Are you the executive producer of your dream?

Last week I attended a premiere of a wonderful film called That Evening Sun.  I live in Knoxville, TN, which is 2,191 miles from Hollywood. We don’t attract too many premiers around here. This one was special because the film was produced and filmed about 10 miles from my home and the making of it is a story that may inspire you.

That Evening Sun was the first film by a new company, Dogwood Entertaiment, and executive producers Larsen and Adrian Jay.  Like so many triumphs, it was born of tragedy. In 2007, Larsen, a successful media executive and entrepreneur, sustained severe injuries when he fell off of a roof.  Being confined to a wheelchair gave him a lot of time to think about his life and what he was really accomplishing. “Life is too short,” he said in an interview. “I know that all too well now.”

After multiple operations, he arose from his wheelchair with a new passion to achieve his dream of making a feature film.

Larsen and Adrian made their dream come alive with fierce determination and keen business maneuvering. They raised the necessary capital, partnered with executives in Los Angeles, and filmed a feature-length film in 22 days. Best of all, they delivered an award-winning film that has legitimized their venture and launched a bright new company.

Larsen and Adrian inspired me to think a little bigger about my own life and career.  Heaven forbid it should take a life-altering injury to be a catalyst for change.

What if you viewed yourself as the executive producer for YOUR dream?  Could you assemble the resources and create it in 22 days?  Could I do it?  Would I do it?   How about you?  Would it take a catastrophe to even give us the time to dream these dreams?

P.S. Click on the picture to see the movie trailer, and don’t miss a chance to see it. Hal Holbrook deserves an Oscar nomination for this!

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  • Jim LeBlanc

    This is great story-telling about story-telling. I need a kick in the pants like this now and then. Thanks, Mark!

  • Natasha Gabriel

    Perhaps I should post on my bathroom mirror Mark. Seems like I might need a daily kick in the pants Jim!

  • A good movie makes you think. Would love to see that movie as well….had a similar experience when I watched “Up in The Air” with George Clooney that inspired a quick post about making the most of your days. Check it out if you like.

  • You know, I think I am working hard and putting in the effort towards my goals and desires. Then you hear of a story like this that makes me I REALLY need to get off my ass and do more.

    I’ll probably need 23 days though.

    I’ll be sure to check out the movie. Nice recommendation!

  • I liked the post – thanks – such a catchy title. Interestingly enough, this is a subject I can really relate to and you and your readers may find my story entertaining.
    About 10 years ago, I was lucky enough to take a life-long dream and make it real. To become, as you so eloquently expressed it, the executive producer of my dream.
    I retired, bought a wonderful 47 foot catamaran, and set off to do a solo-circumnavigation.
    And for a time, it truly was a dream come true: blue water sailing, white beaches, coral reefs viewed from my kayak, watching magnificent fish and birds watching me, day after day of endless summer with the wind, water and my boat to keep me company. Not to mention pulling into strange, exotic ports of call and then exploring them by bike and foot, meeting fascinating people and eating wonderful meals I didn’t know how to pronounce.
    But then I discovered that when you take a dream and make it real, you also make real all of its parts, even those which you did not foresee or understand. And when you experience one of these nightmare aspects of your dream, there’s no relief in waking up!
    About a third of the way round, 14,000 miles of blue water behind my twin keels, I was crossing from New York to Bermuda when I was hit by Hurricane Olga. I wrote a novel incorporating this experience, which you can find out more about at
    Needless to say I survived, but 35 hours of staring death in the face persuaded me that I didn’t want to live the dream anymore. It wasn’t fear of death that did it, it was fear of the way my mind began to welcome the idea of falling off the boat to end my seasick anguish. The only thing which prevented me leaping off the stern, was the faces of my loved one which appeared to remind me that even if I did not want to live at that moment, I owed it to them to try every trick of seamanship I possessed to survive.
    I promised them that if I managed to make it to Bermuda, I would sell the boat, grow up and marry the woman I loved, and settle down to live a more grown up life. And I did.
    My advice? If you can live in your dream – go for it! Despite my experience, I love the fact that I did it, and while I did not achieve its ultimate goal, I experienced enough to fill a life time of writing.

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