says film should be
released by early next year
(August 2001) Madison, In For many
in the Madison area, keeping up with news on the hydroplane
movie Madison since its filming here in summer
1999 has been an ongoing hobby of sorts.
Most news has come in bits and pieces from
those in Hollywood who have maintained ties with their
acquaintances back in Madison. Meanwhile, the rumor mill
in many cases has generated more questions than answers.
But with the Belterra Casino Madison Regatta coming to
town last month, Madison director and co-producer
Bill Bindley decided it was time to return to Madison
to assure folks that work is still progressing on getting
the final version of the movie completed and sold to a
distributor. In fact, with two companies now interested
in the film, Bindley predicted the movie could hit theaters
as early as next spring.
People who are not familiar with the movie industry
do not understand the long time period that occurs between
the shooting of a movie and its actual release. But this
is normal in the business, said Bindley, 39, an
Indianapolis native and Northwestern University graduate.
Its exciting for me to be back in Madison
at the Regatta, he said. When we were here
filming the movie, I couldnt enjoy it because I
was under a lot of stress. But this is very relaxing.
Bindley greeted visitors early Saturday morning, July
8, during the Madison Regatta as they were welcomed into
a Vaughn Drive tent to sit and watch a 13-minute trailer,
or preview. Bindley also had with him a 94-minute cut
of the movie that included narration by pop singer and
Seymour native John Mellencamp.
Bindley said the soundtrack that will appear on the final
movie release had not been completed.
Though he could not give the names of the two interested
companies, Bindley said one large, well-known company
wanted to release the film regionally, while a smaller
company that was recently created by a former Disney Co.
executive was interested in a nationwide release.
At press time, no decision had been announced, however,
Bindley said he was more than 50 percent sure
the film would be out next year. He has been working with
local officials, including Tony Steinhardt, who
served as an advisor and extra in the film, on a plan
to preview the film in Madison prior to its release.
One option is to show the film at the Ohio Theatre on
Main Street. Another more elaborate option being considered
is to show the film on a large screen that would be set
up on a floating barge at the Madison riverfront. This
option would allow for more people to view the film in
a festive and unique atmosphere, said Bindley, who co-wrote
the script with his brother, Scott Bindley.
The movie is a fictionalized account of the late Jim McCormicks
1971 victory in the community owned Miss Madison hydroplane
while competing in the prestigious Gold Cup race, held
in Madison that year. The story is told through the eyes
of McCormicks 8-year-old son, Michael, played by
actor Jake Lloyd of Star Wars fame.
Actor Jim Caviezel (Thin Red Line) plays Jim McCormick.
The main cast also includes Academy Award winner Bruce
Dern, Paul Dooley and Mary McCormack.
Everywhere I go, people always ask me about the
movie, said Michael McCormick, 40, who resides near
Owensboro, Ky., and still races limited hydroplanes. He
brought his crew to Madison in July to compete in the
5-litre competition. His boat, sponsored by RoundAbout
Madison and piloted by Michigans Cal Phipps, finished
Every time I watch it, I start tearing up,
McCormick said of the movie. It brings back a lot
of memories of my pop. Its just great what they
have done by making this movie.
Several years ago, Bindley spent hours interviewing McCormick
and his mother, Bonnie, to gain insights on the true story
for writing the fictionalized script.
The films producers had hoped to release the movie
this year. They earned accolades in February after previewing
the movie at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City,
Utah. We had 1,500 people in that theater standing
and cheering at the end. It was great, Bindley said.
The film also appeared at the Canne Film Festival in May
and is scheduled to premier Oct. 18 at the annual Heartland
Film Festival in Indianapolis. The film is set for a 7
p.m. showing in the 1,700-seat Hilbert Circle Theater.
Tickets are $10.
Bindley said when the time comes for the movies
release, he hopes to get publicity on CNN and shows such
as Access Hollywood and Entertainment
Although a fall release had been considered, Bindley said
Caviezels upcoming appearance in the movie, The
Count of Monte Cristo, due out in theaters Oct.
12, has caused them to now shoot for a spring 2002 release.
Its not good for two movies with the same
lead actor to come out at the same time, Bindley
explained. He added that Madison movie officials
hope to bank on the success of The Count and
on Caviezels rising star power to help promote their
movie when it is released.
Madison was Bindleys first attempt at
directing and producing an independent film. He normally
is hired by large studios to help direct, he said. He
has worked on five such films. While big studio productions
can run as high as $50 million to produce, Madison
only cost $10 million to make, he said. Not counting extras,
the films crew and cast involved about 300 people.
Recently, Bindley was been hired to work on a new film,
a historical courtroom drama, to be shot in Europe. It
is about two Italian immigrants, Sacco and Vanzetti, who
were executed in Boston in 1927.
The movie Madison
is scheduled to premiere Oct. 18 at the Heartland Film
Festival in Indianapolis. Tickets are $10. Call (812)
265-2956 or 1-800-559-2956 for information.