It’s difficult to say what sold Marathon Love to the realscreen MIP Picks judges – the content or the teaser clip. While the story is a can’t miss, the clip makes the pitch and then closes the deal. It suggests a story thread, takes a left turn into conflict, and then finds resolution, all in the space of two-and-a-half minutes. While the music plays a huge part (though we suspect it won’t be affordable for the final cut), the viewer and ultimately the commissioning editor know exactly what they’re getting from the film once they’ve seen the trailer. It’s an excellent study for producers looking to see how a successful prodco sells its ideas.
But, having said that, it all has to start with a good idea, and Marathon Love has it.
In 1987, Lynn Parks was the victim of a near-fatal car crash while in the midst of planning her wedding. She spent seven months in a coma, and was expected to remain in a vegetative state. When she finally regained consciousness, she was trapped in a broken body, and literally had to learn how to walk, talk and function again. Through it all, her husband-to-be, Jamie, never left her side, despite being told she would never be whole again. The two were finally able to marry and, despite overwhelming odds, even have a child.
Before the accident, Jamie Parks had been an avid runner. To keep Lynn from becoming a shut-in, he decided he would run again. The couple have competed together in 170 races, including several marathons. That’s over 12,000 miles, all of them with Jamie pushing Lynn in her wheelchair. In April, the couple will realize a goal they’ve had since they began running – taking part in the Boston Marathon. That milestone will be the thread that ties the whole tale together. Whatever the outcome of the race, however, it’s impossible that viewers will come away from this film unmoved. Partners: LMNO Productions (Encino) for Discovery Health Channel
Length: 60 minutes
Rights available: All, excluding the US