Local filmmakers plan 10-part Michigan football series
In the past two years, a pair of local filmmakers have taken on projects ranging from a documentary on a Detroit-area priest to a feature-length horror film.
They’ll broaden their scope with their next project - a 10-part documentary on Michigan football scheduled for premier in late May or early June.
“Victors” will then air during the football season, with the first five parts debuting in 2011 and the second five in 2012.
“We’re taking a different approach with this,” said Buddy Moorehouse, senior creative director at Detroit-based Stunt3 Multimedia. “It’s not a look at the 10 greatest players, but 10 defining stories about Michigan football.”
The series, loosely modeled after ESPN’s "30 for 30" documentary series.
Some of the topics will be one ardent Wolverines fans know well - or at least ones they think they know. Episodes are planned on Ron Kramer, Rick Leach and Bob Ufer, as well as the 1997 championship team, the 1969 Michigan-Ohio State game and "The Victors."
The series will debut with an episode on the 1934 Michigan-Georgia Tech game, in which the Yellow Jackets threatened to pull out of the game if Michigan played Willis Ward, the school’s second black player.
Ward’s teammate, future President Gerald Ford, contemplated quitting the team in protest of Ward’s exclusion.
“We’re finding out more about how important that was in shaping a future president,” said Moorehouse, a Michigan graduate.
“We think it’s going to be a fascinating film, one that really opens up a lot of people’s eyes to the fact that Jim Crow was not only a problem in the south, but in the north.”
The segment will include footage from a never-before-seen interview with Ward, who went on to a career as a lawyer and probate judge in Wayne County.
Currently, the Ward-Ford episode is in production. Stunt3 hopes to hold a premier in late spring or early summer, in both Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids, Ford’s hometown.
Moorehouse said the series will cost $250,000 to produce, and that Stunt3 is looking for investors to buy shares in the project.