I remember scrambling to come up with a concept for a Father’s Day piece. One thought was to find a General Conference address about Fatherhood and throw B-roll over the top of it. Yes, I know, predictable, it was what we started leaning toward since that was all we had done to that point in 2009. However, status quo was not what I was looking for. I wanted to find a father that stood out from a world of mediocre men. One with a unique story that would showcase the true nature of Fatherhood. I had no idea where to begin, and like always, we were under an extremely tight deadline.
At the time of Bill’s story, the concept of a documentary Mormon Message had not been attempted. We love to tackle the unknown, especially projects full of creative risk. So, here I was, with an extremely tight deadline, a loose documentary concept, but no story, no super hero dad. So the search began.
The first thing I did was contact friends and family members if they knew of any exceptional fathers with a unique story. I wanted to find an unlikely hero, the unnoticed bystander, the everyday guy you’d see driving around in an old pickup truck, never giving him a second glance.
In a final attempt to locate a story, the wonders of social media worked its magic. I sent a blast out to my Facebook network and soon received a few stories from individuals about their fathers, husbands, and grandfathers. One in particular stood out to me: a garbage man of 34 years with a wife struggling with Multiple Sclerosis and a son with down syndrome. The story came from an associate of mine from high school. I called her to get a better idea of the story, after a few minutes of our conversation, I could feel this was the father I was looking for, the unsung hero that I wanted the world to meet.
After securing the story, I remember calling a friend and colleague of mine, Blair Treu, and asking him advice on how to approach the project. I wanted to ensure its success. He gave me some great insight and advice that I feel made the piece successful. It’s always good to have experienced people you trust guide you in new creative endeavors, and I really valued his insight, and I feel it aided us in telling Bill’s story, thanks Mr. Treu.
Patrick and I shot the piece in two days, with an extra half-day for pickup shots I had to run back and get…Disneyland is not a legal friendly word.
I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Bill, Willie, and their wonderful family. Bill really is a genuine individual and an outstanding father. With Bill, you get what you see, and you see what you get. Bill is part of the reason this earth still turns without self-destructing, he’s the salt that has not lost its savour. Bill is a seemingly ordinary guy filled with the deepest love for the people around him. He also loves Disneyland more than any man, woman, or child I have ever met. It was a privilege to associate with him and his close-knit family for the short space of time. I walked away a more determined person. Determined to be like Bill.
Bill, thanks for letting us share the wonder of your life.
- Producer: Christopher S. Clark
- Director: Christopher S. Clark & Patrick H. Parker
- Director of Photography: Patrick H. Parker & Christopher S. Clark
- Editor: Christopher S. Clark
- Music: Jason R. Barber