- Posted January 3, 2015 by
Los Angeles, California
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New Filmmakers LA Festival Brings Infamous Barefoot Bandit to the Big Screen in Daring Documentary
While Harris-Moore has been sitting in a Washington prison since his infamous joy ride finally came to a crash landing in the Bahamas in 2010, award winning documentary filmmakers, (and blood brothers), Adam and Andrew Gray have been digging far deeper into his story than the fleeting attention spans of all the major news coverage had ever allowed. “Fly Colt Fly” is a film as compelling as its legendary subject and it’s making its Hollywood debut at the New Filmmakers Los Angeles Film Festival on January 10th, 2015.
Combining in depth interviews with Harris-Moore’s family, friends, partners in crime and the very law enforcement he evaded for two years, along with news archives, security footage, live action re-enactments and explosive anime to fill in the gaps and keep the audience on their toes, “Fly Colt Fly” is a truly unique documentary that manages to be both factual and fantastical at once.
With a larger than life character whose escape from a juvenile half-way house escalated into hundreds of break-ins and thefts totaling millions of dollars in cash, cars, boats and private airplanes fueling his fugitive fairytale and a nationwide manhunt, it’s not hard to guess why the Gray brothers were inspired to make the Barefoot Bandit’s story into a film. The real question was how to go about telling the story, especially being filmmakers in the rare position of having already started production long before the real life story had its ending.
“I don’t think there was even too much argument about making the film after we read about him for the first time,” explains Andrew Gray. “It was about halfway through his journey when we started and I think he had already stolen three airplanes by then…it was just so crazy.”
The Gray brothers continued following and documenting the Barefoot Bandit’s escapades while watching the breaking news stories unfold along with the rest of us. “There were so many points along the way where we sure this had to be it, but he just kept making great escape after great escape,” Adam Gray muses. “There was a point on Orca’s Island where they had border patrol, boats surrounding the island, helicopters, maybe 100 armed guys coming through the woods, and they’ve spotted him and they knew where he was, and then somehow he just gets away again! 16 stolen cars and another plane later, he was still going,” says Adam.
But with a leading man/child who managed to elude FBI and SWAT, and has been serving a seven-year sentence in highly protected custody ever since, the Gray brothers faced another major challenge of making “Fly Colt Fly” without having access to Colt himself. It was a dangerous endeavor that not only put their stuntman/actor at risk during the live action recreations, the filmmakers almost got shot at on two different occasions as well.
“Most of the people who actually knew Colton as a kid, (including his own mother), were very willing to talk to us and very sympathetic towards his upbringing that involved alcoholism, abuse and other things,” explains Adam. “But then later on, when he started getting a lot of notoriety and robbing places two or three times, a lot of locals were getting really, really angry with all the media coverage and that he was getting portrayed as a sort of folk hero. Someone actually came out of their home carrying a shot gun and threatened to shoot us if we didn’t go away.”
“Then there was also the time we had just interviewed some musicians in Canada that had picked up Colton hitchhiking and we were crossing back into the U.S. when the border patrol mixed me up with some fugitive named Andrew”, Andrew laughs. “They were screaming at me to put my hands up and I didn’t know what to do with the piping hot Starbucks coffee I was holding. Next thing I knew there were about eight of them surrounding our vehicle with guns drawn, then they cuffed all three of us and took us all to separate cells until they realized I wasn’t the ‘Andrew’ they were looking for.”
Both Andrew Gray and Adam Gray will be attending the screening of “Fly Colt Fly” at the New Filmmakers LA screening on January 10th at the AT&T center in downtown Los Angeles. They will be sharing plenty more stories about the making of “Fly Colt Fly” during the Q and A session following the film.
To find out more information about the New Filmmakers LA screening event go to: http://www.newfilmmakersla.com/events/event/january-10th-monthly-screening/
To find out more about the documentary film, “Fly Colt Fly”, go directly to the website: http://flycoltflymovie.com