Coming soon to a TV near you?Last week, a three-person camera crew made their way to Camano Island and Seattle in order to speak with locals, law enforcement and media types about the coverage surrounding Barefoot Burglar Colton Harris-Moore. The crew, sent by a Hollywood producer requesting anonymity, stopped by the Seattle Weekly offices on Wednesday. They asked questions and shot some b-roll footage of me answering the phone and printing out documents. It was, all in all, a profoundly weird experience.The goal of the shoot, says the producer, is to find out if there’s enough material to produce a long-form documentary. In a follow-up e-mail, we tried to get him to explain where the project stands today.”As of right now, I guess you could say this is an exploratory shoot to try to gather the facts and see what the best way to proceed would be if we were to go forward and try to make a feature length documentary,” he says. “We are going to cut what we have together and dig into the whole story a bit more and see where we stand. We are trying to be cautious about our approach to this as the investigation is ongoing and, at the core of this story is a really troubled kid who needs help. We have some interest from people in terms of investment in the film, but we want to be really clear about our goals in making this before we present it to anyone.”Here’s our take. The producer is sincere when he says he cares about Harris-Moore’s well-being. His comments are a reflection of what, we think, he’s trying to accomplish by producing the documentary: showing the weird interplay between media and criminal. How one influences the other, or doesn’t. (Is it clear we’re not sure this thing has commercial appeal? It should be.)But the most important question remains, is there a buyer? Although we’re still not allowed to reveal the identity of the man behind the project, he’s given us enough information to confirm that he and his company are legitimate enough to get a documentary into production. Making him one of several
interested in marketing Harris-Moore’s story. The bottom line, as usual, is whether or not anyone is willing to pay for it.