To celebrate the courage of two hospitalized 6-year old boys — one of them his son — Marc Wells of Central Point is making a 90-minute movie called "Courage of Two."
The boys met when Wells' son Denver was hospitalized with Type I diabetes and his pal Patrick Cozad of Grants Pass was being treated for cancer.
The Facebook page for "The Courage Of Two" can be found at www.facebook.com/CourageOfTwo.
The Kickstarter campaign to help fun the movie can be found at www.kickstarter.com/projects/1500620446/courage-of-two
They became fast friends, supporting each other through life-threatening ailments and planning future snowboarding jaunts — but half a year later, Patrick had died and Denver, to honor his friend, was raising money door-to-door for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, which helps kids with catastrophic illnesses.
Soon to graduate from Southern Oregon University's film and television program, Marc Wells wrote a script about the moving story and will begin principal photography on it in December. He plans to have it done by March and enter it next year in the Brooklyn Film Festival. The co-writer is Patrick's mother, Roxanne Cosad.
"The message of the film," says Marc Wells, is that everyone has the courage to go onward and to do good for someone else, even if they're only 6."
He started on the film at the time of the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut, and his teachers at SOU encouraged him to do the film to show the Rogue Valley as a place "where such bad stories have stayed away and we have good stories of good people coming out of here."
Wells says he was amazed to see his son dressed up in a tie and raising money in the neighborhood, but when he said his goal was $1 million, dad encouraged him to be more realistic, shooting for $1,000.
"He proved me wrong by raising $10,000," says Marc Wells, "and sending it to St. Jude, where it went to help a young patient, Mary Flowers, regain her eyesight after a retinal blastoma."
The $25,000 cost of the movie is being financed by a Kickstarter appeal that has so far raised $1,440 and runs through Sept. 21 (www.kickstarter.com/projects/1500620446/courage-of-two).
"The two boys form a bond that will carry on for the rest of their lives," says the Kickstarter page. "It will call viewers to look within themselves as they feel a profound change in their own lives. ... Denver Wells, Patrick Cozad and their families have an amazing and heartwarming, though sometimes sad, story to tell."
If the movie does well at the film festival, he adds, perhaps it could be taken up by a cable channel and start bringing in big money, making enough to donate more to St. Jude, says Marc Wells.
"I feel very honored and have much respect for Patrick, who would want this movie for a lot of people," says Denver, "because a lot of people have lost someone to cancer — and there is still a lot of hope for children at St. Jude."
Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center is donating locations and food for the shoot. Psychologist, filmmaker and retired SOU professor David Oas is advisor on the psychological aspects of the movie. Finnish composer Miika Meppiainen is donating music, and the group Shuvlhed is donating the song, "It's Never Easy to Say Goodbye."
John Darling is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.