Friday, July 29, 2011

Daily Gleaner: Sensitive? No. Sleazy? Yes. Producer says he's 'sensitive' to people's concerns

We don't know about Tim Hogan, but we have a different definition of the word SENSITIVE.

Sensitive means you consult with the people you are most impacted by the Boys in Red tragedy BEFORE you announce to the world that you are making a film that would not exist but for the deaths of seven boys.

Sensitive means you don't spend two years planning to make a film in secret, ignore the concerns of parents who contacted you after they found out about it last year, then announce it to the world as a fait accompli and expect everyone to be understanding and sympathetic to your weak arguments and spin.

Sensitive? No.

Sleazy? Yes.


Published Friday July 29th, 2011

Bathurst | Company wants to tell story of how team, community rallied hfter deadly van crash


One of the producers behind a movie about the Bathurst boys basketball team's recovery from a tragic van crash says he's sorry news of the project has upset some people, and he's willing to meet with anyone with concerns.

"We've always been very sensitive to the situation. We are very aware that it is a sensitive story," said Tim Hogan, a producer with Fredericton-based Dream Street Pictures.

Click here to read original article on the Daily Gleaner website.

Seven players and the wife of the coach died in an accident while returning home from a game in January 2008.

The company announced last week that it plans to begin filming a made-for-television movie, produced in conjunction with CBC, this fall. Tentatively titled The Phantoms after the team's nickname, the movie will be shot in Bathurst and Fredericton.

Producers say the film will be about how the team, and the community, rallied after the tragedy, lifted community spirit, and the team went on to win the coveted provincial basketball title. But there's debate over the movie in the community.

The Bathurst school district superintendent has been approached about allowing the production to use some school facilities.

Isabelle Hains, whose 17-year-old son Daniel died in the crash, has made her opposition to the project known. She's asking the superintendent not to participate in the film.

She said the film comes too soon after the incident and amounts to exploitation.

In a letter she sent Thursday to Supt. John McLaughlin, Hains said she doesn't want the district to participate in a film that glorifies the deaths of the boys.

McLaughlin said he's proud of the 2009 junior varsity and senior varsity Bathurst High School basketball teams, noting the players and coaches showed tremendous courage, determination and strength as they pursued and achieved great personal and communal goals.

"At the same time, I am constantly aware of the terrible suffering from which this story emerged, and I am acutely sensitive to those whose grief continues, day after day," he said.

"Whether our school district co-operates with the production company will depend upon the extent to which we believe this experience might further the healing process in our community."

He said with that in mind, the district has begun contacting various individuals who were most affected, and a decision will be made at a later date on whether to participate.

Hogan said he understands that people are looking out for the best interests of the community.

"It's a great story. I think when people see it, they're going to understand. If there are concerns out there right now, we're willing to talk to people to address them," Hogan said Thursday.

"That's my hometown. I'm very aware of the feelings, and I would never do anything to make people feel bad in that town.

"Our true intention is to show Bathurst as an inspiring and uplifting community."

Bathurst Mayor Stephen Brunet knows people in the community have a range of feelings over the film.

"I don't think you can ever have enough time to deal with the loss. The loss of the team, those young people and the coach's wife, will be with those families forever,'' he said.

Brunet said he would like to see the movie filmed in Bathurst.

"It's not about the tragedy. It's about this team that came together and they probably didn't have a top-notch team, but they certainly went a long way and proved they could do it. It's a real happy story,'' he said.

Click here to read original article on the Daily Gleaner website.