How do you begin to write about this? I’m not sure, I guess that word “surreal” applies.
About four years ago, I connected with a writer/producer who wanted to make a movie about my first cancer challenge, specifically focusing on my hockey strategy and the medical issues I faced. The idea had crossed my mind many times, and I remember a few conversations with my mom during that first round with cancer when I felt like I was living a movie. But to say it wasn’t on my radar is an understatement.
Paul, the writer, and I have developed a great relationship and off and on this project has been pushed or benched over the past many years. It was turned down by one Canadian broadcaster as they were already invested in a cancer story about a guy named Terry Fox.
From the moment we first discussed this project, I’ve attempted to wrap my head around the process that a project follows from concept/idea to screen. I’m further down that road of understanding but still fairly grey as I haven’t been a part of a movie in any capacity except the watching capacity.
I knew from the beginning that it would be a major event in my life should it become reality and was definitely excited by the potential opportunities that would result. Not to mention it would make fundraising for YACC a little easier!
It was a project that would be massive but not one I could control so I “put it outta me mind,” as Buddy Wasisname would say, save the many calls and occasional meeting I’d have with Paul as he delved into that time in my life.
A few months ago, the CBC ordered a script of my story. I am told it is the biggest hurdle in a series of hurdles that must be overcome on this path from concept to screen I mentioned. The project made its way up the chain at CBC ultimately getting blessing from the top. Along the way, it was even pitched to Tom Cochrane, which is a pretty cool thing all on it’s own, and Tom endorsed the use of four of his songs (I’ll leave you to guess which ones) and offered to score the whole movie.
If nothing else, the next time I bump into Tom Cochrane, I can say I’m the hockey cancer guy.
Until a few weeks ago, I had kept this news close but to prepare for Paul’s trip to the rock (which included his producer buddies Tom and Eric) I had to break out the secret a little. I know this isn’t something that can or will stay quiet for a long time so in true Geoff style, I decided I’d control the message and connect it here.
There are no guarantees in life. This project is another example of that. But it’s also an example of a dream and there are few things in my life I love more than seeing a dream of mine turn the corner and make it to reality. Good vibes are the best I can do now to help this dream along so that’s what I’ll do.
You may be thinking about what this means, or that could just be me. If this goes it means my story will get some major profile for sure, and there are definitely opportunities for me personally that will follow. I am excited about those possible opportunities and what they can mean for my girls and me. The day our first little girl, Adia, was born, my first priority became ensuring she had the opportunity and security to pursue her dreams. I won’t retire on the cash I’d receive for the movie but those opportunities that will result from it will help me ensure those opportunities and the security of my three girls.
It also means the issues young adults with cancer face will get some major profile and there will be huge opportunities for YACC as a result. I’ve had a great time dreaming out loud with Paul about how big this could be, and while we’ve got a pretty extensive list of opportunities identified, I’m pretty sure there are many more waiting for discovery.
Because whether or not this project gets the green light is still so unknown, it also means that we’re not changing our course at YACC, nor will I be leaving to pursue other interests. Not now, and not if the movie goes ahead. My interests are YACC, and that hasn’t changed in a little over nine years.
It would be a pretty nice boost to our communications efforts in 2010 if it aired next year! Good vibes are flowing.
Oh! And by the way, as per Karen’s wish, I have requested that Brad Pitt play me.
Live life. Love life.