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You Can't Prepare for Everything



It has been a long time since my last post. A lot has happened since then. We were going full steam ahead on one of our projects. It was about to get financing and a production date in 2018. Then, the producer and director, a man I have been working with closely, passed away in the middle of the night.

In this business, you can practice pretty much anything. But you can't prepare for the sudden death of someone in your crew. It's something that has happened before. And I'm sure in each case, it leaves everyone involved feeling a little lost. Tim was the driving force behind Pushing Life. He first directed the award winning documentary narrated by Billy Bob Thornton. Then I came aboard to adapt Terry Hitchcock's story for the big screen. I remember on New Year's wishing him the best and hoping to see him in the director's chair soon. He wished the same for me. We only spoke once after that and then...he was gone.

This was a man who texted me at least three times a week. His dreams were so big that you couldn't keep them contained. He would pitch anyone in his favorite Santa Monica coffee shop. He once pitched Josh Brolin in a Whole Foods and actually got him to take the script. Tim would call me excited about a meeting or contact that he made that day. He was convinced this was our year.

We were both driven to direct so, at times, we clashed. But somewhere in the middle of butting heads, we became friends. It took that first week of not getting a text message to realize there will never be another one. Even now, I listen to his voicemails because I am still very much in shock. How can all those big dreams just end?

For all of you who may read this now or years later, fulfilling your dreams is not a guarantee. I can't explain why some people get their break fresh out of film school and for some it can take a decade or never at all. But I do know as long as you are breathing air and feeling the sunshine on your face, your dream still has a chance.

Tim was a huge fan of Rocky. He wanted to work with Sly one day and tell him how that movie and that character inspired him to be a filmmaker. It's one of the many dreams that died with him. Life can be a cruel bitch. But without a dream...it's just survival. So I promise Tim that I will keep dreaming. And keep striving. You always have a choice. You can quit or you can...

Be Powerful! Be Unstoppable!

Tim Vandesteeg


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