It has been years since Corbin Bernsen put acting aside to sit in the director’s chair (although, FULL DISCLOSURE: he remains Videogum’s Chief Legal Counsel*), but he isn’t content simply to direct hollow entertainment. His movies often have a message, and in some cases, as with his new movie, they have the even more ambitious goal of CHANGING THE WORLD. From the Hollywood Reporter:
[Corbin] Bernsen is directing “25 Hill,” a family-friendly production with a budget of about $500,000 that begins shooting Wednesday in the town once nicknamed the Rubber City. He aims to save its nearly 75-year-old racing league, the All-American Soap Box Derby.
In September, Bernsen read an article in USA Today about how the derby had a debt of $623,000 with a local bank and was facing extinction.
“The derby used to be this huge event; 50,000 people used to show up, and Chevrolet was a huge sponsor,” Bernsen said Monday from his production offices in Akron. “But the times, the economy, the kids got into other interests. Sponsorship has really dwindled. It’s a nonprofit, and it needs money.”
Right. Definitely. We have got to save the soap box derby. And this is definitely the way to to do it. I just feel like the economic crisis and the two wars America continues to find itself deeply mired in have distracted people from the really important issues: underfunded non-profit soap box derbies that hold nostalgic importance to Corbin Bernsen. This is a real wake up call. More about this real wake up call after the jump:
Bernsen decided to do what he did with “Rust,” the faith-based movie he directed last year in Saskatchewan: help raise financing through grassroots community efforts and make a movie, using professional actors and professional crews, on a community level.
Bernsen wrote “Hill,” the tale of an 11-year-old boy whose derby dreams are left in pieces when his soldier father is killed in Afghanistan. The boy teams up with a father figure whose own son, a firefighter, died in the line of duty, and the two help each other find redemption and revive the derby.
“You know those actors you hear about and you go, ‘Is he still alive?’ That’s what the derby is,” Bernsen said. “The idea is to show that the derby is alive and well. This is not a nostalgic period movie.”
OK, well, I’m not even going to touch that last quote. I’m not wearing my Self-Awareness Gloves! I might get Sad Irony on me! But I will touch the fact that Corbin Bernsen raised $500,000 through grassroots community efforts to make his movie about the soap box derby in order to “save” the soap box derby, when he clearly could have raised just a little bit more money and CUT OUT THE MIDDLE MAN. I know that you have to spend money to make money, but sometimes you don’t. I would rest my case, but I will just have my lawyer, Corbin Bernsen, rest it for me.
I recuse myself!
I do appreciate that Corbin Bernsen tied his story (because HE WROTE THIS?!?!?!) to the war in Afghanistan. I think that is really going to bring home the
troops need for people to care more about the soap box derby. Corbin Bernsen: patriot, hero.