Interviews with the Filmmakers
As bad luck would have it, So Much So Fast is a logical extension of Troublesome Creek. It begins with Jeannie’s mother, Mary Jane Jordan, who was diagnosed with ALS just as we were finishing the editing of Troublesome Creek. At that time there were no drugs or treatments for ALS, and no reason to harbor even a shred of hope. The fact that ALS (one of many orphan diseases) is still fatal represents one of the deepest failures of the profit-driven pharmaceutical industry.
We had been looking for a way to express the jaw-dropping impossibility of ALS through film, and in 2000 we came across the Heywoods’ story in a New Yorker profile by Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Weiner (Jon recently published My Brother’s Keeper, a full length book about the Heywoods and their foundation.)
In the Heywoods we saw another chance to explicate universals in the particulars of one family’s story. There is tremendous vitality in the multiple threads of their experience. Robert Warshow’s essays on the gangster and the westerner capture something of the duality between Jamie and Stephen. Jamie is a provocateur, whose enormous ambition and in-your-face style make it possible create his organization from thin air and build it to the small empire it becomes. But he pays a price for it. Meanwhile Stephen’s artistic, self-contained charisma gives him an acceptance of his situation and a kind of moral force reminiscent of a reluctant gunslinger. In Troublesome Creek, westerns were a kind of touchstone for Russ Jordan. For the Heywood brothers, the constant in their lives is video games – like Diablo II and Starcraft.
For us, one of the most powerful aspects of documentary filmmaking is the ability to capture the passage of time, and reveal how real life plays out in its complexity over a span of years. We look for the layers of meaning in big moments and everyday events.
As filmmakers we share a love for the inherent drama of documentary and the lucid, documentary-like moments in dramas. So Much So Fast is a documentary, but we hope audiences will experience it in some ways as a nonfiction novel.
-- Steven Ascher & Jeanne Jordan
© 2010 West City FIlms, Inc