A recent graduate’s documentary film that began as an Emerson class project is making its national television debut on PBS' World Channel this Tuesday, May 26, at 8:00 pm EST, as part of the America Reframed series.
Tripp Clemens ’13 is co-director of Endless Abilities, which documents a 2012 cross-country trip he took with three friends from Rhode Island, including Zack Bastian, who became partially paralyzed as the result of an accident not long ago.
The four pals meet several practitioners of the adaptive sports movement during their trip, learning how differently abled people learn to rock climb, swim competitively, and play soccer and other sports.
They also meet pioneers like Kirk Bauer, founder of Disabled Sports USA, which was created in 1967 with several war veterans to encourage people like themselves to live full, integrated lives.
Clemens said encouragement from his professors in the Visual and Media Arts Department at Emerson led to the culmination of this film.
“This film was born during my sophomore fall [semester], when I used a 16 millimeter camera from Emerson to capture a few shots of Zachary,” Clemens said. “Entering the final semester of my [senior year], I was daunted by the prospect of turning over 300 hours of footage into one.”
“The faculty reminded me that every time I revisit the editing process, I would see the film differently, so ‘don’t rush it, just take your time,’” he said. “This reassurance was perhaps the best advice I received while making the film.”
Clemens, who said he raised $50,000 through Kickstarter to finance his film, singled out Professor Cristina Kotz Cornejo for providing the most assistance with his project.