One of the most memorable experiences I’ve had so far since moving to San Francisco was Batkid day, November 15, 2013. Even if you weren’t in San Francisco, chances are you heard about little Miles Scott and his quest to save the city. Even though I was at work at the children’s hospital on the actual day, I remember hearing about the outpouring of support for 5-year-old Miles Scott as Make-A-Wish, the citizens of San Francisco and more than a billion people all over the world (even President Obama and astronauts from the International Space Station!) watched him become a superhero for a day. It was enough to bring tears to my eyes! Batkid Begins is an exciting new documentary directed by independent filmmaker Dana Nachman, which tells the story of how Miles Scott’s one wish came to fruition and why it resonated with so many people around the world. It focuses on the “why” and the “how” of this amazing event. Why were so many people moved to make one little boy’s wish come true. And how did Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area pull it off?All proceeds from the Batkid Begins documentary will benefit San Francisco charities. Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area grants more than 300 wishes annually to children who have battled a life-threatening illness. To make Batkid Begins worthy of its superhero namesake, KTF Films is teaming up with big-name musicians, animators, and visual effects professionals, all working at reduced rates in the name of Batkid, and bringing the post-production price tag to $100,000. To cover the remaining expenses, they are running an IndieGogo campaign. The campaign runs now until August 19, 2014 at 11:59pm PT.
Interview with Dana Nachman of Batkid Begins
I had the opportunity to chat with Dana Nachman, director of Batkid Begins, to talk about the making of the film and the impact Batkid had on her. Dana is a social justice documentary filmmaker and was previously a television journalist. She lives south of San Francisco with her three children, aged 8, 7, and 4, plus a dog and a cat.
What personally drew you to this project? I actually wasn’t a part of Batkid the day it happened. The next morning, I was in a conference call and everyone was talking about it. I started looking into it and was blown away by what an amazing thing it was. Thousands of people online wanted to support a very small wish from this small boy. I have three little kids and they are always bugging me to do a film that they would like – something that would combine my parenting and my work. I thought this would be a great project to combine my two other major primary interests. I wanted to show not the what, but the how and the why of the event. The why and the how of the phenomenon.
Tell me a little about filming with Miles and his family. The Scotts live on the Oregon border and I had the opportunity to spend the weekend at their farm. You’ll see on the trailer that will be released next week. When we arrived, he was already wearing a batman cape and a batman shirt. We didn’t do any coaching at all, we’re just trying to document him. Apparently he’s always wearing his batman garb. He told his mom and dad that Bruce Wayne [the original Batman] and all the other guys are just actors and that Eric Johnston [the actor who played Batman for Batkid] is the real batman. Miles is a really special kid and is very sure of what he believes and what he wants in a very mature way. I think kids with illnesses have to be so strong in order to deal with them. Miles is just so self assured. I can’t wait to see how he grows up.
Why do you think Batkid was such a phenomenal success? One of the things that resonated for me in the story is how childlike everyone became. I like to approach my life with a childlike openness and it was amazing to watch millions of people online be able to live like that for a day. I think that’s what made it so special – everyone was brought together with this openness and love.
Have you faced any challenges so far? I think the biggest challenge is the time frame – trying to finish the project in time for the one year anniversary. My other films have taken four years or more. It’s truly been a pleasure though. Everyone is so lovely who is involved it’s been the biggest pleasure and honor to work on. Each person I interview is cooler than the next person. We really only have a handful of shoots left – the mayor, the uber driver, for example. The next step is to get funding so we can go into production and put the bells and whistles on this amazing project.
“Can’t get enough of Batkid? Lend your support and learn more about the exciting new Batkid Begins documentary here.”
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
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