapists, come forward to help. For our protagonists, “going the distance” involves acceptance of an impaired self as well as learning to adapt to the changed person they have become. Although their stories are unique, the dilemmas they face are universal and profoundly human, impacting that part of ourselves that informs who we are and governs our personality, thoughts, feelings and perceptions. An injury to the brain is an injury to the essential self, which is why one of the film’s therapists explains that TBI survivors “have to reinvent who they are.” As Kristen, Jay, Jason and Ian struggle with their disabilities, we witness how the medical and social safety nets are stretched thin: insurance companies are unwilling to pay for adequate treatment and TBI patients face stigma and ignorance from the general public and families struggle with “caregiver burnout”­— there are simply not enough caregivers, resources or facilities to treat or even diagnose TBI. The system is in crisis. In Act III, the film’s protagonists continue to struggle with TBI, but have begun new lives. Jason is still receiving rehabilitation therapy at the V. A. Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center in Palo Alto, California. He volunteers at a children’s center and has a new love, Angela. They share funny and touching boy-meets-girl anecdotes. Angela talks about the special needs of partners of TBI survivors, and Jason navigates his disability and relationship with equal measures of charm, sympathy and humor. Fifteen years after his accident, Jay is on the road to achieving his new dream: in 2008, he began a Ph.D. program in physical therapy and plans to specialize in brain-injured patients. Kristen applies and gets accepted to nursing school where she struggles to keep up while choosing not to disclose her disability due to its stigma. Ian’s circle of support would like him to be mainstreamed in elementary school, but it’s unclear how his special needs will be met long term. His Aunt Melissa struggles with the burdens of parenting three children, one significantly disabled. Ian’s support team helps him return to the San Diego surf his father had introduced him to as a toddler. His love of the ocean becomes a key factor in his healing. While honestly portraying the serious ongoing challenges of living with TBI, Going the Distance concludes on a hopeful and inspirational note, as we witness Jason marrying Angela; Jay receiving his doctorate in physical therapy and beginning a professional practice; Kristen graduating from nursing school and passing her R.N. exam; and, in the closing scene, Ian McFarland talking about, and surfing with his new friend and surfing partner, Ricochet, the surfing Golden Retriever. The Lake Tahoe paddlers, including Jay Waller, complete the 22-mile paddle exhausted but happy, and the metaphoric portrait of heroic struggle powered by hope, courage and love is also complete.

THE NEED Facing the estimated 320,000 TBI survivors returning from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars surviving injuries that had been fatal in the past, combined with the 1.5 million 3

annual civilian TBI injuries, most TBI experts and medical professionals argue that the U.S. is facing a “TBI crisis.” The number of people afflicted far exceeds the resources, medical facilities and trained professionals focused on brain injury. Countless TBI survivors who are as yet undetected will exacerbate the crisis in the years to come, while war-related TBI screening continues to lag.

Going the Distance will be educational, inspirational and empowering.

In addition to To Iraq and Back, the ABC News documentary on the Bob Woodruff story, and the Woodruff-reported TBI stories on ABC News, the recent death of actress Natasha Richardson from a traumatic brain injury suffered in a skiing accident and recent reports on football-related TBI have all raised public awareness of the gravity of this condition. But additional broadcast-quality media resources on TBI are needed—especially one that addresses both civilian and military TBI survivors, and can be used for education and outreach by the organizations that are focused on the care and treatment of TBI survivors. The existing media resources on TBI are limited to productions that are mostly devoid of hope and inspiration. There is a great need for a compelling, realistic but inspiring broadcast documentary that tells a variety of survivor stories while exploring the key medical and social issues raised by the Silent TBI Epidemic. Going the Distance will be educational, inspirational and empowering for a broad television audience. It will be especially powerful and important for all those involved with survivors of TBI.

Experts/Board of Advisors Dr. Ross Zafonte, DO, is the Vice President of Medical Affairs for the Spaulding

Rehabilitation Network and Chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School. A leading expert on brain injury, Dr. Zafonte has published extensively on traumatic brain injury and has presented at conferences internationally. He is also currently Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Education and Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and a principal site investigator for a large national multisite research study on the long-term effects of posttraumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Len Travaglione, PhD , Jay Waller’s psychologist, is the Program Director at

Neuropsychological Rehabilitation Services in Chatham, New York, where he directs a comprehensive outpatient treatment program for neurologically impaired individuals, including assessment, counseling and cognitive remedial training. He was formerly Program Coordinator of the Head Trauma Program at New York University Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine. Geoffrey T. Manley, MD, PhD , is

Professor of Neurological Surgery and Chief of Neurotrauma at San Francisco General Hospital and co-director of the UCSF Brain and Spinal Injury Center at the University of California, San Francisco. 4

Michael Levy, MD , is the Chief Neurosurgeon at Children’s Hospital in San Diego

and a Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at both UCLA and UCSD medical schools. Michael has produced over 200 peer-reviewed publications and is the editor of the most widely used text on penetrating brain wounds in U.S. medical schools. Susan Connors is the Director and CEO of the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA). Founded in 1980, BIAA is the leading national organization serving and representing individuals, families and professionals who are impacted by traumatic brain injury. Together with its network of more than 40 chartered state affiliates, as well as hundreds of local chapters and support groups across the country, BIAA provides information, education and support to assist the 5.3 million Americans currently living with traumatic brain injury and their families.

Target Audience The target audience for Going the Distance is the 3.2 million Americans currently living with traumatic brain injury, the tens of millions of family members and friends of TBI survivors, and the national medical community dealing with brain injury. This is absolutely an underserved, and we could even say invisible, audience in need of information, resources and inspiration. An engaging, character-driven and hopeful public television program on TBI that addresses both civilian and military survivors will make a significant contribution to public understanding of the problem, raising awareness and sensitivity, and fostering dialogue with survivors, service agencies and policymakers. We plan to launch an interactive website to extend the impact of the documentary by linking users to TBI resources and information portals and facilitating networking and on-line engagement strategies for TBI survivors and their supporters.

Distribution and marketing The documentary will be submitted to to major PBS strands P.O.V. and Independent Lens, or offered to PBS through American Public Television. Cable channels like HBO, Showtime and Discovery Health offer alternative outlets for national exposure. The broadcasts will be promoted and publicized through the network of TBI organizations, with publicists targeting major markets and a full community engagement campaign. Likewise, the producer/director will market the film to these communities, while a distributor such as Productions for Fanlight Films, which specializes in health issues, or California Newsreel will reach a broader educational market. Distribution strategies will target organizations and medical facilities for TBI care and treatment, as well as support and advocacy groups, including the Brain Injury Association of America and the North American Brain Injury Society. Festival, community and theatrical screenings nationwide will feature panel discussions with TBI survivors and

Jay Waller, his mother (l) and sister (r)

5

experts. YouTube postings and a Facebook affinity group will broaden these audiences and promote the distribution. PBS International, which has represented five of Brown’s documentaries, will handle foreign television acquisitions.

Community Engagement Campaign In conjunction with the distribution and broadcast of Going the Distance, we will spearhead a community engagement campaign working at the local, regional, and national level. Our key goals are to create a deeper understanding of the issues faced by survivors of TBI among the public in general, and among friends, family and caregivers, in particular; to support efforts to dismantle attitudinal barriers that limit the full participation of TBI survivors in society; and to build capacity in the TBI movement by providing a powerful tool to organizations engaging local constituencies. On the national level, the film will support the TBI Act, which is scheduled for reauthorization in 2012. This is the key legislation supporting the care and treatment of TBI, and its funding is in danger. We will build a comprehensive web site for sharing information, ideas, and tools, as well as aggregating the best practices. It will host tools for educators, caregivers, advocates, and friends and family, including a social networking hub, where TBI survivors, friends, and family can create a virtual support community. The web site will highlight successful best-case TBI programs from communities throughout the country and provide links to critical resources. We will work with support and advocacy groups including the Brain Injury Association of America and the North American Brain Injury Society to arrange for screenings at libraries, schools, colleges, universities, community groups, and national nonprofit TBI organization conferences. Events can bring together TBI experts, community members and local leaders for a face-to-face exchange providing the foundation for ongoing collaboration and action.

Jason Poole, before and after TBI

6

Additional media resources on TBI are needed— especially those with hope and inspiration

To support these efforts we will create an Event Planning Guide with step-by-step instructions for planning, promoting, and producing a successful local screening; and promotional templates — e-mail invitations, announcements, programs, and poster— to facilitate community events. These materials will be available on our highly interactive web site, www.goingthedistance.info.

Status of the project After two years of research and development, fundraising, prep, production and editing, we have completed 95% of production and have completed the editing of a 65-minute rough cut. We have shot, logged and transcribed 80 hours of highdefinition videotape. The project is currently moving toward a fine cut, with additional evocative B-roll pickup shoots planned this winter. The project has raised $63,500 in grants and donations and an additional $70,000 in in-kind donations. We will design the basic architecture for an interactive social networking and community engagement web site over the winter and spring of 2011. With completion funding in place, we will on-line and deliver Going the Distance by June 2011.

Producer/Director/camera/co-Editor/Co-Writer David l. Brown is an Emmy Award–winning documentary filmmaker who has

produced, written and directed over 80 productions and 11 broadcast documentaries on social, nuclear, environmental, health, technology, and peace and justice issues. His documentaries have received more than 80 international awards, including three Emmys, and have been broadcast on PBS and in 16 countries.

COURTESY BOB

Brown’s recent work includes The Bridge So Far: A Suspense Story, a comedic 56-minute documentary on the troubled 16-year history of the new east span of the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge that received two Emmy Awards (Best Documentary and Best Graphics and Animation in a Program) and aired on PBS; Of Wind and Waves: The Life of Woody Brown, an hour-long profile of legendary 94-year-old surfer Woody Brown (Emmy nomination for Best Documentary and Inspiration Award at Mountainfilm in Telluride) that aired on PBS; Amazing: The Rebuilding of the MacArthur Maze, a half-hour film on the fiery collapse and speedy rebuilding of a stretch of freeway in Oakland (Emmy nomination for Best Graphics and Animation) that aired on PBS; Seniors for Peace, a 26-minute portrait of a group of articulate and passionate senior peace activists (average age 85) that aired on national PBS; and Surfing for Life, an inspirational one-hour documentary on older surfers as models of healthy aging. This last film screened theatrically in 40 cities, was broadcast on over 140 PBS stations, won 15 international awards (including the Golden Maile for Best Documentary at the Hawaii International Film Festival) and was profiled in the New York Times Magazine and Parade magazine, on National Public Radio, and on ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. The San Francisco Chronicle called it “a treasure, perhaps the

7

Many TBI experts and medical professionals argue that the U.S. is facing a “TBI crisis.”

most intelligent treatment of surfing ever captured on film.” Brown produced several films on nuclear and environmental issues culminating in Bound by the Wind, a moving documentary on the global legacy of nuclear weapons testing and the plight of the world’s “downwinders.” The film won 20 international awards and has been broadcast on PBS and in 14 countries. The Boston Globe called it “far and away the best film on the nuclear legacy.” Brown teaches documentary filmmaking at City College of San Francisco, UC Berkeley Extension and the San Francisco Film Society. His current projects in production include a feature-length documentary on 63-year-old drummer Barbara Borden titled Keeper of the Beat (www.kobmovie.com). David’s website is www. DLBfilms.com.

Executive Producer RObert Howard is the founder of Epic Way Sports, a firm dedicated to enlisting action sports and action sports programs to improve and sustain both mental and physical health. Epic Way Sports develops and distributes an array of instructional and inspirational print and video content through its various subsidiaries (SkiSkills, BikeSkills, SurfSkills) as well as through Internet broadcasting. The company’s EWS division manages various sports events including The Lake Tahoe Crossing. Epic Way Sports’ central mission is to find ways to encourage people to be more active, and remain active throughout their lives.

Co-Editors Tal Skloot , has edited Emmy Award-winning documentaries and feature films. His

credits include Orion Pictures, LucasFilm Ltd., Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, PBS, Frontline, Pulse Films, Zala Films and David L. Brown Productions. His work has appeared on PBS, NBC, ABC, CBS and in numerous national and international film festivals. Recent projects include the documentaries Hard Problems (PBS 2009), Freeway Philharmonic (PBS 2008), Miya of the Quiet Strength (2008) and The Bridge So Far (2007, a multiple Emmy Award-winner). He has worked as an editor on a number of David’s documentaries, including The Bridge So Far, Of Wind and Waves, A Span In Time and Seniors for Peace. Tal recently produced, directed and edited the documentary Freeway Philharmonic, which was broadcast nationally on PBS. Tal is a graduate of the American Film Institute and is a faculty member of the Diablo Valley College film and broadcast arts department. Steven Baigel , is a documentary filmmaker and editor who has worked

closely with David L. Brown for over 25 years. Steven was a cameraman, sound recordist and editor on A Question of Power, David’s 1986 documentary on nuclear power, and has worked as an editor and cameraman on a number of David’s documentaries, including The Bridge So Far, Of Wind and Waves, Seniors for Peace, Surfing for Life, Bound by the Wind and Digital Democracy Comes of Age. Steven most recently co-produced, photographed and edited the documentary Freeway Philharmonic, which was broadcast nationally on PBS. Steven’s other Kristen Collin in physical therapy rehabilitation

8

documentary credits include being the producer, director, editor, cameraman and/or sound recordist on a wide range of films covering topics such as Tibetan culture and exiles, Western and Indian classical music, domestic and international environmental issues, peace, nuclear disarmament, weapons in space, progressive political movements and social activism. Steven’s web site is www.stevenbaigel.com.

Co-writer Stephen Most, is an author, playwright and documentary scriptwriter. Among the films he has written are Oil on Ice, an hour-long documentary about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; The Greatest Good, a history of the U.S. Forest Service; A Land Between Rivers, a documentary history of central California; and The Bridge So Far, which won a Best Documentary Emmy. Wonders of Nature, written by Stephen as part of the Great Wonders of the World series, also won an Emmy for Best Special NonFiction Program. The film Promises, on which he worked as a consulting writer and researcher, won Emmys for both Best Documentary and Outstanding Background Analysis and Research. Berkeley in the Sixties, which Stephen co-wrote, is one of four films he has worked on that has received an Academy Award nomination. As a playwright, Stephen is the author of Medicine Show, Raven’s Seed, Watershed and A Free Country. In addition, he has written plays for and with the Organic Theatre, the San Francisco Mime Troupe and the Dell’Arte Players Company. His book River of Renewal: Myth and History in the Klamath Basin was published in 2006 by the University of Washington Press.

Consulting producer/writer Laurie Coyle, directed, wrote and produced Orozco: Man of Fire, which aired in 2007 on the PBS primetime series AMERICAN MASTERS and was nominated best television documentary by the Alma Awards and the Imagen Awards. Rick Tejada-Flores was her co-producer. She is currently writing and directing Adios Amor—The Search for Maria Moreno. Her writing credits include KQED’s Both Sides Now (in development) and The Bonesetter’s Daughter, the Making of the Opera; Jeff Adachi’s The Slanted Screen; Avon Kirkland’s Life of Booker T. Washington; Lourdes Portillos’ Columbus on Trial; and Patchworks Films’ Speaking in Tongues. Other writing clients include the Center for Asian American Media, Latino Public Broadcasting, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Ellen Bruno, Franco Dolgin Productions and New Images Productions. Coyle associate produced the PBS primetime specials Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle and The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It, as well as the American Masters special Ralph Ellison: An American Journey.

Ian McFarland with surfing partner, Ricochet.

9

B U D G E T

QUANTITY

RATE

TOTAL

Producer/Director/Camera

50 wks

1,200

60,000

Executive Producer

7 wks

in-kind

in-kind

8 days

400

3,200

200

in-kind

Sub-total

63,200

Staff SalarieS

Writer Advisors, honoraria

11



PrE-Pro/Research Research Materials



allow

700

Telephone, FAX, internet



allow

in-kind

Photocopying, printing



allow

500

Postage/ supplies



allow

700

Travel, lodging, food for sample tape

allow

1,200



Sub-total

1,900

Production 1) MATERIALS HDV videotape stock

100 tapes

8

800

Still photos, printing, supplies



allow

200



Sub-total

1,000

2) Crew Additional videographers

1 for 2 days

650

Sound recordist w/ gear

2 days

500

1,000

Production assistant/grip

15 days

150

2,250

Sub-total

4,550



1,300

3) Equipment Camera package—HDV

23 days

250

5,750

Additional camera packages

2 days

250

500

Expendables



allow

150



Sub-total

6,500

4) Location Expenses RT Airfare NY, DC, San Diego



allow

2,100

Parking, mileage, tolls



allow

600

Gratuities, excess baggage



allow

600

Car rental, east coast, San Diego

10 days

70

700

Food, lodging, 4 trips



allow

1,200

Lake Tahoe Paddle, all costs



sub-total

19,000



Sub-total

24,260

5) Services

10

Window dubbing, dubs



allow

2,200

Transcribing



allow

3,800



Sub-total

6,000



QUANTITY

RATE

TOTAL

Post-Production 1) Staff Editors

20 wks.

1,600

32,000

Assistant editor

16 days

175

2,800

On-line editor

30 hrs.

50

1,500

Sound editor, mixer

40 hrs.

50

2,000

Consulting editor

10 hrs.

60

600

Sub-total 2) Facilities & Services

38,900

Final Cut Pro editing suite

5 mo.

Miscellaneous dubs, DVDs



allow

900

Film-to-tape transfers



allow

400

Computer graphics, titles



allow

500

On-line editing suite

30 hrs.

200

6,000

Music composition, scoring





9,000

Narration recording

3 hrs.

100

300

Sound sweetening, mix

30 hrs.

125

3,750

Closed captioning



allow

2,000



Sub-total

32,850

$2,000/mo.

10,000

Acquisitions/Rights/Talent Narrator



allow

400

Archival footage rights



allow

8,000

Still photo rights



allow

1,000

Music rights



allow

7,000



Sub-total

16,400

Masters and Dubs Broadcast Masters

4

DVD replication

250 DVDs



200/each

800

$4 per

1,000

Sub-total

1,800

Administrative/Overhead Office/Editing studio

18 mo.



in-kind

Telephone/fax/internet

18 mo.

100

in-kind

Photocopying



allow

400

Shipping, postage



allow

500

Supplies



allow

800

Bookkeeping



allow

1,350

Legal



allow

2,000

Insurance (Liability, E&O)

1 year

allow

5,000



Sub-total

11,850

Budget sub-total

207,650

Contingency

1,350

Fiscal sponsor fee

15,000

Total

224,000



11

Distribution Producers fee.

6 mo. 1/5 time $1,000/mo.

Website development, design



Distribution associate

30 days

6,000

allow

3,500

150

3,000

Discussion Guide writing, editing



allow

5,000

Discussion Guide design, printing



allow

3,000

DVD sleeve, design, print



allow

2,000

Flyer, poster design, print



allow

2,000

Postage, shipping



allow

4,000

Phone, fax



allow

1,400

xerox, misc. printing



allow

2,000

Supplies



allow

1,000

Press kits with photos



allow

400

Publicists for theatrical release, broadcast

allow 4,500

DVD screeners

1,000

1.40 each

Travel, lodging, per diem



allow 1,400

Film Festival entries

allow 2,000

Fiscal sponsorship fee





1,400

7% 2,700 Sub-total

$39,900

TOTAL

265,900





Income Projected over five years

COURTESY WALT DENSON

Foundation, gov’t grants, donations 5 yrs 75,000

12

Corporate sponsorship fees

3 yrs.



41,000

Distribution income

5 yrs.



56,000

DVD sales

5 yrs.



92,900

Total

265,900

Jay Waller and Jim Moran, TBI survivors

Funding raised Funding raised to date, grants, donations



63,500

In-kind contributions



70,000

Total Funds Raised

$133,500



Budget to complete Producer/Director/Co-editor

7 wks.

1,500

10,500

Editors

7 wks.

1,200

8,400

Assistant editor

20 hrs.

25

500

allow

1,400

Writer, consulting writers, editors



On-line editor

30 hrs.

50

1,500

Sound editor, mixer

40 hrs.

50

2,000

Consulting editors

10 hrs.

60

600

Services, misc.

allow 800

Supplies



Online-editor

30 hrs. 50 1,500

allow 200

Sound editor, mixer 40 hrs. Consulting editors

50 2,000

10 hrs. 60 600

On-line editing suite 30 hrs. Music composition, scoring



200 6,000

7,000

Narration recording 3 hrs.

100

300

Sound sweetening, mix

30 hrs.

125

3,750

Closed captioning



allow

2,000

Archival footage rights



allow

8,000

Still photo rights



allow

1,000

Music rights

4

allow

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April 8, 2009 To Whom It May Concern: The San Francisco Film Society is the proud sponsor of Going the Distance by David L. Brown. We require that a director demonstrate high professional standards through previous work and propose a project that promises to be an imaginative contribution to the media arts field. In addition, the prospective project must be feasible within the budget outlined. David L. Brown’s Going the Distance meets all of these requirements. The San Francisco Film Society will administer any funds received in support of this project. Donations to the San Francisco Film Society are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Should you have any questions regarding the San Francisco Film Society and its sponsorship of Going the Distance please do not hesitate to call or write. We proudly endorse this project and urge you to support it. Yours truly,

Michele Turnure-Salleo Fiscal Sponsorship Manager San Francisco Film Society Phone: 415. 561.5012 Email: [email protected]

“All the News That’s Fit to Print” VOL. CLV .. No.53,567

SUNDAY, JANUARY 22, 2006

Struggling Back From War’s Once-Deadly Wounds By DENISE GRADY

PALO ALTO, Calif. - It has taken hundreds of hours of therapy, but Jason Poole, a 23-year old Marine corporal, has learned all over again to speak and to walk. At times, though, words still elude him. He can read barely 16 words a minute. His memory can be fickle, his thinking delayed. Injured by a roadside bomb in Iraq, he is blind in his left eye, deaf in his left ear, weak on his right side and still getting used to his new face, which was rebuilt with skin and bone grafts and 75 to 100 titanium screws and plates. Even so, those who know Corporal Poole say his personality - gregarious, kind and funny - has remained intact. Wounded on patrol near the Syrian border on June 30, 2004, he considers himself lucky to be alive. So do his doctors. “Basically I want to get my life back,” he said. “I’m really trying.” But he knows the life ahead of him is unlikely to match the one he had planned, in which he was going to attend college and become a teacher, get married and have children. Now, he hopes to volunteer in a school. His girlfriend from before he went to war is now just a friend. Before he left, they had agreed they might talk about getting married when he got back. “But I didn’t come back,” he said. Men and women like Corporal Poole, with multiple devastating injuries, are the new face of the wounded, a singular legacy of the war in Iraq. Many suffered wounds that would have been fatal in earlier wars but were saved by helmets, body armor, advances in battlefield medicine and swift evacuation to hospitals. As a result, the survival rate among Americans hurt in Iraq is higher than in any previous war - seven to eight survivors for every death, compared with just two per death in World War II. But that triumph is also an enduring hardship of the war. Survivors are coming home with grave injuries, often from roadside bombs, that will transform their lives: combinations of damaged brains and spinal cords, vision and hearing loss, disfigured faces, burns, amputations, mangled limbs, and psychological ills like depression and post-traumatic stress. Dr. Alexander Stojadinovic, the vice chairman of surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, said, “The wounding patterns we see are similar to, say, what Israel will see with terrorist bombings - multiple complex woundings, not just a single body site.” [American deaths in Iraq numbered 2,225 as of Jan. 20. Of 16,472 wounded, 7,625 were listed as unable to return to duty within 72 hours. As of Jan. 14, the Defense Department reported, 11,852 members of the military had been wounded in explosions - from so-called improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.’s, mortars, bombs and grenades.] So many who survive explosions - more than half - sustain head injuries that doctors say anyone exposed to a blast should be checked for neurological problems. Brain damage, sometimes caused by skull-penetrating fragments, sometimes by shock waves or blows to the head, is a recurring theme.

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Cpl. Jason Poole, recovering from war wounds, practiced riding buses to a hospital in Palo Alto, Calif., with Paul Johnson, left. More than 1,700 of those wounded in Iraq are known to have brain injuries, half of which are severe enough that they may permanently impair thinking, memory, mood, behavior and the ability to work. Medical treatment for brain injuries from the Iraq war will cost the government at least $14 billion over the next 20 years, according to a recent study by researchers at Harvard and Columbia. Jill Gandolfi, a co-director of the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Unit of the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System, where Corporal Poole is being treated, said, “We are looking at an epidemic of brain injuries.” The consequences of brain injury are enormous. Penetrating injuries can knock out specific functions like vision and speech, and may eventually cause epilepsy and increase the risk of dementia. What doctors call “closed-head injuries,” from blows to the head or blasts, are more likely to have diffuse effects throughout the brain, particularly on the frontal lobes, which control the ability to pay attention, make plans, manage time and solve problems. Because of their problems with memory, emotion and thinking, brain-injured patients run a high risk of falling through the cracks in the health care system, particularly when they leave structured environments like the military, said Dr. Deborah Warden, national director of the Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center, a government program created in 1992 to develop treatment standards for the military and veterans.

THE WOUNDED Surviving Multiple Injuries

So many military men and women are returning with head injuries combined with other wounds that the government has designated four Veterans Affairs hospitals as “polytrauma rehabilitation centers” to take care of them. The Palo Alto hospital where Corporal Poole is being treated is one. “In Vietnam, they’d bring in a soldier with two legs blown off by a mine, but he wouldn’t have the head injuries,” said Dr. Thomas E. Bowen, a retired Army general who was a surgeon in the Vietnam War and who is now chief of staff at the veterans hospital in Tampa, Fla., another polytrauma center. “Some of the patients we have here now, they can’t swallow, they can’t talk, they’re paralyzed and blind,” he said. Other soldiers have been sent home unconscious with such hopeless brain injuries that their families have made the anguished decision to take them off life support, said Dr. Andrew Shorr, who saw several such patients at Walter Reed. Amputations are a feature of war, but the number from Iraq - 345 as of Jan. 3, including 59 who had lost more than one limb - led the Army to open a new amputation center at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio in addition to the existing center at Walter Reed. Amputees get the latest technology, including $50,000 prosthetic limbs with microchips. Dr. Mark R. Bagg, head of orthopedic

surgery at Brooke, said, “The complexity of the injuries has been challenging - horrific blast injuries to extremities, with tremendous bone loss and joint, bone, nerve, arterial and soft tissue injuries.” It is common for wounded men and women to need months of rehabilitation in the hospital. Some, like Corporal Poole, need well over a year, and will require continuing help as outpatients. Because many of these veterans are in their 20’s or 30’s, they will live with their disabilities for decades. “They have to reinvent who they are,” said Dr. Harriet Zeiner, a neuropsychologist at the Palo Alto veterans center. No Memory of the Blast Corporal Poole has no memory of the explosion or even the days before it, although he has had a recurring dream of being in Iraq and seeing the sky suddenly turn red. Other marines have told him he was on a foot patrol when the bomb went off. Three others in the patrol - two Iraqi soldiers and an interpreter - were killed. Shrapnel tore into the left side of Corporal Poole’s face and flew out from under his right eye. Metal fragments and the force of the blast fractured his skull in multiple places and injured his brain, one of its major arteries, and his left eye and ear. Every bone in his face was broken. Some, including his nose and portions of his eye sockets, were shattered. Part of his jawbone was pulverized. “He could easily have died,” said Dr. Henry L. Lew, an expert on brain injury and the medical director of the rehabilitation center at the Palo Alto veterans

hospital. Bleeding, infection, swelling of the brain - any or all could have killed someone with such a severe head injury, Dr. Lew said. Corporal Poole was taken by helicopter to a military hospital in Iraq and then flown to one in Germany, where surgeons cut a plug of fat from his abdomen and mixed it with other materials to seal an opening in the floor of his skull. He was then taken to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. His parents, who are divorced, were flown there to meet him - his father, Stephen, from San Jose, Calif., and his mother, Trudie, from Bristol, England, where Jason was born. Jason, his twin sister, Lisa, and a younger brother, David, moved to Cupertino, Calif., with their father when Jason was 12. His interest in the Marine Corps started in high school, where he was an athlete and an actor, a popular young man with lots of friends. He played football and won gold medals in track, and had parts in school plays. When Marine recruiters came to the school and offered weekend outings with a chance to play sports, Corporal Poole happily took part. He enlisted after graduating in 2000. “We talked about the possibility of war, but none of us thought it was really going to happen,” said his father, who had to sign the enlistment papers because his son was only 17. Jason Poole hoped the Marines would help pay for college. His unit was among the first to invade Iraq. He was on his third tour of duty there, just 10 days from coming home and leaving the Marines, when he was wounded in the explosion. A week later, he was transferred to Bethesda, still in a coma, and his parents were told he might never wake up. “I was unconscious for two months,” Corporal Poole said in a recent interview at the V.A. center in Palo Alto. “One month and 23 days, really. Then I woke up and came here.” He has been a patient at the center since September 2004, mostly in the brain injury rehabilitation unit. He arrived unable to speak or walk, drooling, with the left side of his face caved in, his left eye blind and sunken, a feeding tube in his stomach and an opening in his neck to help him breathe. “He was very hard of hearing, and sometimes he didn’t even know you were in the room,” said Debbie Pitsch, his physical therapist. Damage to the left side of his brain had left him weak on the right, and he tended not to notice things to his right, even though his vision in that eye was good. He had lost his sense of smell. The left side of the brain is also the home of language, and it was hard for him to talk or comprehend speech. “He would shake his head no when he meant yes,” said Dr. Zeiner, the neuropsychologist. But he could communicate by pointing. His mind was working, but the thoughts were trapped inside his head. An array of therapists - speech, physical, occupational and others - began working with him for hours every day. He needed Continued on Next Page

THE WOUNDED: Surviving Multiple Injuries

Struggling Back From War’s Once-Deadly Wounds Continued from Page 1

an ankle brace and a walker just to stand at first. His balance was way off and, because of the brain injury, he could not tell where his right foot was unless he could see it. He often would just drag it behind him. His right arm would fall from the walker and hang by his side, and he would not even notice. He would bump into things to his right. Nonetheless, on his second day in Palo Alto, he managed to walk a few steps. “He was extremely motivated, and he pushed himself to the limit, being a marine,” Ms. Pitsch said. He was so driven, in fact, that at first his therapists had to strap him into a wheelchair to keep him

“We said, ‘Jason, you’re sweating. You have to get used to how you look,’ “ Dr. Zeiner said. “He was an incredibly handsome guy,” she said. “His twin sister is a beautiful woman. He was the life of the party. He was funny. He could have had any woman, and he comes back and feels like now he’s a monster.” Gradually, he came out of wraps and tried to make peace with the image in the mirror. But his real hope was that somehow his face could be repaired. Reconstructive surgery should have been done soon after the explosion, before broken bones could knit improperly. But the blast had caused an artery in Corporal Poole’s skull to balloon into an aneurysm,

Dr. Lorenz also repaired Corporal Poole’s caved-in left cheek and forehead by implanting a protein made from human skin that would act as a scaffolding and be filled in by Corporal Poole’s own cells. Later, he was fitted with a false eye to fill out the socket where his left eye had shriveled. Some facial scars remain, the false eye sometimes looks slightly larger than the real one, and because of a damaged tear duct, Corporal Poole’s right eye is often watery. But his smile is still brilliant. In a recent conversation, he acknowledged that the results of the surgery were a big improvement. When asked how he felt about his appearance, he shrugged and said, “I’m not good-looking but I’m still

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Corporal Poole works with Evi Klein, left, and Karen Kopolnek, speech pathologists, at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System. At first, Ms Klein said, Corporal Poole was unable to answer a question with more than one or two words. from trying to get up and walk without help. By the last week of September, he was beginning to climb stairs. He graduated from a walker to a cane to walking on his own. By January he was running and lifting weights. “It’s not his physical recovery that’s amazing,” his father said. “It’s not his mental recovery. It’s his attitude. He’s always positive. He very rarely gets low. If it was me I’d fall apart. We think of how he was and what he’s had taken from him.” Corporal Poole is philosophical. “Even when I do get low it’s just for 5 or 10 minutes,” he said. “I’m just a happy guy. I mean, like, it sucks, basically, but it happened to me and I’m still alive.” A New Face “Jason was definitely a ladies’ man,” said Zillah Hodgkins, who has been a friend for nine years. In pictures from before he was hurt, he had a strikingly handsome face and a powerful build. Even in still photographs he seems animated, and people around him other marines, Iraqi civilians - are always grinning, apparently at his antics. But the explosion shattered the face in the pictures and left him with another one. In his first weeks at Palo Alto, he hid behind sunglasses and, even though the weather was hot, ski caps and high turtlenecks.

and an operation could have ruptured it and killed him. By November 2004, however, the aneurysm had gone away. Dr. H. Peter Lorenz, a plastic surgeon at Stanford University Medical Center, planned several operations to repair the damage after studying pictures of Corporal Poole before he was injured. “You could say every bone in his face was fractured,” Dr. Lorenz said. The first operation took 14 hours. Dr. Lorenz started by making a cut in Corporal Poole’s scalp, across the top of his head from ear to ear, and peeling the flesh down over his nose to expose the bones. To get at more bone, he made another slit inside Corporal Poole’s mouth, between his upper lip and his teeth, and slipped in tools to lift the tissue. Many bones had healed incorrectly and had to be sawed apart, repositioned and then joined with titanium pins and plates. Parts of his eye sockets had to be replaced with bone carved from the back of his skull. Bone grafts helped to reposition Corporal Poole’s eyes, which had sunk in the damaged sockets. Operations in March and July repaired his broken and dislocated jaw, his nose and damaged eyelids and tear ducts. He could not see for a week after one of the operations because his right eye had been sewn shut, and he spent several weeks unable to eat because his jaws had been wired together.

Jason Poole, so let’s go.” But he catches people looking at him as if he is a “weird freak,” he said, mimicking their reactions: a wide eyed stare, then the eyes averted. It makes him angry. “I wish they would ask me what happened,” he said. “I would tell them.” Learning to Speak Evi Klein, a speech therapist in Palo Alto, said that when they met in September 2004 Corporal Poole could name only about half the objects in his room. “He had words, but he couldn’t pull together language to express his thoughts,” Ms. Klein said. “To answer a question with more than one or two words was beyond his capabilities.” Ms. Klein began with basics. She would point to items in the room. What’s this called? What’s that? She would show him a picture, have him say the word and write it. He would have to name five types of transportation. She would read a paragraph or play a phone message and ask him questions about it. Very gradually, he began to speak. But it was not until February that he could string together enough words for anyone to hear that he still had traces of an English accent. Today, he is fluent enough that most people would not guess how impaired he was. When he has trouble finding the right word or loses the thread of a conversation, he collects himself and starts again. More than most people, he fills in the gaps with

expressions like “basically” and “blah, blah, blah.” “I thought he would do well,” Ms. Klein said. “I didn’t think he’d do as well as he is doing. I expect measurable gains over the next year or so.” With months of therapy, his reading ability has gone from zero to a level somewhere between second and third grade. He has to focus on one word at a time, he said. A page of print almost overwhelms him. His auditory comprehension is slow as well. “It will take a bit of time,” Corporal Poole said, “but basically I’m going to get there.” One evening over dinner, he said: “I feel so old.” Not physically, he said, but mentally and emotionally. On a recent morning, Ms. Gandolfi of the brain injury unit conducted an exercise in thinking and verbal skills with a group of patients. She handed Corporal Poole a sheet of paper that said, “Dogs can be taught how to talk.” A series of questions followed. What would be the benefits? Why could it be a problem? What would you do about it? Corporal Poole hunched over the paper, pen in hand. He looked up. “I have no clue,” he said softly. “Let’s ask this one another way,” Ms. Gandolfi said. “What would be cool about it?” He began to write with a ballpoint pen, slowly forming faint letters. “I would talk to him and listen to him,” he wrote. In another space, he wrote: “lonely the dog happy.” But what he had actually said to Ms. Gandolfi was: “I could be really lonely and this dog would talk to me.” Some of his responses were illegible. He left one question blank. But he was performing much better than he did a year ago. He hopes to be able to work with children, maybe those with disabilities. But, Dr. Zeiner said, “He is not competitively employable.” His memory, verbal ability and reading are too impaired. He may eventually read well enough to take courses at a community college, but, she said, “It’s years away.” Someday, he might be able to become a teacher’s aide, she said. But he may have to work just as a volunteer and get by on his military benefits of about $2,400 a month. He will also receive a $100,000 insurance payment from the government. “People whose brains are shattered, it’s incredible how resilient they are,” Dr. Zeiner said. “They keep trying. They don’t collapse in despair.” Back in the World In mid-December, Corporal Poole was finally well enough to leave the hospital. With a roommate, he moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Cupertino, the town where Corporal Poole grew up. His share of the rent is $800 a month. But he had not lived outside a hospital in 18 months, and it was unclear how he would fare on his own. “If he’s not able to cope with the outside world, is there anywhere for him to go, anyone there to support him if it doesn’t go well?” asked his mother, who still lives in Bristol, where she is raising her three younger children. “I think of people from Vietnam who wound up on the streets, or mental patients, or in prison.” He still needs therapy - speech and other types - several times a week at Palo Alto and that requires taking three city buses twice a day. The trip takes more than an hour, and he has to decipher schedules and cross hair-raising intersections on

Tyler Hicks/The New York Times

Cpl. Poole, 23, sustained a severe brain injury when he was wounded in Iraq. He arrived at a rehabilitation center in California unable to speak or walk, the left side of his face caved in, his left eye blind and sunken, a feeding tube in his stomach and an opening in his neck to help him breathe. boulevards with few pedestrians. It is an enormous step, not without risk: people with a brain injury have increased odds of sustaining another one, from a fall or an accident brought about by impaired judgment, balance or senses. In December, Corporal Poole practiced riding the buses to the hospital with Paul Johnson, a co-director of the brain injury unit. As they crossed a busy street, Mr. Johnson gently reminded him, several times, to turn and look back over his left shoulder - the side on which he is blind - for cars turning right. After Corporal Poole and Mr. Johnson had waited for a few minutes at the stop, a bus zoomed up, and Corporal Poole ambled toward the door. “Come on!” the driver snapped. Corporal Poole watched intently for buildings and gas stations he had picked as landmarks so he would know when to signal for his stop. “I’m a little nervous, but I’ll get the hang of it,” he said. He was delighted to move into his new apartment, pick a paint color, buy a couch, a bed and a set of dishes, and eat something besides hospital food. With help from his therapists in Palo Alto, he hopes to take a class at a nearby community college, not an actual course, but a class to help him to learn to study and prepare for real academic work. Teaching, art therapy, children’s theater and social work all appeal to him, even if he can only volunteer. Awaiting his formal release from the military, Corporal Poole still hopes to get married and have children. That hope is not unrealistic, Dr. Zeiner said. Brain injuries can cause people to lose their ability to empathize, she said, and that kills relationships. But Corporal Poole has not lost empathy, she said. “That’s why I think he will find a partner.” Corporal Poole said: “I think something really good is going to happen to me.”

Poole family photo

Corporal Poole in a light moment with Iraquis before he was severly wounded by a roadside blast while on patrol in 2004. Those who know him describe him as gregarious, kind and funny and say is personality has remained intact.

coming in mid-N

Brown Follows Injuries in ‘Going the Distance’ Michael Fox October 27, 2010

When ABC’s Bob Woodruff and his cameraman were badly injured by an IED in Iraq in January of 2006, it was the top story for days. We may not know any of the estimated 320,000 soldiers who’ve returned home with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), but we do remember the co-anchor of World News Tonight. To his credit, he and his family created the Bob Woodruff Foundation to advocate for and raise money for veterans with head injuries, and to educate the public. Longtime Brisbane documentary maker David L. Brown was at one of those benefits, a 22-mile traverse of Lake Tahoe on stand-up paddleboards. “I realized this is a very powerful and timely story, and I should really move forward full-tilt,” Brown recalls. Two years later, he has a 70-minute rough cut of Going http://www.sf360.org/?pageid=13126 the Distance.

own Follows Injuries in ‘Going the Distance’ | SF360

10/29/10 10:20 PM

That’s warp speed in the doc world, especially for an experienced filmmaker who always has several projects in various stages of development. “Of course, you don’t want to launch into a project in the middle of a recession if it’s not fundable,” Brown acknowledges. “Because there were so many organizations focused on the issue I thought the fundraising would be slightly easier. But I’ve been doing this gig long enough to know there are no slam-dunks in a recession. We’ve had a few generous folks come through and save the day and get us to the rough-cut stage. It may take a while [to raise the completion funds] but we have people who have expressed strong interest in helping us finish the film.”

Brown Follows Injuries in ‘Going the Distance’

Photo credits: Larry Brambles

Although there is a political as well as a social-issue aspect to Going the Distance, Brown emphasizes that he’s doing what he always does—foregrounding compelling characters who have interesting stories. In choosing the Michael Fox he October 2010 four people would27,profile—only one of whom was injured in Iraq, incidentally—the filmmaker consciously aimed to make a film that would inspire people, awere la hisbadly marvelous ForinLife and Of Wind itand When ABC’s Bob Woodruff and his cameraman injuredSurfing by an IED Iraq(2001) in January of 2006, was Waves: The Life of Woody Brown (2007). the top story for days. We may not know any of the estimated 320,000 soldiers who’ve returned home with traumatic brain injuries (TBI), but we do remember the co-anchor of World News Tonight. To his credit, he and “We tried to find stories thatWoodruff had hopeful and relatively successful recovery arcs,” Brown explains. his family created the Bob Foundation to advocate for and raise money for veterans with“The headother injuries, films I’deducate seen onthe TBI, suchLongtime as HBO’sBrisbane Coma, were incrediblymaker depressing. I didn’t see theatpoint a film and to public. documentary David L. Brown was one of of making those benefits, that leavestraverse the audience demoralized and hopeless. I feel social-change documentary should try to timely find some a 22-mile of Lake Tahoe on stand-up paddleboards. “I realized this is a very powerful and story, hope, if not create it out of thin air (laughs) and find stories that will have some positive impact on the and I should really move forward full-tilt,” Brown recalls. Two years later, he has a 70-minute rough cutaudience. of Going That’s not to say our subjects are representative of the entire community of TBI survivors. But all had their life the Distance. changed forever, all had to reinvent themselves, to find motivation and determination to continue with their new self despite challenges and lifelong impairments.” That’s warp the speed in the doc world, especially for an experienced filmmaker who always has several projects in various stages of development. “Of course, you don’t want to launch into a project in the middle of a recession if The firstfundable,” TBI survivor whoacknowledges. Brown interviewed was Jay Waller, now attending grad school in Hartford, it’s not Brown “Because there were so many organizations focused on the issue I Connecticut, some six years he waseasier. brutallyBut beaten in a road-rage vacationing in Hawaii. The thought the fundraising wouldafter be slightly I’ve been doing this incident gig long while enough to know there are no filmmaker met Poole,We’ve a Marine by a roadside in a VA and hospital Palo met slam-dunks in aJason recession. hadinjured a few generous folks bomb, come through saveinthe dayAlto. andHe getalso us to the Kristin Collins, a Redwood nurse[torecovering from a traumatic injury, atpeople a VA hospital. Going the rough-cut stage. It may takeCity a while raise the completion funds]brain but we have who have expressed Distance also in introduces usfinish to six-year-old strong interest helping us the film.” Ian McFarland, a Carlsbad surfer who suffered a head injury in the car accident that took both of his parents' lives. Although there is a political as well as a social-issue aspect to Going the Distance, Brown emphasizes that he’s “Bob plays adoes—foregrounding somewhat symbolic role as the poster person forhave TBI,”interesting Brown relates. “HeIndecided histhe doingWoodruff what he always compelling characters who stories. choosing story had been so thoroughly told that shouldwas make him ainsecondary character.” filmmaker consciously four people he would profile—only one we of whom injured Iraq, incidentally—the aimed to make a film that would inspire people, a la his marvelous Surfing For Life (2001) and Of Wind and It’s a bit misleading mention just these names, as the people who make up their support networks play a key Waves: The Life oftoWoody Brown (2007). Brown filming TBI survivor, Ian McFarland in the surf. role in the film. “We tried to find stories that had hopeful and relatively successful recovery arcs,” Brown explains. “The other films I’d seen on TBI, such as HBO’s Coma, were incredibly depressing. I didn’t see the point of making a film p://www.sf360.org/?pageid=13126 Page 1 of 2 that leaves the audience demoralized and hopeless. I feel social-change documentary should try to find some hope, if not create it out of thin air (laughs) and find stories that will have some positive impact on the audience. That’s not to say our subjects are representative of the entire community of TBI survivors. But all had their life changed forever, all had to reinvent themselves, to find motivation and determination to continue with their new self despite the challenges and lifelong impairments.” The first TBI survivor who Brown interviewed was Jay Waller, now attending grad school in Hartford,

changed forever, all had to reinvent themselves, to find motivation and determination to continue with their new self despite the challenges and lifelong impairments.” The first TBI survivor who Brown interviewed was Jay Waller, now attending grad school in Hartford, Connecticut, some six years after he was brutally beaten in a road-rage incident while vacationing in Hawaii. The filmmaker met Jason Poole, a Marine injured by a roadside bomb, in a VA hospital in Palo Alto. He also met Kristin Collins, a Redwood City nurse recovering from a traumatic brain injury, at a VA hospital. Going the Distance also introduces us to six-year-old Ian McFarland, a Carlsbad surfer who suffered a head injury in the car accident that took both of his parents' lives. “Bob Woodruff plays a somewhat symbolic role as the poster person for TBI,” Brown relates. “He decided his story had been so thoroughly told that we should make him a secondary character.”

own Follows Injuries It’s in ‘Going Distance’ | to SF360 a bit the misleading mention

10:20 PM just these names, as the people who make up their support networks 10/29/10 play a key

role in the film. “The journey [of recovery] is very much a family journey, so we feature family prominently,” Brown says. “It takes Page 1 of 2 a village to heal a traumatic brain injury, and we highlight that through portraits of the family as well as the therapists involved. There are two keys: Loving family and friends, and a lot of very good therapy. Not everybody has both. A lot of people have neither.”

tp://www.sf360.org/?pageid=13126

The most recent tally of the cost of TBI injuries and treatment in the U.S. is $61 billion a year, Brown reports. A good chunk of that can be attributed to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but the leading causes of TBI are auto accidents, falls and sports accidents. For his part, however, Brown sees Going the Distance as speaking not just to those dealing with TBI, but the 50 million Americans who have some connection to the disabled community. Brown, who teaches documentary production classes at City College of San Francisco and SFFS and digital filmmaking at UC Berkeley Extension, is also in the middle of a pair of music-themed docs. Keeper of the Beat (kobmovie.com) spotlights the august jazz drummer Barbara Borden, while Third Rock follows a pre-teen rock band of the same name whose drummer, Lotus, is Borden’s goddaughter and protégé. His primary focus, though, is shepherding Going the Distance across the finish line. “It’s just another case of privileged access to people’s life stories that makes me so glad and fortunate to be a documentary filmmaker,” Brown effuses. “I’m very glad for these people who trust me to tell their stories. The nurse is looking for jobs and it could be a problem when PBS airs this film and shows her as a TBI survivor. It takes courage for them to tell their stories for a film that’s potentially going to be broadcast. It’s really a film about courage and determination, about love, about family and getting the therapy help you need.” Brown expects to finish Going the Distance in 2011. For more info, visit goingthedistance.info.

Photo credits: Larry Brambles

Notes from the Underground Scott Kirschenbaum and Boston-based producer Charlot Lucien are in Port-au-Prince working on A Soapbox in Haiti, a touring speaker series they are recording for various platforms, including an online video series and public exhibitions. More details are at asoapboxinhaiti.com … The de Young Museum hosts a free sneak preview of The Storm That Swept Mexico, Raymond Telles’ evocative two-hour saga of the history and legacy of the Mexican Revolution, with Telles on hand for a Q&A, Sunday, November 7 at 2 p.m. The doc airs next spring on PBS.… Keep an eye out for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences’ announcement, coming in mid-November, of the shortlist of feature documentaries in the running for the Oscar.

Ian and surf partner, Ricochet.

November 6, 2009 David L. Brown David L. Brown Productions 274 Santa Clara Street Brisbane, CA 94005 Dear David: Thank you for sending the proposal for and 26-minute version of Going the Distance, your documentary on survivors of traumatic brain injury. It is a great pleasure to see your vision of this film being realized so professionally and compellingly. Your stories are well-chosen, well-told and very moving. They address many of the key issues associated with TBI treatment and recovery. The expert commentary by Jason Poole's psychologist is insightful, thought-provoking and important to share. The craftsmanship of the film and the shooting, editing and music are all first-rate. Mostly I am impressed by the hope, compassion and inspiration captured and conveyed throughout the film. Considering that you have edited only three survivors' stories and have three or four more compelling and diverse stories to incorporate, I am certain that you have a potent award-winner that will make a significant difference in the TBI community nationwide. Going the Distance will clearly be an extremely welcome and valuable media resource for the TBI community. I am pleased to serve on your advisory board and look forward to screening the next, longer version. I thank you for your diligence in producing this fine, timely, and important film and wish you good luck in your fundraising. Best regards,

Susan H. Connors President/CEO

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN FRANCISCO BERKELEY · DAVIS · IRVINE · LOS ANGELES · RIVERSIDE · SAN DIEGO · SAN FRANCISCO

GEOFFREY T. MANLEY, MD, PHD PROFESSOR OF N EUROLOGICAL SURGERY CHIEF OF N EUROSURGERY SAN FRANCISCO GENERAL HOSPITAL

SANTA BARBARA · SANTA CRUZ

1001 POTRERO AVENUE BUILDING 1, ROOM 101 SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA 94110, U.S.A. TEL: (415) 206-4536, FAX: (415) 206-3948 EMAIL: [email protected]

April 8, 2009 David L. Brown David L. Brown Productions 274 Santa Clara St. Brisbane, CA 94005 Dear David, Thanks for sending your proposal and sample DVD for "Going the Distance," your documentary on survivors of traumatic brain injury. This a timely, well-conceived and important media project. You have an excellent, well-researched and well-written proposal, a first-rate advisory board and an equally strong sample clip with a compelling initial cast of subjects. You have focused on all the right issues that need to be addressed. I believe that, when completed, your film will be a very important addition to the currently limited media resources on TBI. I would certainly screen it for students and faculty here at UCSF Medical School, and recommend it to all my neurosurgery, trauma surgery, and neurology colleagues and to everyone involved with treating survivors of TBI. Thank you for your invitation to join your advisory board. I am pleased to accept and look forward to working with you to fulfill the great promise of this documentary. Let me know how I can help. I wish you the best of luck with further production and fundraising.

Sincerely,

Geoffrey T. Manley, MD, PhD Professor