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14 Mar


From the Executive Producer

March 14, 2013 | By |

I remember being on the telephone with Stephen Ihli when he first told me his idea for a movie about a man trying to make JumpRopeSprint racing into a sport. I immediately thought the concept struck a great balance between funny and plausible, and I cavalierly volunteered to fund the project based on his cost estimate and the participation of Eric Small. My only condition was that the movie be clean and family friendly.

We began work on a script, but not fast enough to keep up with real life events. We struck a deal with Buddy Lee, and before we had cast the main character of the movie, Stephen was off to Washington, D.C. to shoot footage of Buddy, and then to Vancouver, Canada to attend the Winter Olympics with Buddy. This order of events was cause for some concern, but we wholeheartedly embraced the idea of writing the script to accommodate what the universe was giving us. In fact, these events and our own real life experiences as entrepreneurs helped us shape the character of Eddie Ruggle.

With certain story elements already shot, we were extremely fortunate to cast Sean O’Bryan as Eddie Ruggle. I love him. He made the role come alive as well as any of us could have expected. We were equally fortunate with respect to the remainder of the cast. I thoroughly enjoy each and every character in the movie, and cannot imagine anyone else playing any of the parts. The credit for this good fortune goes to Eric Small, Stephen Ihli, and our casting agent Steve Brooksbank.
Still more good fortune found us when Stephen Ihli visited the College of the Canyons and met so many great people: Lashinda Demus, Christine Spence, Mikki Barber, Coach Lindie Kane, Coach Denean-Hill, and others. Everyone was approachable and open-minded, and they all contributed to both the movie and the sport. We subsequently were given the privilege of introducing JumpRopeSprint racing to many young track athletes, including our current record holder Armando Mancias, who helped breathe life and energy into the sport, for which we are very grateful. As a result, I believe running and jumping rope (together) will be with us from now on.

The only downside to all of this good luck, the movie becoming bigger and the sport becoming more plausible, is that we went over budget, repeatedly. My wife, who sympathizes with Mrs. Eddie Ruggle, has been very understanding. Despite the cost overruns, I was so pleased with the result of our efforts that I invested additional funds to re-edit the movie and incorporate additional footage. I hope and believe that people will be pleasantly surprised and entertained by the movie, and if enough people are exposed to it, the film will stand the test of time in its own quirky way.