Ian MacDougall’s cross-border odyssey to track down one of Hollywood’s premier heavyweights may have turned him into a short-term online sensation, but continues to prove that brushes with true stardom are far more fleeting.
Months after the 22-year-old film student teamed up with a friend to convince Morgan Freeman to narrate a class project, he’s still chasing the goal that sent him on his madcap adventure in the first place.
Mr. MacDougall plans to devote part of the upcoming year to sifting through the hours of footage he gathered last April on his quest to track Mr. Freeman down. He and collaborator MacKenzie Warner are ultimately hoping the 20-minute short film they cobbled together in less than a day can be turned into a full-length documentary, ideally featuring a voiceover from the film industry’s consummate narrator.
The story began unfolding a week before Mr. MacDougall was slated to hand in his final project for a film course at Simon Fraser University. A hard drive crash wiped out an entire year’s worth of work on the film he planned to present just seven days before the scheduled screening.
In a panic, the Yellowknife native called Mr. Warner, who had once floated the idea of preparing a documentary on the process of tracking down Mr. Freeman and getting the A-list star to narrate the details of the hunt.
They never found Mr. Freeman, but the actor’s agent agreed to at least view the final product.
Mr. MacDougall plans to focus on getting it ready when he returns from some overseas travel, with the aim of having a full-length documentary ready for presentation later this year.
After that, however, he has to come full circle. All the hype over the Freeman short wasn’t enough to persuade Mr. MacDougall’s professor to accept it for his final grade.
He was pleased with the effort I’d put into at least making something ... but I wasn’t marked on the project because I basically have to re-edit the one that was lost.”